Irregular plurals: morphophonemic changes in MSA
Abstract: Morphophonemic changes are the morphological and phonological changes that take place in a single word due to plural, case, tense, or gender. The current paper elaborates on this interconnection from an Arabic perspective, by considering the issue of morphophonemic changes in Standard Arab as a process that involves significant changes in the various irregular patterns of plural. It draws on the structure of Arabic mainly phonology and morphology, and therefore it focuses on irregular plural which has many forms. First, the paper introduces plural in Arabic, by elaborating on its various forms. Then, the paper classifies irregular plural. Finally, the paper suggests a few conclusions and recommendations. Key words: Standard Arabic, Morphology, Phonology, Plural, Irregular plural, Broken plural, Morphophonemic changes, Morphophonology.
ﻣﻠﺨﺺ: ان ھﺬا اﻟﺒﺤﺚ ھﻮ ﻣﺤﺎوﻟﺔ ﻟﺘﺴﻠﯿﻂ اﻟﻀﻮء ﻋﻠﻰ ﺗﻐﯿﺮات ﺻﺮﻓﯿﺔ وﺻﻮﺗﯿﺔ ﺗﺤﺪث ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻟﻌﺮﺑﯿﺔ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺗﻐﯿﯿﺮ ﺣﺎﻟﺔ اﻟﻜﻠﻤﺔ ﻓﻲ ﻛﺎﻟﺘﻐﯿﯿﺮ ﻣﻦ اﻟﻤﻔﺮد اﻟﻰ اﻟﺠﻤﻊ وﻣﻦ زﻣﻦ اﻟﻰ آﺧﺮ ﻣﻦ ﺧﻼ ﺗﻮﺿﯿﺢ اﻟﺤﺎﻻت اﻟﺼﻮﺗﯿﺔ واﻟﺼﺮﻓﯿﺔ اﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﺼﺎﺣﺐ ﻣﺜﻞ ھﺬا اﻟﺘﻐﯿﯿﺮ، وﯾﺮﻛﺰ اﻟﺒﺤﺚ ﻓﻲ ھﺬا اﻟﺴﯿﺎق ﻋﻠﻰ ﺟﻤﻊ اﻟﺘﻜﺴﯿﺮ ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻟﻌﺮﺑﯿﺔ ﻟﻜﻮﻧﮫ أوﺿﺢ ﻣﺜﺎل ﻋﻠﻰ ﺣﺪوث ﻋﺪة ﻣﺘﻐﯿﺮات ﺻﻮﺗﯿﺔ وﺻﺮﻓﯿﺔ ﺻﻮﺗﯿﺔ اﻟﻜﻠﻤﺔ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺗﺤﻮﯾﻠﮭﺎ ﻣﻦ اﻟﻤﻔﺮد اﻟﻰ اﻟﺠﻤﻊ، ورﻏﻢ ﻛﺜﺮة اﻟﺒﺤﻮث اﻟﺘﻲ ﻛﺘﺒﺖ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺟﻤﻊ اﻟﺘﻜﺴﯿﺮ ﺳﻮاء ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻟﻌﺮﺑﯿﺔ أو اﻟﻠﻐﺔ ﺗﻌﺮﯾﻔﺎ اﻷﻧﻜﻠﯿﺰﯾﺔ اﻻ ان أھﻤﯿﺔ ھﺬا اﻟﺒﺤﺚ ﺗﺒﺮز ﻓﻲ ﺗﻨﺎوﻟﮫ ھﺬا اﻟﺠﻤﻊ ﻣﻦ ﻣﻨﻈﻮر ﺻﻮﺗﻲ وﺻﺮﻓﻲ وﻣﺎ ﯾﺘﺮﺗﺐ ﻋﻠﻰ ذﻟﻚ ﻣﻦ ﺗﻐﯿﯿﺮات ﻧﺘﺎﺋﺞ وﺻﺮﻓﯿﺔ ودﻻﻟﯿﺔ ﻣﺘﻨﻮﻋﺔ اﺿﺎﻓﺔ اﻟﻰ ﺳﺮد ﺟﻤﯿﻊ أﻧﻮاع اﻟﺠﻤﻊ اﻟﻐﯿﺮ اﻟﺴﺎﻟﻢ اﻟﻤﺘﺪاول ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻟﻌﺮﺑﯿﺔ. ﯾﺘﻨﺎول اﻟﺒﺤﺚ ﻓﻲ اﻟﺒﺪاﯾﺔ ﻟﻠﺠﻤﻊ وﻟﻠﺘﻐﯿﺮات اﻟﺼﺮﻓﯿﺔ واﻟﺼﻮﺗﯿﺔ ﻓﻲ ﺿﻮء دراﺳﺎت ﺳﺎﺑﻘﺔ ﺛﻢ ﯾﺤﻠﻞ ﻛﻞ ﻧﻮع ﻣﻦ ھﺬا اﻟﺠﻤﻊ ﺑﺎﻟﺘﻔﺼﯿﻞ وﯾﺨﺘﺘﻢ اﻟﺒﺤﺚ ﺑﻌﺪة وﺗﻮﺻﯿﺎت واﺳﺘﻨﺘﺎﺟﺎت.
Introduction and Definition
Morphophonemic changes are the morphological and phonological changes, alterations, and variations that take place in a single word due to such processes as plural (pl.), case, tense, and gender. These changes feature an interconnection between phonology and morphology. Gussmann (1985) emphasized the interconnections between phonology and morphology by focusing on the significance of morphological alterations on the phonological irregularities. Matthews (1974:156) defined morphophonemic processes as transitional between morphology and phonology, considering transitional fields as often the hardest to delimit, adding that there is no simple way to determine what belongs to morphophonemics and what belongs to morphology or phonology proper. Morphophonemic changes are thus transitional between morphology and phonology. Morphophonemics is an intermediary level of analysis between phonology and morphology in which the phonological regularities in the framework of morphology, especially the systematic phonological variants of morphemes and the conditions of their occurrence, are described (e.g. the two phonetic variations of the past tense morpheme -ed in stayed [ste:d] vs heaped [hi:pt]). The concept of an abstract phonological level underlying the concrete expressive form was first developed by Trubetzkoy (1929) and (1931) and further developed by Chomsky and Halle (1968), where the transfer of an abstract morphophonological (deep) structure (deep structure) (=a systematic phonemic level) into the concrete phonetic realization of the surface structure is guaranteed. Jensen (1990:7) maintained that “Morphophonemics refers to the changes
in the shape of morphemes in different environments. Some such changes occur in purely phonological environments, as in the regular pl. suffix in English.
Elaboration and Similar Studies
Chomsky (1951) tackled morphophonemic changes and alterations in Hebrew by considering pl. and noun formation. He (ibid.) viewed these changes as regular processes that are representative of original forms. Chomsky’s account of Hebrew morphophonemics is one of the prominent classical accounts in the field of morphophonemics. Martin (1952) analyzed derivation and number in Japanese by investigating the morphophonemic changes in that language. He elaborated on the importance of phoneme and syllable as the sources of alteration. Martin (1952) held that morphemes in general are much more complicated than it is thought when it comes to asymmetry and complementation in consonant movement. McCarthy (1979:335) emphasized the importance of consonant slots in irregular plural being representative of the all the processes occurring in the word especially metathesis. He added that the roots of the singulars are changeable according to the lexical ambient of the word, and therefore sometimes even consonants are elided if they are quinquiliteral in roots, that is, having five consonants. Bybee and Brewer’s (1980) study accounted for morphonemic changes in some Romance dialects and languages that are spoken in Spain and France through an analysis of number and tense. They argued that there is a persistent change in Romance languages because of autonomy rules especially in some Spanish dialects. McCarthy (1983:300-301) raised the issue of consonant insertion in the Arabic broken pl. whereby w- is inserted in such pls. as qanuun→qewaneen ‘laws’. According to him, there is a context of transformation in certain pls. in trilateral nouns that require the insertion of w-. He added that such context is triggered by the fact that trilateral nouns undergo root change and thus rendered as quadriliteral in pl. Köpcke (1988) presented a different account of morphophonemic changes as he shed light on the role of native speakers in constructing the pl. of certain words, arguing that native speakers tend to formulate pls. that are analogus with certain words. Köpcke based his study on pre-defined rules or schemas that account for lexical as well as phonological basis. Oztaner’s (1996) study is a detailed account of the grammar of Turkish in terms of morphophonemic rules. Oztaner formulated a morphophonological framework of analysis whereby words are analyzable.
Irregular Plural in SA
The plural in SA has been a prominent area of investigation and analysis by grammarians, linguists, as well as those who are interested in Semitic phonology and morphology. Forbes (1863:48) listed twenty four patterns of irregular pl. that realize possible broken pls. in SA. He proposed a relationship between the root of the root and the type of irregular pl., concluding that modelling occupies a key position in the formation of such pls. Palmer (1874:132-134) designated nine main patterns or forms of irregular pl.: fuʕʕal, fuʕlan, fuʕuul, fuʕelaʔ, fewaʕil, fuʕat, feʕlan, fewaʕeel, and
fiʕal. He (ibid.) insisted that not all pls. are possible, and some are derived from some other ones. Cowan (1958:200ff) has listed thirty patterns of irregular pl. in SA. He based his classification on the trilateral roots of the verb in SA. Haywood and Nahmad (1965:51-57) suggested eleven categories of irregular pl. as follows; efʕal, fuʕuul, fiʕal, fuʕul, efʕal, fuʕelaʔ, efʕilaʔ, fuʕlan, feʕalil, feʕaleel, and feʕalile. They (ibid) maintained that irregular plurals are too variant that they must be learned rather than inferred. Murtonen (1964:62-68) and Levy (1971:33f) proposed a criterion-based model for the classification of irregular plural forms in SA in which the vowel quality is the main core. Their model classifies irregular plural forms according to percentages or numbers assigned to these plurals. Moscati (1980:88-92) listed six main categories of irregular pl., adding that the internal change is the common alternation in all of these categories. He claimed that these six categories are the most common form of irregular, whilst the others are minor or rare. Holes (2004:168) believed that semantic extension and metathesis play a significant role in the formation of irregular pl. in SA. He also added that sometimes irregular pls. are extended in order to avoid ambiguity especially in relation to dual or to fem. However, there are two main classifications of irregular pl. in SA that are considered as the main source of broken pls. to date; they are those proposed by Wright (1974) and McCarthy and Prince (1990).
1. Wright (1974:200-231)
Wright (1974) classified irregular pl. into thirty one categories. These categories are fuʕul; rusul “messengers”,Fiʕel; khiyem “tents”, fiʕal; rijal “men”, fuʕuul; muluuk “kings”, Fuʕʕel; ʕuzzel “unarmed ones”, fuʕʕal: tujjar “traders”, Feʕele; qetele “killers”, Fuʕat; junat “criminals”, Fiʕele; dibebe “bears”, Efʕel: ewjuh “faces/aspects”, efʕal: eqdam “legs”, Efʕile: eʕmide “pillars”, Fewaʕil: khewatim “rings”, Feʕaʔil: jezaʔir “islands”, Feeʕlan: ħeeŧan “whales”, Fiʕlan: śibyan “boys” / fuʕelaʔ: jubenaʔ “coward ones”, efʕilaʔ: eğniyaʔ “rich people”, fuʕlan: fursan “knights”, Feʕla: merđa “sick people”, Feʕal: śeħar “deserts” Feʕala: šekawa “complaints”, Feʕaya: hedaya “presents”, Feʕeel: ʕebeed “slaves” , fuʕuule: numuure “tigers”, Feʕale: śeħabe “companions”, Feʕel: khedem “servants”, Fiʕel: rikeb “riders”, feʕalil: kewakib “planets”, feʕaleel: sekakeen “knives”, and feʕalile: esatiðe “masters/professors.”
2. McCarthy and Prince (1990:213)
McCarthy and Prince (1990) limited irregular pl. forms to thirty one categories. They based their classification on Wright’s (1974) categories and thus they put these categories into four main classes of irregular pl. according to syllabification or stresss. Further, they classed only the possible or common categories, after labeling the other ones as rare. Iambic class includes the pls. that consist of single unstressed syllables followed by stressed syllables.This class includes the categories 1 to 9. Trochaic class includes the pls. that consist of long syllables followed by short syllables. This class includes the categories 10 to 14. Monosyllabic class includes the pls. that consist of one syllable, or C3 roots with single vowel (V). This class includes the categories 15 to 29, and Others including pls. are those that are based on gemination, especially the C3 roots with single vowels. These include the categories 30 to 31.
Remarks on Notation and Transcription
All the exemplary data used in this paper are written in a transliterated form, with meaning enclosed in brackets. The sound notation used is partly IPA, as in /ð/ and /ħ/ and partly some English sounds, as in /j/, /y/, /b/, in addition to a few designed symbols, in order to represent all sounds, especially short vowels (Vs) which are not represented or spelt in the written form, and to show the ultimate pronunciation as accurately as possible. Abbreviated symbols containing Cs and Vs denote the pattern of the noun or that of the pl., as in CvCC for qelb (heart). Root symbols with overt sounds represent extra sounds, those which are not part of the noun in pl. pattern, as well as the precise form of the noun, as in CaCee for qaďee (judge). Patterns with voiced Cs, as in (ʔ) in CuCeCaʔ or (m) in meCCeC, represent the addition of external or non-root Cs to the original root pattern. As for SA templates, they are represented by various forms such as Faʕil, Fewaʕil, etc. Based on three main root Cs (f-ʕ-l), taken from the word ﻓﻌﻞ (to do) in SA, templates are given these terms in order to represent the structural roots of the word from which these sing. nouns are derived.
Discussion and Categorization
Generally, there are two types of pl. in SA; sound or regular pl., and irregular or broken pl. Sound pl. is marked by two suffixes, each according to the gender of the word. Thus, -at is used with fem. nouns, whereas –uun/-een is used with masc. nouns. Further, there are a few words in SA that can be pluralized with both regular and irregular pl. As for irregular pl., there is no single specific form or affix that marks such pl. Rather, there are many irregular pl. forms that feature various processes or changes in the words related. Moreover, some of these forms are applicable to both fem. and masc. Irregular pls. are discussed in terms of three main aspects; pattern, template, and alternation. Pattern is the phonological, or roughly the consonantal as well as the vocal, structure of the word, represented by C for Consonant. As for Vs, they are either written. e.g. i/e/u, or they represented by v only. Template stands for the word structure in SA based on the roots ل-/ﻋـ/ﻓـ. Alternation is concerned with all the phonological and morphological changes that take place in a word when it is pluralized.
efʕal is one of the common irregular forms of pl. in SA, as there are many bilateral and trilateral nouns pluralized in this form. The formation of this pl. involves the addition of (e) at the beginning of the noun as well as the insertion of the long V (a) before the final C. Hence, the pl. is roughly eCCaC. The nouns related are based in sing. on CeCeC, CeCC, CiCC, and CuCC. As for bilateral nouns, they often take CvC, where (v) may be (uu), (ee) or (ou).
Pattern: CeCeC → eCCaC Template: Feʕel Alternation: 1. Prefixation of a V 2. Elision of the first internal V (e) 3. Lenghthening of the second internal V (e)→(a), as in qelem (pen)→eqlam (pens)/ ħedeth (event)→eħdath (events)/ kheber (an item of news)→ekhbar (news)/ ŧebeq (dish)→eŧbaq (dishes)/ qedem (foot)→eqdam (feet).
Pattern: CeCC→eCCaC Template: Feʕl Alternation: 1. Prefixation of a V (e) 2. Elision of the internal V (e) 3. Breaking the final CC by infixing a V (a), as in nehr (river)→enhar (rivers)/ ferd (individual)→efrad (individuals).
Pattern: CiCC → eCCaC Template: Fiʕl Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2. Elision of the internal V (i) 3.Breaking the final CC by infixing a V (a). Examples are šikl (shape)→eškal (shapes)/ šiʕr (verse)→ešʕar (verses)/ śifr (zero)→eśfar (zeroes)/ thiql (weight)→ethqal (weights)/ milħ (salt)→emlaħ (salts).
Pattern: CuCC→ eCCaC Template: Fuʕl Alternation: 1. Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (u) 3.Breaking the final CC by infixing a V (a), examples include nouns such as śubĝ (paint)→eśbaĝ (paints)/ ʕumq (deep)→eʕmaq (deeps)/ ʕušb (grass)→eʕšab (grasses)/ buʕd (dimension)→ebʕad (dimensions)/ qurś (disc)→eqraś (discs)/ juzʔ (part)→ejzaʔ (parts)/ ʕumr (age)→eʕmar (ages)/ quŧb (pole)→eqŧab (poles). In this form of pl., there is a significant change that occurs when the noun is changed from sing. to pl. It is the change of the type of root as to the number of Cs contained in this root. C3 roots become bilateral; this is especially in nouns beginning with (w). In this respect, (w) is changed to a V (ou), which eventually changes the type of the root from trilateral to bilateral, as a C has been removed. Thus, the template CvCvC becomes vCvC in pl.; weŧen (home)→ouŧan (homes)/ weled (boy)→oulad (boys)/ weter (string)→outar (strings)/ werem (tumor)→ouram (tumors). On the other hand, bilateral roots are changed in template, too. In bilateral nouns, based on CvC, the medial V is changed to (y), if this V is (ee) or (ei) in the sing. root. The pl., therefore, is eCCaC, while it is CvC in sing, as in: kees (bag)→ekyas (bags)/ deen (religion)→edyan (religions). If the medial V is (ou), (uu) or (a), it is changed to (w) in pl.; kuukh (cottage)→ekwakh (cottages)/ ruuħ (soul)→erwaħ (souls)/ suuq (market)→eswaq (markets)/ suur (wall)→eswar (walls)/ qous (bow)→eqwas (bows)/ dour (role)→edwar (roles)/ koun (universe)→ekwan (universes). The addition of the pre-initial (e) may as well be affected phonetically by the sort of the first C in the sing. root, and hence, (e) becomes (ei), because that C is (y). Such behaviour can only be accounted for by the fact that (y) is a vowel-like sound; youm (day)→eiyam (days). However, in bilateral nouns where the medial V is neither of the above Vs, it is (a) as in these two examples, (w), rather than (y), is inserted between the first C and the medial V; ħal (condition)→eħwal (conditions)= CaC→eCWaC/ mal (money/property)→emwal (monies/ properties) = CaC→ eCWaC.
This pl. form is used to derive sing. mas. nouns. The sing. nouns included in this pl. are based on a C3 root (three Cs with two internal Vs). The first V is a short
voiced non-spelled V (ﻓﺘﺤﺔ،ﺿﻤﺔ ﻛﺴﺮة،), whereas the other V is a long orthographic V. In pl., the short orthographic V (fetħe) is inserted at the beginning and at the end of the noun. Additionally, the first internal short V is elided, while the second long spelled V becomes a short voiced V only. Hence, the change from sing. to pl. involves the prothesis of (e) in a pre-initial C root, the syncope of the first V, the alternation of the second long V to a short one (i), and the addition of (e). The final pl. form of the word will be based on the root v+CCvC+v, where plus-marked Vs denote Vs inserted pre- and post-lexically; e+CCiC+e. The following fig. shows the pluralization of the word mithal (example) into emthile (examples):
Nouns pluralized in this form are based on CiCaC, CeCaC, and less frequently CuCaC and CeCeeC.
Pattern: CiCaC→eCCiCe Template: fiʕal Alternation: 1. Prefixation of a V
(e) 2.Elision of the short V (i) 3. Shortening of the internal V (a)→(i) 4. Suffixation of a V (e). Examples include qinaʕ (mask)→eqniʕe (masks)/ siyaj (fence)→esyije (fences).
Pattern: CeCaC→eCCiCe Template: Feʕal Alternation: 1.Prefixaion of a V (e) 2.Elision of the short V (e) 3. Shortening of the internal V (a)→(i) 4.Suffixation of a V (e), examples include šerab (beverage)→ešribe (beverages)/ demaĝ (brain)→edmiĝe (brains)/ mekan (place)→emkine (places)/ nešaŧ (activity)→enšiŧe (activities).
Pattern: CeCeeC→eCCiCe Template: Feʕeel Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the short V (e) 3.Shortening of the internal V (ee)→(i) 4.Suffixation of a V (e), as in reśeed (credit)→erśide (credits)/ reśeef (sidewalk)→erśife (sidewalks)/ šereeŧ (stripe)→ešriŧe (stripes)/ ďereeħ (shrine)→eďriħe (shrines).
Pattern: CuCaC→eCCiCe Template: Fuʕal Alternation: 1.Prefixationof initial V (e) 2.Elision of the short V (u) 3.Shortening of the internal V (a)→(i) 4.Suffixation of a V (e), as in fuʔad (heart)→efʔide (hearts)/ suʔal (question)→esʔile (questions)/ turab (sand)→etribe (sands).
If third C in the root is (ʔ), it is replaced by a the semi-vowel (y), to separate the two Vs and to avoid V sequence; duʕaʔ (prayer/ plea)→edʕiye (prayers/pleas)/ ĝiðaʔ (food)→ eĝðiye (foods). Words which are bilateral (have two Cs standing as a root) undergo shift in the final V. Thus, /y/ is inserted after the two Cs to separate the short Vs; nadee (club) [2 Cs; n/d] → endiye (clubs) [3 Cs’ n/d/y]. Therefore, this bilateral noun becomes trilateral in pl. Another change occurs in this form represented by the shift in root quality. Here, the C (w) is changed to a V (ou), and
the trilateral noun becomes bilateral in root accordingly; wereed (vein)→ouride (veins)/ wisam (insignia)→ousime (insignias). Notwithstanding this remarkable change in the sing. root, a noun may not change in root, even if this change involves the elision of a C. The noun wadee (valley) is bilateral in root, consisting of (w) and
(d) as a root, but in pl., (y) is inserted finally to separate the two final short Vs (i) and (e), and thus this new C replaces the elided (w) in pl. oudiye (valleys), (d) and (y).
This form includes principally C3 roots, in addition to a few bilateral ones. The C3 root of sing. nouns is commonly CvCC. The internal V is a short voiced sound only (ﻓﺘﺤﺔ or ﻛﺴﺮة). In pl., this root becomes CvCvC. The first internal V, whatever be that V, alternates to a short voiced V (ﺿﻤﺔ). More importantly, such irregular form results in breaking the final C cluster in the sing. by inserting a long V in between. Therefore, the root can best be represented as CvCuuC, to emphasize the insertion of a long V. The fig. below illustrates the change of a sing. noun to pl. in this form through as exemplified in the word qelb (heart): Fig. (3) Change of qelb (heart) to pl. quluub (hearts) where the underlined Vs denote sound alternation.
Most nouns pluralized in this form are mas, but they are turned into fem in pl.
Pattern: CeCC→CuCuuC Template: Feʕl Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e)→(u) 2.Breaking the final CC by infixing a V (uu). Nouns pluralized through this form denote animals, birds; nesr (eagle)→nusuur (eagles)/ fehd (leopard)→fuhuud (leopards). Tools; keʔs (cup)→kuʔuus (cups)/ feʔs (axe)→fuʔuus (axes). Bilateral words are doubled in the second C; def (drum)→dufuuf (drums), bodily parts; reʔs (head)→ruʔuus (heads)/ enf (nose)→unuuf (noses). If the word is bilateral or CvC, the second C is doubled; kef (palm)→kufuuf (palms). Groups; šeʕb (people)→šuʕuub (peoples)/ wefd (delegation)→wufuud (delegations). Landscape and weather; sehl (plain)→suhuul (plains)/ thelj (snow)→thuluuj (snows)/ merj (prairie)→muruuj (prairies)/ kehf (cave)→kuhuuf (caves). Places, institutions; benk (bank)→bunuuk (banks). Periods; šehr (months)→šuhuur (months)/ ʕeśr (era)→ʕuśuur (eras). Miscellaneous: bend (chapter/clause)→bunuud (chapters/clauses)/ šeʔn (affair)→šuʔuun (affairs). The second C in bilateral roots is doubled in pl.; ref (shelf)→rufuuf (shelves)/ śef (class)→śufuuf (classes)/ fel (remain)→fuluul (remains) / ħeb (grain)→ħubuub (grains).
Pattern: CiCC→CuCuuC Template: Fiʕl Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (i)→(u) 2. Breaking the final CC by infixing a V (uu), as in ʕiŧr (odor)→ʕuŧuur (odors)/ qird (ape)→quruud (apes)/ śinf (class)→śunuuf (classes)/ sijn (prison)→sujuun (prisons).
Pattern: CeCeC or CeCiC→CuCuuC Template:Feʕel Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e)→(u) 2.Internal V Lenghthening (i)→(uu). Examples are esed (lion)→usuud (lions)/ śeŧer (line)→śuŧuur (lines)/ melik (king)→muluuk (kings)/ nemir (tiger)→numuur (tigers)
Pattern: CeiC→ CuyuuC Template:Feiʕ Alternation: 1.Internal V shortening (ei)→(u) 2. Infixation of the C (y) 3. Infixation of the V (uu). In bilateral roots, the internal V is a diphthong, in which case it is deleted and /y/ is inserted instead to separate the two Vs and to avoid V sequence; jeiš (army)→juyuuš (armies)/ ʕein (eye)→ʕuyuun (eyes)/ ŧeir (bird)→ŧuyuur (birds)/ beit (house)→buyout (houses)/ jeib (pocket)→juyuub (pockets).
Feʕalee is the irregular pl. form that is used to pluralize mas as well fem nouns. It is used with C3 root words. However, the pl. root is quadriliteral (a four C root) in the form of CvCVCvC. If the first internal V is a long one, it will be replaced by (e+w). Hence, this (w) will be the four C added to the root of the sing. noun. The fig. below demonstrates the morphophonemic change in ʕamil (factor) to ʕewamil (factors);
Pattern:CaCiC→CewaCiC Template:Faʕil→Fewaʕil Alternation:1.Infixationof a V (e) 2.Infixation of a C (w), e.g. hatif (telephone)→hewatif (telephones)/ ŧabiʕ (stamp)→ŧewabiʕ (stamps). In this category, there are a few words that denote places; jamiʕ (mosque)→jewamiʕ (mosques)/ šariʕ (street)→šewariʕ (streets)/ šahid (monument)→šewahid (monuments)/ tabiq (floor)→tewabiq (floors). Also, there are words that are water-related; saʔil (liquid)→sewaʔil (liquids)/ rafid (river branch)→rewafid (river branches)/ saħil (coast)→sewaħil (coasts)/ qarib (boat)→qewarib (boats). The above replacement helps to change the root of the noun from trilateral in sing. to quadriliteral in pl., having added (w) to the root of the noun. In all these words, the only change occurring is the replacement of the first internal V
(a) with (e+w). In fem. nouns, those ending with the suffix (-e), the same rule applies, except that the said suffix is elided. These nouns involve various senses, such as tools; ŧabiʕe (printer)→ŧewabiʕ (printers)/ barije (warship)→bewarij (warships)/ qafile (caravan)→qewafil (caravans), and places; nafiðe (window)→newafið/ qaʕide (base)→qewaʕid (bases)/ ʕaiśme (capital city)→ʕewaśim (capital cities). Miscellaneous; šaʔibe (impurity)→šewaʔib (impurities)/ fakihe (fruit)→fewakih (fruits)/ jariye (maid)→jewaree (maids)/ qafiye (rhyme)→qewafee (rhymes)/ ʕaʔile (family)→ʕewaʔil (families). If the first V is short and the second one is long, and the word ends with (-e), the second V is replaced by (a) and the glottal C (ʔ) is inserted to prevent the sequence of (a) and (i). As for the fem. suffix (-e), it is deleted. This is common in fem. nouns, as in; fereeđe (religious duty)→feraʔiđ (religious duties).
Pattern:CeCeeCe→CeCaʔiC Template: Feʕeele→Feʕaʔil Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (ee) →(a) 2.Infixation of a C (ʔ) 3.Infixation of a V (i) 4. Elision of the final V (e), nouns pluralized as such include qeśeede (poem)→qeśaʔid (poems)/ reheene (hostage)→rehaʔin (hostages)/ keteebe (battalion)→ketaʔib (battalions)/ qebeele (tribe)→qebaʔil (tribes). Here, the exception is the word risale (message), which has already (a) as a second V, and thus (ʔ+i) is inserted in pl.; resaʔil (messages).
Nouns which are quadriliteral in root (consisting of four Cs), undergo internal V mutation, in addition to the anaptyxis of (a) relating to the pl. form, as in; funduq (hotel) →fenadiq (hotels)/ zilzal (quake)→zelazil (quakes)/ ʕesker (troop)→ʕesakir (troops). The fem. suffix (-e) is elided to correspond to the pl. form; belbele (confusion)→belabil (confusions)/ mehzele (farce)→mehazil (farces). The behavior of Vs varies in words, due to the different Vs contained in these words. Words ending with long V (ee) may have an insertion of (a) between the second and the final C root, as in kursee (chair)→kerasee (chairs). On the other hand, an orthographically similar word, like nadee (club), undergoes only insertion of (e+w) after the first C, and thus it is pluralized as newadee (clubs). Interestingly, such behavior can be noticed even in C3 root nouns. Here, a different set of sounds is introduced, represented by (e+y+a) instead of (e+w). This is confined to the nouns the first internal V of which is the diphthong (ei); heikel (skeleton)→heyakil (skeletons)/ beideq (pawn)→beyadiq (pawns). There are many words in SA which begin with the suffix me-, taking this type of pl. This prefix is non-root C, .i.e., it is not original in the root, and it is added to these words to give the meaning of ‘’ a place where something is done’’, as such prefix is not in the C3 root of these words. It is the C3 root that implies the meaning of the stem, rather than the non-root C (me-). Hence, for example, in mekteb (office), the C3 root k-t-b implies the meaning of ‘writing’, from which that word takes its final meaning ‘ a place for writing.’ Additionaly, a few pls. share the same template and form including names of animal, bird, or insect-related; ʕašib (herbivorous)→ʕewašib (herbivouroses)/ zaħif (reptile)→zewaħif (reptiles)/ qariđ (rodent)→qewariđ (rodents)/ beheeme (beast)→behaʔim (beasts)/ sinjab (squirrel)→senajib (squirrels)/ sulħefat (turtle)→selaħif (turtles)/ ʕeqreb (scorpion)→ʕeqarib (scorpions)/ newres (seagull)→newaris (seagulls)/ jariħ (bird of prey)→jewariħ (birds of prey)/ ħewafir (hoofs)/ qewadim (forelegs)/ laħim (carnivorous)→lewaħim (carnivorouses).
Pattern: meCCeC→meCaCiC Template: mefʕel→mefaʕil Alternation: 1.Breaking the medial CC by infixing a long V (a) 2.Internal V mutation (e)→(i). Most words here imply ‘a place where something is done’; meʕhed (institute)→meʕahid (institutes)/ merfeʔ (harbor)→merafiʔ (harbors)/ merkez (center)→merakiz (centers)/ mesreħ (theatre)→mesariħ (theatres) /melʕeb (stadium)→melaʕib (stadiums)/ menjem (mine)→menajim (mines)/ mesken (residence)→mesakin (residences)/ menfeð (outlet)→menafið (outlets)/ mesbeħ (swimming pool)→mesabiħ (swimming pools)/ mekhzen (store)→mekhazin (stores)/
meśref (bank)→meśarif (banks)/ meŧbekh (kitchen)→meŧabikh (kitchens)/ meśneʕ (factory)→meśaniʕ (factories)/ meŧʕem (restaurant)→meŧaʕim (restaurants).
There is another sense implied here that suggests a place through which something passes; meʕber (crossing)→meʕabir (crossings)/ medkhel (entrance)→medakhil (entrances)/ mekhrej (exit)→mekharij (exits)/ menfeð (outlet)→menafið (outlets). Miscellaneous; meʕlem (monument)→meʕalim (monuments)/ merkeb (boat)→merakib (boats)/ meqleb (trick)→meqalib (tricks). In fem. nouns, the suffix (-e) is deleted; menŧeqe (area)→menaŧiq (areas)/ mezreʕe (farm)→mezariʕ (farms)/ medrese (school)→medaris (schools)/ meqbere (cemetery)→meqabir (cemeteries)/ meʕreke (battle)→meʕarik (battles)/ melħeme (epic)→melaħim (epics)/merħele (stage)→meraħil (stages)/ meħkeme (court)→meħakim (courts)/ meŧħene (mill)→meŧaħin (mills). In C2 roots, the final V is changed to (ee). Again, the sense here has to do with place; mešfa (hospital)→mešafee (hospitals)/ meśfa (refinery)→meśafee (refineries)/ meqha (café)→meqahee (cafes)/ mersa (marina)→merasee (marinas)/ melha (cabaret)→melahee (cabarets). Exceptions in sense and in gender; leila (night)→leyalee (nights).
There are a few words have the pre-final V as /i/ rather than /e/, with a locative sense, including; mejlis (session)→mejalis (sessions)/ mesjid (mosques)→mesajid (mosques)/ menzil (house)→menazil (houses)/ mouqif (situation)→mewaqif (situations)/ mouqid (fireplace)→mewaqid (fireplaces). Exceptions; mourid (resource)→mewarid (resources)/ mousim (season)→mewasim (seasons). Some words denote tools, instruments, equipment, .etc; melbes (cloth)→melabis (clothes)/ medfeʕ (cannon)→medafiʕ (cannons)/ merjel (boiler)→merajil (boilers)/ mikbes (button)→mekabis (buttons)/ mekbeħ (brake)→mekabiħ (brakes)/ miʕoul (pickax)→meʕawil (pickaxes). However, if the third C is (y) or (ʔ), it is elided along with the preceding and the following V and it will be replaced by the V (ee); umniye (wish)→emanee (wishes)/ uħjiye (riddle)→eħajee (riddles)/ uĝniye (song)→eĝanee (songs)/ uđħiye (offering)→eđaħee (offerings)/ inaʔ (pot)→ewanee (pots)/ yed (hand)→eiyadee (hands). Animals; seħliye (lizard)→seħalee (lizards)/ efʕa (snake)→efaʕee (snakes). Landscapes; śeħraʔ (desert)→śeħaree (deserts)/ ber (wild)→beraree (wilds). It is worth mentioning that in all of these above words, if the first internal V is not a short one, it is also elided and (e+w) is inserted instead; zoubeʕe (storm)→zewabiʕ (storms)/ śoumeʕe (silo)→sewamiʕ (silo)/ qouqeʕe (shell)→qewaqiʕ (shells)/ koukeb (planet)→kewakib (planets)/ noures (seagull)→newaris (seagulls )/ jouhere (gem)→ jewahir (gems).
This form is used to derive irregular pl. for trilateral nouns that are mas. as a whole. The C3 root consists of three Cs and two Vs. The first V is a short or long V, but the second V is a long one. However, the pl. here is quadriliteral in root, as another C, that is (ʔ), is added at the end of the sing. noun when pluralized. The final pl. form is: CvCvCvC or more precisely as CuCeCaʔ. The example below shows how šeheed (martyr) is pluralized as šuhedaʔ (martyrs);
In pl., the quality of the first V is not changed (short to short);
Pattern: CeCeeC→CuCelaʔ Template: Feʕeel→fuʕelaʔ Alternation: 1.Mutation of the first internal V (e)→(u) 2.Shortening of the second internal V (ee)→(e) 3.Suffixation of (-aʔ). Most nouns here denote positions, occupations, and the like; reʔees (president)→ruʔesaʔ (presidents)/ emeen (secretary)→umenaʔ (secretaries)/ ʕeđeem (great)→ʕuđemaʔ (greats)/ sefeer (ambassador)→suferaʔ (ambassadors)/ emeer (prince)→umeraʔ (princes)/ edeeb (man of letters)→udebaʔ (men of letters)/ fereeq (rival)→fureqaʔ (rivals)/ ʕemeed (dean)→ʕumedaʔ (deans)/ kheŧeeb (orator)→khuŧebaʔ (orators)/ ħeleef (ally)→ħulefaʔ (allies)/ kheleefe (caliph/successor)→khulefaʔ (caliphs/successors). Additionally, there are certain nouns that imply specific temporary or permanent adjectives; ĝereeb (stranger)→ĝurebaʔ (strangers)/ qedeem (ancient)→qudemaʔ (ancients)/ bekheel (miser)→bukhelaʔ (misers)/ neđeer (counterpart)→nuđeraʔ (counterparts)/ kereem (generous)→kuremaʔ (generous ones).
Pattern: CaCiC→CuCelaʔ Template: Faʕil→fuʕelaʔ Alternation: 1. Shortening of the first internal V (a)→(u) 2. Mutation of the second internal V (i)
→(e) 3.Suffixation of (-aʔ), as in šaʕir (poet)→šuʕeraʔ (poets)/ ʕalim (scholar)→ʕulemaʔ (scholars)/ baʔis (miserable)→buʔesaʔ (miserable ones)/ jahil (ignorant)→juhelaʔ (ignorant ones)/ jeban (coward)/ (coward)→jubenaʔ (cowards).
Feʕaya is an irregular pl. form used to pluralize fem. sing. nouns that are C3 or C2 in root, of which the root is CvCvCv. The pl. root is also CvCvCv. The morphophonemic representation of this pl. is CeCaya;
In kheliye (cell), the second and the final unwritten short Vs become orthographically written long Vs. Hence; khelaya (cells). The majority of nouns related are pluralized through this change;
Pattern: CeCiye → CeCaya Template: Feʕiye→Feʕaya Alternation: 1.Lenghthening of the second internal V (i)→(a) 2.Lenghthening of the second internal V (e) → (a), e.g. weśiye (will)→weśaya (wills)/ reʕiye (subject)→reʕaya (subjects)/ hediye (gift)→hedaya (gifts)/ šeđiye (fragment)→šeđaya (fragments)/ śebiye (lass)→śebaya (lasses)/ qeďiye (issue)→qeďaya (issues)/
sejiye(character)→sejaya (characters)/ beliye (distress)→belaya (distresses)/ beqiye (remain)→beqaya (remains)/ ʕeŧiye (donation)→ʕeŧaya (donations). If the final C is (ʔ), it is changed to (y) in pl.; kheŧeeʔe (sin) →kheŧaya (sins)/ khebeeʔe (hidden thing)→khebaya (hidden things)/ rezeeʔe (calamity)→rezaya (calamities)/ mirʔa (mirror)→meraya (mirrors)/ ʕeđaʔe (lizard)→ʕeđaya (lizards). Words which are bilateral in root or which end with (y) or V, have this (y) or V deleted and (-aya) is affixed instead; beĝee (prostitutes)→beĝaya (prostitutes)/ sebee (captive)→sebaya (captives)/ neeye (intention)→newaya (intentions)/ meeze (merit)→mezaya (merits). Some nouns are already in pl. e.g. seħaya (meningitis).
Fiʕel is a pl. form used to pluralize sing. fem. nouns, that are C2 or C3 in root. Nouns pluralized in this form can be classified into three main subtypes. The first subtype includes the bilateral nouns that consist of a C followed by a geminate, morphemically represented as CvCgv, where Cg stands for consonantal gemination. Gemination is the doubling of a single or certain C in the word. The Fig. below explains how such sing. nouns are pluralized;
What happens here is a degemination of the doubled C, and therefore the word qimme (summit), for example, becomes qimem (summits) in pl., by inserting a short unwritten V in between. Most nouns pluralized in this form take the form of CiCeC. As for the final V in the sing. noun, it is elided in pl.;
Pattern: CiC2e Template: Fiʕʕe→Fiʕeʕ Alternation: 1.Degemination of the second root C by infixing a V (e) 2. Elision of the final V, nouns related are qiŧŧe (cat)→qiŧeŧ (cats)/ ʕille (cause)→ʕilel (causes)/ ðimme (protection)→ðimem (protections)/ ville (villa)→vilel(villas)/ himme (determination)→himem (determinations). The most significant morphophonemic change here is that bilateral root words become trilateral. Words can be unilateral (mono-consonantal); umme (nation) →umem (nations). Some nouns are always used in pl.; ħimem (lavas). But, if the word is already C3 in root, then only a short V is infixed to separate the final Cs.
Abstract or ideational aspects; ħikme (wisdom)→ħikem (wisdoms)/ ʕibre (moral)→ʕiber (morales). Jobs and occupations; mihne (job)→mihen (jobs)/ ħirfe (profession)→ħiref (professions). Collective groups or entities; furqe (band)→fureq (bands)/ kutle (bloc)→kutel (blocs)/ usre (family)→user (families). Miscellaneous; nisbe (portion)→niseb (portions)/ ibre (needle)→iber (needles)/ jumle (sentence)→jumel (sentences)/ kulfe (cost)→kulef (costs). (y) or (w) is inserted in
the bilateral nouns containing long Vs or diphthongs in the middle, to separate the surrounding short Vs and to avoid V sequence. Also, the final (-e) fem. suffix is deleted. Hence, such words are changed in root from bilateral in sing. to trilateral in pl.; kheime (tent)→khiyem/ śeeĝe (format)→śiyeĝ (formats)/ seere (biography)→siyer (biographies).
This is a pl. form used to derive the pl. of many mas. as well fem. sing. nouns that are C3 or C4 in root. The root of the pl. is quadriliteral; CvCvCvC, or more precisely as CeCaCeeC, for quadriliteral sing. nouns, and CeWaCeeC for trilateral sing. nouns. This pl. root is shown in the Fig. below. Sing. noun in C3 root; qamuus ( dictionary) to pl. qewamees (dictionaries)
Sing. noun in quadriliteral root; timthal ( statue) to pl. tematheel ( statues)
Pattern: MiCCaC→MeCaCeeC Template: Mifʕal→Mefaʕeel Alternation: 1. mutation of the first internal V (i) → (e) 2. Infixation of a long V (a)
2. Mutation of the second internal V (a)→ (ee). Nouns pluralized here mostly denote tools, equipment, devices, and the like; miśbaħ (lamp)→meśabeeħ (lamps)/ finjan (cup)→fenajeen (cups)/ mizmar (pipe)→mezameer (pipes)/ miħrar (thermometer)→meħareer/ mismar (nail)→mesameer (nails)/ minšar (saw) menašeer (saws)/ miqdar (measure)→meqadeer (measures). Included in this are a few fem. nouns; qaruure (glass)→qewareer (glasses)/ masuure (pipe)→mewaseer (pipes)/ ŧaħuune (mill)→ŧewaħeen (mills). Others denote animals; sinjab (squirrel)→senajeeb (squirrels)/ timsaħ (crocodile)→temaseeħ (crocodiles). Some other nouns may refer to written things; teśreeħ (permission)→teśareeħ (permissions)/ tefseer (interpretation)→tefaseer (interpretations)/ teqreer (report)→teqareer (reports)/ tewqeeʕ (signature)→tewaqeeʕ (signatures)/ tareekh (date)→tewareekh (dates). Natural or emotional aspects; iʕśar (storm)→eʕaśeer (storm)/ iħsas (feeling)→eħasees (feelings).
Pattern: CaCuuC→CewaCeeC Template:Faʕuul→Fewaʕeel Root: C3→ C4 Alternation: 1.Infixation of the syllable (ew) 2.Mutation of the second internal V (uu)→(ee). Again, some nouns here are concerned with tools, devices, or equipment; tabuut (coffin)→tewabeet (coffins)/ śaruukh (missile)→śewareekh (missiles)/ ħasuub (computer)→ħewaseeb (computers)/ fanuus (lantern)→fewanees
(lanterns)/ ibreeq (kettle)→ebareeq (kettles)/ sikkeen (knife)→sekakeen (knives). Abstract laws, regulations, or non-animate aspects; kabuus (nightmare)→kewabees (nightmares)/ namuus (laws of nature)→newamees (laws of nature)/ qanuun (law)→qewaneen (laws). Animate attributes; ŧaĝuut (tyrant)→ŧewaĝeet (tyrants)/ śindeed (valiant)→śenadeed (valiant ones)/ jasuus (spy)→jewasees (spies)/ tilmeeð (pupil)→telameeð (pupils). Birds or animals; ŧawuus (peacock)→ŧewawees (peacocks)/ beŧreeq (penguin)→beŧareeq (penguins). Imaginary entities or creatures; tinneen (dragon)→tenaneen (dragons)/ ʕifreet (demon)→ʕefareet (demons). Activities or actions; timreen (exercise)→temareen (exercises)/ ikleel (wreath)→ekaleel (wreaths). Locative references; ŧabuur (queue)→ŧewabeer (queues)/ iqleem (region)→eqaleem (regions). In SA, there are certain nouns are always used in pl.; metarees (barricades)/ teraweeħ (nightly prayers at Ramadan)/ teʕaleem (teachings)/ tefaśeel (details)/ teʕabeer (expressions)/ tebašeer (good or early news)/ ħeðafeer (sides)/ esareer (facial lineaments)/ eqaweel (telltales). In trilateral nouns with the first internal V is a long one (ei) or (ee), this long V is shortened to (e) and (ya) is infixed. As for the second internal V, it is mutated to (ee); meidan (square)→meyadeen (squares). Most words here have to do with measurement or the related senses; meezan (scale)→mewazeen (scales)/ meeʕad (appointment)→mewaʕeed (appointments)/ meeqat (appointed time)→mewaqeet (appointed times)/ deenar (dinar)→denaneer (dinars). Some nouns are borrowings; sirdab (vault)→seradeeb (vaults)/ fustan (dress)→fesateen (dresses)/ dihleez (vestibule)→dehaleez (vestibules)/ binŧal (trousers)→benaŧeel (trousers)/ sirwal (pants)→seraweel (pants)/ derweesh (dervish)→deraweesh (dervishes)/ bermeel (barrel)→berameel (barrels)/ dulfeen (dolphin)→delafeen (dolphins).
Pattern: CuC2aC Template: fuʕʕal→Feʕaʕeel Root: C4 Alternation:1.Mutation of the first internal V (u)→(e) 2.Degemination of the internal C geminate by infixing a V (a) 3.Mutation of the second internal V (a)→(ee) Animals, birds, or insects; thuʕban (snake)→theʕabeen (snakes)/ ʕuśfuur (sparrow)→ʕeśafeer (sparrows)/ dubbuur (hornet)→debabeer (hornets). Animate or human attributes; rubban (captain)→rebabeen (captains)/ śulŧan (sultan)→śelaŧeen (sultans)/ menduub (envoy)→menadeeb (envoys). Locative references; šubbak (window)→šebabeek (windows)/ bustan (garden)→besateen (gardens). Natural aspects or phenomena; ukhduud (groove)→ekhadeed (grooves)/ uħfuur (fossil)→eħafeer (fossils)/ burkan (volcano)→berakeen (volcanoes). Tools or equipment; unbuub (pipe)→enabeeb (pipes)/ śunduuq (box)→śenadeeq (boxes)/ dubbuus (pin)→(debabees)/ śunbuur (faucet)→śenabeer (faucets). Written works; ʕunwan (address)→ʕenaween (addresses)/ dustuur (constitution)→desateer/ uŧruuħe (thesis)→eŧareeħ (theses). Spiritual, religious, or mythical associations; qurban (offering)→qerabeen (offerings)/ uśŧuure (legend)→eśaŧeer (legends)/ teʕweeðe (charm)→teʕaweeð (charms)/ terneeme (hymn)→teraneem (hymns).
efʕilaʔ is an irregular form for mas. nouns. Nouns pluralized in this form are C2 or C3 in root, formed as CvCv or CvCvC. In pl., two suprafixes, which are not lexically
found in the sing. root, are added. The first is an initial V (prothesis) and the second one is the V (a) + the C (ʔ). As for the internal changes, they are mostly restricted to the change of the long V to a short unwritten one, and the elision of the first short V. The word śedeeq (friend) becomes esdiqaʔ (friends) through this morphophonemic change:
Hence, words which are trilateral in sing. become quadriliteral in pl., as another C is added to the root. The following are examples of such words, that undergo the same change in pl.;
Pattern: CeCeeC→eCCiCaʔ Template: Feʕeel→efʕilaʔ Root: C3→C4 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the first internal V (e) 3.Shortening of the final V (ee)→(i) 4.Suffixation of (yaʔ). Examples are bereeʔ (innocent)→ebriyaʔ (innocents)/ qereeb (relative)→eqribaʔ (relatives). In nouns where the last two root Cs are identical, they are merged into a single C geminate. Most words of this category are either nouns; reqeeq (slave)→eriqqaʔ (slaves)/ deleel (guide)→edillaʔ (guides)/ ŧebeeb (doctor)→eŧibbaʔ (doctors), or attributes; šedeed (tough)→šhiddaʔ (tough ones)/ ʕezeez (dear)→eʕizzaʔ (dear ones)/ ħebeeb (beloved) →iħibbaʔ (beloved ones). Further to the above, there are several nouns that are bilateral in root (containing two Cs in sing. case), which also become trilateral in pl. The said words are often CvCv, or CeCee. In pl., the first short V is elided, while the second V at the end, which is usually a diphthong, is not only elided, but is also replaced by a short V and then followed by (y) to avoid sequence with the following V;
Pattern: CeCee→eCCiyaʔ Template: Feʕee→efʕiyaʔ Root: C2→C4 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (e) 3.Final V shortening (ee)→(i) 4. Suffixation of the syllable (yaʔ). Except for the noun nebee (prophet)→enbiyaʔ (prophets), most nouns here denote animate attributes; theree (rich)→ethriyaʔ (rich ones)/ ðekee (smart)→eðkiyaʔ (smart ones)/ ĝebee (stupid)→eĝbiyaʔ (stupid ones)/ ĝenee (rich)→eĝniyaʔ (rich ones)/ šeqee (wretched)→ešqiyaʔ (wretched ones)/ qewee (strong)→eqwiyaʔ (strong ones). Moreover, if the first C in the root is (w), it is substituted by the long V (ou);weśee (custodian)→ouśiyaʔ (custodians)/ welee (patron)→ouliyaʔ (patrons)/ wefee (loyal)→oufiyaʔ (loyal ones).
This an irregular pl. form to change sing. mas nouns into pl. Such nouns are C3 in root, mostly as Faʕil, or CvCvC (CaCiC). In addition, the second C in the root is doubled to form an internal gemination. A given pl. can be represented as follows;
In this Fig., katib (writer) is changed to kuttab (writers). In brief, the change from sing. to pl. involves an internal mutation of Vs; the first long V becomes a short unwritten V, and the second short unwritten V becomes a long written V, plus the doubling of the medial C.
Pattern: CaCiC →CuC 2aC Template: Faʕil → fuʕʕal Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V shortening (a)→(u) 2.Gemination of the internal C 3.Internal V lenghthening (i) → (a). In general, the majority of nouns here suggest the sense of ‘one who does or performs’, hence; ħaris (guard)→ħurras (guards)/ ħakim (ruler)→ħukkam (rulers)/ qariʔ (reader)→qurraʔ (readers)/ naqid (critic)→nuqqad (critics)/ đabiŧ(officer)→đubbaŧ (officers)/ malik (owner)→mullak (owners)/ śaniʕ (maker)→śunnaʕ (makers)/ rakib (passenger)→rukkab (passengers). Permanent or temporary attributes; ʕazib (bachelor)→ʕuzzab (bachelors)/ ʕašiq (lover)→ʕuššaq (lovers)/ fajir (wanton)→fujjar (wantons)/ ʕaðil (blamer)→ʕuððal (blamers)/ kafir (disbeliever)→kuffar (disbelievers). Positions or occupations; kahin (priest)→kuhhan (priests)/ tajir (tradesman)→tujjar (tradesman)/ waʕiđ (preacher)→wuʕʕađ (preachers)/ ŧalib (student)→ŧullab (students)/ ʕamil (worker)→ʕummal (workers). There is also a sense of over-performing of things, duties, or jobs, as in; zahid (ascetic)→zuhhad (ascetics)/ ʕabid (worshipper)→ʕubbad (worshippers). If the second C is (ʔ), it is changed to (w) in pl.; zaʔir (visitor)→zuwwar (visitors)/ raʔid (pioneer)→ruwwad (pioneers)/ saʔiħ (tourist)→suwwaħ (tourists)/ naʔib (deputy)→nuwwab (deputies). The few words which are C2 in root become C3 in pl. The form of these words in sing., which is (CaC), becomes CuCCan. The internal long V (a) becomes a short unwritten one (u), the second C is doubled, and thus forming a gemination, and (a+n) is added at the end; šab (youngman)→šubban (youngmen). Notwithstanding this change which is limited to a very few words in SA, there is a similar word that shows a slightly minor change to the above; ħaj (pilgrim)→ħujjaj (pilgrims).
This is quite uncommon form of irregular pl. being restricted to quadriliteral or quinqeliteral words or words borrowed from other languages.
Pattern: CeCCeCee→CeCaCiCe Template: Feʕlelee→feʕalilie Root:C4 Alternation: 1.Breaking the medial CC by infixing a V (a) 2.Internal V mutation (e)
→(i) 3.Shortening of the final V (ee) → (e). Words here are either positions or attributes; śeidelee (pharmacist)→śeyadile (pharmacists)/ ʕebqeree (genius)→ʕebaqire (geniuses).
Pattern: CuCCan →CeCaCiCe Template: fuʕlan → feʕalilie Root: C4 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (u)→(e) 2.Breaking the medial CC by infixing
a V (a) 3. Shortening of the internal V (a) →(i) 4.Suffixation of a V (e). Positions or occupations; qurśan (pirate)→qeraśine (pirates)/ rubban (captains)→rebabine (captains)/ duhqan (chief)→dehaqine (chiefs). Included in this are the nouns which are Arabicized or loanwords; feilesuuf (philosopher)→felasife (philosophers)/ duktor (doctor)→dekatire (doctors)/ ustað (master/professor)→esatiðe (masters/professors)/ qubŧan (captain)→qebaŧine (captains)/ jillouz (policeman)→jelawize (policemen)/ zibnee (keeper of order)→zebaniye (keepers of order)/ simsar (broker/agent)→semasire (brokers/ agents). Some nouns are always in pl.; sewasiye (equals) from sewaʔ (equal). Compound nouns, or nouns which are C5 (consisting of five Cs as a root), which is very rare in SA; ʕebdullah (Abdullah)→ʕebadile (persons called Abdullah). Ethnic associtions; śihyonee (Zionist)→śehayine (Zionists). Nouns borrowed from Greek or Latin that refer to the titles of kings, monarchs, rulers, etc.; imberaŧor (emperor)→ebaŧire (emperors)/ kisra (Chosroe)→ekasire (Chosroes)/ qeiśer (Caesar)→qeyaśire (Caesars)/ firʕoun (Pharaoh)→feraʕine (Pharaohs). Of which are the words that refer to religious ranks, positions, etc, whether they are SA as in; qes (vicar)→qesawise (vicars)/ usquf (bishop)→esaqife (bishops)/ khuuree (vicar)→khewarine (vicars)/ shemmas (deacon)→shemamise (deacons), or borrowed from other languages, such as; kardeenal (cardinal)→keradile (cardinals)/ meŧran (archbishop)→meŧarine (archbishops)/ beŧreerik (patriarch)→beŧarike (patriarch). The words kardeenal and beŧreerik are pluralized as keradile and beŧarlike respectively, by eliding the final or the pre-final C in the sing. root. This is due to the fact that the above words are C5 in root, and having a five C root is not a possible sequence in SA. However, in imberaŧor, which is C5 in root too, the pl. is ebaŧire, as two Cs have been elided to model the required form of pl. sequence feʕalile. There are the nouns that refer to ethnic or historical groups, peoples, nationalities, including religious or political groups or entities and the like. Such nouns are often quadriliteral and are used almost in pl.; menaðire (Muntherids)/ beramike (Barmakids)/ yeʕaqibe (Jacobeans)/ ħenabile (Puritans)/ yeʕarube (Yarubids)/ śeqalibe (Slavs)/ beŧalime (Ptolemaics)/ qebariśe (Cypriots)/ efariqe (Africans)/ meĝaribe (From the Maghreb countries)/ belašife (Bolsheviks)/ menašife (Mensheviks)/ selajiqe (Seljuks) /ĝesasine (Ghassanids)/ qeramiŧe (Carmatians)/ mewarine (Maronites)/ ezariqe (Ezariqids)/ Eĝalibe (Aghlabids). In addition, there are some words which denote extraordinary qualities or characters, such as; jehbeð (great sscholar)→jehabiðe (great scholars)/ ʕimlaq (giant)→ʕemaliqe (giants)/ jebbar (titan)→jebbabire (titan)/ berberee (Barbarian)→berabire (Barbarians)/ melak (angel)→melaʔike (angels). Miscellaneous; śoulejan (scepter)→śewalije (scepters)/ niśŧoori (Nestorian)→neśaŧire (Nestorians).
Feʕʕale is a pl. form used to pluralize a few mas. nouns that are C3 in root. In changing from sing. to pl., the only change that occurs in these nouns is the addition of the short V (e) at the end, as the sing. form is already Feʕʕal (CvCgvC), the first V is a short unwritten one, whilst the second V is a long orthographic one. Hence;
Pattern: CeC2aC→CeC2aCe Template: Feʕʕal→Feʕʕale Root: C3 Alternation: 1. Elision of the final V (e). Nouns pluralized here are mostly positions or occupations; keššaf (scout)→keššafe (scouts)/ kheyyal (horseman)→kheyyale (horseman)/ hejjan (camel rider)→hejjane (camel riders)/ reħħal (globetrotter)→reħħale (globetrotters)/ beħħar (sailor)→beħħare (sailors)/ qennaś (sniper)→qennaśe (snipers).
This is a very minor type of irregular pl., since the words pluralized through it are handful. These words are C3 in root; based on CaʔiC. In pl., the medial C (ʔ) is elided along with the following short V, and only the first and the final Cs are kept, and the short orthographic V (e) is suffixed at the end.
Pattern: CaʔiC → CaCe Template: Faʔiʕ→Faʕe Root: C3→C2 Alternation: 1.Elision of the internal C (ʔ) 2.Elision of the internal V (i) 3.Suffixation of a V(e). Nouns pluralized through this pattern are mostly positions or occupations or the sense of one who does something; baʔiʕ (salesman)→baʕe (salesmen)/ qaʔid (leader)→qade (leaders)/śaʔiĝ (goldsmith)→śaĝe (goldsmiths)/ saʔis (header)→sase (headers). Where the medial C is a long V or (y) followed by V, this sequence, including (y), is elided with the final C is retained; seiyid (mister)→sade (misters).
Fuʕa is a rarely used form to derive irregular pl. Only a few words, fem. trilateral nouns, are pluralized through this form.
Pattern: CeCye→CuCa Template: Feʕye→Fuʕa Root:C3→C2 Alternation: 1.Mutation of the first internal V (e)→(u) 2.Elision of the prefinal C
(y) 3. Lenghthening of the final V (e)→(a), as in qerye (village)→qura (villages)/ ruʔye (vision)→ruʔa (visions)/ dumye (doll)→duma (dolls)/ kunya (cognomen)→kuna (cognomens)/ ruqye (spell)→ruqa (spells)/ bunye (structure)→buna (structures).
Pattern: CuCwe→ CuCa Template: Fuʕwe →Fuʕa Root: C3 →C2 Alternation: 1. Elision of the final C (w) 3. Lenghthening of the final V (e) → (a), as in ʕurwe (bond)→ʕura (bonds)/ quwwe (force/power)→quwa (forces/powers).
Pattern: CiCye→CiCa Template: Fiʕye→Fiʕa Root: C3→C2ʕa Alternation: 1. Elision of the final C (y) 3. Lenghthening of the final V (e)→ (a), as in the nouns fidye (ransom)→fida (ransoms)/ jizye (tax)→jiza (taxes)/ ʕiduu (enemy)→ʕida (enemies)/ nuwat (nucleus)→newa (nuclei).
A form of irregular pl. to pluralize trilateral mas. nouns.
Pattern: CiCC→CiCCan Template: Fiʕl→Fiʕlan Root: C2/ C3→C4 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e) → (i) 2.Suffixation of (an). Categories here involve animals or birds; jirð (rat)→jirðan (rats)/ feʔr (mouse)→fiʔran (mice)/ ĝurab (crow)→ĝirban (crows)/ ĝezal (deer)→ĝizlan (deer). Miscellaneous; jidar (wall)→jidran (walls)/ śebee (boy)→śibyan (boys).
Pattern: CaCiC→CuCCan Template: Faʕil→fuʕlan Root: C3→C4 Alternation: 1. Shortening of the first internal V (a)→(u) 2.Elision of the second internal V (i) 3. Sufixation of (an), as in šaŧiʔ (beach)→šuŧʔan (beaches)/ faris (knight)→fursan (knights)
Pattern: C(u/i/e)CaC→CiCCan Template: Fuʕal→fuʕlan Root: C3→C4 Alternation: 1. Internal V mutation (u)→(i) 2. Elision of the second internal V (a)
3. Suffixation of (an) to the end of the noun, as in šujaʕ (brave)→šijʕan (braves)/ ĝulam (boy)→ĝilman (boys).
Pattern: CeCeeC→CuCCan Template: Feʕeel → fuʕlan Root: C3→C4 Alternation:1.Internal V mutation (e) → (u) 2.Elision of the second internal V (ee) 3.Suffixation of (an), as in ketheeb (sandhill)→kuthban (sandhills)/ qemeeś (shirt)→qumśan (shirts)/ qeďeeb (rod)→quďban (rods)/ kheleej (gulf)→khuljan (gulfs).
Pattern: CeCeC→ CuCCan Template: Feʕel → fuʕlan Root; C3→C4 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e) →(u) 2.Elision of the second internal V (e) 3.Suffixation of (an), as in weled (boy)→wuldan (boys)/ beled (country)→buldan (counties). Some include nationalities: siryan (Syriacs)/ ŧilyan (Italians)/ elman (Germans). This also includes bilateral nouns: wadee (valley)→widyan (valleys).
Feʕel is an irregular pl. form used to derive the pl. of a few mas. nouns, most of which are C3 in root.
Pattern: CaCiC→CeCeC Template: Faʕil→feʕel Root: C3 Alternation:
- Shortening of the first internal V (a)→(e) 2.Internal mutation of the second V (i)→(e). Examples are nouns denoting poitions or occupations; khadim (servant)→khedem (servants, mas. & fem.)/ ħaris (guard)→ħeres (guards)/ khefeer (sentinel)→khefer (sentinels).
Pattern: CeCeCee→ CeCeC Template: Feʕelee→Feʕel Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Elision of the final V (ee), as in ʕerebee (Arab)→ʕereb (Arabs)/ ĝejeree (Gypsy)→ĝejer (Gypsies)/ bešeree (human being)→bešer (human beings)/ teteree (Tartar)→teter (Tartars)/ hemejee (barbaric)→hemej (barbaric ones). Collective nouns (nouns referring to pl. non-animate entities regardless of gender or number); šejer (tree), semek (fish), śekher (rock), ħejer (stone), beqer (bovines), ĝenem (sheep), bejeʕ (swans), and wereq (paper) can also be included in this category.
This form is used to pluralize a few mas. trilateral or bilateral nouns.
Pattern: CaC→CeCeeCX Template: Faʕ→Feʕeeʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Shortening of the internal V: (a)→(e) 2.Infixation of a V (ee) 3.Reduplication of the second root C, e.g. ħaj (pilgrim)→ħejeej (pilgrims)
Pattern: CeCC→CeCeeC Template: Feʕl→Feʕeel Root: C3 Alternation:
- Breaking the final CC by inserting the epenthetical V (ee), as in ʕebd (slave)→ʕebeed (slaves)
Pattern: Change: CiCaC →CeCeeC Template: fiʕal→Feʕeel Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation; (i)→(e)/ (a)→(ee), as in; ħimar (donkey)→ħemeer (donkeys).
Feʕele is a pl. form to pluralize trilateral mas. nouns.
Pattern: CaCiC→CeCeCe Template: Faʕil→Feʕele Root: C3 Alternation:
- Shortening of the first internal V (a)→(e) 2.Mutation of the second internal V (i)→ (e) 3. Suffixation of a V (e). Nouns pluralized as such are positions; ŧalib (students)→ŧelebe (students, mas. & fem.)/ sadin (keeper)→sedene (keepers)/ saħir (magician)→seħere (magicians)/ ʕajiz (disabled)→ʕejeze (disabled people)/ kasib (wage-earner)→kesebe (wage-earners). Permanent or temporary attributes; qatil (murderer)→qetele (murderers)/ khaʔin (traitor)→khewene (traitors)/ mahir (skilled)→mehere (skilled ones)/ warith (inheritor)→werethe (inhereitors)/ safil (mean)→sefele (mean ones)/ jahil (ignorant)→jehele (ignorant ones).
Efʕul is a form of irregular pl. to pluralize mas. and fem. trilateral nouns.
Pattern: CeCC→eCCuC Template: Feʕl→efʕul Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (e) 3.Breaking the final CC by infixing a short V (u) between the final Cs. Examples on this alternation include nefs (self)→enfus (selves)/ nehr (river)→enhur (rivers)/ ħerf (letter)→eħruf (letters)/ ferʕ (branch)→efruʕ (branches).
Pattern: CiCaC→eCCuC Template: fiʕal→efʕul Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (i) 3.Shortening of the seond internal V (a)→(u). Nouns related involve bodily parts; lisan (tongue)→elsun (tongues)/ ðiraʕ (arm)→eðruʕ (arms)/ ʕein (eye)→eʕyun (eyes)/ rijl (leg)→erjul (legs), in addition to body-related actions; yemeen (oath)→eimun (oaths). Miscellaneous; śeŧer ( line)→eśŧur (lines).
Feeʕal is a very rare type of irregular pl. in SA. It is used to pluralize mas as well as fem. bilateral nouns. In bilateral nouns based on CvC template, the medial V is altered to (ee), and (-an) is added to the end of the noun. The following table explains this alteration.
Pattern: CaC→CeeCan Template: Faʕ→Feeʕan Root: C2→C3 Alternation:
- Internal V mutation (a)→(ee) 2. Suffixation of (an)
|jar ( neighbor)|
|qaʕ (seabed )|
|bab ( door)|
|taj ( crown)|
|ʕuud ( stick)|
|duud ( worm)|
|ĝuul ( ghoul )|
|ħuut ( whale)|
If the noun is C3 in root, the same alterations occur, except that the medial C, along with the following V, is elided: ħaʔiŧ (wall)→ħeeŧan (walls). Accordingly, both (ʔ) and (i) are elided in this example.
A rarely used form of irregular pl. Fiʕele is used to pluralize mas. bilateral, as well as trilateral, nouns.
Pattern: CiCeCe Template: Fiʕele Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation: (u)→(i) 2.Infixation of a short V (e) 3.Reduplication of the second root C 4. Suffixation of a V (e). Words related are mostly concerned with animals and birds; dub (bear)→dibebe (bears)/ hir (cat)→hirere (cats)/ qird (ape)→qirede (apes)/ feel (elephant)→fiyele (elephants)/ deek (cock)→diyeke (cocks).
A rarely used form of irregular pl. Fiʕee is used to pluralize fem. bilateral as well as trilateral nouns.
Pattern: CiCee Template: Fiʕee Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation: (e)→(i) 2.Final V mutation: (a) →(ee), as in ʕeśa (stick/cane)→ʕiśee (sticks/canes)/ ħulye (jewel)→ħilee (jewels).
Efiʕʕe is a form of irregular pl. This pl. is used with trilateral mas. nouns. In changing from sing. to pl., the root loses the second long V in favor of a medial gemination between the second and the final C. Further, two Vs are affixed to the noun; initially and finally. The few sing. nouns pluralized in this form are based either on CvCeeC or CvCaC.
Pattern: CeCeeC→eCiC2e Template: Feʕeel→efiʕʕe Root: C3→C2 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Mutation of the first internal V (e)→(i) 3.Elision of the second internal V (ee) and thus an internal C geminate is formed 4.Suffixation of a V (e), as in jeneen (fetus)→ejinne (fetuses)/ ħebeeb (sweet)→eħibbe (sweets)/ sereer(bed)→esirre (beds)/ deleel (evidence)→edille (evidences).
Pattern: CiCaC→eCiC2e Template: fiʕal Root: C3→C2 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of the V (e) 2.Elision of the second internal V (a) and thus an internal C gemination is formed 3.Suffixation of the V (e), for instance hilal (crescent)→ehille (crescents)/ imam (Imam)→eʔimme (Imams)/ šuʕaʕ (ray)→ ešiʕʕe (rays). In eʔimme (Imams), the epenthetical (ʔ) is inserted between the intrusive (e) and the following C so as to prevent V sequence, whereas the two Cs are reduced into a C geminate. This is because the noun is bililteral and thus another C is needed to model the pl. pattern.
fuʕuul is a form of pl. that is used to pluralize bilateral mas. nouns.
Pattern: CeC→CuCuuCX Where (CX) is a reduplicated C; Template: Feʕ→Fuʕuuʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e)→(u) 2.Infixation of a long V (uu) 3.Reduplication of the second root C. The nouns pluralized here may indicate bodily parts and physical portions; kef (palm)→kufuuf (palms)/ fek (jaw)→fukuuk (jaws)/ šeq (crack)→šuquuq (cracks)/ khed (cheek)→khuduud (cheeks)/ feś (stone)→fuśsuuś (stones)/ fel (remain)→fuluul (remains). Miscellaneouss; ħel (solution)→ħuluul (solutions)/ fen (art)→funuun (arts)/ šer (evil)→šuruur (evils)/ neś (text)→nuśuuś (texts)/ red (reply)→ruduud (replies).
Pattern: CiC→CuCuuCX Template: Fiʕ→Fuʕuuʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (i)→(u) 2.Infixation of a long V (uu) 3.Reduplication of the second root C. e.g. sim (poison)→sumuum (poisons)/ liś (thief)→luśuuś (thieves).
efʕal is a form of irregular pl. All words pluralized in this form are bilateral, and are based on CvC template. The medial V is short, and hence in pl. it is deleted. A new sound is added at the beginning, the first C is put with the second C, which is doubled. Therefore, the template of pl. becomes vCCaC2, where C2 symbolizes the repetition of the second C in the sing. root.
Pattern: CeC→eCCaCX Template: Feʕ→efʕaʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (e) 3.infixation of a V (a) 4.Reduplication of the second root C, as in reb (god)→erbab (gods)/ ned (rival)→endad (rivals)/ ŧen (ton)→eŧnan (tons).
Pattern: CiC→eCCaCX Template: Fiʕ→efʕaʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Elision of the internal V (i) 3.Infixation of a V (a) 4.Reduplication of the second root C, as in sin (tooth)→esnan (tooth)/ sir (secret)→esrar (secrets).
This is a pl. form used in words as; ʕuzzel (unarmed ones).
Pattern: CuCXel Template: Fuʕʕel Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Mutation of the first internal V→(u) 2.Reduplication of the medial root C. The words here suggest incompleteness, lack, or disadvantage; eʕzel (unarmed)→ʕuzzel (unarmed ones)/ khedeej (premature baby)→khuddej (premature babies)/ saðej (naive)→suððej (naïve ones). Additionally, there are several words only in SA that exemplify a sense of overdoing,.i.e., to do something excessively and more than it should be done; sajid (prostrator)→sujjed (prostrators) and rakiʕ (kneeler)→rukkeʕ (kneelers).
A pattern of irregular pl. as in; rijal
Pattern: CeCC→CiCaC Template: Feʕl→fiʕal Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e)→(i) 2.Breaking the final CC by infixing a long V (a). Nouns pluralized here may involve animals, masc. and fem.; kelb (dog)→kilab (dogs)/ sebʕ (predatory animal)→sibaʕ (predatory animals)/ jewad (horse)→jiyad (horses)/ kheruuf (ram)→khiraf (rams)/ neʕje (ewe)→niʕaj (ewes)/ jerou (cub)→jiraʔ (cubs)/ ferkh (young bird)→firakh (young birds). Weapons, tools; sehm (arrow)→siham (aarrows)/ rumħ (spear)→rimaħ (spears)/ ħebl (rope)→ħibal (ropes). Miscellaneous; rejul (man)→rijal (men)/ ʕeđm (bone)→ʕiđam (bones).
Pattern: CeCeC→CiCaC Template: Feʕel→fiʕal Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Mutation of the first internal V (e) →(i) 2.Lenghthening of the second internal V (e)→(a), as in jebel (mountain)→jibal (mountains)/ jemel (camel)→jimal (camels). Some are fem.; qilʕe (castle)→qilaʕ (castles). There are a few pls. that share a common, regardless of gender, sing. form, or attribution, mainly when they are considered in their pl. form only; śigar (little/young ones)/ kibar
(adult ones)/ ʕiyal (family members)/ riyah (winds)/ jiyaʕ (hungry ones)/ dimaʔ (bloods). The word imreʔe has two, irregular and completely different, pls.; nisaʔ and niswe (women).
Pattern: CeCeeCe→CuCuC Template: Feʕeele→fuʕul Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Internal V mutation (e)→(u) 2.Shortening of the second internal V (ee)→(u) 3.Elision of the final V (e) (fem. marker). Examples are sefeene (ship)→sufun (ships)/ jezeere (island)→juzur (islands)/ śeħeefe (newspaper)→śuħuf (newspapers)/ medeene (city)→mudun (cities). There are also a few mas. nouns pluarized in this pattern, exercising the same alternations: resuul (messenger)→rusul (messengers).
Pattern: CiCaC→CuCuC Template: Feʕeele→fuʕul Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Mutation of the first internal V (i)→(u) 2.Shortening of the second internal V (a)→(u), as in šihab (shooting star)→šuhub (shooting stars)/ kitab (book)→kutub (books)/ niđam (system/regime)→nuđum (systems/regimes).
Pattern: eCaCiC Template:efaʕil Root:C3 Alternation: 1.infixation of a V (a) 2.Lenghthening of the first internal V (e)→ (a) 3.Muation of the second internal V: (e)→(i). Examples on this pl. are ejnebee (foreigner)→ejanib (foreigners)/ qereeb (relative)→eqarib (relatives)/ erneb (rabbit)→eranib (rabbits).
A form of irregular plural in SA that is limited to a few words.
Pattern: CeCCa→CuCaCa Template: feʕla →fuʕala Root: C3 Alternation: 1.Breaking the medial CC by infixing a long V (a). Nouns related involve attributes; thekla (mother bereaved of her child)→thekala (mothers bereaved of their children)/ sikkeer (drunken)→sukara (drunken ones)/ ĝeyuur (zealous)→ĝeyara (zealous ones)/ yeteem (orphan)→yetama (orphans). Ideas or attitudes; fetwa (formal opinion)→fetawa (formal opinions)/ šekwa (complaint)→šekawa (complaints). Miscellaneous; neśranee (Christian)→neśara (Christians).
Afaʕ is a pl. form for pluralizing mas. bilateral sing. nouns. The two short voiced Vs are replaced by long ones; vCvC →aCaC.
Pattern: eCeC→aCaC Template: efeʕ→afaʕ Root: C2 Alternation: 1.Mutation: Lenghthening of the internal Vs (e/u)→(a). Nouns here may imply expectations or prospects; ejel (term)→ajal (terms)/ emel (hope)→amal (hopes)/ ufuq (prospect)→afaq (prospects). Measurement or quantity; eħed (one)→aħad (units)/ elf (thousand)→alaf (thousands). Miscellaneous; ether (trace)→athar
(traces)/ elem (pain)→alam (pains)/ ithm (sin)→atham (sins). The same applies if the noun has a single short V. In addition to the replacement of this single V with a long one, another long V will be inserted between the two Cs; vCC→aCaC. For words which are trilateral, or which are CvCC in root, the medial C is elided, and the root will be vCvC; biʔr (well)→abar (wells).
Feʕat is a pl. form used to pluralize bilateralor trilateral mas nouns. The (-at) suffix added in pl. here is not that of sound fem. pl., as in qarre (continent)→qarr**at **(continents), because in these words the form of the word is not changed, while in this pl. form, the form of the word undergoes changing. All the nouns here denote a profession or position.
Pattern: CaCee→CuCat Template: Faʕee→Fuʕat Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Shortening of internal V (a)→(u) 2.Elision of final V (ee) 3.Suffixation of (-at). This pl. is found in nouns denote positions; qaďee (judge)→quďat (judges)/ walee (governor)→wulat (governors)/ ramee (shooter)→rumat (shooters)/ saʕee (courier)→suʕat (couriers) /ĝazee (raider)→ĝuzat (raiders)/ banee (builder)→bunat (builders). In unmarked mas nouns, the final fem. suffix (-e) is elided in pl., along with the third root C (y); ŧaĝiye (tyrant)→ŧuĝat (tyrants)/ daʕiye (caller)→duʕat (callers)/ dahiye (artful)→duhat (artful ones)/ rawiye (relator/narrator)→ruwat (relators/narrators).
Feʕla is a pl. form used to pluralize bilateralor trilateral mas. nouns. Nouns pluralized through this pattern often have some features in common. Firstly, they are all based on CeCeeC in sing., except for eseer (captive) and eħmeq (fool), and they become CeCCa in pl. Secondly, they usually denote physical or bodily qualities or disadvantages, especially those related to bodily injury or accidents;
Pattern: CeCeeC→CeCCa Template: Feʕeel→Feʕla Root: R3 Alternation: 1.Elision of the second V (ee) 2.Suffixation of (-a), as in the nouns qeteel (murdered)→qetla (murdered ones)/ jereeħ (wounded)→jerħa (wounded ones)/ mereď (sick)→merďa (sick ones)/ śereeʕ (fallen)→śerʕa (fallen ones)/ ĝereeq (drowned)→ĝerqa (drowned ones)/ eseer (captive)→esra (captives). The only exception to the above pattern is the word meiyit (dead). Though C3 in root, CvCvC, seemingly like the words discussed above, but it is phonotactically different being CeiCit. Yet, this word becomes bilateral in pl.; mouta (dead people), as the medial C
(y) is elided and a V (ou) is inserted instead.
Feʕal is a pl. form used to pluralize bilateral or trilateral mas and fem. nouns. The nouns related are mostly bilateral. Insertion of an internal V plus a C (w), and the deletion of the final V, if any; šað (odd)→šewað (odds). In nouns where the second C is a geminate, it is degeminated (it becomes a single C);
Pattern: CaC2e→CewaC Template: Faʕʕe→Fewaʕ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Infixation of a syllable (ew) 2.Degemination of the final geminate 3.Elision of the final V (e). Examples are ħasse (sense)→ħewas (senses)/ madde (material)→mewad (materials)/ dabbe (pack animal)→dewab (pack animals)/ ʕammee (layman)→ʕewam (laymen). If the noun is C3, which is quite rare, the final C as well as the following Vs are elided, in order to correspond to the pl. pattern; CaC2iCe → CewaC as in khaśśiye (characteristic)→khewaś (characteristics).
This is a pl. form used in pluralizing a few sing. nouns, most of which are bilateral. The very name of this pl. form indicates its morphological form (eCCaʔ) for unilateral nouns (consisting of a single C plus one or two Vs) and eCCaʔ for bilateral nouns. The change includes the addition of the syllable (aʔ) to the end of the sing. root, and the V (e) at the beginning of that noun. If the internal V is (ei), it is altered to C (y) in pl.; šeiʔ (thing)→ ešyaʔ (things).
Pattern: Cei→eCyaʔ Template: Fei→efyaʔ Root: C1→C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Mutation of the V to C (ei)→(ya) 3.Suffixation of (aʔ). Examples are zei (fashion)→ezyaʔ(fashions)/ ħei (living)→eħyaʔ (the living). If the internal V is (ou), it is deleted and replaced with the C (w). Here, C1 roots (single C words) become bilateral, as in; vC→aCaʔ eb (father)→abaʔ (fathers), or trilateral by changing the V (ou) to a C (w),as in; jou (atmosphere/ mood)→ejwaʔ(atmospheres/mood) where it is Cv → vCCvC. C2 roots become C3, too; đouʔ (light)→eđwaʔ (lights), hence CvC→ vCCvC. CvC→ vCCvC nouʔ (rain)→enwaʔ (rains).
Pattern: CeCee→eCCaʔ Template: Feʕee→efʕaʔ Alternation: 1. Prefixation of a V (e) 2. Mutation of the final V (ee) →(ʔ) 3.Suffixation of (ʔ), as in meʕee (intestine)→emʕaʔ (intestines)/ reʔee (opinion)→araʔ (opinions).
Pattern:CeCuu→eCCaʔ Template: Feʕee→efʕaʔ Root: C2→C3 Alternation: 1.Prefixation of a V (e) 2.Mutation of the final V (ee)→(ʔ) 3.Suffixation of a C (ʔ), as in neħuu (direction)→enħaʔ (directions)/ šiluu (dismembered part)→ešlaʔ (dismembered parts).
Pattern: CeCa→eCCaʔ Template: Feʕa→efʕaʔ Root: C2→C3 Alternation:
- Prefixation of a V (e) 2. Elision of the internal V (e) 3.Suffixation of a C (ʔ), as in hewa (affection/inclination)→ehwaʔ (affections/inclinations)/ śeda (echo)→eśdaʔ (echoes)/ reja (area)→erjaʔ (areas)/ ibn (son)→ebnaʔ (sons).
The formation of pl. involves the addition of the V (e) to the end of the sing. noun; Pattern: MuCteCiC→MuCteCiC Template: Mufteʕil→Mufteʕile Root:C5 Alternation: 1.Suffixation of a V (e), as in muʕtezil (Mu’tazilid)→muʕtezile (Mu’tazilids)/ murteziq (mercenary)→murteziqe (mercenaries).
This is a pattern of irregular plural with the alteration of the final V to a C (y) plus a short V (e); CeCee→CiCye, as in śebee (boy)→śibye (boys). CeCa→CiCye, as in feta (youngman)→fitye (youngmen).
A very rare form for irregular pl. It involves V mutation: CeCaCee→CeCaCe, as in;
śeħabee (companion)→śeħabe (companions) and ħejer (stone)→ħijare (stones).
A very rare form of irregular pl. that involves a reduplication of the final C and the addition of a short V (e); mar (passer-by)→marre (passers-by).
A rare form of irregular pl. There are two words in SA that demonstrate such pl.; ekh (brother)→ukhwe (brothers) and imreʔe (woman)→niswe (women).
A rarely used form of irregular pl. in SA that is characterized by the suffix –an. The word ekh (brother)→ukhwan (brothers) is the only example of such form.
A rare irregular pl. form in which the final long V is changed into two short Vs; CvCvCv→CeCaCiye, as in the substandard ħeramee (robber)→ħerameeye (robbers)/ and the word la adree (agnostic)→la adreeye (agnostics).
A rare form of irregular pl. in SA, that is based on CvCC. The related words suggest physical disadvantageness, as in; eśem (deaf)→śum (deaf ones) and ebkem (dumb)→bukm (dumb ones), or colours in general; khuđr (green ones)/ ħumr (red ones)/ śufr (yellow ones) and zurq (blue ones).
6. Results and Conclusions
The paper finds that irregular pl. forms in SA are such multiple that each form has its own structure. While some pls. are predictable, others are not. Unlike the previous studies, this research finds that there are 43 forms of irregular pl. in SA, which is higher than the pl. forms given in the previous studies. According to Murtonen (1964), and Wright (1971:191-233), there are 31 types of irregular pl. However, in later investigations, such as that of Levy (1971) and McCarthy and Prince (1990), irregular pl. forms are categorized into fewer classes.
Predicting the sort of irregular pl. for a single word is quite difficult. The research finds that some irregular pls. are predictable, while some others are not. Nevertheless,
there are a few aspects and factors that can help predict which pl. form applies to a single word such the template (the so-called ﺗﻔﻌﯿﻠﺔ, as in اﻟﺦ…ُﻌﻞ، ﻓﺎﻋﻞ،ﻓ), the pattern (C- V sequence), and the root (C2, C3, C4, .etc). Also, the spacio-temporal scope of the word may be helpful sometimes in determining the proper irregular pl. form. Hence, for example, quadriliteral words denoting place, setting, or position, especially those prefixed with m-, are pluralized through infixation, as in mesjid→mesajid, mekteb→mekatib, mejlis→mejalis,..etc.
It has been found that Vs and V quality are significant factors in the formation of irregular pl. as seen in certain pl. forms with internal change only. Thus, a V change from short to long or vice versa may determine the type of such pls.
The paper has found that the root of the word (Cs) is sometimes used in pl. Such root represents the origin of all the related derivations and words. e.g. wezeer “minister”, the root w-z-r, rather than the sing. form, is used in pl., hence wizraʔ “ministers”. Similarly, in words such as qeteel, jeree, eseer, the roots, rather than the sing. words, are pluralized; qetla=murdered ones (qetl=murdering), jerħa wounded ones (jerħ=wounding), and esra=captives (esr=captivity).
The paper has found that there is a relationship between the type of the word and the animate vs. non-animate, human vs. non-human status, which also determines the sort of the irregular pl. For example, trilateral masc words of the template feʕeel denoting positions, ranks, or posts related to animate or human features are pluralized with -aʔ as in sefeer→suferaʔ “ambassadors”, khebeer→khuberaʔ “experts”, wekeel→wikelaʔ “agents”, wherase trilateral masc. words of the same template denoting non-animate, non-human entities, are pluralized with –an as in qemees→qumsan “shirts”, qeđeeb→quđban “shafts”, and kheleej→khuljan “gulfs”. Also, the gender of the word governs sometimes the irregular pl. of that word. For example, trilateral masc. nouns that are pluralized with the fem suffix –e, have the medial C elided in order not to be assimilated or confused with the sing. fem form of these words; qaʔid “leader”→qade “leaders” rather than qaʔide “female leader” and baʔiʕ “salesman”→baʕe “salesmen” rather than baʔiʕe “saleswoman.” Likewise, saq (leg), and the similarly formed nouns, is pluralized as seeqan (legs) by the a→ee shift plus the suffix –an, rather than saqan. This might be to avoid assimilating such plural with the dual form of the word which is saqan (two legs).
Short Vs are found to be the weak area of alteration and change in irregular pls., considering the significant changes that involve this type of Vs. Moreover, in the majority, if not all, irregular pl., Vs could be elided, inserted, or replaced, while Cs are altered or re-inserted, with an exception to a few or handful of words whereby the final C is elided in pl. e.g. seferjel and ʕenkebuut.
The -an/en suffix used in certain irregular pls. (such as buldan, ukhwan, fityan, seeqan, and a few others) may indicate that the original regular masc. pl. in SA, which is denoted by –een/-uun, is related to this suffix, or it could have been derived from it in a way or another. Additionally, in pls. where the change is a suffix, most suffixes are vC, as in –aʔ, -an, and -at.
7. Further Areas of Research
A contrastive study can be conducted on morphophonemic changes in both English language and Arabic language.
There are several morphophonemic changes in Standard Arabic that need a further analysis and investigation including diminutives, tense marking, derivation, and the like.
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