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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Rooms 8 & 9, Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
Event date: 
Monday, 22 May, 2023 - 17:00
Event organiser: 

2023 Ullendorff Lecture in Semitic Philology, given by Professor Na’ama Pat-El, University of Texas at Austin

In many languages, third-person forms in a verbal paradigm are unmarked, and scholars have suggested that such cases are either a result of loss or non-development.

In this paper, I will argue that in the perfect/stative paradigm in Semitic, the third-person morphology is a result of non-development. I suggest that these forms are constructed as predicative adjectives, without person markers, because Semitic never developed third-person nominative pronouns.

I further discuss other innovative verbal formations in Semitic and show that when subject clitics are non-canonical, for example in Neo-Aramaic, third-person forms are clearly marked.


Professor Geoffrey Khan: