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Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:29 am
by Refael Shalev
It's well known that in hebrew along with other semitic languages the majority of the roots are triliteral.

But if we observe a cluster of roots with related meaning and 2 repeating consonants, doesn't it make sense to consider them as originally biliteral?

E.g: נה"מ- הו"מ-המ"י- המ"מ making noise or sound

סו"כ- יס"כ- נס"כ- מס"כ to cast oil and metaphorically to cast confusion etc.

I would like to know what is your opinion.
Thanks!

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:43 pm
by ducky
the view of the three letters roots in Hebrew started with Rabbi Judah ben David Hayyuj and Jonah ibn Janah.

Before that, there was another view that the root can be 2 letters and even one letter
(I agree with that view more).

**
the examples you bring are a little bit different.
You show that there are dominant two letters as the source of the three letter root.
as the previous basics was just S-K, and then through time, it was expanded to MSK, YSK, NSK and so on...

You still see here three letters roots
only that you say that all of them are based on same two dominant letter - and basically came from the same basic meaning (that was also "spread" in time)

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:37 pm
by Refael Shalev
I think that this observation can explain the word נפילים for example. Not giants who fell from the sky but tall men with the base פל like in עופל and the opposite נפל-שפל-אפל to fall, to be low physically or morally, to be dark (in arabic sun or moon set).

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:01 pm
by kwrandolph
I too think that there are many verbs that are properly biliteral roots, but I haven’t made a study of it. Among those I would include many, but not all, of those that are ayen-doubled, many but not all of those that are listed as having a medial ו or י and a few others. The majority of roots are triliteral, with a few quadraliteral roots.

That’s my seat-of-my-pants 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:06 pm
by Jason Hare
But you have created a lexicon. Should you not have made a study of things related to roots?

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:55 pm
by Refael Shalev
Hi Karl,

Some of the quadraliteral roots pointing over the biliteral root: קרקר, חלחל...