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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the study of Arabic morphology. It first considers the root-and-pattern theory, which has become the orthodox approach to Arabic synchronic morphology. It then details the paradigm shift in the mid-1980s, when students of Arabic morphology reached the conclusion that a rigidly reductionist root-and-pattern analysis is fundamentally inadequate as a descriptive tool. This has led to a variety of alternative models, which can be loosely grouped under the rubric of word based or stem based. All such models have in common the idea that many or all morphological regularities in Arabic can be best described in terms of derivational processes operating on words or stems rather than in terms of combinations of roots and patterns.

Keywords: Arabic, linguistics, language, morphology, root-and-pattern theory, word based, stem based

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