Appendix:Arabic verbs

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Derived stems (sound verbs)[edit]

Arabic Verbs
Arabic Nouns

Arabic verbs are noted for an unusual system of derivation. From any particular root various verb stems may be formed. Western scholars usually refer to these derivations as “form I”, “form II”, ... up through “form XV,” though these designations are not used indigenously, where they are referred to by derivations of the verb فعل (to do). Accordingly, form I would be فَعَلَ (faʿala), form II would be فَعّلَ (faʿʿala), etc. These forms refer to triliteral roots (those made of three consonants). There are also quadriliteral roots, made up of four consonants, which come in four forms, “form Iq”, “form IIq”, “form IIIq” and “form IVq”. Triliteral forms XI through XV and quadriliteral forms IIIq and IVq are rare and tend to be intransitive, often stative, verbs (having the meaning “to be or become X” where X is an adjective).

These forms and their associated participles and verbal nouns are the primary means of forming vocabulary in Arabic. All of the examples shown here are the citation forms, which in Arabic means the 3rd-person masculine singular perfect (e.g., “he did”, “he wrote”).

Form I[edit]

Perfective فَعَلَ (fáʿala, fáʿila), imperfective يفعل (yafʿalu, yafʿilu, yafʿulu)

This is the simplest basic form of a verb, it gives the general idea of its root. Most verbs are triliteral, but there are a few quadriliteral ones.

  • كتب (kátaba) — to write (literally, he wrote).
    قتل (qátala) — to kill (literally, he killed).
    سلم (sálima) — to be safe (literally, he was safe).
    ضحك (ḍáḥika) — to laugh (literally, he laughed).
    حب (ḥábba) — to love (literally, he loved).

Form II[edit]

Perfective فَعّلَ (fáʿʿala), imperfective يُفَعِّلُ (yufaʿʿilu), verbal noun تفعيل (tafʿīl), active participle مفعل (mufaʿʿil), passive participle مفعل (mufaʿʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فعل (faʿʿil)

This stem is formed by doubling the second radical. The meaning this form imparts is intensive, causative, declarative, or denominative.

Form III[edit]

Perfective فَاعَلَ (fāʿala), imperfective يُفَاعِلُ (yufāʿilu), verbal noun مفاعلة (mufāʿala), active participle مفاعل (mufāʿil), passive participle مفاعل (mufāʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فاعل (fāʿil)

This stem is formed by lengthening the vowel after the first radical. The meaning this form imparts is conative and always transitive. The indirect object of form I is the direct object of form III.

Form IV[edit]

Perfective أفْعَلَ (ʼáfʿala), imperfective يُفْعِلُ (yufʿilu), verbal noun إفعال (ʾifʿāl), active participle مفعل (mufʿil), passive participle مفعل (mufʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) أفعل (ʾafʿil)

This stem is formed by prefixing أ (ʾ) (ʼa-) and dropping the vowel of the first radical. In the imperfect, the أ (ʾ) disappears and the regular imperfect prefix takes the vowel u, and the characteristic is i: يكتب, yuktíbu. The meaning this form imparts is causative.

Form V[edit]

Perfective تَفَعَّلَ (tafáʿʿala), imperfective يَتَفَعَّلُ (yatafaʿʿalu), verbal noun تفعل (tafáʿʿul), active participle متفعل (mutafaʿʿil), passive participle متفعل (mutafaʿʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) تفعل (tafáʿʿil)

This stem is formed by prefixing ت (t) (ta-) to form II. The meaning this form imparts is the reflexive or passive of form II. Out of the reflexive also arises the effective. This differs from the passive in that the latter indicates that the person is the object of, or experiences the effect of, the action of a another; whereas the effective implies that an act is done to a person, or a state produced in him, whether it is caused by another or himself. [1]

Form VI[edit]

Perfective تَفَاعَلَ (tafāʿala), imperfective يَتَفَاعَلُ (yatafāʿalu)

This stem is formed by prefixing ت (t) (ta-) to form III. The imperfect has the vowel a throughout, except for the last: يتكاتب, yatakātabu. The meaning this form imparts is reciprocal or one of pretence.

Form VII[edit]

Perfective اِنْفَعَلَ (infáʿala), imperfective يَنْفَعِلُ (yanfaʿilu)

This stem is formed by prefixing ن (n) with liaison (ا) where necessary (in-). The meaning this form imparts is reflexive or passive. Note: this form should not be made from roots whose first radical is ‭ر (r), ل (l), ي (y), و (w), أ (ʾ), or ن (n), although some people do it.

Form VIII[edit]

Perfective اِفْتَعَلَ (iftáʿala), imperfective يَفْتَعِلُ (yaftaʿilu)

This stem is formed by infixing ت (t) (-ta-) after the first radical, and with liaison (ا) where necessary. The meaning this form imparts is the reflexive or sometimes passive, of the first form. Partial or complete assimilation of the infixed ت (t) occurs in this form when the first radical of the root is: ط () , ض () , ص () , ز (z) , ذ () , د (d) , ث () , ت (t) , or ظ (): e.g., اضطرب = ت (t) + ضرب ; ازدحم = ت (t) + زحم ; ادّرك = ت (t) + درك.

Form IX[edit]

Perfective اِفْعَلَّ (ifʿálla), imperfective يَفْعَلُّ (yafʿallu)

This stem is formed by dropping the vowel of the first radical, adding liaison (ا) as necessary, and doubling the final radical. This form is used by only a small number of verbs denoting color or bodily defect.

Form X[edit]

Perfective اِسْتَفْعَلَ (istáfʿala), imperfective يَسْتَفْعِلُ (yastafʿilu)

This stem is formed by prefixing ست (-sta-), with liaison (ا) where necessary, and dropping the vowel of the first radical. The meaning this form imparts is to ask or think that the sense of form I should be done.

Form Iq[edit]

Perfective فَعْلقَ (fáʿlaqa), imperfective يُفَعْلِقُ (yufaʿliqu), verbal noun فَعْلَقَة (faʿlaqah), active participle مُفَْلِق (mufaʿliq), passive participle مُفَعْلَق (mufaʿlaq), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فَعْلِقْ (faʿliq)

This is the simplest basic form of a quadriliteral verb. Most verbs are transitive, although a subset with reduplicated roots often are not. This form is similar to form II of triliteral roots.

Form IIq[edit]

Perfective تَفَعْلقَ (tafáʿlaqa), imperfective يَتَفَعْلَقُ (yatafaʿlaqu), verbal noun تَفَعْلُقَ (tafaʿluq), active participle مُتَفَْلِق (mutafaʿliq), passive participle مُتَفَعْلَق (mutafaʿlaq), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) تَفَعْلَقْ (tafaʿlaq)

This is a quadriliteral root stem, formed by prefixing تَ (ta-) to form Iq. The meaning this form imparts is the reflexive or passive of form Iq. This form is similar to form V of triliteral roots.

Other forms[edit]

These forms were already rare in Classical Arabic, and are even more so in Modern Standard Arabic.

Form XI[edit]

  • ʼifʿālla (Form XI) اِفْعَالّ

This stem is formed from form IX by lengthening the vowel after the second radical. This form is very rare and it is usually used only for metrical purposes in poetry as an alternative to form IX. Some scholars [2] [3] suggest the XI form may have a more volatile meaning than form IX, as well as one slightly more intensive.

Example: احمار (iḥmārra) — to turn red, to blush.

Form XII[edit]

  • ʼifʿawʿala (Form XII) اِفْعَوْعَلَ
Example: احدودب (iḥdáwdaba) — to be or become humpbacked.

Form XIII[edit]

  • ʼifʿawwala (Form XIII) اِفْعَوّلَ
Example: اعلوط (iʿláwwaṭa) — to ride or mount a camel without a saddle.

Form XIV[edit]

  • ʼifʿanlala (Form XIV) إفْعَنْلَلَ
Example: اسحنكك (isḥánkaka) — to be or become caliginous.

Form XV[edit]

  • ʼifʿanlā (Form XV) اِفْعَنْلَى
Example: اسرندى (isrándā) — to vanquish.

Form IIIq[edit]

TODO. Rare.

Form IVq[edit]

TODO. Fairly rare.

Exceptions[edit]

Hamzated verbs[edit]

Verbs are called hamzated if ء (hamza) is one of the root consonants (radicals). The phonetical pattern of the conjugation of these verbs doesn't differ from other verbs in all forms but because of the rules of positioning of hamza, the spelling is affected in some forms, e.g. the verb أكل (ʾákala - "to eat") (ʾ-k-l) has the form يأكل (yaʾkulu) in the imperfect masculine singular and the verb قرأ (qáraʾa- "to read") (q-r-ʾ) has the form تقرئين (taqraʾīna) in the imperfect feminine singular.

Weak verbs[edit]

TO DO Weak verbs are verbs that have one of the radicals و or ي.

  1. Assimilated verbs (R1 = و or ي)
    Form I: وجد (wájada) - "to find", imperfective يجد (yajidu).
  2. Hollow verbs (R2 = و or ي)
    Form I: قال (qāla) - "to say" قالت (qālat) "she said" but قلت (qúltu, qúlta, qúlti) - I said, you m/f said; imperfective يقول (yaqūlu) "he said", يقلن (yaqulna) "they (f.) said".
  3. Final-weak verbs (R3 = و or ي), e.g. مشى (mašā) - "to walk", رمى (ramā) - "to throw", حظي (ḥaẓiya) - "to be in the good graces of, to enjoy", بقي (baqiya) - "to stay, to remain", دعا (daʿā) - "to call sb., to summon sb."., لقي (laqiya) - "to meet sb.".

Other examples of weak verbs:

  • علا (ʿalā) - "to rise"
  • على (ʿalā) - "to raise"
  • ولي (waliya) - "to follow" (assimilated and final-weak)
  • سرو (saruwa) - "to become honourable"
  • غنى (ġannā) - "to sing" (form II)
  • غطى (ġáṭṭā) - "to cover, to wrap" (form II)
  • آمن (ʾāmana) - "to have faith" (form IV, assimilated)
  • آوى (ʾāwā) - "to shelter" (form IV, hollow and final-weak (and initially-hamzated))
  • تغير (taġayyara) - "to change" (form V)
  • تطوع (taṭawwaʿa) - "to volunteer" (form V)
  • اتهم (ittahama) - "to accuse" (form VIII, root w-h-m)
  • احتاج (iḥtāja) - "to wear" (form VIII)
  • ازدوج (izdawaja) - "to be doubled" (form VIII)
  • استورد (istawrada) - "to import" (form X)

Quadriliteral verbs[edit]

TO DO Quadriliteral verbs are made from roots having four radicals, e.g. ترجم (tarjama) (t-r-j-m) - "to translate"; هندس (handasa) (h-n-d-s) - "to engineer"; قهقه (qahqaha) (q-h-q-h) - "to laugh loudly"; اطمأن (iṭma’anna) (ṭ-m-’-n) - "to be calm"; or تبلور (tabalwara) (b-l-w-r) - "to be crystalized".

Geminate verbs[edit]

TO DO Geminate verbs are verbs that have the second and the third radicals the same, e.g. مد (mádda) (m-d-d) - "to stretch"; دل (dálla) (d-l-l) - "to indicate"; ظن (Zánna) (Z-n-n) - "to think"; أحب (ʔaħábba) (ħ-b-b) - "to love" (form IV); انشق (inšáqqa) (š-q-q) - "to split" (form VII); احتل (iḥtálla) (ḥ-l-l) - "to occupy" (form VII).

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Wright, 1967)
  2. ^ Haywood and Nahmad, 1962, p. 185
  3. ^ (Wright, 1967)

See also[edit]