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Editorial Board Gonzalo Rubio, Pennsylvania State University Editor-in-Chief
James P. allen Gene b. GRaGG John huehneRGaRd manfRed KRebeRniK antonio loPRieno h. CRaiG melCheRt PiotR miChalowsKi P. oKtoR sKJRv miChael P. stReCK Brown University The Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago Harvard University Friedrich-Schiller-Universitt Jena Universitt Basel University of California, Los Angeles University of Michigan Harvard University Universitt Leipzig

1. A Grammar of the Hittite Language, by Harry A. Hoffner Jr. and H. Craig Melchert Part 1: Reference Grammar Part 2: Tutorial 2. The Akkadian Verb and Its Semitic Background, by N. J. C. Kouwenberg 3. Most Probably: Epistemic Modality in Old Babylonian, by Nathan Wasserman

The Akkadian Verb and Its Semitic Background


n. J. C. K ouwenbeRG
The University of Leiden

Winona Lake, Indiana EisenbRauns 2010

2010 by Eisenbrauns Inc. All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kouwenberg, N. J. C. The Akkadian verb and its Semitic background / by N. J. C. Kouwenberg. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-57506-193-1 (alk. paper) 1. Akkadian languageVerb. I. Title. PJ3291.K678 2010 492156dc22


The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information SciencesPermanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. 1 18 2 3 4 5 17 16 15 6 7 8 9 14 13 12





Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Part one xi xii

Chapter 1. Objective, Structure, and Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1. Objective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2. Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2.1. (Diachronic) Typology 2 1.2.2. Grammaticalization 3 1.2.3. The structure of paradigms 5 1.3. The Structure of the Present Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.4.1. Akkadian 9 Third-Millennium Akkadian 11 Babylonian 12 Archaic Babylonian 13 Old Babylonian 13 Middle Babylonian 15 Neo-Babylonian 15 Late Babylonian 16 Standard Babylonian 16 Assyrian 17 Old Assyrian 17 Middle Assyrian 18 Neo-Assyrian 19

1.4.2. Semitic 19 1.4.3. Afroasiatic 20 1.5. Excursus: The Dialect Classification of Third-millennium Akkadian . . . . . . 21

Chapter 2. Structure and Organization in the Akkadian Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . 28

2.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2.2. The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 2.2.1. The basic structure 29 2.2.2. Derivational categories related to the verb 33 2.2.3. Lexicalization and grammaticalization 35 2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 2.3.1. The root-and-pattern system 37 2.3.2. The rise of vowel alternation in Semitic 38 v


Contents 2.3.3. The root and the radicals 40 2.3.4. The pattern and the base 44 2.4. Vowel Syncope and Vowel Assimilation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 2.5. The Personal Affixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Part two

the Basic stem

Chapter 3. The Paradigm of the G-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.2. The G-stem as the Basis of the Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs . . . . . . . 54 3.3.1. Fientive verbs with a stative meaning 55 3.3.2. Adjectival verbs 58 3.3.3. List of adjectival verbs 60 3.3.4. Deviating adjectives in Assyrian 64 3.4. Transitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 3.5. The Vowel Classes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 3.5.1. Form and function 68 3.5.2. The individual vowel classes 71 The vowel class I/i 71 The A/u or Ablaut class 72 The vowel class U/u 73 The vowel class A/a (including E/e) 74 The vowel class A/i 75

3.5.3. Changes in vowel class 75 3.6. Appendix: List of G-stem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class . . . . . 81

Chapter 4. The Impact of Gemination I: The Imperfective iparrVs . . . . . . . . . . . . 88

4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 The Imperfective: Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 The Imperfective: Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 The Historical Background of iparrVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 4.4.1. The controversy about the Proto-Semitic imperfective 97 4.4.2. The emergence of iparrVs 100 4.4.3. Evidence 103 Historical evidence from Akkadian 103 Comparative evidence from Afroasiatic 104 Typological evidence 107

4.5. From Proto-Semitic *yiqattal- to Akkadian iparrVs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 4.5.1. The development of a variable imperfective vowel 109 4.5.2. The pluractional of the derived verbal stems and the quadriradical verbs 112 4.5.3. The ending(s) of Proto-Semitic *yiqattal- 115 4.6. Akkadian iparrVs and the South Semitic Imperfective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 4.6.1. iparrVs and yqattl 117

Contents 4.6.2. The quadriradical and quinqueradical verbs in South Semitic 123


Chapter 5 The Perfective and the Imperative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4. 5.5. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 The Perfective: Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 The Perfective: Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 The Historical Background of the Perfective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 The Imperative: Form and Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Chapter 6. The t-Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

6.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 6.2. The t-Perfect: Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 6.3. The t-Perfect: Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 6.3.1. The t-perfect in Old Babylonian 141 6.3.2. The t-perfect in third-millennium Akkadian 149 6.3.3. The t-perfect in Old Assyrian 150 6.3.4. The t-perfect in the later dialects 153 6.4. The Historical Background of the t-Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Chapter 7. The Stative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

7.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 7.2. The Stative: Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 7.3. The Stative: Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 7.3.1. Statives derived from adjectives and nouns 165 7.3.2. Statives derived from verbs 168 7.3.3. Marginal and secondary uses of the stative 174 7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 7.4.1. The formal background of the stative 176 7.4.2. The relationship with the West Semitic perfect 181 7.4.3. The suffixed stative conjugations of Afroasiatic 189

Chapter 8. The Nominal Forms of the Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194

8.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 8.2. The Infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 8.2.1. Form and function 194 8.2.2. Historical background 199 8.3. The Past Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 8.3.1. Form and function 200 8.3.2. Historical background 202 8.4. The Present Participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 8.4.1. The simple present participle 203 8.4.2. The present participle with the suffix -n- 207 8.4.3. Historical considerations 209



Chapter 9. The Secondary Members of the Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211

9.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 9.2. The Irrealis Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 9.2.1. The precative 212 9.2.2. The vetitive: form and function 217 9.2.3. The prohibitive 219 9.3. The Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220 9.3.1. The form of the subjunctive 220 9.3.2. Other subjunctive-like suffixes 224 9.3.3. The function and the historical background of the subjunctive 227 9.4. The Ventive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 9.4.1. The form of the ventive 232 9.4.2. The function of the ventive 233 The ventive as allative 234 The ventive as dative 235 Other ventives 236 The ventive as a linking morpheme 238 Form and function 212 Historical background 213

9.4.3. The ventive in a historical perspective


Part three

the Derived Verbal stems

Chapter 10. The Derived Verbal Stems: General Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
10.1. 10.2. 10.3. 10.4. 10.5. 10.6. 10.7. 10.8. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Formal Aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 Functional Aspects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248 The Relationship between the G-Stem and the Derived Stems . . . . . . . . . 250 Oppositions between Stems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252 Diachronic Aspects of the Derived Verbal Stems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 The Grammatical Functions Expressed by the Derived Verbal Stems . . . 256 10.8.1. Verbal plurality 256 10.8.2. Causative and factitive 256 10.8.3. Voice 257 Passive 259 Mediopassive 260 Direct reflexive 261 Indirect reflexive or autobenefactive 263 Reciprocal 263 The middle voice and middle verbs in Akkadian 265

Chapter 11. The impact of gemination II: the D-stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268

11.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 11.2. The Form of the D-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268

Contents 11.3. The Function of the D-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271 11.3.1. D-stems of intransitive process verbs 272 11.3.2. D-stems of intransitive action verbs 274 11.3.3. D-stems of transitive process verbs 274 11.3.4. D-stems of transitive action verbs 274 11.4. D tantum Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 11.5. The Essence of the D-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278 11.6. The D-Stem in Historical Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280 11.6.1. The D-stem in Semitic and Afroasiatic 280 11.6.2. The development of the factitive function 282


Chapter 12. The Prefix n- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288

12.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 12.2. The N-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 12.2.1. The form of the N-stem 288 12.2.2. The function of the N-stem 294 The N-stem of transitive verbs 294 The N-stem of intransitive verbs 297 The N tantum verbs 298

12.3. 12.4. 12.5. 12.6.

12.2.3. The essence of the N-stem 299 The naparraru Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301 The Verb mlulu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305 The Quadriradical Verbs of the nabalkutu Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 The Historical Background of the Prefix n- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314 12.6.1. The prefix n- as an original light verb 314 12.6.2. The development of the N-stem 321

Chapter 13. The Prefix - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324

13.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 13.2. The -stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324 13.2.1. The form of the -stem 324 13.2.2. The function of the -stem 327 The -stem as causative of transitive verbs 327 The -stem as causative or factitive of intransitive verbs 328 The elative use of the -stem 331 The denominal function of the -stem 332 The relation of the -stem to the D-stem and the N-stem 333

13.3. The D-stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334 13.4. The Quadriradical Verbs with the Prefix - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 13.4.1. The ubalkutu group 338 13.4.2. The uparruru group 340 13.4.3. The uarruru group 341 13.4.4. ukennu and upellu 346 13.5. The -stem in Other Semitic Languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 13.6. The Historical Background of the Sibilant Prefix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351

Chapter 14. The t-Infix and Its Ramifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355

14.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355

Contents 14.2. Formal Aspects of the t-Infix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 14.2.1. The form of the Gt-stem in historical Akkadian 356 14.2.2. Assimilation and metathesis of the t-infix in general 359 14.3. The Function of the Gt-Stem in Historical Akkadian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 14.3.1. The Gt-stem in older non-literary texts 361 Third-millennium Akkadian 361 Assyrian 362 Old Babylonian 363

14.3.2. The Gt-stem in later non-literary texts 365 14.3.3. The Gt-stem in literary texts: Standard Babylonian 367 14.3.4. The functional development of the Gt-stem in Akkadian 369 14.4. The Evolution of the Gt-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375 14.4.1. The formal evolution of the Gt-stem in Semitic: from prefix to infix (and back) 375 14.4.2. The functional development of the Gt-stem in West Semitic 380 14.5. The Remaining Secondary Stems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382 14.5.1. The Dt-stem 383 14.5.2. The t1-stem 386 14.5.3. The Neo-Assyrian stems with a double t-infix 388 14.5.4. The Nt-stem 391 14.5.5. Comparison with West Semitic 392 14.5.6. Excursus: The Eblaite verbal nouns with both prefixed and infixed t 395 14.6. The Pattern taPRvS(t) and the t2-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397 14.6.1. The pattern taPRvS(t) 397 14.6.2. The t2-stem 403 The paradigm of the t2-stem 403 The function of the t2-stem 404 Comparison with West Semitic 412

14.7. The tan-Stems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415 14.7.1. The function of the tan-stems 415 14.7.2. The Gtn-stem 417 14.7.3. The Dtn-stem 422 14.7.4. The tn-stem 424 14.7.5. The Ntn-stem 425 14.7.6. The historical background of the tan-stems 431

Chapter 15. Verb Forms with Reduplication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438

15.1. 15.2. 15.3. 15.4. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 438 The Dtr-Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439 Deverbal Nouns with Reduplication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 444 Derived Verbal Stems with Reduplication in Other Semitic Languages . . 445



Part Four

the Minor Paradigms

Chapter 16. The Weak Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447
16.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447 16.2. The I/w Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 448 16.2.1. The corpus 448 16.2.2. The forms of the G-stem 450 16.2.3. The derived stems 454 16.2.4. The historical background of the I/w verbs 457 16.3. The I/*y Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 462 16.3.1. The prefix forms of the adjectival I/w verbs 462 16.3.2. The original I/*y verbs 464 16.3.3. The verbs id to know and i to have 465 16.4. The I/n Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469 16.4.1. The assimilation or non-assimilation of n to the following consonant 469 16.4.2. The elision of word-initial n 470 16.4.3. The paradigm(s) of n/tadnu to give 472 16.5. The II/voc Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 474 16.5.1. The sources 474 16.5.2. The paradigm of the G-stem 476 16.5.3. The derived stems 480 The Gt-stem 480 The Gtn-stem 480 The D-stem 482 The -stem and the t2-stem The N-stem 488


16.6. The II/gem Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 491 16.6.1. Formal aspects of the II/gem verbs 491 16.6.2. Semantic aspects of the II/gem verbs 494 16.7. The III/voc Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496 16.7.1. The sources 496 16.7.2. The paradigm of the III/voc verbs 499 The original paradigm 499 Further developments in third-millennium Akkadian 501 Further developments in Assyrian 501 Further developments in Babylonian 506

Chapter 17. The Verbs with Gutturals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510

17.1. 17.2. 17.3. 17.4. 17.5. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510 The Rendering of Guttural Consonants in Cuneiform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510 The Reflexes of the Gutturals in Akkadian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 515 The Strong in Babylonian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520 The E-paradigm and Babylonian Vowel Harmony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525 17.5.1. E-colouring in the older dialects 525 17.5.2. E-colouring in later Babylonian 534


Contents 17.6. The I/voc Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 537 17.6.1. Introductory remarks 537 17.6.2. The paradigm of the G-stem 542 17.6.3. The derived stems 546 The Gt-stem and the Gtn-stem 546 The D-stem 547 The -stem and its derivatives 548 The N-stem and the Ntn-stem 550

17.7. The II/H Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554 17.7.1. Introduction and sources 554 17.7.2. (Pre-)Sargonic Akkadian and Mari Old Akkadian 557 17.7.3. The II/H verbs in Assyrian 560 17.7.4. The II/H verbs in Babylonian The strong paradigm 560 The weak paradigm 563


17.8. The III/H Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 572 17.8.1. Introduction and sources 572 17.8.2. The III/H verbs in third-millennium Akkadian 573 17.8.3. The III/H verbs in Assyrian 576 17.8.4. The original III/H verbs in Babylonian 582 The II/ verbs in Babylonian 566 The II/ verbs in Babylonian 570

Part Five

Proto-semitic from an Akkadian perspective

Chapter 18. The Verbal Paradigm of Proto-Semitic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 584
18.1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 584 18.2. The Main Developments from Proto-Semitic to Akkadian . . . . . . . . . . . . 584 18.3. The Proto-Semitic Verbal Paradigm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 586 18.3.1. The basic stem 587 18.3.2. The derived stems 591 18.4. The Sub-grouping of Semitic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 595

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 599 Indexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 635

Index of Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 635 Index of words from other languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 650 Index of Akkadian words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 653

This book is the result of the project The Akkadian Verb and its Semitic Background, financed by the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (NWO) in the years 20012005. It represents the completion of a long preoccupation with the structure and the history of the Akkadian verb, which started with my 1997 doctoral dissertation on the D-stem. It would not have been written if the NWO had not provided me with a generous grant that allowed me to focus completely on this research project for almost four years without being distracted by other obligations. I am grateful for this grant and for the trust they have had in me. I would also like to thank the Faculty of Arts of Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) for the facilities they offered me during and after this period. It is a great pleasure to thank the people who have contributed to the completion of this book. In the first place, I thank my supervisor, Klaas Veenhof, who spent much time and energy on this project, dealing with the paperwork for the NWO, and, in the final stages, reading the manuscript, giving valuable comments, and providing me with additional material, especially in Old Assyrian matters. Gonzalo Rubio, editor-in-chief of Eisenbrauns series Languages of the Ancient Near East, Wilfred van Soldt, Holger Gzella, Guy Deutscher, and Bram Jagersma also read the manuscript, and Harry Stroomer and Joris Borghouts read parts of it. I would like to thank all of them for their valuable comments. Obviously, none of these colleagues are responsible for any errors, omissions, and incongruities that remain. Last, but not least, I would like to thank my wife Yvonne not only for undertaking the troublesome task of reading through the entire manuscript to eradicate the barbarisms of my English and to improve the style but also for her unfailing moral support and her tolerance during the years that I have been engrossed in the intricacies of the Akkadian verb.


List oF ABBreViAtions, syMBoLs, AnD terMinoLogy

1. Abbreviations of series, Periodicals, Dictionaries, and Manuals

AfO AHw AION AJSL AMMK AMMY AnOr. AOAT AoF AOS ArAn. ARES ArOr. AS ASJ Assur AuOr. BagF BBVOT BiOr. BM BSOAS CAD CDA CDG CDLJ CILT CM CRRAI DRS DTCFD FAOS FM GAG GAG3 GAV GKT GLECS HSAO Archiv fr Orientforschung. Vienna. = von Soden 1959/81. Annali dellIstituto Orientale di Napoli. Naples. American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature. Chicago. Anadolu Medeniyetleri Mzesi. Konferanslari. Ankara. Anadolu Medeniyetleri Mzesi. Yll. Ankara. Analecta Orientalia. Alter Orient und Altes Testament. Altorientalische Forschungen. Berlin. American Oriental Society. Archivum Anatolicum. Ankara. Archivi reali di EblaStudi. Archv Orientln. Prague. Assyriological Studies. Acta Sumerologica (Japonica). Tokio. Assur, Monographic Journals of the Near East. Malibu. Aula Orientalis. Barcelona. Baghdader Forschungen (BagF 18 = S. M. Maul, Zukunftsbewltigung). Berliner Beitrge zum vorderen Orient. Texte. Bibliotheca Orientalis. Leiden. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. London. The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian, ed. J. Black, A. George, and N. Postgate. Santag 5. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1999. = Leslau 1987. Cuneiform Digital Library Journal. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. Cuneiform Monographs. Comptes rendus de la rencontre assyriologique internationale. = D. Cohen 1994. Ankara niversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Corafya Fakltesi Dergisi (Revue de la Facult de langues, dhistoire et de gographie). Ankara. Freiburger Altorientalische Studien. Florilegium Marianum. Mmoirs de NABU. Paris. = von Soden 1952a. = von Soden 1995. = Kouwenberg 1997. = Hecker 1968. Comptes rendus des sances du Groupe linguistique dtudes chamito-smitiques. Paris. Heidelberger Studien zum Alten Orient.


List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

Harvard Semitic Studies. Hebrew Union College Annual. Cincinnati. Israel Oriental Studies. Tel Aviv and Winona Lake, IN. Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society. New York. Journal of the American Oriental Society. New Haven, CT. Journal of Cuneiform Studies. New Haven, CT. Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap Ex Oriente Lux. Leiden. Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Chicago. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. London. Journal of Semitic Studies. Manchester. Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt. Waltrop. Littratures anciennes du Proche-Orient. = Gelb 1957. Mari, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires. Paris Mesopotamian Civilizations. Mitteilungen des Instituts fr Orientforschung. Berlin. Mlanges de lUniversit Saint-Joseph. Beyrouth. Materiali Epigraphici di Ebla. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brves et Utilitaires. Paris. Old Assyrian Archives, Studies. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis. Oriental Institute Publications (OIP 27 = I. J. Gelb, Inscriptions from Alishar and Vicinity). Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta. Orientalia Lovanensia Periodica. Leuven. Orientalia. Rome. Oriens Antiquus. Rome. Orientalia Suecana. Uppsala. Uitgaven van het Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten te Leiden, voorheen Publications de lInstitut historique-archologique nerlandais de Stanboul. QuSem. Quaderni di Semitistica. RA Revue dassyriologie et darchologie orientale. Paris. RSO Rivista degli Studi Orientali. Rome. SAACT State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts. SAAS State Archives of Assyria Studies. SED I/II = Militarev and Kogan 2000 and 2005. SEL Studi epigraphici e linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico. Verona. SSLL Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics. StAT Studien zu den Assur-Texten. StEb. Studi Eblaiti. Rome. StOr. Studia Orientalia. Helsinki. TTK Trk Tarih Kongresi. TTKY Trk Tarih Kurumu Yaynlarndan. TSL Typological Studies in Language. UF Ugarit-Forschungen. Mnster. WdO Die Welt des Orients. Gttingen. WKAS Wrterbuch der klassischen arabischen Sprache. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1958. WVDOG Wissenschaftliche Verffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft WZKM Wiener Zeitschrift fr die Kunde des Morgenlandes. Vienna. ZA Zeitschrift fr Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archologie. Berlin. ZAh Zeitschrift fr Althebraistik. Stuttgart. ZAL Zeitschrift fr arabische Linguistik. Wiesbaden. ZAW Zeitschrift fr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. Giessen. ZDMG Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlndischen Gesellschaft. Wiesbaden. HSS HUCA IOS JANES JAOS JCS JEOL JNES JRAS JSS KUSATU LAPO MAD 3 MARI MC MIO MUSJ MEE NABU OAAS OBO OIP OLA OLP Or. OrAnt. OrSuec. PIHANS



List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

2. Abbreviations of text Publications

Editions of Akkadian texts are referred to with the abbreviations enumerated in AHw III: ixxvi, with the following additions:
S. Izre'el, Adapa and the South Wind. Mesopotamian Civilizations 10. Winona Lake IN, 2001: Eisenbrauns. AIHA F. Rasheed, The Ancient Inscriptions in Himrin Area. Baghdad: The State Organization of Antiquities and Heritage, 1981. AKI I. J. Gelb and B. Kienast, Die altakkadischen Knigsinschriften des dritten Jahrtausends v. Chr. FAOS 7. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1990. AKT Ankara Kltepe Tabletleri / Ankaraner Klltepe-Texte (1/2: E. Bilgi et al., 4: I. Albayrak, 5: K. R. Veenhof, Ankara: Trk Tarih Kurumu, 1990, 1995, 2006, and 2010; 3: E. Bilgi and C. Gnbatt, FAOS Beiheft 3, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1995). ARET Archivi reali di EblaTesti. Roma: Missione archeologica in Syria. Balag-Komp. K. Volk, Die Balag-Komposition ru -ma-ir-ra-bi. FAOS 18. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1989. BAP B. Meissner, Beitrge zum altbabylonischen Privatrecht. Assyriologische Bibliothek 11. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1893. BDHP L. Waterman, Business Documents of the Hammurabi Period I. AJSL 29 (1913) 145204; II. ibid. 288303; III. AJSL 30 (1913/14) 4873. CTMMA Cuneiform Texts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vols. IIII. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 19872005. Diagnostik N. P. Heeel, Babylonisch-assyrische Diagnostik. AOAT 43. Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2000. Edikt F. R. Kraus, Ein Edikt des Knigs Ammi-aduqa von Babylon. Studia et Documenta ad Iura Orientis Antiqui Pertinentia, vol. V. Leiden: Brill, 1958. ELTS I. J. Gelb; P. Steinkeller; and R. M. Whiting, Earliest Land Tenure Systems in the Near East: Ancient Kudurrus. OIP 104. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1991. Epilepsy M. Stol, Epilepsy in Babylonia. CM 2. Groningen, 1993. EV Estratti di Vocabulari (in Pettinato 1982: 34781). Fernhandel B. I. Faist, Der Fernhandel des assyrischen Reiches zwischen dem 14. und 11. Jh. v. Chr. AOAT 265. Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2001. FI M. Civil, M. The Farmers Instructions: A Sumerian Agricultural Manual. AuOr. Supplementa 5. Barcelona: Editorial AUSA, 1994. GAKI B. Kienast, Glossar zu den altakkadischen Knigsinschriften. FAOS 8. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1994. Gilg. A. R. George, The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Giricano K. Radner, Das mittelassyrische Tontafelarchiv von Giricano /Dunnu-a-Uzibi. Subartu XIV. Turnhout: Brepols, 2004. Innya C. Michel, Innya dans les tablettes palo-assyriennes II: Edition des texts. Paris: ditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1991. Itar B. Groneberg, Lob der Itar, Gebet und Ritual an die altbabylonische Venusgttin. CM 8. Groningen, 1997. kt Siglum of unpublished tablets from Kltepe (Kani). Kaufvertragsrecht B. Kienast, Das altassyrische Kaufvertragsrecht. FAOS Beiheft 1. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1984. Land Tenure A. Suleiman, A Study of Land Tenure in the Old Babylonian Period with Special Reference to the Diyala Region, Based on Published and Unpublished Texts. Ph.D. dissertation, London, 1966. Legends = Westenholz 1997. LB Siglum of unpublished tablets in the de Liagre Bhl Collection, Leiden. Adapa

List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology



J. van Dijk, LUGAL UD ME-LM-bi NIR-GL. Leiden: Brill, 1983. H. Freydank, Mittelassyrische Rechtsurkunden und Verwaltungstexte IVII, 1976 2006. S. Jakob, Die mittelassyrische Texte aus Tell Chura in Nordost-Syrien. Vorderasiatische Forschungen der Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung, Band 2, Teil III. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2009. = Cancik-Kirschbaum 1996. O. R. Gurney, The Middle Babylonian Legal and Economic Texts from Ur. British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1983. Mesopotamian Magic. Textual, Historical and Interpretative Perspectives, ed. T. Abusch and K. van der Toorn. Ancient Magic and Divination 1. Groningen: Styx, 1999. Mesopotamian History and Environment: Texts. Ghent: University of Ghent, 1991. Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon, Supplementary Series. Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1986. D. I. Owen, The John Frederick Lewis Collection. Materiali per il vocabolario neosumerico, vol III. Rome: Multigrafica, 1975. D. I. Owen, Neo-Sumerian Archival Texts Primarily from Nippur. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1982. K. Radner, Die neuassyrischen Texte aus Tall amad. Berichte der Ausgrabung Tall amad/Dr-Katlimmu, Band 6, Texte 2. Berlin: Reimer, 2002. = Cole 1996. V. Donbaz, Ninurta-Tukulti-Aur. TTKY VI/19. Ankara: Trk Tarih Kurumu, 1976. Old Assyrian Archives. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 2002. F. N. H. Al-Rawi and S. Dalley, Old Babylonian Texts from Private Houses at Abu Habbah, Ancient Sippar. Baghdad University Excavations. -DUB-BA-A 7. London: NABU Publications, 2000. U. Jeyes, Old Babylonian Extispicy: Omen Texts in the British Museum. PIHANS 64. Istanbul: Nederlands Historisch-archaeologisch Instituut te Istanbul, 1989. M. Sigrist, Old Babylonian Account Texts in the Horn Archaeological Museum. Andrews University Cuneiform Texts IV and V. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1990 and 2003. K. van Lerberghe, Old Babylonian Legal and Administrative Texts from Philadelphia. OLA 21. Leuven: Peeters, 1986. L. Dekiere, Old Babylonian Real Estate Documents from Sippar in the British Museum. MHET, Series III, vol. II, 16. Ghent: University of Ghent, 19941997. = Whiting 1987. W. C. Gwaltney Jr., The Pennsylvania Old Assyrian Texts. Hebrew Union College Annual Supplements 3. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, 1983. K. Hecker, G. Kryszat, and L. Matou, Kappadokische Keilschrifttafeln aus den Sammlungen der Karlsuniversitt Prag. Prague: Filozofick fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, 1998. Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Assyrian Periods. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987. A. Rositani, Rm-Anum Texts in the British Museum. Nisaba 4. Messina: Di.Sc.A.M, 2004. Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Early Periods. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990. I. Starr, The Rituals of the Diviner. BM 12. Malibu: Undena, 1983. S. M. Freedman, If a City Is Set on a Height: The Akkadian Omen Series umma lu ina Ml akin, Volume I: Tablets 121. Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 17. Philadelphia: Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 1998. State Archives of Assyria. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1987.

SAB Sadberk

List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

= Kienast and Volk 1995. V. Donbaz, Cuneiform Tablets in the Sadberk Hanim Museum. Istanbul: Sadberk Hanim Mzesi, 1999. ShA J. Eidem, and J. Lsse, The Shemshara Archives, Vol. I: The Letters. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2001. SKS W. Farber, Schlaf, Kindchen, Schlaf!, Mesopotamische Baby-Beschwrungen und -Rituale. MC 2. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1989. St. Alp Hittite and other Anatolian and Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Sedat Alp, ed. H. Otten et al. Ankara: Trk Tarih Kurumu, 1992. St. Biggs Studies Presented to Robert D. Biggs, June 4, 2004, ed. M. Roth et al. From the Workshop of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, Volume 2. AS 27. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 2007. St. Birot Miscellanea Babylonica: Mlanges offerts Maurice Birot, ed. J.-M. Durand and J.-R. Kupper. Paris: ditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1985. St. de Meyer Cinquante-deux rflexions sur le Proche-Orient ancien, offertes en homage Lon de Meyer, ed. H. Gasche et al. Mesopotamian History and Environment. Occasional Publications 2. Leuven: Peeters, 1994. St. Dietrich Ex Mesopotamia et Syria Lux: Festschrift fr Manfried Dietrich zu seinem 65. Geburtstag, ed. O. Loretz et al. AOAT 281. Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2002. St. Finet Reflets des Deux Fleuves: Volume de mlanges offerts Andr Finet, ed. M. Lebeau and P. Talon. Akkadica Supplementum VI. Leuven: Peeters, 1989. St. Garelli Marchands, Diplomates et Empereurs: tudes sur la civilization msopotamienne offertes Paul Garelli, ed. D. Charpin and F. Joanns. Paris: ditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1991. St. Kraus Zikir umim: Assyriological Studies Presented to F. R. Kraus on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, ed. G. van Driel et al. Leiden: Brill, 1982. St. Landsberger Studies in Honor of Benno Landsberger on his Seventy-fifth Birthday, April 21, 1965, ed. H. G. Gterbock and T. Jacobsen. AS 16. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. St. Larsen Assyria and Beyond: Studies Presented to Mogens Trolle Larsen, ed. J. G. Dercksen. PIHANS 100. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, 2004. St. Moran Lingering over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran, ed. T Abusch et al. HSS 37. Atlanta: Scholars, 1990. St. Nimet zg Aspects of Art and Iconography: Anatolia and its NeighborsStudies in Honor of Nimet zg, ed. M. J. Mellink et al. Ankara: Trk Tarih Kurumu, 1993. St. Oelsner Assyriologica et Semitica: Festschrift fr Joachim Oelsner, ed. J. Marzahn and H. Neumann. AOAT 252. Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2000. St. Pettinato Von Sumer nach Ebla und zurck: Festschrift Giovanni Pettinato, ed. H. Waetzoldt. HSAO 9. Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag, 2004. St. Reiner Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner, ed. F. Rochberg-Halton. AOS 67. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1987. St. Sjberg DUMU-E2-DUB-BA-A, Studies in Honor of ke W. Sjberg, ed. H. Behrens et al. Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 11. Philadelphia: The Samuel Noah Kramer Fund, 1989. St. Veenhof Veenhof Anniversary Volume, ed. W. H. van Soldt et al. PIHANS 89. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabe Oosten, 2001. St. von Soden (AOAT 1) Lin Miturti: Festschrift Wolfram Freiherr von Soden, ed. W. Rllig. AOAT 1. Kevelaer: Butzon and Bercker / Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag des Erziehungsvereins Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1969. St. von Soden (AOAT 240) Vom Alten Orient zum Alten Testament: Festschrift fr Wolfram Freiherrn von Soden zum 85. Geburtstag am 19. Juni 1993, ed. M. Dietrich and O. Loretz. AOAT 240. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker / Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1995.

List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

St. Walker Tall Bia TAZ TB 1 TCBI TPAK VE


Mining the Archives: Festschrift for Christopher Walker, ed. C. Wunsch. Babylonische Archive 1. Dresden: ISLET, 2002. = Krebernik 2001. = Sommerfeld 1999. = Ismail et al. 1996; 2: L. Milano; W. Sallaberger; P. Talon; and K. van Lerberghe. Third Millennium Cuneiform Texts from Tell Beydar (Seasons 19962002). Subartu XII. Turnhout, 2004. Tavolette cuneiformi . . . delle collezioni della Banca dItalia, 2 vols. Rome: Banca dItalia, 2006. C. Michel and P. Garelli, Tablettes palo-assyriennes de Kltepe, volume I (Kt 90/k). Paris: De Boccard, 2001. (Sinossi del) Vocabulario di Ebla (in Pettinato 1982: 197343).

3. other Abbreviations
AA Afroasiatic Acc accusative Adj adjective Akk Akkadian All allative Ar Arabic Aram Aramaic ArBab Archaic Babylonian Ass Assyrian Bab Babylonian Bo Boazky c. br. context broken c. st. construct state comm. sect. commentary section (in CAD) cp(s) copy/copies CT consecutio temporum Dat dative DN divine name DNF feminine divine name Du dual duf dual feminine dum dual masculine Ebl Eblaite e.o. each other ESA Epigraphic South Arabian Eth Ethiopian Fem feminine Gen genitive GN geographic name He Hebrew Imp imperative Impf imperfect Impfv imperfective incant. incantation Indic indicative Inf infinitive intr. intransitive Juss jussive LB lex. sect. lit. LL MA Masc MB MN MSA NA NB Nn Nom OA OAk OB Obl p Partc Perf pf Pl pm PN PNF PPartc Prec Pres Pret Proh prov. PrPartc PSAk PSem R1 R2 R3 R4 Late Babylonian lexical section (in CAD) literal(ly) (attested in a) lexical list Middle Assyrian masculine Middle Babylonian month name Modern South Arabian Neo-Assyrian Neo-Babylonian noun (indexes) nominative Old Assyrian Old Akkadian Old Babylonian oblique case person participle perfect plural feminine plural plural masculine proper name feminine proper name past participle precative present preterite prohibitive provenance present participle Pre-Sargonic Akkadian Proto-Semitic first radical second radical third radical fourth radical

RI(s) SAk sb. SB Sem sf Sg sm Stat sth. Subj Sum royal inscription(s) Sargonic Akkadian somebody Standard Babylonian Semitic singular feminine singular singular masculine stative something subjunctive Sumerian

List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

Syr TN t-Pf tr. trans. Ugar var. Vb Vent Vet WSem Syriac temple name t-perfect translation transitive Ugaritic variant verb (indexes) ventive vetitive West Semitic

4. symbols
/.../ [...] surrounds a phonological interpretation of a transliterated word or a cuneiform sign surrounds a phonetic approximation of a phonological interpretation1 (surrounding a cuneiform) sign indicates the specific reading of the sign (capitals indicate the name of the sign): Pi = wa, bad = be > and < indicate a phonological change, e.g. *baytum > btum; *yilqa > yilq > ilq; iakin > (Ass) iikin, or a semantic change, e.g. aknum appointed > governor. and indicate (1) a morphophonemic or morphosyntactic (analogical) change or replacement, e.g., *uaz uaaz; nmurum nanmurum; iakn (Ass) iikn; (2) a relationship of derivation, e.g., iparrVs paris; iparras ipparras. // separates different manuscripts (duplicates) of the same text. * precedes a reconstructed but not actually attested form. ** precedes an incorrectly reconstructed or presupposed form: **putanrrusum (Inf Dtn), **innimir.

Conventions of transcription and terminology

For Akkadian, I have in general adopted a transliteration system that is fairly close to what may be considered to be the actual form of the wordi.e., basically that of von Soden and Rllig 1991 rather than the more objective system of Gelb 1970 and CAD; see Reiner 1973: 3945 for a discussion of some relevant points. I will also adhere to the traditional convention of distinguishing between long vowels with a circumflex (if they are contractions of adjacent vowels) and long vowels with a macron (if they are originally long or compensate for a lost guttural or sonant), although it is unlikely that there is a phonological motivation to do so. However, for third-millennium Akkadian, this system is problematic for several reasons (see Rubio 2003b: 36367 and Hasselbach 2005: 2425). Therefore, I have adopted for Sargonic Akkadian Gelbs system of transliteration, which is also used in Hasselbachs recent grammar of Sargonic Akkadian (2005), supplemented by a phonological interpretation (which is of course subjective), e.g. ga-ti-su /qtsu/, l-gi /yilq/, i-du-ud /yisdud/, etc.2 For Mari Old Akkadian,
1. For instance, in Old Assyrian /qabyku/ represents what I take to be the most likely phonological representation of q-b-a-ku and q-bi-a-ku I have (been) told. Occasionally, I have ventured to posit a more phonetic reconstruction, e.g. [qabiyku]. 2. The contrast between the phoneme /s/ of Sargonic Akkadian corresponding with // elsewhere (including Mari Old Akkadian; Hasselbach 2005: 13536) is awkward in cross-dialectal comparison. There-

List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology


which has only one series of sibilants as compared with the two series found in Sargonic Akkadian (A. Westenholz 1978: 163a), I will use for the reflex of PSem */, e.g. -u-r-id /y?urid/ AKI p. 361 M 4:4), where Sargonic Akkadian would have /yusrid/.3 For Ur III Babylonian, I will normalize the transliteration in accordance with later Babylonian practice. Whenever this seemed relevant, I have added to third-millennium quotations an indication of the genre and the provenance of the text.4 Also for Eblaite, where the distance between spelling and the (presumably) intended form is fairly large and many interpretations are uncertain, I have preferred the more cautious transliteration that is employed by most specialists; for instance, I write mu-sa-ga-i-nm (VE 1306) rather than mu-a-k-i-nm for what is phonologically doubtless /muskayyinum/ (Bab muknu commoner; see 13.4.4, p. 347). For the second-millennium and later dialects, I use the traditional system of transcription as it is applied in the standard manuals and dictionaries, although this is not always phonologically accurate and sometimes inconsistent with the third-millennium transcriptions. I use the forms of Old Babylonian, but without mimation, as the default dialect for quoting verbs in contexts where no specific dialect is referred to or when the form in question is not attested nor reconstructible for the dialect under discussion; for instance, I speak of the verb pet to open. Other forms, such as Old Assyrian patum or Middle Assyrian patu, will only be quoted when this is relevant in the context. With regard to other Semitic languages, I have opted for a transcription system that suits the historical and comparative orientation of the present study. For Hebrew, this is basically the Moscati system (Moscati, ed. 1964: 50), with e for er ( ), e for s egl (), a for pata ( ), or o for qme ( ), o for olem ( ), and u for ireq ( ), with an additional macron if the vowel is long, and the superscript version for p and pata furtivum. Spirantization of consonants will be ignored. For Geez, I will also follow Moscati, ed. 1964: 54 in using a for the 1st order, for the 2nd order, for the 3rd order, for the 4th order, for the 5th order, or for the 6th order, and for the 7th order. For consonants of Proto-Semitic for which there is no generally accepted symbol, I will use the rather traditional and typographically convenient system of Moscati, ed. 1964: 4344, with, however, for the voiceless interdental (> Akk ), for the voiced interdental (> Akk z), for the glottalic interdental (> Akk ), and for the glottalic lateral fricative (> Akk ), which is also written or elsewhere (see also Huehnergard 2004: 14243). For the Proto-Semitic sibilants, I will use the familiar signs *, , and *s rather than *s1, *s2, and *s3 (cf. Faber 1981: 25357). With regard to grammatical terminology, there are two particular areas where the juxtaposition of forms from different languages leads to terminological difficulties: the tense/aspect system and the system of derived verbal stems. The tense/aspect system of the older Semitic languages is based on a binary opposition between a marked and an unmarked category, the former having an imperfective aspect and usually referring to non-past tense, whereas the latter may basically be a perfective but is generally used as a straightforward past tense. In the various Semitic languages, different terms are traditionally used to refer to these categories, such as Imperfect, Present, and
fore, I will ignore this difference and use Babylonian in the pertinent words, except in the phonological representation of Sargonic Akkadian words between slashes, e.g. /yus/, the Perf of wa to go /come out, but elsewhere yu. 3. See 16.2.3 (p. 455) for this form. 4. For the label Me-sg, which refers to the Sargonic Akkadian texts of BIN 8 coming from the estate of Me-sg in the Umma or Girsu region, see Foster 1982a: 6 and 1982b: 301.


List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Terminology

Durative for the marked category, and Perfect and Preterite for the unmarked category (whereas in Akkadian Perfect refers to a third category). If we include other branches of Afroasiatic, a massive terminological confusion arises in which no term can be taken at its face value and in which categories that correspond across languages have quite different labels. In order to avoid ambiguity on the one hand and cumbersome formulations on the other, Iat least for Semiticuse the terms imperfective and perfective for the marked and the unmarked variants of the prefix conjugations, respectively, regardless of the traditional term in a given language and no matter whether the category in question is perhaps more temporal than aspectual (as is certainly the case in Akkadian; see 4.3, pp. 9195): so Akk iparrVs, Ar yaqtVlu, He yiqol and Geez yqattl are imperfective; Akk iprVs, Ar yaqtVl, and He (way)yiqol are perfective (in so far as they have indicative function). For the rest, I use the traditional terms perfect and jussive for the West Semitic suffix conjugation (qatVla) and the irrealis use of yaqtVl, respectively. For the Akkadian past tense with infixed t (iptarVs), I use the label t-perfect to avoid confusion with the West Semitic perfect. For other languages, I use the terms imperfective and perfective when these are clearly appropriate, or else the labels current in the specific language (with an initial capital), with a definition when ambiguity might arise. The abbreviations of grammatical terms in the list of abbreviations are mainly used as tags to specific forms quoted. Each Semitic language also has its own terminology for the derived verbal stems,5 and even for Akkadian itself two different systems are in use. For specific languages, I will use the system current for that language, but for comparative purposes and when referring to a specific stem across languages, I follow the Akkadian notation employed by W. von Soden in his grammar (GAG) and his dictionary (AHw), which is transparent and mnemonically superior. For the derived stems with a lengthened vowel, which occur in some West Semitic languages but not in Akkadian, I use the symbol L when that is convenient.
5. See Goshen-Gottstein 1969 for a description of the history of the terms; Tropper 2002: 100101 and Lipiski 1997: 334 contain handy tables for comparing the various terminological systems.


Chapter 1

1.1. objective
This book has two closely related objectives: to describe the Akkadian verbal system during its period of attestation, and to reconstruct its prehistory on the basis of internal reconstruction, comparison with cognate languages, and typological evidence. The first of these aims is a necessary prerequisite for the second: before we start comparing aspects of the Akkadian verb with corresponding phenomena in related languages, we must squeeze the maximum amount of information out of the languages involvedin particular, Akkadian itself. Moreover, description of the Akkadian verb has a merit of its own, because Akkadian has one of the longest documented histories of all languages: data are available from about two and a half millenniaalthough the data are not without interruptions and are not always as copious as we would like. During the course of this history, numerous developments took place, illustrating how languages change over time and offering parallels for the reconstruction of changes that occurred in poorly documented periods. Knowledge of historical processes enables us to go backward in time by extrapolating them into prehistory, especially because such processes are often cyclic. There is no lack of detailed and competent studies of the Akkadian verb and specific aspects of it, among which we of course single out W. von Sodens monumental Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik (1952), which has lost little of its relevance as a comprehensive description of Akkadian, although several of its historical and more theoretical statements are in need of revision. Nonetheless, even further progress can be gained from a variety of strategies. The first one is a more detailed and more comprehensive look at our primary evidence, the Akkadian texts themselves, which constitute our basic set of data. They still contain untapped resources that can be made available by means of systematic comparison between dialects, detailed investigation of orthographical features, and the exploitation of new data from recently published texts and to some extent also from the language of Ebla, which is gradually revealing more and more of its secrets. A second strategy is a greater emphasis on the systematic nature of the Akkadian verb. A verbal system is a complex structure, with its own dynamics based on and driven by the functions it has to perform. This means that we should not limit ourselves to an atomistic description of the verbal categories in isolation from one another but also study their interactions and the ways they influence each other through the course of time. The structure of the paradigm and the 1

Method 1.2.

dependency relations between its members hold important clues for understanding diachronic processes and thus also for reconstructing its prehistoric development. A third strategy is the use of typological evidence, which provides insight into the question of what kinds of developments are common or uncommon in the history of languages. Therefore, it is an important tool in evaluating the likelihood of proposed hypothetical developments and particularly relevant in situations where actual data are inadequate. By combining these strategies, I will describe the verbal categories of Akkadian as they developed in the historical period, reconstruct the oldest attainable situation, compare this with other Semitic languages, and formulate a hypothesis regarding the structure of the verb in ProtoSemitic from an Akkadian perspective, in order to bridge the gap between Akkadian and the rest of Semitic and to shed light on the diachronic processes that have led to their diversification. Deeper comparison on the level of Afroasiatic is not a specific aim of this book, although I will not hesitate to use Afroasiatic evidence if I consider it relevant to the point under discussion. In fact, achieving some kind of consensus about the nature of Proto-Semitic is a major condition for a fruitful study of Afroasiatic.

1.2. Method
The methods used will be in accordance with the objectives outlined in the preceding section. The extant Akkadian texts provide the primary data for a description of the verbal system. This description is in principle synchronic, but because of the large time span covered by the recorded history of Akkadian, this is hardly the appropriate term. A synchronic description is only possible for the individual dialects or periods of Akkadian, even though generally speaking the differences between themor rather between the written forms in which they are available to usare surprisingly small. I will instead use the term historical for the descriptive part of the present study, in contrast to prehistoric, when referring to the reconstruction of the genesis of the verbal system, which mainly took place in the prehistoric period. The reconstruction of the prehistoric development will primarily be based on the time-honored methods of historical linguistics: internal reconstruction and the comparative method (in this order). However, they can be supplemented by other approaches that have been developed in the domain of general linguistics in the past few decades. I will single out three of them that are immediately relevant to the historical study of language in general, and to the present study in particular: (diachronic) typology, grammaticalization, and the structure of paradigms.

1.2.1. (Diachronic)Typology
Of particular importance to historical linguistics is the typological approach to language, which originates with Greenbergs studies on word-order universals (Greenberg 1963, 1966) and was carried on by others, such as Bybee (1985, 2001), Croft (1991, 2003), Givn (especially 1979, 1995), Hopper and Thompson (1980, 1984), to mention only those who have been a particular source of inspiration for the present study. This typological approach starts from the assumption that variation in language is subject to universal restrictions that are ultimately grounded in the function(s) language performs. It investigates these restrictions in order to detect cross-linguistic regularities and ultimately to establish what is a possible human language or, perhaps more modestly, what is a more probable, as opposed to less probable, human language (Song 2001: 3). The basic method of typologists is large-scale comparison on the basis of a representative corpus of languages. Studies of this kind have revealed remarkable parallels in the way in which par-

1.2. Method

ticular domains of grammar are encoded cross-linguistically, such as the expression of the passive (Siewierska 1984; Keenan 1985; Haspelmath 1990), the middle voice (Kemmer 1993), the causative (Nedyalkov and Silnitsky 1973; Song 1996), the resultative (Nedjalkov and Jaxontov 1988), tense/aspect in general (Dahl 1985; Bybee et al. 1994), adjectives (Dixon 1982; Wetzer 1996; Dixon and Aikhenvald 2004), intransitive predicates (Stassen 1997), and nominal predicates (Hengeveld 1992). It has also become clear that these domains tend to be grammaticalized through a restricted number of diachronic processes. This is the field of diachronic typology, which studies occurring changes (Greenberg 1995) in order to understand the limits of possible diversity (Givn 1999: 110). Diachronic typology conceives language states as stages in a process of change, so that the focus of attention shifts from the states themselves to the transitions between them (Croft 2003: 23244). This has blurred the borderline between synchronic and diachronic linguistics, which has had the status of a dogma since Saussure and has long tended to relegate historical linguistics to a marginal position. It is now recognized that both approaches are equally valuable, that change is an inherent property of language, and that there are grammatical phenomena that can best be meaningfully described in a historical perspective (Hopper 1987; Heine and Claudi 1986: 14750; Heine et al. 1991: 24852; Bybee 2001: 57, 189215). The typologists maintain a different emphasis from the more traditional comparative linguists: they are primarily interested in the process of diachronic change itself and the principles that govern it, and therefore focus on historical stages of languages that are attested over a long period. They do not shun reconstructions but regard them as by-products rather than as goals in themselves (Givn 1999: 10911). Their studies have shown that diachronic developments in languages tend to follow rather narrowly circumscribed paths that recur again and again with different lexical means even in unrelated languages. This enables us to determine which kinds of historical processes are common in language development, and which kinds are uncommon or even not attested, and thus to check our hypotheses and reconstructions. The importance of this kind of information for the reconstruction of prehistoric stages of a language is obvious: a hypothetical reconstruction that has parallels in historical developments has a greater plausibility than one that has few or no parallels. The latter is not automatically disqualified but needs to be supported by stronger evidence to be acceptable.

1.2.2. Grammaticalization
The study of diachronic processes in language has demonstrated the importance of grammaticalization as a pervasive principle of language development. Grammaticalization is that subset of linguistic changes whereby a lexical item or construction in certain uses takes on grammatical characteristics, or through which a grammatical item becomes more grammatical (Hopper and Traugott 2003: 2).1 If an element undergoes grammaticalization, it becomes more frequent but less independent, it gets a more general and more grammatical meaning, a reduced form, and a less variable position. Ultimately, it may lose its status as an independent word and become a clitic or an affix with a grammatical rather than a lexical meaning. Accordingly, grammaticalization is an important mechanism for creating new grammatical categories and for replacing existing ones, in contrast to sound change and analogy, which normally only modify existing
1. General introductions are Hopper and Traugott 2003 and Heine et al. 1991; see also Croft 2003: 25379; Bybee et al. 1994: 49; Joseph and Janda, eds. 2003: 575601. A non-technical account of grammaticalization and its role in the development of language, with special attention to the rise of the Semitic verbal system, is Deutscher 2005.

Method 1.2.

categories (Meillet 1948b: 133). It has its own dynamics and follows its own rules, and is often cyclical: a new mode of expression that has arisen because of its greater expressivity gradually replaces the older expression, loses its expressivity in the process and becomes vulnerable to being replaced in its turn.2 The study of well-documented grammaticalization processes has provided a considerable amount of knowledge that is applicable to the clarification of synchronic states of languages without a documented past. Since it is inherently diachronic, it hastogether with typologystrongly contributed to ending the (post-)Saussurean bias in favour of synchronic analysis and to creating an upsurge in diachronic research. A grammaticalization process that is particularly relevant for the present study is the renewal of tense and aspect categories. As far as I am aware, Jerzy Kuryowicz was the first to draw attention to the regularity and recursiveness in the way the verbal categories referring to the present and the past evolve over time. He formulates the development of present categories as follows (1975: 104):
The most important phenomenon which has repeated itself over and over again and has left numerous traces in the old I.E. languages, is the renewal of the durative character of the verbal forms denoting the moment of speaking (present-imperfect system). The durative form may easily invade other semantic spheres: general (timeless) present, futurity, modality (capability, eventuality), etc. This expansion, involving the loss of expressiveness (i.e., of concentration on durativity), is the cause of drawing upon derived forms designed to renew the durative function. A formal split is likely to ensue: durative present (new form) and general or indetermined present (old form), present (new form) and future (old form), indicative (new form) and subjunctive (old form).

A corresponding process for the past tense starts with the perfect:
As regards the so-called perfect the normal evolution seems to be: derived form (or verbal noun + auxiliary verb) > perfect > indetermined past (pass indfini) > narrative tense. The derivative is adopted as a regular member of the conjugation in order to replace the old form of the perfect, which, having been additionally charged with the narrative function, has lost its expressiveness. (Kuryowicz 1975: 106; see also ibid. 128).

Kuryowiczs claims have been confirmed by the cross-linguistic study of grammaticalization processes by Bybee et al. (1994) and have been applied to the Semitic languages by D. Cohen (1984) in his monumental study of the renewal of verbal categories in Semitic. Bybee et al. have established far-reaching commonalities in the ways verbal categories that are semantically parallel develop over time even in unrelated languages. They investigate in particular the evolution of past tense forms, the rise of futures and irrealis forms, andmost importantly for the present studythe renewal of present and imperfective categories. D. Cohen uses the long period of attestation of most West Semitic languages to investigate the evolution of the verbal system and
2. See Heine et al. 1991: 24347 (they refer in particular to Hodge [1970], who illustrated this with examples from Old Egyptian and Coptic); Hopper and Traugott 2003: 12224; Givn 1971; Croft 2003: 253; Haspelmath 1998: 5455. Prominent examples of cyclic processes in Semitic are the renewal of the verbal categories by means of periphrastic constructions (to be described in chap. 4), the restriction of the perfective iprVs to subordinate clauses in later Akkadian, a repetition of what happened to the original Proto-Semitic imperfective *yiqtVlu, which became a subjunctive in Akkadian (see 9.3.3, pp. 227232); the introduction of the new pluractional category ipta(na)rrVs after the earlier pluractional iparrVs had become the regular imperfective (see 14.7.6, pp. 431437); and the development of the original stative/ resultative suffix conjugation into the West Semitic perfect, which is a repetition of what happened to the earlier Proto-Semitic perfective *yiqtVl.

1.2. Method

to show in detail how the same functional tendencies repeatedly trigger the renewal of existing verbal categories. Since this is an important clue to the understanding of the evolution of the verb in prehistoric times as well, I will discuss it in greater detail in chap. 4 on the Akkadian imperfective iparrVs.3 In sum, the interest in diachronic typology and grammaticalization has proved highly fruitful for the historical study of language, especially for the solution of diachronic problems, such as the way in which complex grammatical systems develop over time. This approach is crucial for the solution of the problems caused by the Akkadian verb and its relation to the verb in other Semitic languages.

1.2.3. Thestructureofparadigms
An important means for language speakers to handle complex morphological structures is to organize them in paradigms. According to Bybee (1985: 49), a paradigm is a group of inflectionally related words with a common lexical stem.4 Each form (or member) is specified for one or more of the relevant inflectional categories constituting the paradigm. In a nominal paradigm, these typically include case, gender, and number; in a verbal paradigm, they include person, gender, number, tense/aspect, mood, and diathesis (Booij 1998: 15). A paradigm has a hierarchical structure, in which some forms are (more) basic and others (more) derived. Generally speaking, the more basic forms are those that perform the prototypical functions of the paradigm. For a verbal paradigm, this means that verb forms are more basic when they are finite rather than non-finite, when they refer to an event rather than to a state, and when they are realis (indicative) rather than non-realis.5 Among the finite realis forms, the most basic forms are those that refer to the actual moment of speechthat is, those of the present or imperfectiveand among the persons of this category, it is the third-person singular that is the most basic form of the verbal paradigm.6 In accordance with their prototypical status, the finite realis forms also tend to show the greatest number of morphosemantic distinctionstypically,
3. For a survey of grammaticalization processes in Semitic languages, see Rubin 2005. Deutscher 2000 is a pioneering study of the grammaticalization of complement markers in Akkadian. For an application of the results of Bybee et al.s investigations on the verb in Biblical Hebrew, see T. D. Andersen 2000. Cook 2001 also offers a grammaticalization approach to the Hebrew verbal system. 4. Cf. also Hock (1991: 168), who defines a paradigm as the set of inflected forms of a given word. 5. See in general Bybee 1985: 4965; for events versus states: Givn 1984: 5156; for realis versus non-realis: Manczak 1958: 38788; Greenberg 1966: 46; Hopper and Thompson 1984: 708, 726; Givn 1995: 56. 6. For the basicness of the present or imperfective, see Mnczak 1958: 388; Greenberg 1966: 4849; Hock 1991: 218220; H. Anderson 1990: 810; Croft 2003: 162. With regard to Semitic languages, Greenberg (1966: 48), Benmamoun (1999), Ratcliffe (1998a: 33 n. 6), and Heath (2002: 12021) argue that the imperfective is the basis of word formation in Arabic. For the third-person singular as the most basic form of a verbal paradigm, see Kuryowicz 1964: 137; Bybee and Brewer 1980: 21014; Bybee 1985: 50; Hock 1991: 22022; Aikhenvald and Dixon 1998: 6162; van Loon 2005: 13 and 46. The main arguments are the following. First, semantically, the third person is the zero person, which refers to the one who is not present at the speech situation and which accordingly often has zero expression (Benveniste 1966; Kuryowicz 1968: 74); second, where word counts are available, the third person usually turns out to have the highest frequency (Greenberg 1966: 4445); third, in language acquisition by children, the third-person singular present is acquired first in many languages and used initially for all other forms of the paradigm (Bybee 1985: 5051; Bybee Hooper 1980); fourth, in historical change, this form often serves as the basis for the innovation of the paradigm or for the remake of other forms (Bybee and Brewer 1980: 21014 for Spanish and Provenal dialects). In nominal paradigms, it is usually the nominative or the absolutive that is basic (Hock 1991: 21618).

Method 1.2.

those of tense/aspect, mood, diathesis, person, number, and gender; the less prototypical forms, in contrast, often show varying degrees of neutralization of these verbal distinctions. The prototypical members also tend to be the most frequent, and according to Bybee (1985: 11718), frequency is the ultimate criterion for determining basicness: each time a form is heard and produced, it becomes more entrenched in the speakers mind and acquires what she calls a greater lexical strength. A great lexical strength entails a high degree of autonomythat is, the degree to which the word in question is represented as an independent item in the speakers mental lexicon. Autonomous forms are relatively resistant to change (see below) and are the basis on which other, less frequent and therefore less autonomous, forms are built. In a complex paradigm, the members are organized in subgroups on the basis of similarity in meaning. Similarity in meaning can be measured by means of Bybees concept of relevance that is, the degree to which the contrast between the respective forms affects the semantic content (Bybee 1985: 33): a contrast is more relevant as it has more drastic consequences for the nature of the action. In a verbal paradigm, for instance, differences in person are less relevant than differences in aspect, because for the nature of the action it makes less difference who performs it than how it is performed; in the noun, differences in case are less relevant than differences in number and gender, since the former do not affect the lexical meaning. Traditionally, forms that are similar are arranged in conjugations (in the verb) and declensions (in the noun). The definition of a paradigm quoted above stipulates that the members of a paradigm have inflectional status. As such, they are opposed to (etymologically or historically) related forms with derivational status.7 The difference is aptly summarized by Haspelmath (1996: 47): the most basic property of inflectional forms is that they are described exclusively in grammatical paradigms, whereas derivational formations are described by listing them individually in a dictionary. In more concrete terms, inflectional forms generally serve to express a relatively small, closed set of grammatical functions; they are predictable in meaning and function and often also in form, and they are fully productive, since they must be available for each lexeme, unless semantic factors interfere (Booij 1998: 1415). Derivation typically serves to create new lexemes on the basis of others in order to express complex meanings that are in some way related to the basic word. It cannot be applied automatically and may therefore be more or less productive (Hock 1991: 17375; Booij 1998: 1617). The semantic relationship between source word and derivation is much more unpredictable than in the case of inflection: since a derivational form is essentially an independent lexeme, it undergoes lexicalization more easily than an inflectional member of a paradigm (Bybee 2001: 118).8 However, the boundary between inflection and derivation is not clear-cut (Bybee 1985: 81 84, 1089; Dressler 1989). Instead, it is a continuum, with prototypically inflectional and prototypically derivational categories at both ends, and in between are the categories that are more
7. A selection of the huge literature about inflectional versus derivational categories should include Kuryowicz 1964: 3538; Bybee 1985: 81110; Dressler 1989; Haspelmath 1996; Booij 1998; Stump 2001: 25260. 8. An often-quoted difference between inflection and derivation is that derivation entails a change in the syntactic category (word class) of the word. This is indeed often the case, but it does not seem to be an essential property (Haspelmath 1996; Booij 1998: 1214). Well-known derivational categories such as diminutives (nouns from nouns), derived adjectives (such as English adjectives with -ish: bluish from blue), and verbs from verbs (in particular, the derived verbal stems of Semitic; see 10.5, pp. 250252) do not entail a category change. Nor is it an essential property of inflection that it does not entail a change in wordclass; cf. infinitives and participles, which are nouns and often inflectional members of the verbal paradigm (Haspelmath 1996).

1.2. Method

or less inflectional or derivational depending on the number of features they show of either kind (Kuryowicz 1964: 37). The gradual nature of the contrast makes it possible for categories to shift from (more) derivational to (more) inflectional and vice versa: lexicalization and grammaticalization, respectively (see 2.2.3, pp. 3536). A paradigm is a dynamic structure: the relations between its members are in a constant flux. Some of them may be expanding their range of use, usurping functions of others; other members may be in a process of gradual decline or replacement by another form. Therefore, the structure of a paradigm is also relevant from a historical point of view.9 The most important point is that the hierarchy among its members influences the type of change to which they are exposed. We can distinguish three kinds of historical changes affecting the members of a paradigm: sound change, analogical (morphophonemic and morphosyntactic) change, and grammaticalization. Basic forms will be affected by both sound change and grammaticalization, the former because it indiscriminately affects all words that meet the phonological conditions for the change, the latter because it is triggered by semantic and discourse factors that lead to renewal of categories regardless of their status in the paradigm. Basic forms will not normally be affected by analogical change, since they are the source rather than the target of analogical change; this is Kuryowiczs (194549: 2325) second law (see Hock 1991: 21222). Derived forms, on the other hand, are affected by all three kinds of change, but in particular by analogical change. Sound change affects them directly if they meet the phonological conditions for the change, or indirectly, when their basic form is affected, since they will tend to adjust to the new base form. In this way, the effects of the sound change will gradually penetrate into the more derived forms, whether or not they meet the phonological conditions (it is not always easy to determine whether a change in a derived form is caused by sound change or analogy). Even where no sound change is involved, analogical change will tend to make derived forms more regular and predictable.10 In general, derived forms are sensitive to any kind of change in their base form. This agrees with the principles formulated by Maczak (1958, 1980), who establishes that among the forms of a paradigm some will be more conservative and others more prone to change, that the more conservative forms include the singular, the present, the indicative, the third person, inferior numerals (vs. superior numerals), and the cardinal numbers (vs. the ordinal numbers), and that these forms trigger reformation of other forms more often than vice versa. These are the categories that, also according to other criteria, are the basic ones in their respective domains.

9. For a striking example of change under the influence of the paradigm, see Malkiel 1968, in particular pp. 4749. 10. See Hock 1991: 16789, Givn 1995: 5859, and in particular Bynon 1977: 34: in contrast however with phonological change, which operates independently of grammatical and semantic structure, analogy is concerned precisely with the relationship between phonological structure and grammatical structure. It is in fact the very mechanism which, either by modifying existing linguistic forms or by creating new ones, brings back into alignment phonological forms and grammatical function after the relationship between these has been disrupted by sound change. A good example from Akkadian is offered by the independent personal pronouns (GAG 41). Their paradigm shows a striking difference between the nominative, which is the basic form (both in function and in frequency), and the oblique cases: whereas the nominative remains more or less stable in form throughout the history of Akkadian, the oblique cases have a different form in almost every dialect and period. Another example is the imperfective: since the form referring to the actual moment of speech is the basic category of the verbal paradigm, a change in the present or imperfective of a given language will have important consequences for the entire paradigm. Accordingly, in Akkadian the introduction of a new imperfective with gemination of the second radical (iparrVs) led to a drastic restructuring in many other areas of the verbal paradigm, as I will argue in the rest of the present study.

The Structure of the Present Work 1.3.

Generally speaking, there will be a strong tendency within a conjugation to level formal distinctions that are not central to its function, such as stem differences in the finite verb (Maczak 1958: 30112; Bybee 1985: 65; Koch 1996: 22937; see also Bybee Hooper 1980: 16680). The outcome of all this is that derived forms are far more vulnerable to change than basic forms.11 Irregular derived forms tend to be preserved only when they are frequent enough to have a high lexical strength and thus to be stored in the speakers mental lexicon as independent forms (Bynon 1977: 3536; Bybee 1985: 12122). Very frequent forms, derived or not, may become irregular because they are subject to phonetic attrition (Zipfs Law; cf. Bybee 2001: 6062). Language is a system in which tout se tient, to use once more Andr Meillets worn-out dictum, and this is particularly relevant to the close-knit system of a paradigm. Accordingly, we should try to reconstruct paradigms or systems rather than individual categories (Petrek 1984: 43436). The Akkadian verbal paradigm offers numerous illustrations of this, as will become clear in the course of the present study.

1.3. the structure of the Present Work

In accordance with the objectives outlined in 1.1, the description of the Akkadian verbal system will be twofold. On the one hand, it will be factual in the sense that it describes the form and function of each verbal category during the recorded history of Akkadian. On the other hand, it will be hypothetical to the extent that it attempts to reconstruct the prehistory of each category by means of (primarily) internal reconstruction and (subsequently) comparison with corresponding Semitic and Afroasiatic categories. In the factual parts, I will give a detailed description of each verbal category in the various periods and dialects in which it occurs, with particular attention (a) to its relations with competing and contrasting categories, (b) to its position in the system as a whole, and (c) to the consequences this may have for its form, its function and its development over time. Obviously, the degree of detail is limited by the quantity of the available sources and by what is possible in terms of the acceptable size of a monograph. For practical reasons, Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian will have centre stage: they are the earliest dialects for which a very large corpus is available, they are both fairly uniform, and Old Babylonian has a sophisticated orthography that reveals the underlying language with more precision than most other dialects. With the results drawn from this description, I will turn to other Semitic languages (and to Afroasiatic languages if reliable correspondences are available) and compare the Akkadian forms with the evidence they provide in order to reconstruct the prehistoric development of the category in question. Ultimately, this should enable us to derive the Akkadian category from its Semitic ancestor (if any) and thus to explain the Akkadian form, to the extent that a language form is explained as soon as we know where it has come from. The order in which the individual categories will be discussed is in principle from basic to derived, which by and large means from simple to complex. This gives rise to a main division of this monograph into four parts (not counting the present one, Part I, which includes the preliminaries):
11. In this context we should also view the conclusions of Fox, who observes (2003: 52) that in the case of deverbal nouns usually only the patterns, rather than individual words, are reconstructible to ProtoSemitic, but that isolated nounsnouns that are not primarily associated with a verbal rootcan often be reconstructed back to intermediate proto-languages or even Proto-Semitic itself in their full form (see the list in Fox 2003: 7287). This is a consequence of the ongoing reformation and renewal typical of deverbal categories.

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic

Part II deals with the categories belonging to the basic stem (the G-stem) of the strong triradical verb; it describes their form and also includes a discussion of functional aspects such as tense/aspect and mood, which of course also apply to the corresponding categories of other types of verbs. Part III deals with the form and function of the derived verbal stems. There is some overlap with Part II as a result of the diachronic process whereby derived stem-forms penetrate into the paradigm of the G-stem (the imperfective iparrVs and the t-perfect iptarVs); therefore, some issues that strictly speaking belong to this part are actually discussed in Part II. Part IV gives a succinct account of the paradigms of the weak verbsthat is, verbs with w, y, and/or a vowel as radicaland verbs that (originally) had a guttural consonant among their radicals. The weak-verb paradigm is ostensibly modelled on that of the strong verb, but occasional deviations may provide important information about relations between forms. The importance of the verbs with gutturals is that the loss of guttural consonants is a relatively recent phenomenon in the earliest documents, so ensuing changes can be observed in the texts. Of all verbal categories, these verbs show by far the greatest number of changes in the historical period, which makes them crucial for dialect classification and particularly interesting for observing the kind of restructurings which occur after the loss of a radical. Part V, finally, consists of a single chapter that wraps up the results achieved in the preceding parts concerning the verbal categories to be reconstructed for the common parent language from the perspective of Akkadian and attempts anaturally hypotheticaldescription of the main features of the Proto-Semitic verbal system.

1.4. Akkadian, semitic, and Afroasiatic

The following sections contain a short description of Akkadian and its dialects and an even shorter one of the languages of the Semitic family and the branches of the Afroasiatic phylum to which Akkadian belongs. The dialect classification of Akkadian itself is not a primary concern of the present study, but in a historical description of Akkadian it is obviously essential to refer constantly to the source of the forms discussed in terms of dialect and chronology. Therefore, the main purpose of the enumeration of Akkadian dialects is to define the labels I will use and to point out some features or problems in individual dialects that are relevant in this context. Most of it is uncontroversial. In 1.4.2, I will briefly describe the subgrouping of Semitic as presupposed in the present study, and in 1.4.3 the relevance of Afroasiatic.

1.4.1. Akkadian
The earliest traces of the Akkadian language consist of personal names in Sumerian documents from ca. 2600 B.C. onward. The earliest extant documents in Akkadian date from ca. 2350 B.C., and the last ones from the beginning of the Christian era. As a spoken language, it is likely to have become extinct several centuries earlier, presumably around the middle of the first millennium B.C., although this is somewhat controversial.12 It was eventually replaced by Aramaic, doubtless after a prolonged period of bilingualism. Akkadian was originally spoken in Mesopotamia by the Babylonians and the Assyrians, but the cultural hegemony of its speakers
12. For instance, Streck (1995a: xxiiixxiv) places the disappearance of Akkadian as a spoken language some time during the Hellenistic period (against Buccellati 1996: 345), but Leichty (1993: 27) puts it in the eighth century B.C.; see also Streck 1997/98: 322b); Rubio 2007b: 4852; and A. Westenholz 2007.


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4.

caused its use to spread to many of the adjacent areas, at least as a written language, in particular to the Levant and present-day Turkey. As a result, texts in Akkadian have been found in numerous centres outside Mesopotamia, such as Elam, Boghazky (ancient Hattusas, the capital of the Hittite empire), El-Amarna, Alalakh, Ugarit, Emar, and Nuzi. These texts were often written by people with a different native language, and to varying degrees they show divergences from the texts in core Akkadian and influences from the local language.13 Therefore, they are adduced here only in cases where evidence from core Akkadian is lacking. The very long period during which Akkadian is attested and its wide geographic expanse entails the existence of different varieties according to place and time of attestation. If we take mutual comprehension to be an important criterion distinguishing languages from dialects,14 and if we assume that the spelling more or less reliably represents the language as it was spoken (which is more plausible for the earlier than for the later periods), there can be little doubt that the varieties of Akkadian we find in the texts constitute dialects rather than languages (see below regarding Eblaite).15 For the sake of convenience, I will speak of dialects for variations both in place and in time, although strictly speaking the latter should be called periods rather than dialects. Actually, if we take into account the more than 2,000 years that separate the oldest and the latest attested forms of Akkadian, the rate of observable change is surprisingly smallmuch smaller, for instance, than that between present-day English and the totally different language that is generally reconstructed as its ancestor of 2,000 years ago, or, to limit ourselves to Semitic, than that between modern Aramaic and its ancestor around the beginning of the Christian era. It is quite likely, however, that the spelling, in particular that of the latest dialects, was much more conservative than the spoken language and that therefore the actual difference was larger than is visible to us.16 Most changes taking place during this period are of a type familiar from language history in general. In the domain of phonology, we observe cases of erosion of phonological substance, such as the loss of mimation and short final vowels, contraction of adjacent vowels, and simplification of consonant clusters. In morphology and morphosyntax, there are instances of the gradual elimination of non-basic and less frequent categories such as the dual (replaced by the plural), the third-person singular feminine (in Babylonian replaced by the masculine form), the vetitive (replaced by the prohibitive), and some of the derived verbal stems, such as the t-stems (see chap. 14). The most salient change in this domain is doubtless the gradual replacement of the inherited perfective iprVs by the t-perfect iptarVs as the past tense in affirmative main clauses. It is significant that we do not find developments that drastically change the verbal system as a whole. In particular, there are no changes that have an effect comparable to what we observe in West Semitic, where the basic verbal functions of imperfective and perfective are renewed by means of completely different categories on the basis of periphrastic constructions with parti13. For an enumeration of the different types of Peripheral Akkadian and bibliographical references, see GAG3 2l* and Huehnergard 2005a: xxv, xxxi. 14. See, for instance, Payne 1997: 1819. However, Gelb (1987: 72) flatly denies the usefulness of this criterion. 15. See, for instance, Joanns, ed. 2001: 27b. A dissenting voice is Woodington (1982: 1): What we call the dialects of Akkadian are more appropriately referred to as languages. She gives no motivation for this statement, however. Reiner (1966: 21) states: I would be inclined to consider Old Akkadian and NeoBabylonian as distinct languages (the absence of Neo-Assyrian from this statement is surprising). Parpola (1988: 294) takes it for granted that Babylonian and Assyrian were mutually understandable. 16. See also Buccellati 1996: 345. I disregard here changes in vocabulary, which obviously have a drastic effect on comprehensibility but do not affect the grammar.

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic


ciples and particles. Even the replacement of iprVs by iptarVs is not a complete innovation but rather a shift in the division of tasks between two already-existing categories. A consequence of this situation is that dialect classification depends on a fairly small number of isoglosses, which leads to many uncertainties, especially in the rather poorly documented period of thirdmillennium Akkadian. In the next sections, I will enumerate the individual dialects, using the labels I will employ in the rest of the present study and with short references to the main sources on which our knowledge is based. For second- and first-millennium Akkadian, I will not attempt to justify the classification, since it is generally uncontroversial. However, for third-millennium Akkadian, I will be more specific about the classification I am adopting, without undertaking an exhaustive discussion of the issue. In the Excursus to 1.5 (pp. 2125), I will elaborate on the dialect classification of third-millennium Akkadian and the relationships among its dialects. Third-MillenniumAkkadian
I will distinguish four third-millennium dialects: Pre-Sargonic Akkadian, Mari Old Akkadian, Sargonic Akkadian, and Ur III Babylonian; the latter two can perhaps be combined under a single heading, for which I will use the label Old Akkadian (tout court); see 1.5 below (p. 27). For Eblaite, which is better classified as a separate language, see also 1.5 (p. 22). 1. Pre-Sargonic Akkadian is known to us almost exclusively from proper names contained in very early texts that otherwise are written in Sumerian; most of them are conveniently listed by A. Westenholz (1988), Biggs (1988), and Krebernik (1998: 26070). In the Excursus to 1.5, I will come back to its most important feature in terms of dialect classification. 2. Mari Old Akkadian is known from several groups of third-millennium texts found at Mari (Tell Hariri, on the upper course of the Euphrates).17 They range from the Pre-Sargonic period until after the end of the Ur III period, which at Mari is called the akkanakku period, and comprise votive inscriptions of early Mari rulers; administrative texts, both from the Pre-Sargonic and the akkanakku period; and a collection of liver omina. I will also include in this dialect the closely related corpus of texts found at Tell Beydar (ancient Nabada, in the far north of Mesopotamia on the Habur river), dating from ca. 2400 B.C. These texts are mainly administrative.18 3. Sargonic Akkadian is the official language of the Sargonic Empire (ca. 2350 to 2170 B.C.). As the language of royal administration, it was used throughout Mesopotamia, replacing the earlier writing conventions associated with the Pre-Sargonic Kish Civilization (Sommerfeld 2003: 58386) and fell into disuse with the decline of the Empire. The extant
17. Mari Old Akkadian is not an early stage of the second-millennium dialect of Mari (which belongs to Old Babylonian) and should be strictly distinguished from it. 18. A survey of the Mari sources can be found in A. Westenholz 1978: 16061 and Gelb 1992. The votive inscriptions are collected in AKI pp. 35567 and discussed in Gelb 1992: 15260; for the Pre-Sargonic administrative texts, see Charpin 1987 and 1990; the texts from the akkanakku period were published by H. Limet in ARM 19, apart from a single but extremely interesting legal text published by J.-M. Durand in MARI 1 (1982) 7989. According to Durand, it is Pre-Sargonic, but I concur with Gelb (1992: 16769), who dates it to the same period as the administrative texts of ARM 19. The liver omina were published by M. Rutten in RA 35 (1938) 3670 and are discussed by Gelb (1992: 16971). They are an unreliable source for the Mari Old Akkadian dialect, because they combine forms with a different background, among which we can discern a heavy Babylonian influence (A. Westenholz 1978: 161 n. 9; Gelb 1992: 16971, 195). For Tell Baydar, see Ismail et al. 1996; Milano et al. 2004. Grammatical studies of Mari Old Akkadian are Limet 1975; A. Westenholz 1978; Charpin 1987: 8990; and Gelb 1992: 171200. The orthography of the different kinds of Old Akkadian Mari texts is discussed in great detail in Gelb 1992.


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4. sources consist of royal inscriptions, letters and administrative documents, and a small number of other texts, among which a fairly long and well-preserved incantation (MAD 5, 8, edited and discussed by J. and A. Westenholz (1977).19 4. Ur III Babylonian is the term I will use for the hundred-odd texts written in Akkadian dating from the Ur III Period (ca. 2110 to 2000 B.C.).20 They consist of letters, administrative documents, royal inscriptions, and a few very fragmentary incantations. All sources are listed in Hilgert 2002: 2085. The available evidence, scarce as it is, is sufficient to prove that Ur III Babylonian is a direct predecessor of the Babylonian dialect of the second millennium.21 Babylonian
From the second millennium onward, the dialect classification of Akkadian is fairly straightforward. After Ur III Babylonian, we can divide Babylonian on a linguistic and chronological basis into Archaic Babylonian, Old Babylonian, Middle Babylonian, Neo-Babylonian, and Late Babylonian. Likewise, we can divide Assyrian into Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian, and Neo-Assyrian. The boundaries between the stages are not only linguistic but usually coincide with major gaps in our documentation: most dialects are separated by several centuries from which few texts are extant (GAG 187c). This geographical and chronological classification is intersected by the literary dialect of Standard Babylonian (see, pp. 1617). The difference between Babylonian and Assyrian is large enough to make it fairly easy to identify even a short passage as Babylonian or Assyrian, but most differences are rather superficial, such as differences in vowel pattern (often resulting from the Assyrian vowel assimilation rule; see 2.4, pp. 4849), differences in vowel contraction, and the specifically Assyrian ni-subjunctive. The number of lexical differences is limited, at least for the core vocabulary (see Kogan 2006a). Generally speaking, there can be little doubt that they were mutually understandable and dialects of a single language rather than different languages. This is confirmed by the fact that their development over time runs remarkably parallel (Parpola 1988: 29394): many changes occur in both dialects (though not always simultaneously), such as the loss of mimation and short final vowels, the gradual introduction of vowel contraction, the development of the t-perfect iptarVs as a simple past tense in main clauses and the concomitant reduction of the perfective iprVs to secondary clause types, the gradual loss of the t-stems, etc. This presupposes protracted and fairly intensive contact between the inhabitants of Babylonia and Assyria, for which there are also many other indications.22
19. The royal inscriptions are conveniently edited by I. J. Gelb and B. Kienast in AKI and by G. Frayne in RIME 2; most of them are only extant in Old Babylonian copies, which in general seem to be rather reliable (see A. Westenholz 1996: 12021, but cf. Hasselbach 2005: 1113). The letters are edited by K. Volk and B. Kienast in SAB. There is no comprehensive edition of the administrative texts, but Hasselbach (2005: 25562) gives a full list of extant texts that have been published so far. A recent grammatical description of Sargonic Akkadian is Hasselbach 2005, which replaces I. J. Gelbs pioneering Old Akkadian Writing and Grammar (1952; 2nd ed., 1961). 20. See Hilgert 2003: 11 n. 57. 21. This fairly recent insight is associated in particular with the names of A. Westenholz (1978, esp. 163b n. 24 end), Whiting (1987), and Sommerfeld (2003); see the Forschungsgeschichte in Hilgert 2002: 515. 22. Several concrete facts show that Babylonia had a strong cultural influence on Assyria, such as the use of Babylonian for literary purposes, the adoption of the Babylonian syllabary in Middle Assyrian, and the appearance of Babylonian names in the Middle Assyrian onomasticon (Saporetti 1970: II 90). A remarkable grammatical feature that Middle Assyrian may have borrowed from Babylonian is the use of in the dative pronoun of the first-person plural -ni(n); see W. Mayer 1971: 34 and Huehnergard 2006: 12 n. 57.

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic

13 ArchaicBabylonian
Archaic Babylonian roughly covers the first half of the Isin-Larsa periodthat is, from the fall of the Ur III empire until the rise of the First Dynasty of Babylon (ca. 2000 to 1900 B.C.). The main texts comprise a corpus of letters from Eshnunna, published by R. M. Whiting as OBTA nos. 130, some other letters, and a few royal inscriptions of kings ruling in this period.23 There is a great deal of continuity between Ur III Babylonian and Archaic Babylonian: the two share several important features, the most salient of which are global E-colouring (see 17.5.1, pp. 525534), the absence of contraction of heterogeneous vowels, the weak conjugation of II/ verbs and the occasional use of a subjunctive particle -na. On the other hand, Archaic Babylonian shows a few remarkable differences from Ur III Babylonian: occasional deviations from global E-colouring, the 3ms independent subject pronoun t he, the common use of the dual, and the use of ta- as 3fs prefix (see for details Whiting 1987: 821 and Hilgert 2002: 15868). Since these features are reminiscent of Assyrian, they may simply be due to the fact that the extant sources of Archaic Babylonian have a more northern provenance than most of the Akkadian Ur III sources. Hilgerts conclusion (2002: 168) that Ur III Babylonian is more closely related to Classical Old Babylonian than to Archaic Babylonian should probably be seen in this light. OldBabylonian
Attestation for Old Babylonian roughly coincides with the First Dynasty of Babylon (ca. 1900 to 1600 B.C. in the conventional chronology that is followed here). There is no chronological gap between Archaic and (early) Old Babylonian: the transition is gradual, and the dividing line is not always clear-cut. The main criterion distinguishing them is the appearance of contraction of heterogeneous vowels, not only because it is readily observable in a substantial number of forms, but also because it is an innovation that provides a clear terminus ante quem. A. Westenholz (1978: 164 n. 29) dates it to the time just before Sumu-abum, both in Babylonia and in the Diyala areathat is, ca. 1900 B.C. It is convenient to set the first century of this period apart as Early Old Babylonian (see Whiting 1987: 1617). It is mainly known from letters, mostly from Eshnunna, and published by R. M. Whiting in OBTA nos. 3155. Subsequently, the main period of Old Babylonian begins with the reign of Hammurapi and his successors. The language of this period is often taken to be representative of Akkadian par excellence and has more or less acquired the status of a standard against which all other dialects are measured. It is characterized by a high degree of standardization in grammar and orthography, doubtless made possible by a well-functioning system of scribal education: a relatively simple and accurate syllabary; and an unusually abundant and varied quantity of texts, many of which belong to the highlights of Mesopotamian civilization. Where necessary, I will distinguish this period as Classical Old Babylonian. 24 In spite of this standardization, there is evidence of local varieties during the Old Babylonian period.25 Linguistic differences from Classical Old Babylonian are found in particular in texts from the north of Mesopotamia. Best known among these is the dialect of Mari Old Babylo23. The most important texts are enumerated by A. Westenholz (1978: 163b n. 25). An important addition is the inscription of Iddi(n)-Sin of Simurrum, edited by Shaffer and Wasserman (2003). 24. For some more-or-less detailed lists of sources, one might consult Lieberman 1977: 914. See also GAG 189 for a general characterization of Old Babylonian. Buccellati 1996 is a grammar that specifically describes Old Babylonian, but almost all grammars with Akkadian in the title basically describe the Old Babylonian dialect (e.g., Huehnergard 2005a) or take it as the default form of Akkadian (e.g., GAG). 25. In particular, in the domain of the sibilants, see Sommerfeld 2006: 37174 and Streck 2006: 237. The differences between northern and southern texts pointed out by Goetze (1945a) seem to be mainly orthographical; see Kraus 1973b: 33 (but cf. Izreel and Cohen 2004: 2829).


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4.

nian, attested in the huge archive of the palace of Zimri-Lim at Mari (see Finet 1956; Lambert 1967). It is only marginally different from Classical Old Babylonian; the only major divergence is the regular contraction of ia to (e.g., iqbm [passim] instead of iqbiam he said to me, i-med /imd/ ARM 1, 6:34 it will become numerous instead of imad ). A very similar dialect is found in the letters from Shemshara (Kupper 2001). Traces of a more northern kind of Old Babylonian are also preserved in a few letters found at Mari but sent from Iln-ur, which is in the vicinity of Tell Leilan according to Charpin (1989: 31); this dialect is studied by Charpin (1989). Not a different dialect but a different stylistic register is what von Soden (1931/33) calls der hymnisch-epische Dialekt and what I will call literary Old Babylonian. It is found in a specific and fairly small set of literary works, mostly hymns and epic texts, of which the most typical examples are the Aguaya text, recently reedited by Groneberg (1997) along with several other specimens of the same genre. Other instances are the so-called love poems about a king and a goddess, incantations, religious texts, royal inscriptions (especially the Prologue and Epilogue of Hammurapis law code), and several fragments of royal epics.26 The language of these texts is more or less consciously embellished by stylistic devices, such as a special vocabulary, changes in word order, parallelismus, sound effects such as assonance, and various unusual morphological forms.27 Grammatically, literary Old Babylonian differs only superficially from normal Old Babylonian, so it can hardly be considered a dialect. 28 There are two basic types of differences. The first concerns the cultivation of archaisms, such as the case endings -i and -um, the 3fs prefix ta-, the perfective forms of I/voc and I/w verbs with (uir, umid, etc.; see 16.2.3, pp. 455456), the suffix pronouns with apocopation of the final vowel (- instead of -u/a, etc.), and occasional uncontracted vowels. The second is the tendency of Babylonian scribes to exploit derivational patterns in order to adorn their style by creating novel forms that were not part of ordinary language and could therefore be felt as literary. In the nominal declension, for instance, they opted for different construct-state forms (Edzard 1982: 8788) and greatly extended the use of the old case endings -i and -um. In the verb, they used the formal and functional similarity between the D- and the -stems to derive -stems where ordinary usage required a D-stem, and even combined their use in the D-stem (see GAV pp. 27177, 33640; and 13.3, pp. 334337). This creative process started during the Old Babylonian period but reached its peak in the postOld Babylonian stage of Standard Babylonian. Finally, a striking feature of literary Old Babylonian is that it has a much freer word order. In particular, the clause-final position of the verb is often not maintained, and the order of noun and adjective is often reversed. It remains to be determined whether this represents the preservation of an archaic feature (also attested in Eblaite and Mari Old Akkadian; see 1.5, pp. 2223) or a secondary development dictated by metrical, prosodic, and/or stylistic factors.29 After the Old Babylonian period, this literary dialect developed into Standard Babylonian, which will be discussed below.
26. See von Soden 1931/33: I 16675; Groneberg 1972: 727. Remarkably enough, the most famous Old Babylonian epics, Atraasis and the Old Babylonian fragments of Gilgamesh, do not use this literary Old Babylonian extensively but apparently prefer a much more prosaic and straightforward style using ordinary words, short clauses, and relatively few stylistic adornments. This also applies to the Old Babylonian fragments of the smaller epics, Anzu and Etana. A catalogue of all Old Babylonian literary texts can be found in Wasserman 2003: 185224. 27. See GAG 186e/f; Von Soden 1931/33, esp. II 16081; Groneberg 1996. 28. A recent description of literary Old Babylonian is Izreel and Cohen 2004; specific grammatical features are mentioned and/or discussed in von Soden 1931/33, Groneberg 1972, and Huehnergard 2005a: 34648. Metzler 2002 contains a detailed account of the use of the tenses. 29. There is some debate about the time of origin of this literary dialect. On the basis of similarities with Sargonic Akkadian, von Soden (1931/33: I 164, II 17677) and Lambert (1973: 358) situate its origin in the

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic

15 MiddleBabylonian
Middle Babylonian is usually taken to start with the fall of the First Dynasty of Babylon ca. 1600 B.C., but the earliest texts are from a much later date (from ca. 1400 B.C. onward), so there is a considerable gap between Old and Middle Babylonian. The texts mostly consist of letters and administrative documents, mainly from Nippur, Dr-Kurigalzu, Ur, and Babylon (the latter were found at El-Amarna in Egypt). Some other contemporary texts, such as the Epic of TukultiNinurta and a corpus of boundary stones (BBS) are in principle written in Standard Babylonian, though they occasionally contain Middle Babylonian forms.30 This also applies to the extant royal inscriptions of Babylonian and Assyrian kings of this period, which are written in an assyrianized Middle Babylonian (Aro 1955: 15; Stein 2000). Generally speaking, Middle Babylonian is a natural continuation of Old Babylonian, and most of its distinctive features are already more or less sporadically attested in (late) Old Babylonian.31 Neo-Babylonian
Neo-Babylonian is usually dated to the period 1000600 B.C. (GAG 2g). For linguistic purposes, the most important corpus consists of the Kuyunjik letters written in Neo-Babylonian, which were originally published in ABL and in CT 54.32 They were sent to Assyrian kings by their officials in Babylon and elsewhere and mainly deal with political and historical matters. As a result, they can therefore be accurately dated within the 120-year period from the reign of Sargon II (722705) to the fall of the Assyrian Empire shortly before 600 (Woodington 1982: 25), so they only cover the final part of the Neo-Babylonian period. An important new corpus of NeoBabylonian letters found in Nippur and dating from around 750730 B.C. has been published by Cole (1996). From a linguistic point of view, Neo-Babylonian rather accurately continues Middle Babylonian, although it is often credited as having been strongly influenced by Aramaic (GAG 192; but cf. Streck 1997/98: 322b).33

Sargonic Period. Whiting (1987: 1819), however, points out that most of its archaic features are still found in the early letters from Eshnunna and that there is therefore no reason to discount the Isin-Larsa period as the time of origin. This does not exclude the possibility that even older elements have survived. A plausible example are the perfective forms with : uir, etc., which are common in Sargonic Akkadian but in Old Babylonian are mainly restricted to literary texts that are directly associated with the king: the Prologue of Hammurapis law code and a text about Naram-Sin, first published by Lambert (1973) and reedited by J. Westenholz (1997: 189201). It seems likely that these particular forms are intended as reminiscences of the inscriptions of the Sargonic kings. Generally speaking, the tendency to create a specific literary language is insolubly connected with the emergence of a written language used for purposes other than simple accounting, and this makes it likely that already in the third millennium B.C. there were words, forms, and expressions specifically used in literary creations. See Hasselbach 2005: 1115 for a characterization of Sargonic Akkadian literary texts. 30. Aro (1955: 1518) lists the sources that were then available; see also Pedersn 1998: 10325. The texts found in Ur were published by O. R. Gurney in MBTU. 31. The main tools for the study of Middle Babylonian are Aro 1955 and 1957; Bloch 1940 is in most respects outdated. See also GAG 190 for a general characterization. For the differences between Old and Middle Babylonian, see Reiner 1966: 113 and Lieberman 1977: 89 n. 21. 32. Most of these texts have recently been (re)edited in the SAA Series (SAA 17 and 18); see also de Vaan 1995. 33. Grammars of Neo-Babylonian are Woodington 1982 for the Kuyunjik letters and de Vaan 1995 specifically for the letters sent by Bl-ibni. See also GAG 192 for a general characterization of Neo-Babylonian.


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4. LateBabylonian
Late Babylonian comprises the non-literary cuneiform texts from after the fall of the Assyrian Empirethat is, from the Neo-Babylonian, Persian, and Seleucid periods (GAG 2h).34 They consist of a vast quantity of letters and administrative documents; see Dandamaev (1984: 629) and Streck (1995a: xxvi-xxix) for convenient surveys. The literary texts and royal inscriptions of this period are to be considered part of Standard Babylonian.35 StandardBabylonian
In the English-speaking world, Standard Babylonian is the established term for the literary and scientific variety of Akkadian after the Old Babylonian period (German: jungbabylonisch). The name is unfortunate in that the standard for Standard Babylonian is actually Old Babylonian (GAG 2f; Izreel and Cohen 2004: 2): Standard Babylonian owes its existence to the fact that the learned scribes of the post-Old Babylonian period attempted to emulate Old Babylonian without being completely successful (and getting more and more unsuccessful in the course of time), because they were influenced by their own everyday speech. Literary Babylonian is another possible label, but it has the disadvantage that Standard Babylonian also comprises many texts that we would designate learned prose style or the like rather than literary. The Standard Babylonian corpus is huge and varied; it contains literary texts in the usual sense of the word (epics, hymns, poems, wisdom texts, incantations, etc.), but also what we would call historical texts (royal inscriptions and chronicles) and scientific texts: medical, divinatory, mathematical and astronomical texts, and various (other) types of omen texts. To some extent, the contrast between literary and ordinary Old Babylonian discussed in (p. 14) continues to exist in the various degrees of literariness that we observe in Standard Babylonian for different genres. The genres that used the most literary kind of Babylonian during the Old Babylonian period continue to do so and adhere most closely to the Old Babylonian tradition of the hymnic-epic dialect. Here belong the religious epic of Enma El and other hymnic texts. A more simple form of Standard Babylonian is represented by epics and other narrative texts and by royal inscriptions. Finally, various branches of scholarly activity developed their own jargon while using more or less the same grammatical features; clear examples are medical texts, extispicy literature, and other omen texts. They lack most of the stylistic adornments of the previously mentioned text types. Apart from emulating Old Babylonian, the Babylonian scribes also strove for stylistic originality by using and exploiting forms that were not used in their everyday languagenot only vocabulary items but also grammatical forms. This explains their fondness of, for instance, the case endings -i and -um. In the framework of the Akkadian verbal system, the most important feature of their style is the extensive use of derived verbal stems that were not or no longer in use in contemporary non-literary texts. The most prominent cases, which will all be discussed more fully in due course, are the D-stems (see 13.3, pp. 334337), the literary -stems (see, pp. 329331), and the non-prefixed forms of the Gt-stem (see 14.3.4, pp. 372376).36
34. There is some debate about where to put the dividing line between Neo-Babylonian and Late Babylonian. For other opinions, see Brinkman 1966: 294a and Streck 1995a: xxvi. 35. A grammatical study of Late Babylonian numerals and the verbal system is Streck 1995a. Blasberg 1997 contains a detailed study of Late Babylonian orthography and morphology, with particular attention to word-final vowels. See also GAG 193 for a general characterization. 36. There is as yet no comprehensive grammar of Standard Babylonian; see von Soden 1931/33 and Huehnergard 2005a: 59598. Groneberg 1987 is a grammar of the hymnic texts from the first millennium B.C., focusing on their literary aspects.

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic


Unlike GAG and AHw, I will label as Standard Babylonian almost all texts that belong to the literary and scientific tradition of Mesopotamia from the post-Old Babylonian period, regardless of their place of origin. This means that many texts that these handbooks list as Middle and Neo-Assyrian, Middle and Neo-Babylonian, and perhaps Late Babylonian are labeled Standard Babylonian here. The other labels are mostly restricted to texts belonging to genres that are relatively free of literary influence, such as letters and administrative documents. There are, however, also occasional instances of texts of other genres written (partly or entirely) in these dialects, such as the Neo-Assyrian vassal treaties edited by S. Parpola and K. Watanabe in SAA 2 and the Neo-Assyrian prophecies edited by S. Parpola in SAA 9. Moreover, many texts contain a mixture of literary (Standard Babylonian) and non-literary forms; for instance, Assyrianisms in the royal inscriptions of Assyrian kings (which are in principle written in Standard Babylonian) and Standard Babylonian passages in Neo-Assyrian letters (see, p. 19). Assyrian
The homeland of the Assyrian dialect is located at the upper course of the Tigris River in the northeastern part of Mesopotamia. Its development can be divided into three periods: Old Assyrian, Middle Assyrian, and Neo-Assyrian. Apart from differences in language, an important reason for this division is historical: each dialect consists of a specific corpus of texts from a particular period and location. Although they are separated by fairly long periods for which we have (almost) no documentation, the general impression is one of more or less uninterrupted development. In many respects, Assyrian is more archaic than Babylonian but it shows at least one important innovation: the vowel assimilation rule (see 2.4, pp. 4849). OldAssyrian
Old Assyrian has come down to us mainly in texts excavated in Anatolia, where Assyrian merchants had established various trading colonies, one of which, the Krum Kani (Kltepe), has produced huge quantities of texts that constituted the archives of this colony; some other places in Anatolia have yielded similar texts but in much smaller numbers.37 They cover a relatively short period and can be accurately dated on archaeological and historical grounds: most texts date from Kani Level II (ca. 19501835 B.C.); after a break of about 35 years, further texts come from Kani Level Ib (ca. 18001730; see Veenhof 2003; all dates according to the middle chronology). Systematic differences in language between the texts of the two layers have not (yet) been established.38 From the Assyrian capital Assur itself, we have a few royal inscriptions of Assyrian kings from roughly the same period that are basically written in Old Assyrian; they were published by A. K. Grayson in RIMA 1.39 Almost all Old Assyrian texts are letters and administrative and legal documents that concern the business activities of the merchants and are written in a rather difficult, specialized jargon. However, aspects of their daily life are occasionally discussed as well, giving us a good idea of

37. In GKT 1, K. Hecker enumerates the Old Assyrian texts available to him at the time of the publication of his grammar (1968); important new text editions include AKT 15, Prag I, TPAK 1, and VS 26; thousands of other texts remain unpublished. Michel 2003 is a full bibliography. 38. See the remarks by Balkan (1955: 4163), Lewy (1957), Garelli (1963: 5179), and Hecker (1998: 300). 39. The few inscriptions we have of earlier rulers of Assur contain hardly any Assyrian elements but are written in the traditional style that goes back to the inscriptions of the Sargonic kings of the third millennium. As a result of the rising cultural prestige of Babylonia, later kingsfrom ami-Adad I (ca. 18081776) onwarddraw up their inscriptions in Babylonian.


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4.

their daily language.40 The style is unadorned and simple. The spelling is rather defective, and the exact shape of many Old Assyrian words can only be established by internal reconstruction and comparison with the corresponding Babylonian forms, which usually show a more accurate spelling. The general impression of Old Assyrian is a surprisingly uniform dialect, which in many respects is more archaic than other dialects and therefore of crucial importance for the history of Akkadian.41 MiddleAssyrian
Middle Assyrian covers the period ca. 1500 to 1000 B.C. Most texts date from the latter half of this period and come from Assur itself and from Kr-Tukulti-Ninurta in its immediate vicinity, or from Assyrian outposts in various parts of the empire that served as residences of Assyrian officials, who themselves doubtless originated from the leading circles in Assur. Outposts of this kind include Dr-Katlimmu and Tell Sabi Abyad. The texts mainly include letters and administrative documents, an important corpus of legal texts (the Middle Assyrian Law Code and the Harem Edicts), inventories, and some rituals.42 Most literary texts from this period, in particular the royal inscriptions, are written in Standard Babylonian, although they occasionally contain Assyrian words and phrases. Our knowledge of Middle Assyrian is rather incomplete. The number of texts is far smaller than for Old Assyrian. Many of the economic texts, and even some of the letters, are stereotyped and provide little grammatical information (W. Mayer 1971: 4). On many points of detail, therefore, we have to supplement our knowledge of Middle Assyrian grammar by inference from earlier and later stages.43 On the other hand, the importance of Middle Assyrian also lies in the fact that it uses a different orthography that is less defective and more precise than that of Old Assyrian. In contrast to Old Assyrian, for instance, it often distinguishes voiceless, voiced, and glottalized consonants, the vowels e and i (e versus i, etc.), and vowel and consonant length (Cancik-Kirschbaum 1996: 6971). This allows us to observe distinctions that in Old Assyrian we can only reconstruct. In most respects, Middle Assyrian seems to be a close successor to Old Assyrian, in spite of the time gap.44

40. However, the almost complete absence of other genresin particular, literary and religious texts hides a large part of its vocabulary from view. A noteworthy exception is the Assyrian version of a Sargon epic, first published by C. Gnbatt (ArAn. 3 [1997] 13155); see the recent discussion in Dercksen 2005. It is remarkable that the few extant Old Assyrian incantations (listed in Michel 2003: 13738) show a strong Babylonian influence in their morphology and vocabulary. 41. The basic tool for the study of Old Assyrian is Hecker 1968 (GKT); for a short general characterization, see also GAG 2i and p. 194. 42. W. Mayer (1971: 13) lists the sources then available; see also Pedersn 1998: 80103. Important, more recent publications include H. Freydanks MARV 17 and the letters from Dr-Katlimmu (CancikKirschbaum 1996). A few specimens of the text finds from Tell Sabi Abyad were published by Wiggermann (2000). 43. The basic tool for Middle Assyrian is still W. Mayer 1971; see also Cancik-Kirschbaum 1996: 6269. For a short general description, see GAG 2j and p. 195. 44. See also Reiner 1966: 113. There are, however, at least three Middle Assyrian features that cannot be derived from Old Assyrian: the first-person plural dative pronoun with (see n. 22, p. 12 above); the N-stem perfective forms with an ending, which have i in Old Assyrian (iikn, etc.) but again show the original a in Middle Assyrian (iakn) (see 12.2.1, p. 289); and the use of the vowel a, which sometimes appears in Middle Assyrian where Old Assyrian has an allegedly secondary ee.g., OA ile versus MA ila he is able.

1.4. Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic

19 Neo-Assyrian
Neo-Assyrian covers the time from the beginning of the first millennium B.C. until the fall of the Assyrian Empire shortly before 600 B.C., but almost all extant texts date from the last 150 years of this period.45 The main corpus consists of letters sent to Assyrian kings and other types of documents related to the royal court (grants, decrees, treaties) that were found in the royal library of Niniveh (Kuyunjik). Smaller groups of letters and legal documents come from various places in the Assyrian empire, such as Assur, Nimrud (CTN 5), and Dr-Katlimmu (NATSH).46 There are also a few literary texts written in Neo-Assyrian or with a strong Neo-Assyrian influence (see, p. 17), although Standard Babylonian is the normal medium for such genres. Royal inscriptions from this period are invariably in Standard Babylonian, but those of some kings show a heavy Assyrian influence.47 Because of their varied subject matter and relatively unadorned style, the letters seem to be the best evidence for our knowledge of Neo-Assyrian. Although many of them were written by scholars and high officials and are interspersed with learned forms and quotations from Standard Babylonian (Parpola 1983: 44243; Worthington 2006), it is usually not too difficult to distinguish these from genuine Neo-Assyrian elements. What is very difficult, however, and has hardly been attempted so far, is to get a reliable idea of the actual Neo-Assyrian dialect from the doubtless largely conventional and perhaps archaizing orthography. As far as we can tell, NeoAssyrian seems to be a close successor to Middle Assyrian in all important respects; it must have been subject to Aramaic influence, but to what extent any innovations were caused by this fact is hard to say.48

1.4.2. Semitic
Evidence from other Semitic languages is indispensable for a reconstruction of the (pre)history of Akkadian and will play an important role in this study. The relationships among the Semitic languages are fairly close; compared to Indo-European, they are on the level of similarity of the Romance or Germanic languages rather than that of Indo-European itself (Ullendorff 1971: 34). Nevertheless, there are striking differences between Akkadian and the rest of Semitic (in particular, in the verbal system) that are large enough to make the reconstruction of the verb in Proto-Semitic a hotly debated issue. Also controversial is the subgrouping of Semitic, but this mainly concerns the internal relationships of West Semitic and is not directly relevant to Akkadian, which together with Eblaite constitutes the East Semitic branch. The present study will not be directly concerned with the internal subgrouping of West Semitic, although its results may be of some consequence for it.49
45. See K. Deller and A. R. Millard, BagM 24 (1993) 235; and Luukko 2004: 15. Interestingly, the recently published Neo-Assyrian texts from Dr-Katlimmu (NATSH) date from the beginning of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604562), thus, after the fall of Niniveh (see Radner 2002: 1619). 46. For lists of (published) texts, see Luukko 2004: 1719, 191212, and Pedersn 1998: 13081. Most of them, in particular the letters, have been (re)published in the SAA series. 47. See, for instance, Deller 1957a and 1957b on Assyrian elements in the inscriptions of Aurnairpal II and Tukulti-Ninurta II, respectively. 48. A comprehensive Neo-Assyrian grammar is an urgent desideratum. Ylvisakers pioneering study of 1912 is largely outdated. For the present, we have Deller 1959, Hmeen-Anttila 2000, Luukko 2004, and numerous articles by S. Parpola, who was the first to place the study of Neo-Assyrian on a firm footing. For short characterizations, see Reiner 1966: 114; GAG 2k and p. 196. 49. See Faber 1997 on the subgrouping of Semitic (with earlier literature) and, more recently, Huehnergard 2005b.


Akkadian, Semitic, and Afroasiatic 1.4.

However, the subgrouping of West Semitic has terminological implications in that there is a major dividing line between two groups of languages according to the imperfective they use. One group uses an imperfective consisting of a simple prefix conjugation, sometimes with a special set of endings: Arabic yaqtulu, Hebrew yiqol, Syriac neqol, etc. The other group uses an imperfective that has (or once had) gemination of the second radical: e.g., Geez yqattl and Mehri yrkz. Because in the present study the former group is routinely contrasted with the latter, I will use the label Central Semitic to refer to the former (Arabic, Ugaritic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Epigraphic South Arabian, etc.) and South Semitic to refer strictly to Modern South Arabian and the Semitic languages of Ethiopia.50 An important motive for this is convenience, since it avoids the necessity of constantly referring to South Semitic without Arabic and Central Semitic plus Arabic. It is true that in many other respects Arabic is more closely related to South Semitic (e.g., with regard to the broken plural; see Ratcliffe 1998b), and in chap. 18, I will argue that this is where Arabic indeed belongs, because the imperfective yaqtulu, on which its classification as Central Semitic is largely based (Faber 1997: 89), is a shared retention of Arabic and Northwest Semitic and therefore a poor diagnostic for subgrouping. So the terminology I will use in the course of the present study is based on the following diagram (see also Voigt 1987d: 15): Proto-Semitic West Semitic Central Semitic Northwest Semitic Epigraphic South Arabian Arabic East Semitic South Semitic Ethiopian Semitic Modern South Arabian

Figure1. SubgroupingoftheWestSemiticLanguages.

1.4.3. Afroasiatic
From a wider perspective, Semitic is one of the branches of the Afroasiatic language family. The other branches are Berber, Old Egyptian, Cushitic, Chadic, and perhaps Omotic.51 The study of this family is still in its infancy and the relationship between the branches is rather distant. However, it is precisely in the morphology of the verb that convincing correspondences are found. There are three points of correspondence in particular. First, there is a striking agreement in the personal prefixes of the fientive verb in Semitic, Berber, and Cushitic (see 2.5, p. 52) and of the suffixed person-markers of stative categories in at least Semitic, Egyptian, and Berber (see 7.4.3, pp. 189193). Second, there are strong correspondences between several markers of derived verbs: a sibilant with causative function (see 13.6, pp. 351352); t with detransitive function (see 14.4, p. 375); and n or m, also with detransitive, in particular (medio)passive,
50. This is basically Voigts classification (e.g., Voigt 1987d; see the tree diagram on p. 15); in Hetzrons classification (1976a: 106), Epigraphic South Arabian is part of the South Semitic branch alongside Ethiopian and Modern South Arabian. 51. For an extensive survey of Afroasiatic, see Hayward 2000. Other literature includes Hodge, ed. 1971; Sasse 1981; Loprieno 1986: 126; Diakonoff 1988; Petrek 1988; Lipiski 1997: 2347; Voigt 2002; Huehnergard 2004.

1.5. The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian


function (see 12.6.1, pp. 315317). Third, perhaps less conspicuous but no less remarkable and of particular relevance to the present study is the common tendency of present renewal (but with different formal means), as described above in 1.2.2 (pp. 35), in many, if not all, branches of Afroasiatic (see, pp. 104107). For the study of the verb in Semitic, therefore, Afroasiatic represents a potentially valuable source of information. The use of Afroasiatic evidence raises numerous problems, however. There is a huge chronological gap between the earliest Semitic data we have (from around 2500 B.C., as indicated above) and the data from other branches of Afroasiatic, whichwith a few negligible exceptionsdo not predate the 19th century a.d. (with the obvious exception of Old Egyptian). When we compare phenomena attested in Akkadian with putative parallels in, say, Berber and Cushitic, we should be aware that the latter languages have undergone at least 4,000 years of developmentand probably far moresince their separation from some prehistoric stage of Akkadian (Kossmann 1999: 1314). This often makes it difficult to assess the value of such parallels. In order to attain a more solid basis for comparative studies on the Afroasiatic level, we urgently need reconstructions of the common ancestors of these subfamilies, especially of ProtoBerber and Proto-Cushitic (Sasse 1980: 154; Zaborski 1994a: 23436; Huehnergard 1996: 26465). Otherwise, comparison may easily degenerate into picking out convenient pieces and equating them with similar pieces elsewhere, without an understanding of the system to which they belong. This has not yet been achieved, however, and for the moment I will accept Afroasiatic evidence that I regard as sound and plausibleon the basis of typological evidence, for instancemainly in support of claims and hypotheses concerning (Proto-)Semitic that are ultimately based on data from Semitic itself.

1.5. excursus the Dialect Classification of third-millennium Akkadian

The dialect classification of third-millennium Akkadian raises vexing problems for which only provisional solutions can be offered. Important causes for this are the scarcity of (published) texts, the difficulties in establishing their provenance and date, the (in many respects) unusual orthography, with ensuing difficulties of interpretation, and, last but not least, the fact that a large part of the evidence must be extracted from proper names, with all of the uncertainties this involves. In recent years, it has become clear that the traditional view of third-millennium Akkadian, represented, for instance, in GAG 2c and in I. J. Gelbs (1961) grammar, which lumps together all extant texts under the heading Old Akkadian and regards the later dialects of Babylonian and Assyrian as continuations of Old Akkadian, is far too simplistic.52 Two major innovations seem to have met with general approval.53 First, third-millennium Akkadian is by no means a coherent unity but a conglomerate of several dialects or a dialect continuum. Second, the (very scarcely attested) Akkadian texts of the Ur III Period represent the earliest manifestation of what will later be the Babylonian dialect (hence the term Ur III Babylonian; see, p. 12 above). In other matters, there is not much unanimity about the relationships among the various dialects. If we consider the geographic location of each of the dialects distinguished in above and the patterns of isoglosses that unite or separate them, a fairly consistent picture arises. In the
52. This insight is already found in Reiner 1966: 21 and Kienast 1981: 98. 53. The revision of traditional views on third-millennium Akkadian was in particular initiated by A. Westenholz (1978) and Sommerfeld (2003); see also Hilgert 2002: 16870 and 2003; Rubio 2003a: 16569, 2006: 11012; Hasselbach 2005: 23135, 2007.


The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian 1.5.

far northwest of Mesopotamia, we find the Old Akkadian dialect of Mari and Tell Beydar. As far as we can judge from the sparse material, it is very archaic. It shows the following phonological archaisms: preservation of at least part of the Proto-Semitic gutturals no E-colouring no vowel contraction Morphological archaisms are: the forms PaRRvS and aPRvS (versus PuRRvS and uPRvS, see below) the original vowel (< *aw) in the -stem of I/voc verbs (-u-r-id /y?urid/ AKI p. 361 M 4: 4); see 16.2.3 (p. 455) the a vowel in ti-i-da-u /titay/ MARI 1 81:23 they drank; see 16.7.1 (pp. 496497) extensive use of the dual (Limet 1975: 3943) retention of case, gender, and number distinctions in the determinative/relative pronoun (Limet 1975: 4547). Particularly important is the fact that Mari Old Akkadian has a few features that it shares only with Eblaite (to be discussed below), such as: no E-colouring the third-person plural prefix ti- (see 2.5, p. 51) instances of S-V-O word order the prepositions sin to, towards (at Tell Beydar), and perhaps *qidm in front of (if this is indeed the correct reading of iGi-me).

This brings us to the position of Eblaite itself, the language that is preserved on tablets from the archives of the kings of Ebla in northern Syria, to be dated to ca. 2400 B.C. Eblaite is very closely related to Akkadian, but the exact degree of relationship is a matter of debate: the question is whether it is a dialect of Akkadian or whether it should instead be classified as a separate branch of East Semitic, a sister language of (Proto-)Akkadian (see Huehnergard 2006: 35; Rubio 2006: 110123). Eblaite has a number of specific features that set it apart from (the rest of) Akkadian and, conversely, Akkadian has several common characteristics that are absent from Eblaite. An Eblaite innovation not shared by Akkadian is L-reduction, the apparent weakening of the phoneme /l/, presumably to y or (Krebernik 1982: 21011).54 A common Akkadian innovation not shared by Eblaite is the dissimilation of the instrumental noun prefix ma- to na- in roots that have a labial radical. Of most other contrasting features, it is difficult to be certain which is innovative and which is a retention, but the sheer quantity of differences supports the view that Eblaite is a separate language rather than a dialect of Akkadian. Therefore, in the present study I will treat it as the closest relative of Akkadian that we know about but nonetheless a separate branch of East Semitic.55 The commonalities between Mari Old Akkadian and Eblaite are in keeping with their geographic location in the extreme northwest of Mesopotamia and their extensive contacts in the Early Dynastic period of the Kish Civilization, discussed in particular by Gelb (1992 and many other publications). It is not the case, however, pace Gelb, that Mari Old Akkadian and Eblaite

54. Unless this is a purely graphic phenomenon, as argued by Rubio (2006: 17, with further literature). 55. Similarly, Pettinato 2003; Huehnergard 2005b: 157 n. 9, 2006: 4; and Rubio 2006: 121. Krebernik, however, prefers to regard Eblaite as an Akkadian dialect (1996: 249, but cf. also 2006: 84).

1.5. The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian


are virtually the same dialect: on balance, the former shows more commonalities with the rest of third-millennium Akkadian than with Eblaite. Among these we may single out: the merger of Proto-Semitic * with z and * with / (for the latter point, see A. Westenholz 1978: 163a) the dissimilation of the instrumental noun prefix ma- to na- if the root contains a labial radical (Charpin 1987: 90) the change of ay to , which does not seem to have occurred in Eblaite (Conti 1990: 35) the loss of the Proto-Semitic prepositions min from and bayn between, which are still used in Eblaite the fact thatas far as we knowMari Old Akkadian does not share the numerous Eblaite lexemes with a West Semitic background (which are also absent from other Akkadian dialects). Opposite Mari Old Akkadian in the far northwest of Mesopotamia, we have to assume the presence of (Pre-)Assyrian in the northeast, although we have no texts in Assyrian from the third millennium. In many respects, Assyrian stands apart from all other dialects, particularly because of the innovative feature of vowel assimilation (see 2.4, pp. 4849) and the use of personal pronouns with -ti for the dative (GKT 4849), but also because of numerous other morphosyntactic features, different vowel patterns, and many specific vocabulary items (see Kogan 2006a).56 These are more than enough to show that Assyrian is not a fairly recent split-off of another dialect but has had an independent development that must go back far into the third millennium. Where Assyrian agrees with other dialects, in particular with Mari Old Akkadian and Sargonic Akkadian, it almost invariably concerns shared retentionssuch as the partial preservation of gutturals; PaRRvS and aPRvS in the non-prefix forms of the D- and the -stems; the absence of vowel contraction; the alternation PitRvSPitaRS in the Gt-stem; the use of -kunu/-unu, etc., for the accusative; and the oblique plural ending - in the noun (Hasselbach 2007: 4041). Farther to the south, in Central Mesopotamia, is where we should look for the core area of Sargonic Akkadian. In all likelihood, Sargonic Akkadian is the dialect of the homeland of the Sargonic kings (Sommerfeld 2003) that, according to Gelb (1992: 124), was an area north of Babylonia proper, which was bounded by the Tigris, the Lower Zab, the mountains, and the Diyala Riveralthough this is not universally accepted (see A. Westenholz 1999: 3134). Gelbs location tallies with the fact that in many respects Sargonic Akkadian is linguistically intermediate between the dialects of Mari Old Akkadian and later Old Assyrian in the north and Babylonian in the south. Phonological features of Sargonic Akkadian that have parallels in the north are:57 the at least partial preservation of gutturals local E-colouring58
56. Most typically Assyrian features are retentions: for example, PaRRvS and aPRvS (see 11.2, pp. 269271, and 13.2.1, pp. 325326); PitRvSPitaRS in the Gt-stem (14.2.1, pp. 358359); the I/voc N-stem with a long vowel innmer (, pp. 550551); the ni-subjunctive (9.3.3, pp. 222224); the accusative suffix pronouns -kunu, -unu, etc.; the II/voc D perfective ukayyin (, pp. 482483)to mention only the most salient points. Innovations (or at least independent developments) are, apart from vowel assimilation, the vowels of the precative (, pp. 213216); the t-perfect of II/voc verbs with a (iddak, iqtap, see 16.5.2, p. 478); the generalization of in the -stems of I/w verbs (ubil, etc., see 16.2.3, p. 456); the loss of -- in the dative pronouns; and the change wa- > u- in word-initial position (GKT 12). See also Table 1 below (p. 27). 57. See also Hasselbach 2005: 234. 58. That is, the change a > e in immediate contact with the guttural only, in contrast to global E-colouring, which also affects other a vowels in the word; see 17.5.1 (pp. 525534) for details.


The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian 1.5. the absence of vowel contraction the change *ay > (rather than ).

Morphological features agreeing with northern dialects include: the (residual) use of the subjunctive particle -ni the partial preservation of the original vowel (< *aw) in the -stem of I/voc verbs (alongside ) PitRvSPitaRS in the Gt-stem (see 14.2.1, pp. 358359) the 3mp accusative suffix pronoun -unu (only in copies of royal inscriptions) the oblique plural - in the noun the preposition in (rather than ina). On the other hand, Sargonic Akkadian shares a number of features with the southern dialect of Babylonian: the pattern PuRRvS/uPRvS in the non-prefix forms of the D- and the -stems the prefix vowels of the precative the weak form of the D perfective of the II/voc verbs (ukn/ukn; see, pp. 482483) preservation of the dative pronouns with -- and the use of genitive/accusative plural forms with -ti (unti, etc.) the regular absence of the ni-subjunctive (apart from residual cases) the preposition ana (Hasselbach 2005: 167). This raises the question of the relationship between Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian, which is one of the main problems in the dialect classification of third-millennium Akkadian. Hilgert (2002: 168; 2003: 11) emphasizes the differences between Sargonic Akkadian and Ur III Babylonian and concludes that there is no continuity between them, which means that Babylonian is not a later stage of Sargonic Akkadian. A similar view was expressed earlier by A. Westenholz (1978: 163b n. 24). Hasselbach (2005: 2, 23435; 2007: 4142), on the other hand, points out that the similarities between them, although not very numerous, are more significant than the differences, because most of them are shared innovations and therefore indicate a period of common development. In fact, if we consider the differences between Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian, it turns out that most of the Babylonian features can be regarded as later stages of the corresponding Sargonic Akkadian features: the complete (instead of partial) loss of the gutturals (except the strong aleph, for which see 17.4, pp. 520525) the contraction of heterogeneous vowels (post-Ur III) the loss of the ni-subjunctive (and its variant with -na), which is the endpoint of a process already well under way in Sargonic Akkadian the loss of the 3fs prefix ta the decline of the dual the loss of the genitive ending -i in the construct state (A. Westenholz 1978: 165a; Hasselbach 2005: 183), which can be explained from analogy with the nominative and accusative the oblique plural suffix pronouns -unti, etc., resulting from a gradual replacement of the original accusative -unu with the independent pronoun unti, which itself became a suffix in the process (see Gensler 1998: 23839, 274)

1.5. The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian


the use of -ninni instead of -ni as the 1s direct object suffix after the long vowels - and - (Hasselbach 2005: 154 n. 23; cf. Kouwenberg 2002: 22223) the replacement of in by ina, perhaps caused by the analogy with ana (Hasselbach 2005: 168) and of iti by itti 59 The main question is whether all differences between Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian can be regarded as internal developments of Sargonic Akkadian. If the answer is positive, nothing prevents us from classifying Babylonian as a later stage of Sargonic Akkadian. Unfortunately, the rest of the evidence is equivocal and therefore inconclusive. The relevant features are the change *ay > and E-colouring. A first point of divergence between Sargonic Akkadian and Ur III Babylonian is that the Proto-Semitic diphthong *ay becomes in Sargonic Akkadian but in Babylonian. If the latter dialect is a later stage of Sargonic Akkadian, we have to adduce arguments for a regular change > between the two stagese.g., Proto-Semitic *baytum > SAk btum > Bab btum. Hasselbach (2005: 91 n. 186) does indeed assume this sort of process and adduces parallels for it from other languages. The problem is, however, how to account for numerous vowels in Babylonian from various sources that have not become .60 Second, a salient difference between Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian is the kind of Ecolouring: if Sargonic Akkadian has E-colouring, it is of the local typee.g., e-ra-si-i / ersis/ SAB p. 183:23 (Gasur) in order to cultivate. In Babylonian, it is globale.g., eleqq I will receive < *alaqqa (cf. Ass alaqq, which is also local; see 17.5.1, pp. 525529). Several scenarios that might explain this difference can be envisioned, each with its own problems. It is possible that the global form is a secondary extension of the local onethat is, Babylonian would have had alaqq first and changed it to eleqq laterthus a case of Babylonian vowel harmony (see 17.5.1, p. 525). The problem is that it does not account for forms such as the Stat leq (< *laqi) and the Inf leq, in which there is no other e. We have to resort to a different mechanism such as, for instance, an analogical process iparras : paris ipett : pet, which is possible but a complicating factor nonetheless. From a purely Babylonian perspective, it is more elegant to assume that E-colouring was global from the outsetthat is, that *alaqqa > eleqq without an intermediate alaqq, since this directly accounts for pet < *pati. However, this implies that E-colouring in Babylonian was a fundamentally different process from E-colouring in Sargonic Akkadian (and Assyrian). Finally, we should mention another point of difference between Babylonian and Sargonic Akkadian, namely, the formation of the -stems of I/w verbs. Hilgert (2002: 16667) adduces the fact that the -stems of I/w verbs have the vowel in Ur III Babylonian as an important indication of the distance between Ur III Babylonian and Sargonic Akkadian, since the latter either has the original vowel < *aw or (more often) . This argument must be questioned, however. First of all, the Ur III Babylonian evidence consists of a single form: t-a-ba-lam TCS 1

59. More difficult is the appearance of Bab el < *alay instead of SAk al < *al (Hasselbach 2005: 168). We have to assume either that el took over its final vowel from other prepositions, such as itt with, ad until, qad together with, etc., or that Sargonic Akkadian also had an unattested al alongside al. 60. Instances: (a) near gutturals (blu lord < *balum, ipett he opens < *yipatta, menu shoe < *maanum, and passim); (b) near and r (ru back < *ahrum, ru head < *raum); (c) other cases: ui he caused to go out ( Pfv of wa, see 16.2.3 [pp. 455456], already in use in Sargonic Akkadian!), udi he informed ( Pfv of id to know). Is it possible to assume that near gutturals remained because it arose only when the change > was no longer operative?


The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian 1.5.

370:8 you will have (sth.) brought to me.61 Remarkably enough, it is precisely this verb that in Sargonic Akkadian shows a few exceptional forms with alongside regular ones with : lu-sab-la-kum /lusbilakkum/ SAB p. 141:12, 14 (Kish) I will send to you and perhaps u-da-ab-la / ustbila/ OAIC 10:8 (Diyala) I considered (Subj), if this form is correctly interpreted as coming from wablu t2 to consider (Hasselbach 2005: 227). Since usbil existed as a variant of usbil in Sargonic Akkadian, t-a-ba-lam provides no evidence for discontinuity between Sargonic Akkadian and Ur III Babylonian. We have to await evidence from other verbs before we can draw any reliable conclusion about these particular forms. The commonalities between Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian are significant, but our view on E-colouring and the outcome of Proto-Semitic *ay will determine whether we classify Babylonian as a later stage of Sargonic Akkadian or assign it an independent position as a closely related sister of Sargonic Akkadian. It is clear, however, that the two dialects had close contacts or a substantial period of common development during the third millennium. There is a final set of data to be considered here, and these concern Pre-Sargonic Akkadian. The most striking feature of the proper names attested in Pre-Sargonic Akkadian texts is that several of them show E-colouring and the loss of a syllable-final guttural. The forms in question are /yism/ he heard and /bl/ my lord in the following proper names: I-me--lum (A. Westenholz 1988: 115 no. 215, 116 no. 292) I-me-lum (A. Westenholz 1988: 115 no. 216, 116 no. 293), and -me-lum OrAnt. 18 225:I 9; see Foster 1982: 307 s.v. be6 (PI)-l in, e.g., -l-be6 (PI)-l (A. Westenholz 1988: 115 no. 220). The loss of the final guttural may be inferred from I/-me-lum, which not only shows Ecolouring but also vowel contraction (or syncope) over two gutturals (< *Yisma-ilum). This suggests that the process of weakening of the gutturals was far advanced.62 According to A. Westenholz (1988: 101), during the Pre-Sargonic period, forms such as these are only found in Nippur and further south. Since they are typical of the Babylonian dialect and restricted to what will later become the Babylonian dialect area, it is attractive to see the first attestations of Babylonian in these forms.63 This seems to support the idea that what we find as Babylonian many centuries later had very ancient roots in the south of Mesopotamia and coexisted with what we find as Sargonic Akkadian more to the north, close enough to explain the shared innovations listed above. Table 1 summarizes the preceding discussion in the form of a list of the most important innovations on which the classification proposed here is based. It includes neither shared retentions nor features that are lost in more than one dialect, since these are less consequential for subgrouping. I have also omitted Pre-Sargonic Akkadian because of the lack of data on most of the relevant features.

61. Hilgert (2002: 339) registers a second -stem of a I/w verb, -sa-ti-ir AKI p. 326: 51 (RI from Elam) he gave in addition from watru to exceed, surpass, but as long as watru is only attested in Babylonian, it offers no evidence for dialect classification. 62. Although it is not certain that we may generalize on the basis of proper names about the state of the gutturals, see Kouwenberg (20034b: 36364) regarding Old Assyrian names in which gutturals are dropped that are never dropped in other circumstances. 63. Cf. D. O. Edzard, RlA 9 (19982001) 108a 3.2 and Hilgert (2002: 170 n. 205). A. Westenholz (1999: 33 n. 81) is skeptical. Hasselbach (2005: 9 n. 50) summarizes the debate without taking a position. However, if these Pre-Sargonic forms indeed represent the oldest traces of the Babylonian dialect, this is incompatible with the claim that Sargonic Akkadian is an early form of Babylonian.

1.5. The Dialect Classifcation of Thirddmillennium Akkadian


table1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
L-reduction -ma > na- with labials merger of * and *z ay > or SOV word order PaRRvS > PuRRvS E-colouring yusbil > yus/bil Acc -unu, etc. > -unti vowel contraction Gt PitaRSv > PitRvSv in replaced by ina Dat -unim, etc. > -unti vowel assimilation ni-subjunctive Ebl + MariOAk + + + () b SAk + + + () + + /+a /+a /+a c Bab + + + () + + + + + + + + c Ass + + + () + + + + + + +

Notes to the Table: a blank cell indicates lack of reliable data. a. The feature is incipient and both types of forms are found b. If si-dar-KI-u is indeed Inf Gt of arqu, see n. 24 to chap. 14 (p. 362). c. Apart from residual cases without a clear function, see 9.3.2 (p. 225).

This leads to the provisional diagram shown in fig. 2 for the relations among the third-millennium languages or dialects (only those without an asterisk are actually attested): *Proto-East Semitic Eblaite Mari Old Akkadian *Proto-Akkadian *(Pre-)Assyrian Assyrian *Old Akkadian Ur III Babylonian

Sargonic Akkadian

Figure2. Sub-groupingsofthird-millenniumAkkadian. Note that there is a global correspondence between a dialects position in this tree and its geographical location: from left to right roughly corresponds with northwest to southeast. The location of Eblaite far to the northwest of other kinds of East Semitic and from the centre of Mesopotamian civilization is in perfect agreement with its linguistic position: it shows a greater difference from Akkadian than the third-millennium dialects do among themselves.

structureandOrganizatiOninthe akkadianverbalParadigm

Chapter 2

2.1. introduction
In order to master and use a system that is as complex as the Akkadian verb, a tight organization and a transparent structure are indispensable. Organization refers here to the hierarchical relations among forms and categories, which constitute a paradigm with the properties described in the previous chapter (1.2.3), and structure to the structure of individual forms. This chapter investigates the organization of the Akkadian verbal system as a paradigm and the structure of each of its constitutive members in terms of the root-and-pattern system. There are several reasons to start the description of the Akkadian verb with a general account of its organization and structure. First, this makes it possible to draw a precise picture of the relationships between the various verbal categories and the way they interact with each other. Second, it enables us to distinguish the verbal paradigm from derivational forms that are outside the paradigm but are related to it and interact with it. Third, as I argued in 1.2.3 (pp. 78), the position of a form in the verbal paradigm influences the way it develops over time. It is convenient here to point to a terminological difficulty concerning the term stem. This term is used in two different meanings in Semitic linguistics:1 it refers both to a word without its inflectional ending(s) and to a specific type of morphosyntactic categorynamely, the derived verbal stems, in well-established terms such as the G-stem, the D-stem, the -stem, etc.2 On the one hand, we call, for instance, arr- the stem of arru king, -parras- the stem of iparras they separate, and pars- the stem of parsku I am/have separated; on the other hand, both iparras and parsku are said to be the G-stem of parsu to separate. In order to avoid confusion, I will use the term inflectional stem for stem in the morphological sense (the word minus the inflectional endings), and verbal stem or derived (verbal) stem for the functional categories traditionally referred to as G-stem, etc., whenever confusion is possible. Finally, I will use the term stem vowel for the vowel between R2 and R3 that replaces the root vowel (see 2.3.4, p. 45) in most grammatical categories, e.g., i in the D Pfv uparris (root vowel u). Among the stem vowels, the vowel of the G-stem Impfv iparrVswhich I will call the imperfective vowelhas a privileged status, because it is introduced into several categories derived from the G-stem imperfective (see 4.2, pp. 8990).

1. The stem is in general defined as minimally consisting of the root, but usually it is extended with a derivational morpheme, and it may or may not be a complete word (Payne 1997: 24). 2. See chap. 10 n. 2 (p. 246) for alternative designations of what I will call the derived verbal stems.


2.2. The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm


2.2. the organization of the Verbal Paradigm 2.2.1. Thebasicstructure

The Akkadian verbal paradigm formally distinguishes eight major grammatical categories (see GAG 74): four finite indicative categories for the expression of tense/aspect: the imperfective, the perfective (usually called preterite), the t-perfect, and the stative; one irrealis category: the imperative; three verbal nouns: the infinitive, the past participle (usually called verbal adjective; see n. 14 to chap. 8), and the present participle. These categories are shown in Table 2.1 in their Old Babylonian form; by way of illustration, this table contains the forms of the paradigmatic verb parsu to separate, decide in the G-stem; the finite forms are third-person singular (masculine), apart from the imperative, which is secondperson singular masculine; the nominal forms are nominative singular masculine. Category (1) imperfective (2) perfective (3) t-perfect (4) imperative (5) stative (6) infinitive (7) past participle (8) present participle Form i-parras i-prus i-p-t-aras purus paris pars-um pars-um pris-um suffix base PaRvS prefix base -PRvS Type of Stem



Parsu represents the conjugation of the strong triradical verb, which is the norm for all other types of verbs, both basic and derived. In principle, the verbal paradigm functions independently of any specific type of verb: all Akkadian verbs have essentially the same paradigm, although they do not all have the full range of formal distinctions shown by the basic verb.3 These eight categories are inflectionally related to one another and constitute the primary members of the verbal paradigm. There are three other types of categories that are in some way related to it and dependent on it: a number of secondary members, also with inflectional status, which will be discussed at the end of this section; and two kinds of derivational categories: deverbal nouns and derived verbs, for which see 2.2.2 (pp. 3335). The structure of this paradigm can be described on the basis of the criteria outlined in 1.2.3 (pp. 58). The eight members form a functional hierarchy with the prefix conjugations of imperfective, perfective, and t-perfect at the top. They represent the quintessentially verbal forms, on which the tense/aspect system of Akkadian is based and which therefore constitute the core of the
3. The adjectival verbs discussed in 3.3.2 (pp. 5860) have a more restricted paradigm and a different relationship among some of their members.


The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm 2.2.

verbal paradigm. As prototypical verb forms, they can express all morphosyntactic distinctions of the Akkadian verb: person, number, and gender (by means of prefixes and suffixes) tense/aspect (by means of differences in stem) mood (by means of a prefix [l- in the precative] and proclitic particles [i, l, /ay, l]) orientation (by means of the suffix -am/-m/-nim of the ventive) subordination (by means of the subjunctive suffix -u).

Their basic status is confirmed by the fact that they show different vowel patterns, whichat least in the basic stemare unmotivated. This variation lies at the basis of the vowel classes; see 3.5 (pp. 6871). Among the three prefix conjugations, the imperfective has the highest rank in the functional hierarchy of the verbal paradigm, since it is the only one that can refer to the actual moment of speech. Its basic status, in particular that of the G-stem iparrVs, is demonstrated by the strong influence it has exerted on other categories; see 4.2 (pp. 8990). The perfective and the t-perfect, as past tenses, are semantically subordinate to the imperfective. In one respect, the relationships among the prefix conjugations are atypical: the imperfective is the basic member, but it is not unmarked: in Akkadian it is the perfective that is formally unmarked; see further 4.2. The stative is also a finite indicative form, but it is lower in rank because it refers to a state. This is reflected in the fact that it does not make the typically verbal distinctions of tense and diathesis (see 7.3, pp. 163165, for details) and that it is predictable in form, since it has the same inflectional stem PaRiS as the past participle, from which it is historically derived. The stative can also have the patterns PaRuS or PaRaS in the G-stem, but only in primary adjectives. This agrees with the fact that a primary adjective is a basic, unmotivated form, whereas a past participle is a low-ranking derived category. The imperative is closely associated with the prefix conjugations and, particularly, with the perfective, whose inflectional stem it shares and from which it is derived by means of subtraction of the personal prefixes (at least synchronically; see 5.5, pp. 133134). It is subordinate in rank to the prefix conjugations because of its irrealis function. The highly irregular semantic relationship between the imperative and the perfective (which is basically a past tense) can be understood from a historical perspective: in an earlier stage of the language, the inflectional stem -PRvS was also employed for the imperfective, as I will argue in 4.4.2 (pp. 100103). The three remaining categoriesthe infinitive, the past participle, and the present participle are peripheral members subordinate to the finite forms, since they do not serve as predicate but as an argument or an attribute to an argument and accordingly have nominal morphology. Their lower rank is reflected in the fact that they are predictable in form and show neutralization of verbal distinctions such as tense, aspect, mood, and diathesis, which is a typical property of decategorized verb forms (Hopper and Thompson 1984: 73738). I have classified the infinitive and the participles as inflectional on the basis of the criteria mentioned in 1.2.3 (pp. 58): they are generally productive, predictable in meaning and form, and strongly dependent on the corresponding finite verb forms in some of their uses (see below).4 It is true that they also show derivational features, such as a change in word class from verb to noun and idiosyncrasies in their meaning. However, a change in word class does not automatically lead to derivational status. According to Booij (1998: 1314), such forms can be inflectional if they are felt to belong to the paradigm and can be made for each word of the relevant word
4. Cf. Izre'el (2005: 545), who places them somewhere mid-way on the derivational-inflectional continuum.

2.2. The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm


class. In a similar vein, Haspelmath (1996) argues that word-class-changing processes are not necessarily derivational. He introduces (1996: 5859) the additional criterion of syntactic behaviour: if a noun derived from a verb preserves its internal syntaxi.e., its syntactic behaviour as a verbit can still be inflectional; if, on the other hand, it adopts the internal syntax of the noun, it is derivational. According to this criterion, the infinitive is inflectional, at least in the older stages of Akkadian, where it can be construed verbally, with the subject in the nominative and the direct object in the accusative (see 8.2.1, pp. 197198). The past and present participles, on the other hand, always have the internal syntax of the noun, if they are the head of a noun phrase or syntagm; they are construed, for instance, with a genitive rather than an accusative. However, they also have some typically verbal functions in which they are closely dependent on the finite verb; for instance, in alp ditu threshing oxen, the present participle is closely associated with its finite counterpart in alp idi the oxen are threshing; and in awlu ablu a wronged man, the past participle is closely associated with awlu abil the man has been wronged and more distantly with awla ibul (someone) wronged the man (see further 8.3.1, pp. 200203, and 8.4.1, pp. 203207). Although both participles are admittedly more often used as lexicalized nouns, this verbal part of their use which certainly for the past participle and perhaps also for the present participle is more originaljustifies their classification as inflectional members of the verbal paradigm. Formally, the eight members are contrasted by differences in their inflectional stem, apart from the fact that the perfective and the imperative on the one hand, and the stative and the past participle on the other, have the same inflectional stem for historical reasons (see 5.5, p. 137, and 7.4.1, pp. 176177, respectively). Table 2.1 (p. 29) shows that the G-stem paradigm consists of no less than six inflectional stems; in most derived stems, the number is lower because some contrasts are neutralized, as we will see in the respective chapters. The finite members are conjugated for the typically verbal categories of person, gender, and number; these are expressed by endings (prefixes and suffixes) that are basically the same for all verbal conjugations; they will be briefly discussed in 2.5 (pp. 4952). The non-finite members are declined for case and some of them also for number and gender, depending on their function, with the same nominal endings as nouns in general. The endings are the same across all conjugations with parallel functions.5 This causes an association between forms that have both the same function and the same form across conjugations, such as first-person singular forms with the prefix a- or causatives with the prefix --. Such an association functions as a morphological relation, in the terminology of Bybee (1985: 118), and enables speakers to identify such elements as markers of a specific function. The most important dividing line among the inflectional stems is the contrast between the prefix stems (nos. 1 through 4 in Table 2.1), which are built to accommodate prefixes (even if they do not have them), and the suffix stems (nos. 5 through 8), which are built to take suffixes (including zero). Each actually comprises three different forms, one simple and two extended (or marked). Among the three prefix stems, -PRvS of the perfective and the imperative is unmarked and is overall the simplest of all inflectional stems; the other two prefix stems are marked by means of an extra consonant, the geminate in -PaRRvS and the t-infix in -PtaRvS. Among the
5. In this respect, Akkadian is similar to many other languages: since distinctions of tense/aspect and diathesis are more relevant (in the sense of Bybee 1985: 1314 and 2223; see 1.2.3, pp. 58) to the meaning of the verb than distinctions of person, number, and gender, the morphemes expressing them tend to have a more central position in the word, whereas the morphemes for person, number, and gender tend to occupy a more peripheral position. In accordance with this tendency, Akkadian uses different stems for the former and different endings for the latter.


The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm 2.2.

three suffix stems, PaRvS- of the stative and the past participle is the simplest, whereas PaRSand PRiS- of the infinitive and the present participle, respectively, are marked by means of a long vowel. It is convenient to introduce the term prefix base for the simple prefix stem -PRvS, and suffix base for the simple suffix stem PaRvS. The contrast between prefix and suffix base also plays a prominent role in some of the derived stems, even though they tend to have far less different inflectional stems. Table 2.1 clearly shows the peculiar position of the stative: it is finite but belongs to the deverbal members because of its form. This testifies to its relatively recent verbalization and its penetration into the verbal paradigm as an inflectional form (see chap. 7). Before this happened, there was an even stronger correlation between prefixation = verbal = finite and suffixation = deverbal (nominal) = non-finite. For the G-stem, see Table 2.2:

Category Pfv stem Inflectional stems prefix stems Impfv stem t-Pf stem PPartc stem Inf stem PrPartc stem

Strong verb -PRvS -PaRRvS -PtaRvS PaRiS PaRS PRiS

Markedness simple marked marked simple marked marked

Status finite

suffix stems


A common inflectional stem implies a close relationship, not only in function but also in historical background, as in the case of the stative and the past participle. If, on the other hand, forms have a markedly different inflectional stem, it is likely that they come from different sources. This holds in particular for those members of the paradigm of the basic stem that have a consonantal addition to the simple triradical stem (and are therefore not basic in the strict sense of the word): the imperfective (PaRRvS) and the t-perfect (PtaRvS). This suggests that they originally did not belong to the basic stem but have penetrated secondarily into a pre-existing paradigm.6 It is generally assumed that this is indeed the case for the t-perfect (see chap. 6), and in chap. 4 I will argue that it also applies to the imperfective. Each of the eight members forms a conjugation based on its common inflectional stem. In the finite conjugations of imperfective, perfective, t-perfect, and stative, the third-person singular (masculine) is the basic form; in the imperative, the endingless second-person singular masculine; and in the nominal categories, the nominative singular masculine. Since this is based on theoretical considerations rather than on any specific Akkadian evidence,7 it is perhaps more
6. That this is indeed the case is confirmed by a comparison with Central Semitic, where all members of the verbal paradigm of the basic stem have a simple inflectional stem without consonantal additions. In my view, this can only be an archaism; see chap. 4 and 18.3.1 (p. 590). 7. The criteria for establishing the basicness of the third-person singular (masculine) mentioned in chap. 1 n. 6 (p. 5) are difficult to apply to Akkadian. It does not have zero expression and is not unmarked in relation to the other persons (except in the stative). Statistical data on the relative frequency of Akkadian verb forms are not available to me and probably difficult to obtain, because almost all extant genres have some

2.2. The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm


cautious to state that the endingless forms of the finite conjugations are basic to the forms with endings. This is clear from the way the latter tend to be changed by analogy with the former, rather than vice versa.8 As I stated above, the eight members of the verbal paradigm included in Table 2.1 do not represent the whole array of inflectional forms constituting the paradigm. There is a second group of inflectional forms that are formally dependent on the primary members. These secondary members are presented in Table 2.3 in their Old Babylonian form: Category (1) Impfv Finite (2) Pfv (3) t-Pf (4) Imp (5) Stat Nonfinite (6) Inf (7) PPartc (8) PrPartc Realis iparras(-am, -u) iprus(-am, -u) iptaras(-am, -u) paris(-am, -u) Irrealis liprus(-am), ay iprus(-am), l iparras(-am) (l iprus(am)) purus(-am) l paris(-am), l paris(-am) parsum parsum prisum, prisnum

The function of the finite secondary members is modal (for the precative, the vetitive, and the prohibitive), syntactic (for the subjunctive), or deictic (for the ventive). The secondary participle prisnu serves to renew the verbal nature of the present participle prisu (see 8.4.2, pp. 207209). The secondary members with modal (irrealis) function show a continuum of expression from bound (prefixes in most forms of the precative) via half-bound (proclitics in some precative forms and in the vetitive) to periphrastic (in the prohibitive and the asseverative forms with the particle l);9 these categories will be discussed in 9.2 (pp. 211220). The appurtenance of these forms to the verbal paradigm and their inflectional status is shown by the fact that they are fully productive and predictable in form and meaning.

2.2.2. Derivationalcategoriesrelatedtotheverb
Outside the verbal paradigm, there is a large number of deverbal categories with derivational status. They are of two kinds: verbal and nominal. The verbal derivations comprise what is generally known as the derived verbal stems: the D-stem, the -stem, etc. They will be discussed
particular bias for a specific kind of form: letters for first and second person, omen texts for third person, royal inscriptions for either first or third person (and sometimes a mixture of both), etc. There are hardly any texts that can be regarded as a written reflex of the normal use of language in conversation and very few with a natural, unadorned kind of narrative. 8. Examples of this process are the G-stem imperative ( purus purs/; see 5.5, p. 133), the nonprefixed Gt forms (original pitrus - pitars pitrus - pitrus in Babylonian; see 14.2.1, p. 358), the Old Assyrian N-stem (original iikin - iakn iikin - iikn; see 12.2.1, p. 289), the Babylonian N-stem of I/voc verbs (ipparras - ippris innammar - innmir instead of innmir; see, p. 552), the Middle and Neo-Assyrian t-perfect (ilteq - iltaqy (OA) ilteq - ilteqi (MA); see 6.2, p. 140, and, pp. 505506), and the paradigm of the III/voc verbs in general; see 16.7.1 (p. 498). 9. Which I have put in parentheses, since it is unclear to me to what extent the asseverative represents a mood in its own right; see the recent discussion in E. Cohen 2005: 1768.


The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm 2.2.

in later chapters. The nominal derivations comprise a large number of deverbal patterns with a more-or-less specific semantic function, mostly in the sphere of abstract nouns, agent nouns, instrument nouns, etc. Their productivity tends to be limited and their meanings show many idiosyncrasies. It is also typical that there is a considerable overlap between similar patterns rather than a strict semantic differentiation. An exhaustive enumeration is to be found in GAG 55/56. The most important derivational categories of the verbal paradigm are the following: 1. The patterns PaRRiS and PaRRS are used to form agent nouns derived from fientive verbs; in spite of their geminate second radical, they belong to the basic stem (GAG 55o; GAV pp. 6566). Common examples of PaRRS are arrqu thief, rakkbu sailor, dayynu judge, erru cultivator, farmer, and karu (OA) donkey driver; examples of PaRRiS are babbilu carrier (from wablu), maiu robber, abbiu butcher, and aggiu murderer. For lists of the relevant forms and a discussion of their nature, see GAV pp. 5866. These patterns compete with the G-stem present participle PRiS, which is also regularly used for agent nouns (see 8.4.1, p. 205). 2. The pattern maPRaS(t) is a common device for the formation of deverbal nouns with a wide range of meanings (GAG 56b/c; Streck 2002b). It comprises abstract nouns that express the verbal content (madau procession from adu to walk in procession), the result of the verbal action (mre (t) u cultivated field from eru to cultivate), the instrument (naglabu razor; cf. gullubu to shave), and the place of the action (maallu resting place from allu to sleep). A few instances serve as abstract nouns of adjectives (nmequ wisdom from emqu wise). 3. The pattern PiRS and its feminine form PiRiSt are very productive as verbal nouns to fientive verbs, which may subsequently acquire a wide range of meanings (GAG 55c; Fox 2003: 14142). They are sometimes used as abstract nouns (e.g., rimku washing) but are more often concretized (riksu bundle, ipru messenger [OA], migru favorite, ibittu prison). 4. Derivational patterns of the derived verbal stems are not very numerous, but a prominent case is PitRS derived from the Gt-stem, a derivational variant of the past participle PitRuS (GAG 56n, Streck 2003a: 99101 and 14.2.1, p. 359), e.g., itru splendid (cf. aru and itruu with a similar meaning); most of them are restricted to literary texts, but a few have a wider use, e.g., mitru of equal size, equivocal and itbru partner, associate (OB and OA) (see 14.2.1 about the question of whether the a is long or short). Less productive deverbal patterns with derivational status, which I will not further discuss, are PuRS (GAG 55k; Fox 2003: 22930), PuRS (GAG 55l; Fox 2003: 209), and PuRuSS (GAG 56o and von Soden 1989: 6982). A few other relatively productive derivational patterns are de-adjectival rather than deverbal, such as PaRRS, which is a plural formation of a small number of adjectives, especially adjectives denoting dimensions, such as kabbaru thick (cf. kabru); see GAV, pp. 5258, and PuRS, which derives abstract nouns from adjectives, e.g., dunnu strength from dannu strong (GAG 55d).10 A feature of derivational forms is that they are less subject to the pressure of the verbal paradigm than inflectional forms (Dressler 1989: 8 sub 17; Booij 1998: 16). They have not only a greater freedom to go their own way semantically but in some cases also formally. The pattern maPRaS(t) provides two illustrations of this. First, its prefix ma- is replaced by na- if the root contains a labial consonant (GAG 31b), whereas the prefix mu- of the present participle, which has inflectional status, always remains mu-; cf., for instance, the maPRaS(t) form nablau
10. It is arguable that these de-adjectival patterns are ultimately deverbal.

2.2. The Organization of the Verbal Paradigm


healing, recovery versus the D PrPartc muballiu, from balu to live, to be(come) healthy. The pressure of the verbal paradigm prevents dissimilation, but outside the paradigm this pressure is not strong enough to do so.11 Second, in II/gem roots there is a tendency of identical radicals to cluster together if they are separated by a short vowel; in Arabic, for instance, II/gem verbs show forms such as yaruddu he returns instead of *yardudu in conformance with the strong verb (Fischer 1972: 11113). In the Akkadian verbal paradigm, this tendency is suppressed: Akkadian has idbub, idbub he/ they spoke, just as the strong forms iprus, iprus. However, in maPRaS(t) forms of these verbs, we find instances in which the two final radicals occur as a cluster: maallu resting place from allu to sleep, madakku mortar from dakku to crush; maaddu pole from addu to pull, to stretch and namaddu measuring vessel from maddu to measure. In addition, the regular form with the two identical radicals separated by a vowel is also found, in particular in feminine nouns, e.g., makaktu harrow from akku to harrow and napatu ointment from pau to anoint (Streck 2002b: 250).12

As stated in 1.2.3 (pp. 58), there is no clear-cut boundary between inflectional and derivational categories. In between the prototypical instances of inflection and derivation, there are intermediate categories that combine features of both types, such as the nominal members of the verbal paradigm discussed in 2.2.1 (pp. 2933). In a historical perspective, these often show a tendency to shift gradually from (more) inflectional to (more) derivational (lexicalization), or vice versa (grammaticalization).13 An important reason for emphasizing the distinction between inflection and derivation is that it clarifies various aspects of the behaviour of these intermediate forms. Lexicalization in the sense intended here is the process of emancipation of members of a paradigm, which makes them (more) derivational and may ultimately make them into independent lexemes.14 In the verbal paradigm, the non-finite, nominal members are most affected by this process: Present participles tend to develop into agent nouns, e.g., miu weaver (cf. mau to hit, to strike), mukinnu witness (cf. knu D to confirm). Past participles are often substantivized and acquire some lexicalized meaning, e.g., aknu appointed > governor, arpu (refined) silver, eru (cultivated) field; see the end of 8.3.1 (pp. 201202.15
11. The exception mentioned in GAG 31b, nubattu evening, related to btu () to spend the night, actually confirms the rule, since in spite of its prefix mu-, it is a derivational form and not a regular participle. 12. An interesting instance of the phenomenon discussed here is the verb pitqudu: originally a Gt-stem of paqdu to entrust, provide, muster, it became lexicalized in the meaning to be careful and in NeoBabylonian developed an irregular stative/past participle putqudu (but imperative pitqid ), with the assimilation of i-u to u-u, as in izuzzu > uzuzzu and and itlu > utlu (see GAG 107d, 107j). This is a symptom of its separation from its verbal origin: in regular Gt forms with i-u (stative/past participle and infinitive pitrus (u)), the sequence i-u was maintained. 13. On lexicalization versus grammaticalization, see Kuryowicz 1964: 36; Comrie 1985a: 1013; Anttila 1989: 14952; Brinton and Traugott 2005, especially pp. 6288. 14. Cf. Anttila 1989: 151: Whenever a linguistic form falls outside the productive rules of grammar it becomes lexicalized. 15. The lexicalization of past and present participles is often accompanied by adopting the nominal ending -/- (or -) instead of -tu/i in the masculine plural; see 8.3.1 (p. 201) and 8.4.1 (p. 203), respectively.


The Structure of Individual Verb Forms 2.3. Infinitives may become abstract nouns (e.g., balu to live > life) and thence concrete nouns (e.g., dannu strength > stronghold (as part of the liver, OB) and nadnu to give > gift (NB, Pl nadntu); see the end of 8.2.1 (p. 198).

As these examples illustrate, the starting point of this process is usually that the form in question acquires a specialized meaning with a relatively high frequency. This gives it its own niche in the vocabulary and so opens the way for an independent development. Lexicalization primarily occurs on the level of individual words, but if it involves numerous members of the same category, it becomes more difficult for speakers to recognize the category as a coherent entity with a specific function, so that it becomes less productive and may disintegrate into individual words that only share a similar form.16 For lexicalization in the derived verbal stems, see 10.4 (p. 250). The opposite process, the incorporation of derivational forms into the paradigm, may be called grammaticalization, although this term normally has a wider meaning (as described in 1.2.2, pp. 35).17 In the context of the verbal system, it can also be called verbalization. This process occurred with the Akkadian stative; see chap. 7. Another process is the incorporation of a derived verbal stem into the paradigm of the basic stem; this occurred at least twice in the history of Akkadian: with the t-perfect iptarVs (see chap. 6) and with the imperfective with gemination iparrVs (see chap. 4). It is also possible that the nominal members of the verbal paradigm, or some of them, have originated as derivational forms that gained in productivity and penetrated into the paradigm. It is well-known that infinitives often originate as abstract nouns (cf. the Arabic madars). To what extent this also applies to the nominal forms of the Akkadian verbal paradigm remains unclear. Since membership in the verbal paradigm is only open to categories, not to individual forms, verbalization normally concerns entire categories. Only under exceptional circumstances (in Akkadian, this mostly means: if the verb has an exceptional form) may individual members of a derivational pattern be included in the verbal paradigm. This happened, for instance, with the PaRRS forms kayynu normal, regular and tayyru returning, relenting, which replace the regular present participles *kinu of knu to be(come) stable, true and *tiru of tru to return, and with ma/upras forms of irregular verbs, which serve as present participles: md knowing from id and muzzazzu standing from izuzzu.18

2.3. the structure of individual Verb Forms

In addition to the organization of verb forms in a tightly-structured paradigm, the complexity of the Akkadian verbal system was made manageable for its speakers by the high degree of transparency and predictability in form and meaning of the verb forms themselves. This was achieved by two interrelated strategies: first, vowels and consonants were invested with different aspects of the meaning of a verb form; and, second, the basic members of the paradigmwhich serve as the input of the derivational rules for creating the more derived membershave severe restrictions on their form. The first strategy gave rise to the division of tasks between consonants and vowels that we know as the root-and-pattern system; the second lies at the basis of the predominant triradicality of the verbal root in Semitic. I will discuss each of these strategies in the following sections.
16. Sometimes this leads to a renewal of the old function by means of a new formfor instance, the renewal of the present participle by means of the suffix -n-; see 8.4.2 (pp. 207209). 17. Inflectionalization would be more accurate, but this term does not seem to be in common use. 18. An example similar to kayynu and tayyru is arrqnu from arqu to steal. It usually replaces the present participles riqu and riqnu, which for no obvious reason are hardly ever used; see chap. 8, n. 39 (pp. 207208).

2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms


2.3.1. Theroot-and-patternsystem
In the root-and-pattern system, which is generally regarded as the hallmark of the Semitic language type,19 consonants and vowels have different functions: the consonants, which make up the root, provide lexical information, whereas the vowels, which constitute the pattern, specify the grammatical function and/or the meaning (basically, according to whether the word is inflectional or derivational). In addition, there may be an optional third element consisting of one or more consonantal affixes that also have grammatical or lexical function. For instance, Akkadian has a root rkb (corresponding to Proto-Semitic rkb) that expresses the general meaning of riding (an animal) and sailing (a boat). Combining it with different patterns, we get, first of all, inflectional forms of the verb to ride, sail with grammatical meaning, such as the infinitive rakbu (pattern C1aC2C3), the imperfective irakkab he rides (pattern -C1aC2C2aC3), the stative rakib he (has mounted and now) is riding (pattern C1aC2iC3), the causative uarkib he caused to ride (pattern -a-C1C2iC3), etc.; and second, derivational forms such as the agent noun rakkbu sailor (pattern C1aC2C2C3), the instrument nouns rukbu vehicle, boat (pattern C1uC2C3) and narkabtu chariot (< *markabtum, pattern ma-C1C2aC3 with the feminine ending -t), and the action noun rikbu riding, often used as a collective noun for crew (pattern C1iC2C3). Consistent application of such a system makes the morphology of a language completely transparent, and, as long as there is a reasonable balance between the number of functional and of morphological categories, also highly isomorphic. It enables the language user to assign a rather precise grammatical or lexical function to many words on the basis of their vowel pattern alone and to get at least a general idea of their meaning on the basis of their consonantal skeleton. Because the root-and-pattern system embeds regular forms in a formal and semantic network of associations, it stabilizes both the form and the meaning of words and makes both the root and the pattern applicable to new itemsthat is, productive. Since the pattern normally expresses a grammatical function (in the widest sense of the word), an enumeration of the patterns with their functions is an indispensable part of the grammars of Semitic languages, in particular for the classical Semitic languages of Akkadian, Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Geez (Goldenberg 1994: 3132). However, the working of the root-and-pattern system is dependent (1) on the possibility of associating a specific pattern with a particular function on the basis of the fact that it recurs in a substantial number of other words with a parallel function but with different consonants and (2) on the possibility of associating a specific root with a particular lexical meaning on the basis of the recurrence of the consonants in other words with a related meaning (Cantineau 1950b: 12021; Larcher 1999: 104). It is of little use (and counter-intuitive, as pointed out by Schramm 1991: 1402) to posit a root for combinations of consonants that only occur in a single word or a few words without a clear semantic relationship, or to posit a pattern for a vowel sequence that has no obvious meaning. Therefore, the root-and-pattern system is only applicable to productive processes of inflection and derivation of the kind we typically find in verbal paradigms and their deverbal derivations. Its usefulness for nominal derivation is far more restricted: many nouns remain unaccounted for. This applies to two kinds in particular: primary nouns and deverbal nouns with sporadic unproductive vowel patterns that do not have an obvious function, such as Akkadian akkru drunk person (cf. akru to be(come) drunk), sikkru bolt (cf. sekru to lock), and zuqqpu
19. See, for instance, Cantineau 1950a, 1950b; Goldenberg 1994; Fox 2003: 3744; and in particular Rubio 2005, which is an exhaustive discussion of recent literature on the nature of root and pattern in Semitic from a general linguistic point of view.


The Structure of Individual Verb Forms 2.3.

scorpion (cf. zaqpu to erect, to rear up). The former kind is extremely common in all Semitic languages. Primary nouns typically have a fixed vowel pattern and use suffixation rather than the root-and-pattern system to create secondary derivations (see Fox 2003: 6168). This applies in particular to Akkadian (Buccellati 1996: 4345, 13942).20 In this respect, there is an important difference between Akkadian and the rest of Semitic, especially Classical Arabic, which has exploited the potential of the root-and-pattern system to its utmost, also implicating in it (a part of) nominal derivation, particularly for the formation of plurals, diminutives, and elative adjectives (Cantineau 1950a: 74; Fischer 1993: 4041).

2.3.2. TheriseofvowelalternationinSemitic
The root-and-pattern system is a purely synchronic mechanism. In the context of the present study, it has to be supplemented with a reconstruction of how the typically Semitic division of tasks between consonants and vowels came into being.

20. Buccellati posits a fundamental difference between the verbal system and nominal derivation. The former employs internal inflection (i.e., the root-and-pattern system) for its most essential distinctions (tense/aspect and diathesis) and external inflection (i.e., suffixation) for person, number, and gender and for the secondary inflectional categories of the subjunctive and the ventive. Nominal derivation, on the other hand, only employs external derivation: both primary and deverbal nouns only use suffixation for operations such as plural formation and derivation of abstract nouns, with very few exceptions (alkaktu, Pl of alaktu gait, behaviour, derived from alku to go /come). However, there are some instances of internal inflection in primary nouns: 1. Plural forms with gemination, mainly in kinship terms: abb (Ass abb) fathers, etc.; see 4.4 (p. 96) (admittedly, the insertion of gemination is not a prototypical instance of internal inflection, since the pattern itself is not affected). 2. A few expressive derivations (diminutives?) of primary nouns by means of reduplication: kulbbu ant (at least if derived from kalbu dogi.e., little dog?) and *prru (little?) mouse (only attested in the further derivation prrtu; cf. AHw 856b s.v.) < *parru, of which the basic form *prum has been lost (Landsberger 1934: 1067; cf. Ar far rat). 3. A few (other) diminutives of which the basic noun is not attested in Akkadian but has parallels elsewhere in Semitic (Testen 2006): unqu young female goat (cf. Ar anq female kid), uru male goat and uzru pig (< piglet); they show the (Proto-)Semitic diminutive pattern -u-ay- (with ay > in Babylonian), which is well-known from Arabic (see von Soden 1991a). It is attested for East Semitic by the Eblaite noun u-ga-ga-b-um VE 1128 /duqqaypum/ (or the like) scorpion (Krebernik 1983: 39; Testen 2006: 14649), which regularly becomes zuqqpu in Akkadian. This demonstrates that it was possible in Akkadian to derive diminutives from primary nouns by means of internal inflection, just as in other Semitic languages. In Akkadian, it is also possiblebut not very commonto derive a verb from a primary noun by abstracting its consonants and treating them as radicals; cf. the D-stems wazzunum to listen attentively (OA) from uznu ear (first noted by K. R. Veenhof; see AHw 1494a s.v.), uppulu to delouse (SB) from uplu louse, ruggubu to provide with an attic (OB) from rugbu attic, and ammunu to anoint with oil (NA) from amnu oil. Moreover, the noun at partner(s), which comes from au brother with the reciprocal t-infix (see 14.2.1, p. 359), presupposes a denominal verb in the Gt-stem (I am aware that this is not quite consistent with my remarks in Kouwenberg 2005: 99). There are even a few instances of verbs derived from loanwords, which are also primary nouns to the extent that they are unmotivated: nukkusum to balance an account (SAk) from nikkassu account (B. R. Foster, NABU 89/115), and lull to provide abundantly (SB) from lal desire, charm, luxury (both loanwords from Sumerian). To a very limited extent, then, it was possible in Akkadian to break open a primary noun and use the consonants to derive a noun or a verb. However, this does not impair the overall validity of Buccellatis distinction between internal and external inflection.

2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms


Complex systems usually evolve from more simple ones, and the root-and-pattern system is no exception. An important factor in its emergence is the well-known fact that vowels are less stable than consonants. They are particularly susceptible to influence from the environment: their quality tends to be influenced by adjacent consonants and by vowels in neighbouring syllables, and their quantity by accent. This relative instability lies at the basis of widespread phenomena such as vowel harmony and Umlaut and Ablaut (apophony), in which original phonological vowel alternations are exploited for grammatical purposes (Hock 1991: 6668, 14143). Accordingly, derivation by means of vowel alternation is a common phenomenon in the languages of the world; in this respect, the Semitic languages are not very special. Kuryowicz (1972, especially pp. 3640) has argued that the guttural consonants and the semi-vowels, in particular, are responsible for the rise of apophony, since they are known to have the greatest influence on neighbouring vowels.21 Semitic also makes wide use of affixation, both prefixation (in the verb and in deverbal nouns) and suffixation (both in the verb and the noun), and combines this freely with vowel alternation, thus accumulating derivational processes: a derived form is taken as the input for a new derivation, often with the aim of strengthening or renewing its form.22 This may lead to a large formal difference between the original source word and its derivative, particularly when the intermediate stages no longer survive. The gradualness of the process may be obscured by the fact that, once a productive derivational relationship has established itself, the intermediate steps may be skipped (Kuryowicz 1972: 7). In this way, an association arises between words that are far apart in form. The difference will appear in the vowels more than the consonants. Because inflectionally related forms have the same meaning and derivationally related forms different but related meanings, speakers will associate the meaning of the forms in question with their only common element, the consonants, and because productive derivation will assign a specific function to parallel derived forms, the patterns will come to be associated with this function. In this way, vowels and consonants underwent a gradual specialization: they were automatically given their different association with lexical meaning and grammatical meaning, respectively (Rundgren 1980: 8990). The association of lexical meaning with the consonants only and the location of grammatical meaning in the vowels are, as it were, accidental consequences of the increasing complexity of patterns and the ensuing absence of an invariant sequence of phonemes that could be abstracted as a linear stem with a lexical meaning. The ultimate form of the root-and-pattern system was achieved by the mechanism of derivation by associationthat is, the common practice in Semitic of combining categories that formally come from different sources in a derivational or even inflectional relationship on the basis of a purely semantic association. Extreme examples of this procedure are the Arabic pattern taqtl which serves as madar to Stem II qattala (already in Akkadian; see 14.6.1, pp. 401402), the patterns qatl and qutl as feminine to the elative aqtal (Kuryowicz 1972: 97) and numerous broken plurals and madars of the basic stem (aqtilah from qatl, etc.). This kind of derivation is a weak type of suppletionthat is, the secondary combination of forms that are formally unrelated into a single paradigm (Payne 1997: 100101). It is well known in the Indo-European languages, where it mostly occurs in individual words of high frequency: English go and went, good and better/best, Latin sum (present) and fui (perfect) to be, Classical Greek phr (present), os (future), and nenkon (aorist) to carry, bring, etc. In the Semitic cases, the words in question also have a different background, although they belong to the same root.
21. Petrek (1960: 57482) discusses a number of earlier proposals to explain the rise of apophony in Semitic. 22. See, for instance, Fleisch 1961: 362469; 1968: 4992; GAV pp. 2833.


The Structure of Individual Verb Forms 2.3.

The Arabic examples mentioned above are extreme cases, but a milder form of derivation by association is ubiquitous in Semitic morphology: entire morphosyntactic categories are associated with each other via this process. For instance, the four finite categories of the Akkadian verb, the imperfective iparrVs, the perfective iprVs, the t-perfect iptarVs, and the stative parVs, all have a different background and have entered into an inflectional relationship through a secondary association based on their function. The same applies to the basic opposition between the prefix and the suffix conjugation of West Semitic, to which I will return below.23 In the course of history, the difficulty of isolating a fixed stem in the verbal paradigm has steadily increased. In Proto-Semitic, the finite categories of the basic verb (insofar as they are reconstructible) still have a single inflectional stem *-qtVl- (which occurs in the imperfective *yiqtVlu, the perfective *yiqtVl, and the imperative *q(V)tVl ).24 Surely there is another inflectional stem, *qatVl- (in the infinitive *qatl-, the past participle *qatil-, and the present participle *qtil-), but it is restricted to the non-finite and therefore subordinate forms of the verbal paradigm (see further chap. 8). In Akkadian, on the other hand, the four finite categories of the verb that I mentioned above all have a quite different inflectional stem as a result of different verbalization processes. In West Semitic, the rise of qatala as a new perfect instead of older yaqtul entailed the penetration of the erstwhile deverbal stem *qatVl into the core of the paradigm, creating a situation in which the two most basic forms have different inflectional stems, from which it is no longer possible to extract a fixed sequence of consonants and vowels. As a result, the speakers had to break up the stem and rearrange its parts in order to use it as a basis for derivation. This paved the way for other rearrangements and was undoubtedly an important stimulus for the huge increase in the importance of internal inflection.25 Ultimately, Semitic word formation is not essentially different from that in other languages. The difference between the use of apophony in Semitic and in Indo-European languagese.g., the Ablaut of English sing/sang/sunglies in the extraordinary degree of productivity and complexity of the former rather than in its nature (Ullendorff 1958: 69; Rubio 2005: 5859). This applies even to Arabic, which has exploited the possibilities of apophony to an extreme that has hardly any parallel in the languages of the world.

2.3.3. Therootandtheradicals
The root is usually defined as the element that is common to all members of the paradigm of a given verb and its deverbal derivations. The nature of the Semitic root is one of the most disputed problems of Semitic comparative linguistics. The most important issues were summarized
23. Petrek (1963: 613) argues for the same kind of origin for the apophonic passive in the West Semitic languages. 24. The arguments supporting this statement will be provided in the course of the present study; see in particular chap. 18. 25. Another consequence of this process is the relative stability of Semitic radicals over a long time. It is instructive to compare their rate of change with the situation in Indo-European, where the consonants reconstructed for the proto-language show massive changes in their development toward the historically attested daughter languages. The consonant inventory of many Semitic languages preserves a considerable part of the phonemes of the proto-language. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that the internal inflection causes a radical to be word-initial or word-final in some forms, intervocalic in others, and the first or last part of a cluster in still other forms. This means that sound changes will only have effect if they are more or less unconditional, because as long as a consonant is unaffected in some of its positions, the pressure of the paradigm will tend to preserve it also in other positions, thus effectively blocking the change. A radical will often undergo phonological change only if the change is unconditional and thus affects all environments (e.g., p > f in South Semitic and Arabic and g > j in Arabic (Diakonoff 1965: 35 and 1991/92: 94; Voigt 1995: 518).

2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms


and extensively discussed by del Olmo Lete (2003); a more recent discussion is Rubio (2005). Therefore, I will restrict myself to the issues that are directly relevant to understanding the structure and the evolution of the Akkadian verbal paradigm: strong versus weak roots, the possible existence of biradical roots, the incompatibility of radicals, and the difference between verbal and nominal roots. 1. In its prototypical form, the Semitic root contains three strong radicals, which remain unchanged during all inflectional and derivational processes.26 Strictly speaking, the definition given above only applies to such strong roots. In reality, we have to allow for the existence of weak roots as well, which have one or more radicals that are unstable and may undergo changes such as assimilation, replacement by another phoneme, or total disappearance. Already in ProtoSemitic, there were weak roots with a semi-vowel (*w or *y) among their radicals and others with the long vowels * and * as second radical: e.g., mt to die and m to fix, decree (see 16.5.1, pp. 474476); and as third radical: e.g., r to scatter and bk to cry (see 16.7.1, pp. 496498). In Akkadian, too, the verbal paradigm is based on strong roots, but various phonological changes have greatly increased the number of verbs with weak radicals. As a result of the loss of the Proto-Semitic guttural consonants, which mostly have become vowels or glides (see 17.3, pp. 515520), the original I/H verbs have become I/voc verbs, the II/H and the III/H verbs have joined the paradigms of the II/voc and the III/voc verbs, respectively, and the original I/y verbs have also become I/voc verbs. Moreover, Proto-Semitic verbs with *w and *y as R3 occur as III/ voc verbs in Akkadian. All in all, we can distinguish the following types of weak roots (the paradigms of which will be discussed in chaps. 16 and 17):27 1. Roots with n as R1 (the I/n verbs), which is weak because it regularly assimilates to the next consonant, e.g., nuR to guard (in other positions, n is strong); see 16.4 (pp. 469471). 2. Roots with u as R1 (traditionally called the I/w verbs), e.g., uLiD to give birth; u interchanges with w (short u does not occur as R2 or R3); see 16.2 (pp. 448462). 3. Roots with the vowels a or e as R1 (the I/a and the I/e verbs, together the I/voc verbs), e.g., aMuR to see, ePu to do /make, aLiK to go /come; these verbs go back to verbs with a guttural in Proto-Semitic; see 17.6 (pp. 537554). 4. Roots with a long vowel (, , , or ) as R2: the II/, II/, II/ and II/ verbs, together the II/voc verbs, e.g., MT to die, Q to give, B to become ashamed, and RQ to be/ go far away. The II/ and II/ verbs probably all go back to verbs with a guttural in ProtoSemitic. See 16.5 (pp. 474490) for the II/ and II/ verbs; and 17.7 (pp. 554572) for the II/ and II/ verbs. 5. Roots with a long vowel (, , , or ) as R3: the III/, III/, III/, and III/ verbsas a group, the III/voc verbs, e.g.BN to build, TR to take/bring along, ML to be(come) full and LQ to receive. The III/ and III/ verbs probably all go back to verbs with a
26. Apart from superficial phonological processes of assimilation to a suffix, such as Akk anaddikkum < anaddin-kum I will give to you from nadnu, abassu < *abat-u I seized him from abtu, and uamma < uab-ma I will sit down and from wabu. 27. For an economical description of the weak verbs, it is more efficient to allow for both semi-vowels (u and i ) and real vowels (a and e) as radicals than to hold to the axiom of only consonantal radicals. The same kind of development took place between Geez and Amharic, according to Gragg (1987: 140). Izre'el (1991; 2005: 534) also assumes vocalic radicals. For vocalic radicals in Arabic, see Voigt 1988a: 15 (who accepts u and i as vocalic radicals, but not a, because it cannot open a syllable).


The Structure of Individual Verb Forms 2.3. guttural in Proto-Semitic. See 16.7 (pp. 496509) for the III/ and III/ verbs and 17.8 (pp. 572583) for the III/ and III/ verbs.

Some verbs have more than one weak radical but never two successive ones. If two successive radicals belong to the class of weak radicals, one of them is treated as strong. Examples are N to be(come) quiet (II/ but with strong n as R1), LW to surround (III/ but with strong w as R2), nWR to shine (I/n but with strong w as R2), B to pass (II/, but with strong final ), and W to be(come) few (II/ but with strong w as R1). 2. If we allow for vocalic and semi-vocalic radicals, no Akkadian root has less than three or more than four radicals.28 There are hardly any verbal forms that cannot be derived from a triradical or quadriradical root. More specifically, Akkadian has no verb forms that are unambiguously derived from a biradical root. However, there are a few individual verbs and groups of verbs of which the root can be broken down into a sequence of two consonants plus an additional third consonant that is arguably a secondary accretion.29 The most plausible instances of individual verbs are aknu to place, which is perhaps a fossilized causative of the root kn (Akk knu) to be(come) stable, firm, true (Kuryowicz 1972: 67), the twin verbs alu and nalu to sift, where the alternation of and n also suggests an old prefix (without an obvious semantic motivation, however); and atu to fear, because of tu/attu fear, panic.30 The most plausible instances of groups of verbs are the following: a group of I/n verbs denoting sounds, which can be derived from onomatopoeic interjections containing two consonants (see 12.6.1, pp. 314321) a group of I/n verbs that denote directional motion and show biradical forms in other Semitic languages (see 12.6.1) the fientive I/w verbs, which preserve a biradical PiRS or PuRS derivation; e.g., ubtu domicile from wabu to live, stay (see 16.2.4, p. 460). None of these verbs have preserved a clearly biradical form in their historical paradigm, with the possible exception of the Assyrian imperative din give! of tadnu to give.31 I will discuss this issue in greater detail in the respective sections on the paradigms of the weak verbs in chaps. 16 and 17.32
28. In addition, Akkadian has various subparadigms to accommodate verb forms with five or even six consonants but uses these only in non-basic categories: in the derived verbal stems (where it has to allow for the additional consonant of the prefix or for the cluster caused by gemination or both) and in the quadriradical verbs. 29. Note that this does not imply that such a sequence of two consonants was itself ever in use as a root. 30. The claim in GAG 73b that Akk apru to send is related to the well-known biradical sequence PR, which is part of many triradical roots denoting some nuance of separation, seems rather doubtful. If we include instances from other Semitic languages, we might adduce aplu to be(come) low, cf. He npal to fall. However, the fact that aplu is intransitive does not increase the plausibility of this association. 31. It cannot be ruled out, however, that din is a secondary shortening of the regular form idin (the Babylonian form), although in Assyrian this verb is not normally a I/n verb; see 16.4.3 (p. 474) for details. The allegedly biradical imperatives of the I/w verbs are poor candidates for being genuine biradicals since they can be derived from the triradical perfective by means of the regular rule of imperative formation, namely subtraction of the personal prefix, such as bil bring! from tubil like parris separate! (Ass, D-stem) from tuparris, see 5.5 (pp. 133134) and 16.2.4 (pp. 459460). 32. All other cases where two radicals alternate can also, and even more plausibly, be explained as variations of an originally triradical pattern (Zaborski 1991; Goldenberg 2005: 1819). Akkadian instances are arru / tarru to tremble, ez / tez to defecate, and dakku to crush versus dku to beat, kill, for which see 16.6.2 (pp. 495496).

2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms


3. A remarkable and often discussed feature of the verbal root in Semitic concerns the incompatibility rules, the co-occurrence restrictions of certain (groups of) radicals in the strong root. These rules were first formulated by Cantineau (1946: 13336) for Arabic, but are best known from Greenbergs classic article (1950) and later were applied to other Semitic languages by other scholars.33 In a Semitic root, R1 and R2 are never identical nor homorganic (i.e., having the same place of articulation); R2 and R3 are never homorganic unless they are identical; and R1 and R3 may be homorganic and identical, but this occurs only rarely. The absence of identical and homorganic R1 and R2 cannot be separated from the fact that in the basic forms of the verbal paradigm as it existed in Proto-Semitic, and without any doubt also in Afroasiatic, R1 and R2 were adjacent in the prefix conjugations of the basic stem (the ProtoSemitic Impfv *yiqtVlu and the Pfv *yiqtVl; see Kuryowicz 1972: 22, 3031; Zaborski 1991: 168487). This caused assimilatory changes, the product of which could spread to forms where R1 and R2 were not adjacent. Traces of this process are visible in the existence of variants of the same root, such as He aq and zaq to scream, where -- became -z- by assimilation of voicing, and in irregular sound correspondences between cognates in different languages, e.g., He sbal and Akk zablu to carry, where -sb- became -zb- (Kuryowicz 1972: 3031).34 Where total assimilation would occur (as in the case of homorganic radicals), a loss of transparency would result, which was apparently avoided in Proto-Semitic (Kuryowicz 1972: 16). The reason why R2 and R3 may be identical but not homorganic is also primarily phonetic and due to ease of articulation: similar but not identical phonemes in close vicinity tend to be avoided: they are either assimilated or dissimilated.35 Moreover, since R2 and R3 are contiguous in various deverbal categories (in Akkadian even in the verbal paradigm itself as a result of the vowel syncope rule), they were subject to assimilation, the product of which could also easily spread to other environments.36 The restrictions on the co-occurrence of R1 and R3 doubtless have the same phonetic background but are far weaker than the other ones. The strength of the incompatibility therefore nicely correlates with the degree of adjacency of the radicals: R1 and R2 have the strictest incompatibility, since they are immediately adjacent in the core members of the verbal paradigm; R2 and R3 are close but rarely contiguous; and R1 and R3 are relatively distant.37 So it is the verbal paradigm that determines the incompatibilities and explains them in a historical perspective.38 Akkadian inherited the incompatibilities of the Proto-Semitic root (see Buccellati 1996: 66 68 for a discussion and examples).39 There is one type that Buccellati does not mention explicitly:
33. Such as Kuryowicz (1972: 1531). Zaborski (1994b and 1996b) has shown that the exceptions occur mainly in denominal and onomatopoeic verbs or are clearly secondary developments. See also del Olmo Lete 2003: 7076 and, for Akkadian, Buccellati 1996: 6667. 34. Instances of this kind of alternation within Akkadian include baqru and later paqru to claim, contest and perhaps also zakru and saqru to speak (Sem kr), although the details are unclear. 35. Cf. Akk zannu to rain, compared to Geez zanma and Sabaic nm to rain; Tigria znb or znm, Tigre zlma or znma (CDG 641a s.v. zanma), and He zerem heavy rain show a different solution to get rid of the apparently all too similar radicals n and m. 36. See 16.6.2 (pp. 494496) for the background of II/gem roots. 37. For changes in R3, cf. also Akk kabtu to be(come) heavy versus West Semitic kbd (which is also Neo-Assyrian), an alternation that may be caused by assimilation of d to the feminine suffix t: -dt- > -tt-. Within Akkadian, similar cases are Ass nbudu to flee and bidu to spend the night versus Bab nbutu and btu (). 38. For a different view on the incompatibilities, see, for instance, Petrek 1964 and Voigt 1981. 39. Incidental instances of incompatible radicals in Akkadian include the following: R1 = R2 only occurs in a to spit (doubtless onomatopoeic) and lull to provide abundantly (a loanword from Sumerian


The Structure of Individual Verb Forms 2.3.

the incompatibility of a glottalized consonant and in the position of R1 and R2: there are no Akkadian roots that (originally) had as R2 and , , or q as R1 and vice versa.40 This is related to Geers Law, which forbids more than one emphatic (i.e., glottalized) radical in an Akkadian root (Buccellati 1996: 68). However, there is no ban on a sequence of glottalized consonant plus as R2 and R3: cf. wa to go /come out, ka to be(come) cold, ma to be sufficient, and a to err, which are all original III/ verbs (see Kouwenberg 2003: 8384).41 4. A further issue is the difference between verbal and nominal roots. A nominal root (i.e., the consonantal skeleton of a primary noun) shows less restrictions on its form than a verbal root: it need not be triradical and has no incompatibility of radicals.42 This is caused by the fact that in Semitic the nominal paradigm is far simpler than the verbal paradigm; in particular, it does not include prefixation, which was an important determinant of the incompatibility of radicals and as I argued in the preceding sectionan important trigger of the rise of the root-and-pattern system. In most cases, therefore, we can do with an invariable stem as the basis of nominal inflection and derivation (see also GAG 51h; Diakonoff 1970; Fronzaroli 1973). However, because many primary nouns are also triradical, they can easily be analyzed as if they consist of a root and a pattern, even though the pattern does not have an identifiable function. This makes it possible to integrate them into the verbal system as denominal verbs (Fischer 1993: 4041; Fox 2003: 6365; Rubio 2005: 5152; Goldenberg 2005: 1415). Moreover, the oldest stages of Semitic already show clear instances of diminutives formed according to the root-and-pattern system. This is doubtless related to the fact that diminutives are, in origin, expressive derivations and therefore have a greater capability of incorporating additional elements, in particular as reduplicated syllables, which may disrupt the stem and cause internal changes.

2.3.4. Thepatternandthebase
The pattern (also called scheme or template) is the vocalic complement of the consonantal root: a vowel sequence, sometimes extended with one or more consonantal affixes, which is shared by the members of a specific grammatical category (inflectional or derivational) and can therefore be seen as carrier of its function; the pattern -a--, for instance, characterizes the G-stem infinitive PaRS in Akkadian. This implies that not every vowel sequence is a pattern.
and a D tantum verb; see n. 20); bablu is secondary to wablu. The ban on homorganic R1 and R2 does not affect I/w verbs, as is clear from verbs such as wablu, wabu, wamlu, wamum, wap, and wapu; see 16.2.1 (pp. 448450). Identity of R1 and R3 is not uncommon: au to need, kanku to seal, karku to collect, nadnu to give (Bab), abu to collect (taxes); agu to murder, sabsu to be(come) angry (Ass, Bab absum), and the denominal verb alu to do for the third time. 40. Because in Babylonian has been dropped, original II/ verbs can no longer be distinguished from II/*h verbs and original II/ verbs (if there are any). The assumption made here is that Babylonian II/ verbs starting with a glottalized consonant were not II/ verbs but original II/h (or II/?) verbs. Apart from the very problematic verb nu to load, fill, this only concerns lu to quarrel, of which the Old Assyrian forms are ambiguous but compatible with an original root hl; see chap. 17 n. 152 (p. 557). 41. Arabic and Geez have a number of roots with R1 = glottalized and R2 = , but they seem all to be denominal or otherwise secondary; see Zaborski 1994b: 47. 42. For instance, verbal roots in Akkadian never have a dental and a sibilant as R1 and R2 (Hirsch 1975: 293; Bucccellati 1996: 68), but nominal roots do; cf. d grass, spring in the Babylonian noun du grass (< *dium), cf. OA daum spring and the adjective de luxuriant; dp honey in the noun dipu honey and the adjective dapu sweet (the infinitive dapu occurring as a citation form in lexical texts is doubtless artificial). What applies to nominal roots also applies to the roots of numerals: cf. t of the numeral ti nine and l of al three, with R1 = R3. The shape of these roots identifies them immediately as non-verbal.

2.3. The Structure of Individual Verb Forms


Among the vowel patterns that can be combined with a root, a special position is occupied by the root vowel, an unmotivated short vowel between R2 and R3. The combination of root and root vowel is the base; for instance, the root prs of parsu to separate, decide has a base PRuS.43 The root vowel is not a pattern insofar as it has no obvious (synchronic) function; its importance lies in the fact that it is the basis of inflection and derivation and therefore historically prior to the purely consonantal root, which owes its role to the rise of a more-and-more-complex apophony and the ensuing gradual phase-out of the root vowel (see 2.3.2, p. 40). Most of the categories in which the root vowel originally occurred were replaced by categories with other vowel patternsusually more complex onesso that the root vowel was marginalized: in Akkadian, it only surfaces in the perfective and the imperative of the G-stemi.e., iprus and purus, respectively, for the verb parsu. Elsewhere, it was sacrificed to the demands of inflection and derivation (GAG 1b; Schramm 1991: 1403). However, this description mainly applies to strong roots, in which there is a clear distinction between the root and the pattern. In weak roots, the boundary between root and pattern tends to be blurred. In the G infinitive of the I/voc verbs, such as amru to see, the initial vowel a is both part of the root aMR and of the G infinitive pattern PaRS. In the II/voc verbs, the vocalic radicals , , , and do double service as radical and as root vowel. Therefore, there are no vowel classes: all II/ verbs are conjugated in the same way: e.g., iqap - iqp he entrusts/entrusted (OB), and likewise all II/, II/, and II/ verbs. This also applies to the III/voc verbs. Insofar as they originally had a consonantal R3, their final vowelwhich is at least structurally long (see, p. 499)is the reflex of the root vowel plus the original weak radical: e.g., iml it became full < *yimla in the III/ verbs, and ilq he received < *yilqa in the III/ verbs. Something similar may have happened in the III/ and III/ verbs: e.g., ibk he cried < *yibkiy and imn he bound < *yimnuw (but the long vowel may also be original here). The outcome of these developments (which will be discussed in greater detail in chaps. 16 and 17) is that the final vowel serves both as radical and as root vowel and thus determines the vowel class: a III/ verb automatically belongs to the I/i class, a III/ verb to the U/u class, etc.44 This double function makes the vowel in question relatively stable, because where it is not required as radical, it may still be required as root vowel and vice versa (Kienast 2001: 6364). For instance, whereas the root vowel u of parsu only surfaces in the perfective iprus and the imperative purus, the root vowel of mtu to die not only appears as root vowel in the perfective imt and the imperative mt but also as radical in the imperfective imat, the infinitive mutum, and the deverbal noun *mawtum death (> mtu), at least as long as it is not removed by vowel contraction. In this respect (but not historically), a form such as imt can be seen as based on *imwut iprus.45 Thus the weak roots bridge the gap between root and (inflectional) stem, because they are both at the same time.

43. This use of the term base is to be distinguished from its use as part of the designations prefix base and suffix base introduced in 2.2.1 (p. 32). The term base is already used by Brockelmann (1908: 287); see also Fronzaroli 1973: 23 and Wolff 1977: 203. 44. However, this only applies to historical Akkadian. In the oldest texts we have, there are some traces of a more complex situation, such as the Mari Old Akkadian form titay they drank, with y as R3 and the root vowel a, from at, which is an I/i verb in later dialects; see 16.7.1 (pp. 496497). 45. Cf. Voigt 1988a: 59, 7378.


Vowel Syncope and Vowel Assimilation 2.4.

2.4. Vowel syncope and Vowel Assimilation

In principle, the inflectional stem is the part of a word that remains after the inflectional endings have been removed, and also the form that after the attachment of an ending gives a complete surface form. In some cases, however, the combination of inflectional stem and ending must still be adjusted to the requirements of three superficial phonological rules: vowel syncope (in all dialects of Akkadian), vowel assimilation (only in Assyrian), and vowel harmony (only in Babylonian). Here, I will discuss the first two rules; the (Babylonian) vowel harmony rule can best be discussed in the context of the verbs with E-colouring in chap. 17. The vowel syncope rule stipulates that if an inflectional stem contains a sequence of two or more short syllables apart from the final syllable, the vowel of the last syllable of the sequence is syncopated.46 For sequences of two syllables, cf. the t-perfect 3mp iptars < iptrs they have separated and the PPartc parsu < *prsum separated, Pl parstu < *prstum, in contrast to the PrPartc prsu, Pl prstu, which remains unaffected (the relevant sequence of syllables is underlined). For sequences of three short syllables, cf. the feminine singular of the adjective damiqtu good < dmqtum (versus Masc damqu < *dmqum), the non-prefixed Gt forms with an ending in Old Assyrian, e.g., the Gt PPartc pitarsum (GKT 88a) < *ptrsum,47 whereas the form without ending is regularly pitrus < *ptrus (Gt Stat 3ms) (see further 14.2.1, p. 358), the suffixed pronouns -kunu/-unu, etc., in libbaknu your (Pl) heart < *libbknu (and similarly the other suffix pronouns of the second and third person plural; see GKT 49a),48 and the Ntn imperfective of the quadriradical verbs, such as the 3ms ittanablakkat < *ittnblakkat (GAG Verbalpar. 39; see further 12.5, p. 312). The overall working of this rule is regular and pervasive and it has a profound influence on the shape of Akkadian; Knudsen (1986: 724) appropriately calls it one of the most characteristic features of Akkadian phonology. Of particular interest is that it can apply across word boundaries (Greenstein 1984: 3334), as in the preposition n, which often appears as an, and, more remarkably, in compound proper names, such as OB A-ri--l-u /Ar-ilu/ < air-ilu cared for by his god and Kur-bi-la-ak /Kurb-ilak/ < kurub-ilak pray to your god!; and OA almaum for alim-aum the brother is well, Wardilu for Warad-ilu servant of his god, and Taqnabum for Taqun-abum the father is well.49 However, in these compound names, it is the middle of three short syllables that is syncopated: almaum < lm-um, rather than **alimum, perhaps because they had a different stress pattern from single words: alim-aum (in contrast to *dam iqatum). There are, however, a few exceptions and difficulties in the details. First, a short vowel is sometimes preserved before r, e.g., labru old; in particular, if it is a short (including a short that has developed from ), as in zikru male, iru straight, ikru beer, aru place,

46. See GAG 12 and especially the extensive discussion in Greenstein 1984. 47. The corresponding Babylonian form pitrus results from an analogical change on the basis of the endingless form pitrus < *pitarus; see 14.2.1 (p. 358). It is not an indication that vowel deletion can also affect the antepenultimate syllable. 48. The spelling libbakunu is also attested and is perhaps morphophonemic (GKT 49a). For libbakunu in Babylonian, see below. 49. References for Ar-ilu: AbB 2, 154:1; for Kurbilak: see Hilgert 2002: 58990 s.v.; for almaum: l-ma-u-um Prag I 557:6; for Wardilu: Wa-ar-d-li-u HSS 10, 223:1; for Taqnabum: Tq-na-bi4-im BIN 6, 190:9; Ta-aq-na-bu-um ICK 1, 33b:5 (all OA). A possible instance outside proper names is the genitive construction ri-ig-ma-dIKuR YOS 10, 18:47 (OB), if it stands for /rigm-Adad/ < rigim Adad the thunder of Adad (CAD R 332b s.v. rigmu 4).

2.4. Vowel Syncope and Vowel Assimilation


epru (< *aprum) earth, soil, epr (Pl) provisions, and eret (< *arat) ten (Fem).50 Some other exceptions include Sumerian loanwords (Goetze 1946b: 23536; Buccellati 1971: 82), but the quantity of the vowels in Sumerian loanwords is often hard to establish. A few forms suggest that l may have the same effect (Huehnergard 1987b: 192), but this is extremely rare: it only occurs in akalu bread alongside regular aklu, a PaRs form of aklu to eat, and perhaps in the irregular trisyllabic perfective forms ubil, ubilam, etc., of wablu to carry, which will be discussed in 16.2.2 (pp. 451452).51 Second, in contrast to Old Assyrian forms of the libbaknu type, Babylonian always shows the full suffix (libbakunu, etc.), in apparent violation of the rule. We could explain Babylonian libbakunu as a morphophonemic spelling, but this does not seem very likely, since we would expect to find at least some instances of the phonemic spelling, as we do in Old Assyrian. It seems more plausible to assume that -kunu is restored on the basis of other environments, where the rule does not apply, such as the Gen Sg libbkunu,52 or that the Babylonian form is actually libbkunu, with by analogy with the other long vowels that may come after the stem: the Gen Sg - and the plural endings - and -. Third, there is at least one case where the application of vowel syncope is blocked by paradigmatic pressure, namely in the non-prefixed forms of the t2-stem of II/voc verbs (GAG Verbalpar. 28), e.g.: Inf tknu to confirm (e.g., u-ta-ku-nu-um ARM 28, 155:11 (OB Mari) and tndu to praise ((ana) u-ta-nu-di-im BagM. 34, 150: XIV 13 (OB)) Stat 3fp tq they are intermingled BE 14, 4:6 (MB) Imp tqp (u-ta-q-ip FM 1 p. 128:30 buy on credit! (OB Mari)). This is based on the relationship between the corresponding strong forms: utaparras : utaprVs(u) utakn : utakVn(u) (instead of **utkVn(u)); see (pp. 487488) for the paradigm of these forms. In later dialects, in particular in Neo-Assyrian, more forms emerge in which short is restored on the basis of the strong verbfor instance, in the -stem of II/voc verbs: lu--di-il-lu /luadill/ SAA 2 p. 53:575 var. Q (NA) may they cause to ride around aimlessly from dlu (see, p. 487) li--ib /liab/ Wedg. 16: r.3 (LB) may he make pleasant from bu (earlier lib), and also in the quadriradical verbs, which will be discussed in 13.4.1 (p. 339), e.g., Impfv uabalakkat for earlier ubalakkat. Sporadically, we find exceptions the other way around: vowel syncope in cases that do not meet the criteria of the vowel syncope rule, usually of a short vowel following a long syllable.

50. See GAG 12b Anm.; Goetze 1946b: 23435; Matou and Petrek 1956: 1012. This happens especially in Babylonian; Assyrian more often (but not always) shows syncope in these words: e.g., epru dust (ep-ra-am BIN 4, 10:26) and ikru beer (e.g., -ik-ri-im CCT 4, 7b:6) versus iaru (i-a-ru- OIP 27, 15:11 they are correct) and igaru wall (i-ga-ri-im RA 80, 128 no. 26:30, both without vowel assimilation!). 51. The Old Assyrian instances mentioned by Matou and Petrek (1956: 11) of the type bu-q-lam KTK 67:12 malt alongside bu-uq-lm TC 3, 181:15 and u-q-lu-um TC 3, 81:19 package (for shipping metals) alongside uqlum (passim), both PuRS forms, and perhaps also imperatives such as u-ku-nam TC 3, 1:29 place for me! beside u-uk-nam TC 3, 1:22 from aknu are instances of vowel epenthesis rather than vowel syncope. 52. For long in the genitive singular, see Aro 1953: 78 and Hecker 2000.


Vowel Syncope and Vowel Assimilation 2.4.

This occurs in meru (mru?) cultivated land (see CAD M/2 27a s.v. meru) (OB) and in meltu (mltu?) mature age, a maPRaS form related to elu young man (SB).53 Finally, the application of the rule to vowels followed by a semi-vowel or an (original) is a difficult point. Most pertinent forms suggest that the rule does not work in this position, e.g., Bab rabiku I am big/old from the III/ verb rab, and OA zakuku I am free from zak (III/), which correspond to parsku in the strong verb (Greenstein 1984: 2829).54 In the discussion of the paradigm of the weak verbs, I will argue that in principle vowel syncope also applies to this environment but that it was restored (in Old Assyrian often and in other dialects always) by introducing an epenthetic vowel; see (pp. 501509). Vowel syncope is a phonological process that operates across the board, i.e., regardless of grammar or word class. It gives important information on the quantity of vowels in the word independently of the actual orthography and thus greatly helps us to reconstruct the exact form of words. It is valid for all dialects of Akkadian and is therefore certainly Proto-Akkadian, but it is uncertain to what extent it was already operative in Eblaite, especially because of the highly ambiguous orthography (cf. Huehnergard 2006: 8; Krebernik 2006: 8688). The vowel assimilation rule is a specifically Assyrian phenomenon.55 It stipulates that a short in the penultimate syllable of a word of three or more syllables is assimilated to the vowel of the final syllable: e.g., ippris > ippiris, but bisyllabic pris does not change.56 Accordingly, Old Assyrian has autum (Nom) - aitim (Gen) - aatam (Acc) instead of OB aatum - aatim aatam wife; in the verb, Assyrian has iakkan, iakkun instead of OB iakkan, iakkan he/ they (will) place, and tabit instead of tabat you (Fem) seized, etc.57 Occasionally we find forms in which an apparent short does not show assimilation (GKT 10 end): kar-p-tim kt c/k 1645:9, Gen Sg of *karpatum jar alongside regular karpitim, and
53. Perhaps the difficult verb forms mutedqi from edqu t2 to put on in mu-u-te-ed-q aplutim JRAS CSpl. p. 67: 11 (OB) clad in armour and tuttepam from epu t2(?) in tu-u-te-te-ep-a-am AbB 14, 116:26 (OB) you have caused to be made for me for expected mutdiq- and tutetpiam also belong here. 54. Unless zakuku is to be interpreted as a D-stem zakkuku, see chap 3 n. 76 (p. 65). 55. Traditionally called vowel harmony in Akkadian grammar. However, this term as it is usually defined in handbooks of phonology is exclusively applied to rules that stipulate that all vowels of a word must share one or more specific phonological properties, such as being all either front or back, rounded or unrounded, etc.; see, for instance, Katamba 1989: 211. The Assyrian phenomenon does not satisfy this condition, because it only concerns the penultimate vowel. 56. GAG3 10e/f; for Old Assyrian: GKT 10; for Middle Assyrian: Meyer 1971: 12 8 sub 1a) a (the forms W. Mayer quotes sub 1a) b) and 1a) g (sic) are uncertain [see Postgate 1974: 27374] or belong to a different category); for Neo-Assyrian: Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 30f.; see also Greenstein 1984: 38 n. 48 (but read only a instead of usually a for Old Assyrian). The formulation excludes the first syllable of a word from being affected, but there are a few words that in Babylonian have short in the first syllable but in Assyrian i or u, just as in the next syllable: istu tower (Bab astu) and ziqpu stake (Bab zaqpu), kulmu lamb (Bab kalmu). Perhaps these forms are a kind of side-effect of the rule. Other words with short in the first syllable do not have assimilation, such as maru market. 57. The first syllable of a bisyllabic word is affected by way of exception in kulu (also kalu), Gen kili, Acc kala all (GKT 10c) and perhaps also in i-ri- + suffix pronoun, Gen of arum place, but as long as no Nom **urum is attested, it is not certain that i- of ir- is caused by vowel assimilation. The forms -neand -nu- instead of -na- in the imperfective of tan-stems such as utenebbal, tn imperfective of wablu to bring/take, and ittunar, Gtn imperfective of tru to come back, are not instances of this rule but analogical formations (utakkal : utanakkal utebbal : utenebbal, etc.; see 16.2.3 sub 3 (p. 457). It is questionable whether the vowel variation in the declension of p mouth is caused by vowel assimilation, as GAG3 10f claims: several other forms are attested than the ones quoted, and the details remain to be established.

2.5. The Personal Affxes


ma-ak-na-ki-im CCT 4, 7c:3 seal (Gen Sg) alongside ma-ak-ni-ki-im BIN 6, 241:6. It is hard to establish whether these exceptions reflect the actual pronunciation or whether they are only examples of careless or partly morphophonemic spellings. It is possible that, in a word such as maknakum, forms with long and short coexisted (cf. the agent nouns karum donkey-driver versus *arrqum [> arruqum] thief), but this is unlikely in the case of *karpatum. Whatever the explanation, the important thing for our purpose is that, wherever the rule is applied in general, we have to do with an original short . Like vowel syncope, vowel assimilation is basically a phonological process that is purely conditioned by formal criteria. In one environment, however, it has spread beyond its original domain, namely in the perfective of the N-stem: the 3ms ippiris (< ippris, as in Babylonian) has extended its i to the forms with an ending, e.g., 3mp ippirs; see 12.2.1 (p. 289). Chronologically, vowel assimilation is posterior to vowel syncope: first, because it is an Assyrian innovation whereas vowel syncope is pan-Akkadian; and second, because it is posterior to the change a > e in the vicinity of a guttural, as is clear from forms such as ilqe they received < *yilqa versus iul they asked < *yial, and maenum shoe < *maanum versus namudum large quantity < *namadum. These forms would otherwise be **ilqu and **maunum. So the chronological order of the three great vowel-changing developments of Assyrian is: vowel syncope E-colouring vowel assimilation. Vowel assimilation also operates in Middle and Neo-Assyrian (W. Mayer 1971: 1112; Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 30). However, in Middle Assyrian, its effects are partly reversed by the change u > a in an open syllable preceding a stressed u (Postgate 1974: 274). It causes forms such as errabni he enters (Subj) instead of errubni (Indic errab) and azatni she has been married for expected azutni (Indic azat) (for references, see W. Mayer 1971: 12, where the attested Middle Assyrian instances are listed).58 As Postgate argues, this is doubtless a side-effect of a stress shift caused by the additional syllable. In Neo-Assyrian, the u > a change before a stressed u becomes widespread, affecting not only verbal forms but also nouns (e.g., a-nu-t SAA 16, 139:6 utensils for untu) and pronouns (atta-nu-u-ni SAA 1, 25:9 you (Pl) for attunu + Subj) (Luukko 2004: 9394). Interestingly, the existence of the rule is exploited to express (or rather to restore) a morphosyntactic contrast between the third person masculine singular and plural of verb forms that had coincided as a result of the generalization of the subjunctive marker -ni in Middle Assyrian (see 9.3.1, pp. 223224). For instance, both the 3ms ekkal he eats and the 3mp ekkul they eat have a subjunctive ekkulni in Middle Assyrian, which may become ekkalni through the u > a change. In Neo-Assyrian, the latter form is in practice mainly used for the plural they eat (Subj), whereas ekkulni is mainly reserved for the singular he eats (Subj) (Fabritius 1995; Luukko 2004: 9397). The mechanism behind this diversification is not clear to me: is it a tendency to maximize the formal contrast: 3ms ekkal ekkulni versus 3mp ekkul() ekkalni ?

2.5. the Personal Affixes

In principle, Akkadian has only one set of personal affixes for all finite categories, apart from superficial distinctions resulting from vowel contraction, E-colouring, and similar processes. The deverbal, non-finite members of infinitive and present and past participle all show the regular nominal declension consisting of endings for case, number, and gender (insofar as these are
58. Interestingly, several exceptions to vowel assimilation in Old Assyrian can be explained as very early instances of this rule: (a . . .) i-l-ku-ma BIN 6, 11:13 (who) should go (normally lluk); -a-ada-ru-ni TC 2, 2:31 they frighten me; see GKT 47c and 79g for a few other examples.


The Personal Affxes 2.5.

applicable), which I will not further discuss here (see GAG 63). Table 2.4 presents the set of personal affixes of the strong verb (without E-colouring; see 17.5.1, pp. 525534) in its Old Babylonian form (--- represents the stem; forms within parentheses are obsolete in Old Babylonian).59 Prefix Conjugations 3ms. 3fs 2ms 2fs 1s 3du 3mp 3fp 2mp 2fp 1p i --(ta ---) ta --ta --- a --(i --- ) i --- i --- ta --- ni --u --(tu ---) tu --tu --- u --(u --- ) u --- u --- tu --- nu ----- ----- Imp Stat ----- at --- ta/i, -t --- t, -ti --- k(u) (--- ) --- --- --- tunu --- tina --- nu

In the prefix conjugations, the prefixes are the basic person markers. The suffixes provide additional specification of gender or number in the second and third persons, but not consistently.60 The stative only has suffixes, which will further be discussed in 7.4.1 (pp. 176181). The variation between the prefixes with a/i and those with u is predictable: the u-set is only used for the D- and the -stems and their derivatives and in the G-stem imperfective and perfective of I/w verbs. However, the prefix of the present participle of the derived stems is always mu-, even in
59. See also GAG 75d/h; Reiner 1966: 6970. I do not see any advantage in assuming that the prefixes are basically consonantal and that the following vowel belongs to the stem, as claimed by Izre'el (1991), Goldenberg (1994: 3536), and Buccellati (1996: 9293). This would be justified if the prefix vowels had a consistent function separate from their environment; this is not the case, however, as can be inferred from Akkadian u. In terms of descriptive simplicity, it makes little difference, since it reduces allomorphy in the prefixes, but it increases allomorphy in the stem (although stem allomorphy is strongly disfavoured in Akkadian; cf. p. 33 n. 8). Moreover, the fact that all non-prefixed forms start with the first radical rather than with a vowel is a strong indication that the first radical should also be taken as the beginning of the stem in prefixed forms. Especially in derived verbal stems, where the inflectional stem is relatively stable, it seems counter-intuitive to claim that the prefix forms have a stem uPaRRvS (Izre'el 1991: 44), whereas the nonprefixed forms obviously have PaRRvS. 60. Actually, this only occurs in the second person singular and the third person plural. The identity of second person singular masculine and the third person singular feminine (before the latter was given up in Old Babylonian) is a pervasive feature of Semitic. After the 3fs prefix ta- was lost in Babylonian, no new gender distinction arose in the third person singular. The overall inconsistency in the formal distinctions of person, gender and number suggest that the combination of prefixes and suffixes as we know them in Akkadian was not devised with the express function of indicating unambiguously all possible combinations of person, gender and number, but is the outcome of accidental grammaticalization processes.

2.5. The Personal Affxes


the stems that elsewhere have a/i.61 Instead of the second person ta-, the defective verbs id to know and i to have have ti- in all dialectse.g., OB 2ms td you know, t you have, where t- includes the original weak first radicalagainst t- or t- in all other I/voc verbs; see 16.3.3 (p. 465). The forms in the Table 2.4 are basically valid for the strong verb in all dialects, with the following qualifications: the special 3fs prefix ta- gradually disappears in the early Old Babylonian period.62 the 3ms and 3pl prefixes i- and u- appear in their older form yi- and yu- in thirdmillennium Akkadian, as indicated by the use of the specialized signs <i> and <u>, in contrast to other i- or u-signs (Hasselbach 2005: 19092), except in Ur III Babylonian.63 Mari Old Akkadian shows a 3pl prefix ti- instead of (y)i- (which does not seem to be attested): tim-a- they beat, ti-ku-lu they ate, ti-i-da-u they drank, ti-il-tap-tu they rubbed each other in MARI 1, 81:2124; ti-ku-lu ARM 19, 382, and tim-za-u they cleaned(?) ARM 19, 3845.64 The 3du affixes are regularly used in Mari Old Akkadian, Sargonic Akkadian, and Old Assyrian, but are residual in Babylonian.65 On the other hand, Old Babylonian shows a few instances of a first person dual in reciprocal verbs, consisting of the first person singular with the dual ending - affixed: lurtm let us love (each other), lunnamr let us meet; see Kouwenberg 2005: 100101.66 a sporadically occurring deviation from the forms in the table is the second-person prefix ti- instead of ta- in Old Babylonian: (a) ti-q-bi- AbB 9, 253:9 whom you mention, ([l]) [t]i-A-da-ar ibid. 19 do not worry, and ti-iq-bi-am AbB 14, 82:6 you said to
61. Since mu- is absent in the basic stem, one could argue that it belongs to the stem and is therefore not an inflectional affix. However, it behaves like the personal prefixes in that it is followed by the prefix base, and therefore it is more efficient to classify it as an inflectional affix. The present participle is the only member of the paradigm for which the derived stems show a form fundamentally different from the basic stem. 62. See GAG 75h, Hilgert 2002: 160 and Whiting 1987: 11. In Old Babylonian, it occurs occasionally in literary texts (von Soden 1931/33: II 14851), in particular in the precative preceded by the particle i; see chap. 9 n. 8 (p. 213), and very rarely in letters (tu-i-ib AbB 7, 52:13 she stayed; ta-at-ta-na-la-ka-ku AbB 14, 49:14 she keeps coming to you. 63. Also in Eblaite, as is clear from spellings with <i>: e.g., i-da-a- /yiaa/ OrAnt. 18, 341: I 4 and Plate 37 they come near; see Fronzaroli 1982: 109 sub k; and with <u9> (e.g., u9-ga-da-ra /yuqaar(a)/ ibid. 112 he will sacrifice incense. According to Krebernik (1988a: 52), some instances of the prefix aalternating with i- may represent an older form ya-, as in the interchange of a-me-tum and i-me-tum right (hand) < *yamittum (Sem ymn). 64. For an extensive discussion, see Bonechi 1988. It also occurs in Ebla (alongside yi-, as in i-da-a-; see the previous note), in peripheral Akkadian (Emar) and West Semiticnamely, in some Amarna letters, especially those of Rib-Addi (Rainey 1996: II 4345)and in Ugaritic (Tropper 2000: 43241). Tropper argues that in Ugaritic y- is archaic and t- an innovation. Hasselbach (2004: 2526) suggests that the consonant t- arose from leveling with the 2p t- and the 3fp t- (which is not actually attested but reconstructed on the basis of Ugaritic, Hebrew, and Amarna letters) and that the vowel of ti- arose by analogy with yi- in the third person singular and dual masculine. This is all extremely speculative. See, for earlier explanations, Edzard 1985, Lambert 1992: 5354, and Gelb 1992: 18889. 65. See Limet 1975: 3943 for Mari Old Akkadian; Hasselbach 2005: 191 for Sargonic Akkadian; GKT 73a for Old Assyrian. In Ur III Babylonian, the dual is not attested (except in the curse formulae of royal inscriptions, where it is doubtless traditional; see Hilgert 2002: 161), but since it is still used occasionally in later Babylonian, it cannot have been completely extinct; see Whiting 1987: 1516. 66. Since the second person plural (also) has the ending -, we cannot establish whether there was a second person dual, since it would doubtless have the same ending.


The Personal Affxes 2.5. me, and perhaps in the Sargonic Akkadian incantation MAD 5, 8:11 = Or. 46, 201:11 (Kish) ti-ib-da-ad-ga,67 if this stands for /tibtatq/ you (Du) cut off for yourselves (Gt perfective).68

There are some clear similarities between the personal prefixes and the independent subject pronouns. In the second person, the prefix ta- agrees with -ta/-ti/-tunu, etc., in the pronouns atta < *an-ta, atti < *an-ti, attunu < *an-tunu, etc. In the first person plural, the prefix ni- corresponds to the pronoun nnu we, and also in the first person singular - recurs in the personal pronoun, if we assume that PSem *an(ku) comes from *an-(ku). There is also a connection between the 3fs prefix ta- and the nominal feminine suffix -(a)t. With regard to the gender and number suffixes, the third person plural gender markers - and - are also used as (parts of) the nominal and adjectival plural markers. On the basis of purely theoretical considerations (i.e., grammaticalization processes of person markers in better-documented languages), it is plausible that the personal prefixes represent either cliticized pronominal elements or cliticized auxiliary verbs containing a pronominal element. This implies a gradual shortening until they acquired the monosyllabic form that is actually attested.69 Since Berber and Cushitic show a set of prefixes that is very similar to the Semitic set, this process must be situated in the Afroasiatic period or even earlier.70 This makes further speculations about the details of this process rather fruitless.71 The fact that they cannot easily be reduced to a uniform paradigm in Proto-Semitic is doubtless caused by recurrent remodelling through analogy and the influence of neighbouring elements, which is difficult to retrace but which may have made them quite different in form from their original pronominal shape.72

67. Interpreted as 2du by J. and A. Westenholz (1977: 208); according to Lambert (1992: 54) and Hasselbach (2005: 19192), it is 3duf; if so, it belongs to the cases mentioned previously. 68. 3fs ti- has parallels in Eblaite as well: ti-ig-da-ra-ab ARET 11, 1: r.ix 5 /tikta(r)rab/ she blesses, ti-a-ba-an ARET 5, 3: I 2 she makes bricks /tilabban/, alongside ta- in da-ne-a-al6 ARET 11, 1: iii 1 / tanal/ she lies down (see also Gelb 1992: 18889; Edzard 2006: 80). 69. A recent discussion with a survey of earlier literature is Hasselbach 2004. 70. See, for instance, Lipiski 1997: 38083. 71. The claim that the Semitic prefixes go back to originally vowelless forms that needed an epenthetic vowel to be attached to the verb (Testen 1994a: 43234; Hasselbach 2004: 3234) is not acceptable to me. First, it is unclear what kind of status such a monoconsonantal element could have had unless it was a reduction of a longer element that included at least one vowel. Second, it seems illogical to assume that an original independent element was first reduced to a single consonant and subsequently acquired an epenthetic vowel to be combined with a verb stem. Such a development is inconsistent with what we know from grammaticalization processes. Another important point is that the very existence of vocalic sonants in Semitic remains to be proven. The parallel with Indo-European to which Testen refers (1993b: 5) is unconvincing because the Indo-European languages have many different forms to base the existence of vocalic sonants on, and a clear morphological raison dtre: the coexistence and the morphological alternation of full and zero grade forms in the same paradigm; this makes it necessary to create alongside a form such as *bheugh (full grade) : *bhugh (zero grade) or *leikw : *likw from a root such as *bhendh a zero grade *bhdh and from *pleH a zero grade *pH, etc. This morphological motivation for the existence of these cross-linguistically not-very-common phonemes is absent in Semitic. See also Voigt 2002: 276, who argues against the existence of syllabic sonorants in Afroasiatic. 72. For the sake of convenience, I will adopt Hetzrons (1973/74: 40) reconstruction of the ProtoSemitic personal prefixes of the basic stem (*a-, *ta-, *yi-, *ni-) when quoting Proto-Semitic verb forms, with the qualification that there are reasons to assume that there was an additional series of prefixes with i in all persons, mainly or exclusively for prefix forms with a as root vowel (*yiqtal(u)), in accordance with the Barth-Ginsberg Law; see especially 16.3.1 (pp. 462464).


Chapter 3

3.1. introduction
In this chapter, I will take a closer look at the paradigm of the G-stem. In particular, I will discuss the semantic and formal distinctions that hold among the G-stem verbs. The semantic distinctions concern the subclasses of fientive, stative, and adjectival verbs on the one hand and differences in transitivity on the other; the formal distinctions concern the vowel classes. Fientive, stative, and adjectival verbs show differences in the structure of their paradigm and also in the meaning of some tense/aspect categories (3.3). Differences in transitivity influence the meaning of the stative, the possibility of passivization, and the choice of derived stems (3.4). Finally, the vowel classes reflect differences in transitivity and Aktionsart (3.5).

3.2. the g-stem as the Basis of the Verbal Paradigm

The paradigm of the G-stem of the strong triradical verb is the norm for all other paradigms. It owes this status to the fact that triradical verbs are more frequent than any other type of verb, that the class of strong verbs is much larger than any class of weak verbs (although all weak verbs taken together are not much less in number than the strong verbs), and that their paradigm is more transparent. In relation to the other verbal stems, the G-stem is dominant because it is unmarked and, again, much more frequent than any derived stem individually. The unmarked nature of the G-stem concerns both form and function.1 With regard to form, the G-stem has no special marker, it has the greatest number of formal distinctions,2 and, most importantly, it shows variation in its vowel pattern, because it has an unmotivated vowel between R2 and R3: the root vowel. This is a typical feature of unmarked categories (van Loon 2005: 6773). The G-stem is also semantically unmarked because it expresses verbal concepts in their most natural valency and because there are no restrictions on the nature of the situations (i.e., actions, events, processes, and states) it can denote. Finally, it is the semantic nature of the G-stem
1. For markedness and its criteria in general, see Greenberg 1966: 912; Croft 2003: 87101; Givn 1995: 2569; Battistella 1996; van Loon 2005: 111. 2. It has six inflectional stems, as we saw in 2.2.1 (pp. 3132), and it is the only stem in which the infinitive and the past participle have a different form ( parsu versus parsu).



Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3.

(whether it is transitive or intransitive, stative or fientive, etc.) that to a large extent determines which of the derived stems can be selected as productive derivations (see 10.6, pp. 252254). Therefore, the G-stem contains verbs of widely different meanings and can be divided into several classes on the basis of differences in Aktionsarti.e., in fientive, stative, and adjectival verbs (3.3); and on the basis of differences in transitivityi.e., in transitive and intransitive verbs on the one hand and high- and low-transitivity verbs on the other (3.4). Both Aktionsart and transitivity are relevant to another distinction among the G-stem verbs, namely, the formal distinction of the vowel classes (3.5).

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, stative, and Adjectival Verbs

The term Aktionsart will be used herefor want of a better oneto refer to the type of situation that is inherent in the meaning of the verb. The most common Aktionsarten are such notions as punctual versus durative, telic versus atelic, stative versus dynamic (fientive), iterative and ingressive.3 Most verbs have a single Aktionsart, which is a constant property, independent of the context or the grammatical category in which the verbs happen to be used.4 Aktionsarten are lexical categories, which may or may not be grammatically relevant. In this and the next sections, we are only concerned with a single set of Aktionsarten, namely, the distinction between fientive (i.e., dynamic), stative and adjectival verbs.5 There is a fundamental distinction in language between dynamic and static situations, on the basis of which we can distinguish dynamic (usually called fientive in Semitic studies) and stative verbs.6 Since it is the primary function of a verb to express an event or a process, most verbs are inherently dynamic. Many languages also have a small number of stative verbs, such as English to know, possess, live, belong, contain (Lyons 1977: II 7067; Binnick 1991: 18388); in general, states are more typically expressed by non-verbal clauses or copula constructions. Changes from stative to fientive or vice versa are typically expressed by lexical or derivational processesi.e., by using a derived verb or an altogether different verb as, for example, English know (stative) vs. learn (dynamic), which corresponds to German kennen versus erkennen, Russian znatj versus uznatj, Dutch weten versus te weten komen or vernemen (Lyons 1977: II 706; Bybee 1985: 21; Buccellati 1988: 178). The situation in Akkadian is quite different. Akkadian has grammaticalized the contrast between dynamic and static situations in the opposition between the prefix conjugations and the stative.7 Since the stative is an inflectional category of the verb, Akkadian does not have a
3. For a definition, see, for instance, Bybee 1985: 21 (aspectual distinctions expressed lexically [. . .] such as English do vs. complete, know vs. realize). Lyons (1977: II 706) calls it aspectual character (The aspectual character of a verb (. . .) will be that part of its meaning whereby it (normally) denotes one kind of situation rather than another), and Smith (1997) speaks of situation aspect. See also Comrie 1976: 67 n. 4, 4151; Binnick 1991: 14446, 17078; D. Cohen 1989: 3133. 4. It is therefore better not to use the term Aktionsart for the functions of the derived verbal stems, although some of them express the same kind of meaning (e.g., pluractional in the tan-stems and ingressive in the N-stem). Iterative as an Aktionsart is found in a G-stem verb such as bau to drip; see 16.6.2 (pp. 494495). 5. In other chapters, we will find other Aktionsart distinctions playing a certain role in Akkadian, such as durative versus punctual in the use of the imperfective (see 4.3, pp. 9195) and telic versus atelic in the stative (see 7.3.2, p. 169). 6. For the difference between dynamic and stative situations, see, for instance, Comrie 1976: 4851; Lyons 1977: II 483; Binnick 1991: 18388; Bybee et al. 1994: 55. 7. See also Leong 1994: 14; Metzler 2002: 89899.

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs


semantic distinction between inherently fientive and stative verbs but a grammatical distinction between fientive and stative forms of the same verb, which are inflectionally related. This means that the question whether an Akkadian verb expresses a static or a dynamic situation depends on the form in which it is used rather than on the Aktionsart of the verb itself: in the stative, it expresses a state; in the prefix conjugations, an event or a process.8 The verb kabtu to be(come) heavy, for instance, which looks like a typical stative verb, denotes a process if it is used in a prefix category such as the perfective ikbit; its fientive meaning is usually interpreted as ingressive: it became heavy.9 A verb such as paru to come together, on the other hand, denotes a movement and therefore seems typically fientive. Used in the stative, however, it denotes a state that results from a previous event, e.g., bum pa-e-er the army is assembled (ARM 6, 52:22 and elsewhere). This explains why it is often difficult to determine whether a given Akkadian verb is stative or not. This applies especially to intransitive change-of-state verbs such as ablu to be(come) dry, taklu to put ones trust in, to trust, and mal to be(come) full. For ablu, for instance, we cannot establish on the basis of its meaning alone whether it is parallel to kabtu, i.e., basically stative to be dry, with ingressive prefix forms (bal it became dry, dried out), or parallel to paru, i.e., basically fientive to become dry, with a resultative stative abil it has become (and therefore is now) dry. This difficulty is recognized by scholars who have attempted to classify Akkadian verbs on the basis of their meaning.10 Aro (1964: 710), for instance, points out that for intransitive verbs the criteria for deciding whether a verb is stative or fientive often contradict one another. He concludes (ibid., 9) that there is no clear-cut distinction between stative and fientive, but that these concepts are instead the two poles of a system, and that individual verbs are only a potiori stative or fientive. In sum, the distinction between stative and fientive as a lexical opposition in Aktionsart is not applicable to Akkadian; however, as a grammatical opposition within the verbal paradigm it is one of the most fundamental features of the Akkadian verb. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons that will become apparent in the course of the present study, it is difficult to dispense completely with a distinction between (prototypical) fientive verbs on the one hand, and at least two other types of verbs that are not prototypically fientive, on the other: formally fientive verbs with a stative meaning (3.3.1), and adjectival verbs (3.3.2).

3.3.1. Fientiveverbswithastativemeaning
There is a small group of verbs in Akkadian that have a prototypical stative meaning yet are mostly used in the prefix conjugations (GAG 78b). The most common examples are ba to exist, be available, i/uzuzzu to stand, kullu to hold,11 au to need, wish, le to be able,
8. Nevertheless, the existence of fientive and stative verbs is taken for granted in most studies on Akkadian and Semitic. For instance, GAG 52a claims that there is a distinction between the Schilderung von Handlungen und Vorgngen and the Beschreibung von Zustnden und Eigenschaften. The former is the domain of das eigentliche Verbum, the latter is the domain of the adjective and the verb derived from it (the Zustandsverben). It is more or less implied that only the fientive verb is a real verb (52a, 73c), whereas the stative verb is actually a conjugated adjective, which, for instance, has no part in the vowel classes. On the other hand, there is no clear formal difference between the two types (73c end). 9. See Comrie 1976: 1920; Lyons 1977: II 713; Wetzer 1996: 18892; Stassen 1997: 16264. 10. For instance, W. von Soden in GAG 87b Anm., Rowton (1962: 264), and Kienast (1967: 67). 11. Kullu is only partially a stative verb: it is fientive in the meaning to offer, provide (CAD K 51516 s.v. 4).


Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3.

muu (OA) to be willing (always with negation: to refuse), blu to be master/owner of, to rule, rmu to love, and zru to hate.12 Their stative meaning is so dominant that even their prefix forms can express a state, although most of them may also denote an event, depending on the context. This results in a number of deviations from ordinary fientive verbs in the use of several verbal categories. First of all, their imperfective is used to refer to states in present, past, and future, adopting the neutrality towards tense of the stative (which also has imperfective aspect; see 7.3, pp. 164).13 The verb ba is the prototype of these verbs. Its imperfective iba has a purely stative meaning, is present, is available, and may even be used in a way that is very similar to a copula, as in (01), but may also refer to past (02) or future (03):14 (01) KH xlviii 21/4 (OB) (a lord) a kma abim wlidim ana ni i-ba-a-u- who is (present) like a natural father for the people (also Syria 33, 66:69; ARM 28, 147: r.13) (02) ARM 10, 50:910 (OB) GNF ul wabat u alm a mara ul i-ba-u- Blet-ekallim was not staying there and the statues in front of her were not present either (see also Metzler 2002: 500; note the coordination of stative and imperfective) (03) YOS 10, 31: XIII 3435 (OB) kuum mdum i-ba-a-i a severe cold will occur15 Second, the perfective of these verbs is also neutral towards the contrast between event and state: it may refer to a state in the past (04), but it may also express an event, namely, the beginning of the statethat is, it may also be ingressive (05): (04) VS 8, 71:2325 (OB) ((I swear that) the silver) itti PN abya l ib-u- ittya l i-ba-a-u- was not in the possession of PN, my father, and is not in my possession (05) BagM. 2, 57: II 1314 (OB) itl ina libb<a?> ib-u- ina libbi PN ib-i the idea that occurred to me also occurred to PN Both iba and ib can refer to a past state, but the perfective ib is far less common and presumably states more emphatically that the situation no longer exists.16

12. The defective verbs id to know and i to have, the so-called prefixed statives (GAG 78b and 106q/r), also belong to this group semantically; they will be discussed in 16.3.3 (pp. 465468). 13. Therefore, stative verbs are prominent among the imperfective forms with past reference (see 4.3, p. 92). 14. Ba also shows other features of copular behaviour (see Hopper and Thompson 1984: 72930; Pustet 2003: 4041). First, it tends to become invariable: already in Old and Middle Assyrian, it may be in the singular, even if the subject is plural (GKT 115f and W. Mayer 1971: 97), and this becomes the norm in Neo-Assyrian (Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 103). Second, it is often placed at the beginning of the clause, either in its existential meaning or as an emphasizing adverb (e.g., in Neo-Assyrian; see Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 109). The suggestion that ba arose from a verbalization of the West Semitic preposition *ba- followed by the 3ms suffix pronoun -u is contradicted by Sargonic Akkadian spellings, which show that the middle radical was originally *; see Rubin 2005: 4546, with earlier literature; Hasselbach 2005: 45 with n. 91. 15. In the future, the distinction between the state itself and its beginning is usually neutralized. 16. The perfective ib is mainly used as part of the precative (lib, etc.), where it appears for purely formal reasons; see, in particular, CAD B 14546 s.v. ba v. 1b-1 about Old Assyrian. There seems to

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs


The same semantic relationship exists between izzz and izzz from i/uzuzzu to stand (up): izzz either denotes a past state he was standing or a past event (and is then telic and ingressive): he stood up (Metzler 2002: 500), e.g.:17 (06) AbB 13, 77:3 (OB) (concerning the field rent) a ina qtka iz-zi-zu which was (lit., stood) in your hand (07) AbB 2, 65: 2728 (OB) niti ul issnit[ma] ul ni-iz-zi-iz (since) they did not summon us, we did not stand up (as witnesses) Third, a peculiarity, which is puzzling at first sight, is that most of these verbs do not or only rarely occur in the stative.18 Ba, for instance, has a stative ba, which alternates with iba without observable difference in meaning, but it is comparatively rare (mainly Standard Babylonian) and gives the impression of being secondary; an Old Babylonian instance is (08), which alternates with the imperfective in (09):19 (08) AbB 3, 88:2021 anku uznya ana kim ba-i-a-ku As for me, my attention is on you20 (09) AbB 11, 106:1314 kma bla u belta uznya i-ba-a-i-a-ni-kum My attention is on you as (if you were) my Lord and my Mistress (tr. M. Stol) The reasons for the rarity of the stative of these verbs are that they are basically atelic and therefore incompatible with the resultative function of the stative (just like atelic activity verbs; see 7.3.2, p. 169) and that the stative is a derived and therefore marked form: if a verb has a stative meaning anyway, there is no need to use this form, and the speaker may fall back on the basic form of the imperfective. Fourth, just like the adjectival verbs to be discussed in the next section, many of these stative verbs do not have a present participle, because this is basically an agent noun restricted to fientive verbs denoting actions, as we will see in 8.4.1 (p. 206).21 In the rest of this study, I will reserve the term stative verb for members of this small set of verbs, which are conjugated like fientive verbs but have a prototypically stative meaning. On the other hand, I will not use the term stative verb for the much larger group of adjectival verbs to be discussed in the next section, since these are only stative when they are used in the stative.

be no t-perfect *ibta (Maloney 1981: 32), but perhaps the rather common t-perfect of the N-stem ittab replaces this form. 17. An interesting case of such an ingressive perfective is the form yiram/taram in Sargonic Akkadian proper names, such as Dar-m-A-ga-d KI MDOG 132 (2000) 140 fig. 3 She has conceived love for Akkad > She loves Akkad, the name of a daughter of Naram-Sin; see 17.7.2 with n. 157 (p. 558). These perfectives have a resultative nuance (just as in id to know and i to have; see 16.3.3, pp. 465468), which is perhaps an archaic trait; see 5.4 (p. 130). 18. Obviously, this does not apply to au, of which the stative is common for to need, whereas the imperfective seems to express the more active nuance of wishing for or demanding something but is also used for to need in the future; see von Soden 1964: 438 and Loesov 2005: 13738. In many contexts, however, which translation one prefers is rather subjective. 19. For ba = iba in Late Babylonian, see Streck 1995a: 17273. 20. I.e., presumably bai (3fp) + ku(m) (or 1s baiku, so that the sentence is an anacoluthon caused by the emphatic anku in front?). 21. Kullu is an obvious exception, in the light of the ubiquitous mukillu (see, pp. 484485). On alleged present participles such as **b and **b, see chap. 8 n. 32 (p. 206).


Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3.

3.3.2. Adjectivalverbs
Apart from the cases discussed in the preceding section, there is yet another subclass of fientive verbs that significantly differs from prototypical fientive verbs in their morphosyntactic behaviour, namely, verbs that are closely related to primary adjectives, such as lemnu to be(come) bad, rab to be(come) big, and warqu to be(come) green. Therefore, I will call them adjectival verbs. Adjectival verbs are not stative, since their verbal paradigm denotes the meaning of the adjective as a process (it is usually ingressive); only the adjective itself and its predicative form, the stative, are stative in meaning. The adjectival verbs differ from prototypical fientive verbs in several respects:22 1. Since they are not action verbs, their verbal paradigm does not include a present participle (GAG 85d and Buccellati 1996: 405). 2. They do not have a past participle either. Its place is occupied by the primary adjective itself, but rather than being a low-ranking member of the verbal paradigm (see 8.3.1, p. 200), it is the basic form from which the entire paradigm of the adjectival verb is derived.23 Accordingly, the adjective has an unpredictable vowel pattern, PaRiS, PaRuS, or PaRaS. The formal relationship between adjective and adjectival verb is complex, in the sense that the vowel class of the latter is not quite predictable from that of the adjective, although there is a clear tendency: adjectival verbs usually belong to the I/i class (for the exceptions, see A3 and A4 in 3.3.3), but those corresponding to PaRuS adjectives predominantly belong to the U/u class (for the exceptions, see B2 and B3 in 3.3.3). A major cause of this lack of regularity is doubtless the instability of their vowel pattern (see below). 3. The fact that fientive verbs have a predictable stative/past participle PaRiS24 implies that verbs that do not have PaRiS must be adjectival. This agrees fairly well with the overall meaning of the latter verbs, with the exception of a few specific types discussed in n. 30 (p. 59). For adjectives of the pattern PaRiS, we need additional semantic information to decide whether the corresponding verb is adjectival or not. 4. In two classes of weak verbs, there are some differences in form between fientive and adjectival verbs. First, in II/gem verbs the 3ms stative is bisyllabic in fientive verbs (madid from maddu to measure, balil from ballu to mix) but monosyllabic in adjectival verbs (dn from dannu to be(come) strong, l from ellu to be(come) clean; see 16.6.1 (pp. 492493) for details. Second, in the prefix forms of the I/w verbs, the adjectival verbs are conjugated like I/y verbs (Impfv tter from watru to exceed, rriq from warqu to be(come) green), but the fientive verbs have the prefix vowel u (Impfv u from wa to go /come out, urrad from wardu to descend); see further 16.3.1 (pp. 462463).25
22. According to Hopper and Thompson (1984: 726) and Wetzer (1996: 3031), adjectival verbs often differ in some respect from prototypical verbs, in particular in having a defective paradigm. 23. This view of the relationship between adjective and adjectival verb is also expressed by Aro 1964: 200201 and Tropper 1995a: 49697. 24. At least in Babylonian; see 7.2 (p. 162) for a few exceptions in Assyrian. 25. In the literature, some other differences are mentioned, which have to do with the occurrence or nonoccurrence of specific categories; see, in particular, Buccellati 1988: 166 and 1996: 4058: stative verbs do not normally occur in the N-stem and have a factitive D-stem, whereas intransitive fientive verbs have a causative -stem. These criteria have a limited value, however: they are tendencies rather than rules and are sometimes contradictory. For instance, tru to return (intr.) is stative according to the criterion of the D-stem but clearly fientive because of its meaning and the fact that its G-stem does not even have a stative ( pace Buccellati 1996: 409).

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs


5. A semantic criterion to identify adjectival verbs is the kind of property they express: a verb is more positively adjectival as the corresponding adjective denotes a more stable, inherent, or permanent property.26 6. There is, finally, also a distributional criterion, namely, the relative frequency of verb and adjective: in adjectival verbs, the adjective is unmarked vis--vis the verb and is therefore expected to occur more frequently. For part of the adjectival verbs listed below in 3.3.3, this is borne out by an impressionistic survey of the dictionaries, although exact statistics are not available to me. This criterion can obviously only be applied to common adjectives, or if the difference in frequency is so large that even small numbers are statistically valid, as in the case of adjectives without corresponding prefix forms, such as barmu multicoloured, paglu strong, and dapu sweet.27 A corollary of this difference in frequency is the fact that primary adjectives tend to be relatively stable in their vowel pattern,28 whereas adjectival verbs show a fair amount of variation, in particular when they do not belong to the I/i class, which is the default vowel class for adjectival verbs. This may be inferred from the footnotes to 3.3.3, where alternative vowel patterns are listed.29 All in all, these criteria do not lead to a hard and fast distinction between adjectival verbs and the rest of the fientive verbs. There is rather a continuum with some verbs more clearly adjectival than others, and with a substantial number of verbs which are difficult to classify.30 In some cases
26. According to Dixon (1982: 16), the properties that cross-linguistically are most typically expressed by adjectives are dimension, physical properties, colour, human propensity, age, value, and speed. However, other linguists give slightly different lists; see Stassen 1997: 16479 for an extensive discussion. 27. Some of these have, however, an infinitive in lexical texts as citation form. 28. Primary adjectives show very little variation, apart from a weak tendency to adopt the most frequent pattern PaRiS, e.g., in palu frightful and raub moist; see 3.3.3). There are, however, a few important differences between Babylonian and Assyrian which point to changes in vowel pattern in the prehistoric period; see 3.3.4 below. 29. To conclude from this that adjectives originally did not have a prefix conjugation (e.g., Tropper 1995a: 497; Voigt 2004: 4445) would be unjustified: rather, we cannot reconstruct it because of the amount of variation in vowel pattern. The relatively infrequent use of adjectival verbs makes them vulnerable to analogical changes. 30. This applies in particular to change-of-state verbs with a PaRiS stative, such as ablu to be(come) dry and kabtu to be(come) heavy, discussed in 3.3 (p. 55), and three specific groups: 1. Adjectives and verbs of speed: lasmu to run (U/u) alongside lasmu swift (lasim), aru to hurry (A/a) alongside aru quick (aru), and amu to hurry (U/u) alongside amu quick (amu). The verbs are prototypically fientive because they denote motion, and the adjectives are not resultative and therefore primary. The irregularity of their vowel patterns is doubtless related to the fact that the concepts they express are common both as properties (to be quick) and as events (to move quickly). This makes verb and adjective relatively independent of each other. 2. A number of PaRiS adjectives related to atelic activity verbs: gau ferocious and gau to gnash the teeth, tarru trembling and tarru to tremble, g/qarru round and garru to roll, and perhaps also apu strong, resistant alongside apu to grip, twist and zaqtu pointed alongside zaqtu to sting (cf. W. R. Mayer 2003: 37071 n. 3). These adjectives are not resultative and therefore not past participles (see 8.3.1, p. 200). They are etymologically related to the verbal paradigm but (synchronically) independent of it. Similar cases occur in the D-stem, e.g., gunnuu constantly wrinkling the nose alongside the verb gunnuu; see GAV p. 402 n. 4. 3. Three adjectives of location and the corresponding verbs: qerbu near and qerbu to come near, r/qu far and rqu to go far, and nes far (nes) and nes to go far (E/e). I have added no vowels to the first two because they are very unstable. I will discuss them below, in (p. 565).


Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3.

it seems appropriate to assign a verb to both classes and posit, for instance, both a fientive el to go /come up and an adjectival el to be high. Similar cases include aq with roughly the same meanings, and eru to be straight, normal, just (adjectival) versus eru to go straight toward (fientive). Since the adjectival verbs form a marked subgroup among the fientive verbs, the correct procedure is to classify a verb as adjectival only when there is sufficient positive evidence and to classify all doubtful cases as fientive. Since they are intransitive, the adjectival verbs can only belong to the isovocalic vowel classesmostly I/i, sometimes U/u, and rarely A/a (see 3.5.2, pp. 7175). Actually, it would be more useful to characterize adjectival verbs by means of the vowel of the adjective and the vowel of the prefix conjugations: e.g., to call kabru to be(come) thick A/i because of kabar, ikabbir/ ikbir), and lemnu to be(come) bad, evil U/i because of lemun, ilemmin/ilmin), etc. I will not use this notation, however, in order to avoid confusion.

3.3.3. Listofadjectivalverbs
This section contains a list of verbs that, on the basis of the criteria discussed above, can be plausibly classified as adjectival, arranged according to the pattern of the adjective. For reasons of clarity, the adjective is mostly mentioned in its 3ms stative form, where the relevant vowel is visible (in some cases this form is inferred from the feminine adjective) and the verb in its 3ms imperfective. Since we have far more data on Babylonian than on Assyrian, the list is based on Babylonian. Where no indication of dialect is added, the Assyrian form is either the same or not attested; where Bab is added, Assyrian is known to have a different form. Specifically Assyrian forms are listed and discussed separately in 3.3.4. However, where Assyrian is only different in not having E-colouring in the first syllable or in having instead of , this is simply indicated by Ass a or Ass . References are only given for forms not listed in the dictionaries. A1. PaRiS adjectives with i in the prefix forms: arik rrik ban ibann damiq idammiq 32 eb bb edi ddi ekil kkil el ll eni nni gair igair kabit ikabbit labir ilabbir long beautiful good thick new dark 33 high weak (Ass a?) powerful heavy old pe rab salim alim eir adil alim an apil el wasim ipe irabb isallim iallim ieir iaddil iallim iann iappil iell ssim white (Ass a) big 31 friendly dark, black small (Ass a) wide, spacious good, sound34 different low, deep blunt appropriate35

31. Earlier Pfv islam (s-lam ARM 2, 40:6; s-la-am A. 488+492:94 quoted FM 6, 148 n. 108, both OB); see 3.5.3. 32. For bb, cf. Prec lu--bi ZA 75, 200:35 (OB). 33. Also fientive in the meaning to go /come up. 34. Earlier Pfv ilam (I-lam-gi ELTS p. 147 no. 41: IV 13 (Pre-Sargonic kudurru from Sippar); Ilam-dinGiR CTMMA 1, 6 nr. 6: III 36 (SAk account text from Sippar); I-la-am-DN Tall Bia p. 52 no. 48:5 (early OB); and Ina-pm-lu--lam ARM 13, 1: VII 40 (OB). 35. Earlier, perhaps wasum in theophoric PNs of the type Ina-am-wasum, DN-wasum, etc. Contrary to Stamm (1939: 81), I do not interpret the spelling Pi-sm in such names as a D-form wussum but as a G stative wasum, first, because the use of PuRRuS forms in theophoric names is exceptional: they almost

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs ma ma nawir ima ima inawwir sufficient, able insufficient bright zaqir zen izaqqir izenn/ high, steep36 angry (Ass a)


A2. PaRiS adjectives of II/voc verbs: pq rq sq ipaq iraq isaq narrow (Bab) empty (Bab) narrow (Bab) b w iab iwa gray, old (Ass ) few (Ass )

A3. PaRiS adjectives with u in the prefix forms: daim emi idaum mmu dark37 hungry38 lasim am ilassum iamm swift thirsty

A4. PaRiS adjectives with a/e in the prefix forms: ber ka iberr ika hungry39 (Ass a) cold41 mal imall full40

A5. PaRiS adjectives without prefix forms attested: bair emi eri er laim masik hot sour 42 wise naked hairy bad, ugly pagil pel qarid qaid sakil zaqin strong white heroic 43 holy (< *qadum) foolish, stupid bearded

always contain simple adjectives (cf. Stamm 1939: 81, 229), and second, because we would expect to find occasional instances of this rather common type of name where the geminate is graphically indicated or with initial - instead of wu-; such spellings do not occur, as far as I know. However, we have to distinguish these theophoric names with the stative wasum from the Sargonic Akkadian PuRRuS name Wussum(t)um (AHw 1498a s.v. and GAV p. 376) and from names with the construct state of wusmum ornament, fitting attribute, such as DN--su-um-am DN is a fitting ornament of heaven (Stamm 1939: 81). 36. Also izqur and izaqqar ; see AHw 1513a s.v. zaqru I G. 37. Only in [i]-da-a-u-mu LKA 105: IV 6 (SB, but the spelling with a and u reveals that this form has an Old Babylonian source; see 17.4, p. 520), versus id-I-im Legends p. 70:62 (OB) and i-da-im AMT 85, 1: VI 6 (SB). This distribution makes it difficult to establish which vowel is more original; I have opted for U/u on the basis of the general drift from U/u towards I/i; see 3.5.3 (pp. 7879). 38. Stat emi according to e-mi-i OBTA p. 52 no. 12:35 (ArBab); for mmu, cf. im-mu-a(-a) BWL 40:44 (SB). 39. Originally perhaps A/a; cf. SAk a ib-ra /ay yibr/ SAB p. 163:5 (Diyala) let it (the field) not starve, i.e., lie fallow. 40. SB rarely imall. 41. SB also ika. 42. Emi 1x OB (e-mi-i Sumer 13, 113:12); also u in SB. 43. The Fem qarrattu (q-ra-at-ta Itar p. 75: I 2 (OB lit.) and elsewhere) is the feminine of qarrdum.


Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3. B1. PaRuS adjectives with u in the prefix forms (at least originally; see 3.5.3):44 ba e gapu abur amu arub arup kar naqud pauq iba igappu iabbur iammu iarrub iarrup ikarr inaqqud ipauq thin45 dark (Bab)46 huge, massive noisy quick (to hurry) waste49 early short51 worried narrow /sabus aun amu ap aq ar taqun aud zak i/sabbus iaun iammu iapp iaqq iarr itaqqun iaud izakk angry (Bab) warm prosperous loud, dense47 high (Bab)48 rich (Bab)50 certain abundant clean, free

B2. PaRuS adjectives with i in the prefix forms: emuq mmiq52 lapun ilappin lemun ilemmin wise poor 53 bad54 (Ass. also a) matuq waruq imattiq rriq sweet green (Bab)

B3. PaRuS adjectives with a in the prefix forms (at least originally; see 3.5.3): aru maru nes/ rra imarra iness quick (to hurry) ill (Bab)56 far palu ipalla qerub iqarrab rq/rq irq awesome55 (Bab) near (Bab)57 far (Bab)

B4. PaRuS adjectives without prefix forms attested: barum daup multicoloured sweet raub raub awe-inspiring moist58

44. Ordinal numbers, which regularly have PaRuS in Babylonian but PaRiS in Assyrian (GAG 70a/b), are not included. 45. Also Stat ba and Impfv iba. 46. The Impfv is only based on Gilg. p. 234:39 (OB) i--ma u4-mu, cf. A. R. George, NABU 2004/49; mu is unlikely to be plural, cf. also Sg u4-mu in 35); elsewhere I/i. 47. Also iapp (SB); this might be the same word as ap thick (A5). 48. Also iaqq (SB). 49. Also iarrib (LB). 50. Also iarr (SB). 51. Also ikarr (OB, SB). 52. Only based on Gilg. p. 580:104 (SB) i -m-iq he will become wise. 53. It occurs as I/i in Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian (i-l-p-nu AKT 1, 21:9; il5-t-p(-ma) ArAn. 1, 48 n. 23 kt 88/k 507b:14), alongside U/u in SB (lu-ul-pu-un-mi ZA 43, 86: I 6). The stative pattern *lapun suggests that U/u may be older, and this would also agree with the general pattern of change. 54. But NB ilemmun. 55. Palu only in SAk and OB proper names, later pali. 56. But NB imarru. 57. Iqarrab inferred from sporadic OB Pfv iqrab (e.g., iq-ra-ab Legends p. 198:46), later Bab iqerri/ub; OA iqarrub, Stat qurub; see (p. 565) for this verb and the next one. 58. But also raib (ra-i-ib YOS 10, 33: II 24. 26; ra--ib-tum ARM 27, 66:18). Cf. also the noun ra-ab-tum terre irrigue ARM 26/1, 217 no. 76:26 (OB). Perhaps raib is already attested in Ebla, if la-ti-bat [um?] // la-ti-tum stands for /raibtum/ (Krebernik 1983: 42).

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs kazub narub na raum/n luxuriant59 (Bab) soft, moist (Bab) appropriate loud aru waru z/ap/bur proud, magnificent dirty, impure evil, malicious


C1. PaRaS adjectives with i in the prefix forms (at least originally; see 3.5.3): iar kabar nakar qatan ir ikabbir inakkir iqattin straight, just thick foreign thin, fine rapa waqar waa watar irappi qqir i? 60 ttir wide, broad rare, precious fierce exceeding

C2. PaRaS adjectives of II/voc verbs: md sm imad isam numerous (Bab)61 red b iab good, pleasant

C3. PaRaS adjectives with vowel class U/u (at least originally): No instances. C4. PaRaS adjectives with vowel class A/a: No instances in Babylonian.62 C5. PaRaS adjectives without prefix forms attested: amar dry

D1. Adjectives of II/gem verbs with i in the prefix forms: dn idannin b bbib l llil m mmim erur(!)63 rrir strong pure pure, free hot dry mr ql raggu rq imarrir iqallil iraggig iraqqiq bitter light (of weight) bad, wicked thin, fine

59. Only as PNF Kazubtum (Ka-zu-ub-tum AbB 14, 46:3; CT 6, 4: I 6, both OB). 60. Only based on i-i- [a] Erra IIIc 49 (SB). CAD does not have a verb au, only an adjective au (A/2 47576). 61. Bab md, imad replaces an earlier II/ adjective and verb with maad and imaid (belonging to C1), which is preserved in Assyrian; see 16.5.1 (pp. 474476). 62. One might include here Ass balaiballa to live, be(come) healthy (corresponding to Bab bali iballu), but there is insufficient reason to classify balu as an adjectival verb. See 7.2 (p. 162) for the Stat bala. 63. Erur, a rather abnormal form, occurs in JCS 24, 66 no. 66:8 e-ru-r (OB). It cannot be ruled out that it is a Pfv with e- prefix instead of i-. For rrir, cf. l ir-ri-ra BAM 1, 22:34 (// l i-ba-l [a] 6, 515: I 65), said of herbs; and for the meaning, see Kcher 1965.


Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs 3.3. D2. Adjectives of II/gem verbs with u in the prefix forms: d ddud? 64 sharp z, eziz zzu/iz angry rb irabbu/ib soft, weak

D3. Adjectives of II/gem verbs without prefix forms attested: daqqu very small sr false65

E. Adjectives of unknown pattern but with corresponding verb: erpu rrup cloudy anpu iannup dirty

3.3.4. DeviatingadjectivesinAssyrian
For the adjectives that have a different pattern in Assyrian, the vowel class of the corresponding adjectival verb is often unknown, so it is no use listing them in the way that I have listed the Babylonian ones above. Instead, I will arrange them according to the corresponding verb of the Babylonian adjective. There are three types:66 1. Ass PaRiS corresponding to Bab PaRuS: mari narib sabis eriq aq ar imarra ill moist67 angry green high rich Bab maruimarra (B3) (< *weriq < *wariq)68 Bab aqiaqq (B1) Bab ariarr (B1)69

iaqq (MA/NA) iarr

2. Ass PuRuS corresponding to Bab PaRuS: qurub70 rq71 iqarrub iraq near far Bab qerubiqarrab (B3), Bab rq/rq, irq (B3)

64. Based on several doubtful forms (all SB): id-du-ud AnSt. 30, 101:19 // Iraq 60, 192:19 (= Ludlul I 19, SB), of uncertain interpretation, and e-du-ud AfO 14, pl. IV: ii 17; ACh. Spl. 8:9, 11, which at first glance is a stative (like ed-de-et in the same context, e.g., ACh. 2. Spl. 1: I 10), but the subject qarnu horn is feminine, so it is a 3ms Perfective, in spite of e-. 65. There are, however, N forms with stem vowel a, which is highly irregular: Impfv is-sa-ra-ar/r LSS 1/6, 33:2, 4 and t-Pf it-tas-ra-ar MSL 1, 48:10 he will prove/has proved to be unreliable (both SB); perhaps also in AbB 12, 32:28 (OB). 66. The forms are Old Assyrian, unless indicated otherwise. 67. Fem Adj naribtum (e.g., na-ri-ib-tum Prag I 429:11). 68. OA also has warqum (stem vowel unknown, also written barqum: bar-q-t [u]m RA 58, 64 no. 7:5), and substantivized in rabi ur-q/wa-ar-q TMH 1, 27b:2 and VS 26, 125:13 the overseer of the vegetables. 69. The OA adjective e---tim JCS 14, 3:21, said of textiles, which AHw 266a s.v. e I 4 connects with Bab e dark might be another instance. It is, however, more likely that this eium is a variant of WA-D-um, an adjective of unknown meaning that qualifies textiles, hides, and saddles; see Veenhof 1972: 186 and 2010: 141. 70. Attested in Old Assyrian (ana m qurbtim on short terms; see CAD Q 215a s.v. qerbu adj. 2; q-ru-ub Prag I 483:25; q-ur-bu OAA 1, 83:26), Middle Assyrian (qur-bu--te KAV 1: III 24:44), and Neo-Assyrian (qu-ru-ub SAA 16, 125:9 and passim). See further (p. 565). 71. Rqu (< *ruqum; see, p. 565) occurs in Old Assyrian as adjective in ru-q-um(-ma) RA 88, 121:20; as stative in ru-q BIN 4, 32:27; in Middle Assyrian perhaps in the PNF t-ru-[q-at] KAJ

3.3. Distinctions in Aktionsart: Fientive, Stative, and Adjectival Verbs pulu72 kuzub73 frightful charming


3. Ass PS corresponding to Bab PS in II/voc verbs: rq iraq pq (NA)74 sq (MA/NA)75isaq (NA) empty narrow narrow ~ class A2 in Bab ~ class A2 in Bab ~ class A2 in Bab

The fact that the differences between Assyrian and Babylonian concern groups of adjectives rather than individual cases is striking, but the historical significance of this is not very clear. The most remarkable fact is the rare occurrence of PaRuS in Assyrian. There are only three instances: la/emnu bad, evil, zak clean, free, and na appropriate.76 The rest of the Babylonian PaRuS adjectives show either PaRiS (Type 1) or PuRuS (Type 2) in Assyrian. The importance of Type 1 is enhanced by the fact that it also includes the ordinal numerals from three to ten: they normally have the pattern PaRiS instead of Bab PaRuS (GKT 69). I would not dare to speculate on which form is more original. The PuRuS pattern of Type 2 is the only pattern of basic adjectives that does not show a in the first syllable. Apart from the four adjectives listed above, it also occurs in a few statives of verbs that do not seem to be adjectival: *pur they are assembled from paru (U/u) in pu--ru OIP 27, 62:25 (OA), pu-u-ru SAA 5, 21:14 and elsewhere in NA muul it is similar from malu (mostly A/u) in mu-u-ul SAA 10, 382: r.9 and elsewhere in NA A possible explanation is that PuRuS is secondary, resulting from the occasional assimilation of a to u in the next syllable.77 This reminds us of the vowel assimilation rule discussed in 2.4 (pp. 4849). Although this rule does not regularly affect the first syllable of a word, there are a few similar cases, such as Ass kul/kil/kal all and kulmu lamb for Bab kalmu (see chap. 2, n. 56, p. 48). It is unclear, however, why la/emnu, zak, and na were not affected. Moreover, this also presupposes the existence of *paur and *maul, which remains speculative.78
16:14 (PN, see CAD R 424b s.v. rqu 3a); for Neo-Assyian, cf. perhaps ru-qu-ti SAA 10, 58: r.6; but most, if not all, instances may be Standard Babylonian intrusions; cf. (p. 19). 72. Attested in the 3fs Stat pulat: e-za-at pu-ul-a-at Or. 66, 59:1, an Old Assyrian incantation, corresponding to OB e-ze-et pa-al-a-at YOS 11, 20:1 she is furious and frightful. The regular stative of palu to fear is palV he is afraid (pattern unknown), e.g., p-al-a-ni JEOL 35/36: 103: r.5 we are afraid. 73. Attested in the Fem Sg kuzubtum: awtam ku-zu-ub-tm Or. 36, 410 kt b/k 95:14. 74. Attested in pa-aq-t SAA 9, 3: III 8 (NA) and pa-a-qu Diri I 266 (SB), quoted by S. Parpola, SAA 9, p. 25 ad III 8. 75. Sq is attested in sa-qa-at Iraq 31, 31:44 (MA) and sa-a-qu-u-ni SAA 10, 364:5 (NA); for isaq; see CAD S 170a s.v. squ v. 1d. 76. Of these, la/emnum is atypical because of its e and nam because it is only used predicatively and in Old Assyrian does not agree in gender with the subject (see CAD N/2 131a s.v. na A adj. c 2). It is further unclear to what extent forms of zakm belong to the G-stem or the D-stem; see the comments in CAD Z 25b s.v. Note that there are also a few instances of zak with i: za-ki-am BIN 4, 23:4 (OA) and za-ki-a MVAG 41/3, 16:35 (MA), both Masc Sg Acc. 77. This is also Parpolas view (1983: 220) about the Neo-Assyrian instances (qurub, rq, pur, muul ); he does not mention the Old Assyrian parallels. 78. Von Soden (1948: 301), followed by Hmeen-Anttila (2000: 26) and Luukko (2004: 85 n. 262), explains qurbu as [qorbu], in which [o] is caused by the surrounding consonants q and r. However, forms such as muul and pulat show that it is unlikely to be an occasional instance of Vokalfrbung.


Transitivity 3.4.

Finally, the three II/voc adjectives rqu, pqu, and squ of Type 3 may well be more original than their Babylonian counterparts rqu, pqu, and squ, because the latter can easily be explained as remodelled on the basis of the fientive II/ verbs, such as qpu () to entrust (see 16.5.2, pp. 476479): Impfv iqap : Stat qp iraq : x, where x is rq, replacing rq.

3.4. transitivity
A second important semantic dividing line between different kinds of G-stem verbs in Akkadian concerns transitivity. Two kinds of transitivity are currently distinguished, syntactic and semantic. The former represents the traditional concept of transitivity: a binary distinction between transitive verbs, which normally require a direct object, and intransitive verbs, which normally do not. Semantic transitivity, on the other hand, is a gradient feature that is determined by a combination of factors involving not only the meaning and the construction of the verb but also the clause as a whole (Hopper and Thompson 1980: 252). Prominent among them are the degree of agentivity and volition of the subject, the degree of affectedness and individuation of the object (the patient), and the degree of telicness of the verb (Hopper and Thompson 1980: 252; see also Lakoff 1977: 24445; Givn 1990: 56566). The more these features are present, the higher the degree of transitivity. If all features of high transitivity appear together in a clause, we can speak of prototypical transitivity, because semantic transitivity is a prototype concept (Givn 1984: 9697; Croft 2003: 17578). Since the most important of these criteria depend on the semantic nature of the verb, we can qualify verbs that normally occur in clauses with a high degree of transitivity as high transitivity verbs and verbs that normally occur in clauses with a low degree of transitivity as low transitivity verbs. Syntactic and semantic transitivity are often closely parallel: semantic high transitivity implies syntactic transitivity, because it requires a strongly affected patient. Syntactic intransitivity normally correlates with low transitivity. The most crucial difference is that a verb that normally has a direct object may still have inherent low transitivitywhen this object does not meet the important criteria of affectedness and individuation (see Givn 1984: 98104). Examples of low transitivity verbs with a direct object are expressions such as to sing a song, to cross a street, to pass an exam, to have the flu. It is this kind of verb in particular for which the concept of semantic transitivity proves to be illuminating. This description also applies to Akkadian. Both syntactic and semantic transitivity can be relevant for a description of the Akkadian verb. Generally speaking, if we are dealing with verbs that are prototypically transitive or intransitive in the syntactic sense, we need not bother too much about degrees of transitivity. Syntactic transitivity is relevant to processes such as passivization (only transitive verbs can be passivized; see, p. 260), transitivization (only intransitive verbs can have a D-stem with transitivizing force; see 10.8.2, pp. 256257, and 11.5, p. 279), and the membership of the vowel class A/u (which is only open to transitive verbs; see, pp. 7273). It is especially for verbs whose meaning makes them borderline cases between transitive and intransitive that the notion of semantic transitivity can help solve problems of classification and can provide a better understanding of their peculiar behaviour (see also GAV pp. 9598). The most important group consists of transitive low-transitivity verbs, i.e., verbs that are construed with a direct object (or at least a noun in the accusative) without being high-transitivity verbs, because this direct object does not have the semantic status of a patient. In contrast to normal transitive verbs, these verbs cannot be passivized: if they occur in the N-stem at all, the N-stem form tends to be ingressive, just as N-stems of intransitive verbs (see, pp. 297298); if they have a D-stem, it has factitive function (i.e., it is the agentive counterpart of the G-stem; see 11.3.3, p. 274), although this function is normally restricted to D-stems of intransitive verbs.

3.4. Transitivity


Moreover, it is typical of such verbs to be construed alternatively with an accusative or with a prepositional phrase. This applies in particular to the following semantic classes:79 verbs of approaching and addressing (saru + Acc or ana to turn to, emdu + Acc or ana to lean on, reach as far as, take refuge with, and kadu listed in the next group) verbs of praying (karbu, s/ull, supp, sarruru, all + Acc or ana) some other individual cases including qu and (w)aq to wait for (+ Acc or ana; cf. GAG 143c), nalu to look at, usually + Acc but + ana to look for support, wait (CAD N/2 125b s.v. 3), mek to be negligent (CAD M/2 89 s.v. 1b), and kapdu to plan, devise (+ Acc or ana, cf. CAD K 17273 s.v. 1a versus 1b).80 Most importantly, this phenomenon is found in motion verbs: kadu + Acc or ana, adi and ana r to reach, arrive (see n. 81) alku to go /come may express the path as a direct object or as a prepositional phrase (sqa alku or ina sqi alku to walk along the street, ra alku or ina/eli eri alku to walk in the open country, arrna alku or ana arrni alku to set out on a journey or an expedition) erbu to enter normally has ana, but an Acc is also found (typically bba door, abulla gate, and bta house) wa to go /come out mostly has ina, itu, etc., but occasionally it has an Acc, in particular bba door and abulla gate; in Mari Old Babylonian, we find ana arrni wa (ARM 2, 20:7) beside arrna wa (2, 138:7), and ana gerri wa (FM 2, 34 no. 10:5) alongside gerra wa (MARI 7, 45:12 and 15); cf. alku above wabu to sit down, settle usually has ina, but a few times it has an Acc (OB: AbB 7, 42:13 (lam); Kisurra no. 153:24 (a place name); OA: EL 7:8 (btam); 286:1 (eqlam). The two constructions do not always have the same meaning: the transitive construction with an accusative often correlates with a higher degree of affectedness of the patient than the prepositional construction.81 This double construction makes it difficult to classify these verbs as syntactically either transitive or intransitive (cf. Aro 1964: 910; Kienast 1967: 67). Their semantic transitivity shows that semantically they belong to the class of intransitive verbs and throughout also behave as intransitive verbs. Finally, both syntactic and semantic transitivity play a role in the characterization of the vowel classes. The large A/u class is only open to verbs that are syntactically transitive, i.e., that normally have a direct object (see, pp. 7273). The vowel class A/a, on the other hand, typically comprises low transitivity verbs, regardless of whether they are (syntactically) transitive (e.g., lamdu to learn), intransitive (e.g., ablu to become dry), or both (e.g., mal to be(come) full; fill, cover) (see further, pp. 7475).

79. For references, see in general the dictionaries. 80. A particularly intriguing case is tam to swear, which has an Acc (AHw 131718 s.v. G I 2) or ina (ibid., II 1) for the object sworn by, e.g., OA patram or ina patrim a Aur tamum to swear by the dagger of Aur (Hirsch 1972: 65a); likewise, we find mamtam tamum to swear an oath in Old Assyrian (AHw 1317b s.v. G I 2), but ina mamtim tamm in Old Babylonian (ibid., II 1, e.g., AbB 9, 216:1011). 81. See also GAV pp. 9798. A good example from Akkadian is kadu, which, in addition to the alternation of an accusative and a prepositional phrase in the meaning to reach, arrive, may also mean to acquire, conquer, but then only takes an accusative.


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

3.5. the Vowel Classes

The prefix conjugations and the imperative of the G-stem show a variable and unpredictable vowel between R2 and R3, on the basis of which we can divide the G-stem verbs into five formal types, the vowel classes. The vowel classes properly belong to the G-stem, although they have been extended to part of the derived stems as well, and correlate in a complex way with certain semantic and syntactic properties of the verb. They owe their existence to the combination of the inherited root vowel (see 2.3.4, pp. 45) and the vowel of the new geminated imperfective, which brought along its own vowel, into a single paradigm. I will discuss the details of this process (insofar as they are recoverable) in chap. 4. In the next sections, I will focus on the vowel classes as they appear and develop in the historical period of Akkadian.

3.5.1. Formandfunction
The vowels determining the vowel class of a verb appear in the imperfective, perfective, t-perfect, and imperative. In the G-stem, the vowel of the t-perfect is identical to that of the imperfective (see 6.2, pp. 138139), and the vowel of the imperative is always identical to that of the perfective (see 5.5, p. 133). Therefore, we can define the vowel classes by means of the vowels of imperfective and perfective alone. The three imperfective vowels a, i, and u (of the A-verbs, I-verbs and U-verbs; see 4.2, pp. 8890) combine with the root vowel of the perfective to form the five possible vowel classes:82 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. the I/i class (e.g., ipaqqid ipqid he entrusts/entrusted the U/u class (e.g., imaqqut imqut he falls/fell the A/a class (e.g., ilammad ilmad he learns/learned the A/u or Ablaut class (e.g., iakkan ikun he places/placed the A/i or weak class (e.g., uab uib he is sitting down/sat down)

The first three are isovocalic: they have the same vowel in the imperfective and the perfective. The last two are anisovocalic and are also called the Ablaut classes, in particular in reference to the very large A/u class. The vowel of the stative is not included in the definition of the vowel classes, since it is predictable in fientive verbs (always i ). This is not the case in adjectival verbs, but here the adjective is outside the verbal paradigm (see 3.3.2, p. 58), and their past participle slot is empty.83 The five vowel classes characterize the strong triradical verbs and all weak verbs in which the weak radical is not in direct contact with the relevant vowel(s)i.e., the II/gem verbsand the verbs with a weak R1i.e., the I/voc, I/w, and I/n verbs. The other types of weak verbs have their own specific system. As I argued in 2.3.4 (pp. 4445), their weak radical also serves as root vowel and determines the vowel pattern, so that there is no unpredictable variation. In the II/voc verbs, it is the long vowel serving as R2 which plays this role. As a radical, this vowel has no obvious correlation with any semantic or syntactic features, such as transitivity ( pace GAG
82. See also GAG 73cd and 87ad; Kienast 1967 (= 2001: 23749); Aro 1964; Kuryowicz 1972: 5456; Moscati, ed. 1964: 12223. For lists of verbs, see Aro 1964: 1843 with Aros own additions apud Jucquois 1967: 311. GAG 87a speaks of Bedeutungsklassen (but Wurzelvokalklassen in 87c), which is a rather unfortunate term, because there is no direct correlation between vowel class and meaning; see below. 83. Since the vowel of the stative/past participle is not included in the definition of the Akkadian vowel classes, they cannot be directly compared with the vowel classes in West Semitic, which are based on the vowels of the prefix conjugation and the suffix conjugation (e.g., Ar yaqtulu qatala), especially because the most common type of suffix conjugation, qatala, has no counterpart in Akkadian.

3.5. The Vowel Classes


104ce; see 16.5.1, p. 476). In the III/voc verbs, the long vowel that serves as final radical determines the vowel class (see 2.3.4, p. 45): a III/ verb is automatically I/i, a III/ verb U/u, etc.84 Therefore, the III/voc verbs can only belong to the isovocalic vowel classes.85 In these circumstances, it is questionable to what extent we are justified in speaking of vowel classes stricto sensu, but it is still convenient to use the term, if only to retain the parallel with the strong verb. The function of the vowel classes poses a delicate problem. On the one hand, they are primarily formal categories, based on vowels that are unmotivated (at least synchronically) and do not have a grammatical function. Even in the Ablaut classes, the contrast of imperfective versus perfective is primarily conveyed by gemination (see 4.2, pp. 8889).86 This is particularly clear from the behaviour of the weak verbs, where it is the radical itself rather than a semantic or syntactic feature of the verb that determines the vowel pattern, and from the nature of the A/i class, membership of which is purely determined by the form of the verb (see, p. 75). It is also shown by the fact that a G-stem verb can switch from one class to another or can belong to more than one vowel class without any observable consequence for its meaning.87 Such cases will be discussed in greater detail in 3.5.3 (pp. 7581).88 On the other hand, in the strong verb there are definitely some correlations between vowel class and certain syntactic and semantic features of the verb in terms of Aktionsart and transitivity.89 The main correlations are the following (for the details, see 3.5.2 below): 1. Syntactic transitivity is relevant to the A/u class, almost all members of which are transitive, and the U/u class, which is predominantly intransitive. 2. Semantic transitivity is a prominent feature of the A/a class, which mainly contains lowtransitivity middle verbs. 3. Aktionsart is involved in the U/u class, insofar as it contains many atelic (durative) activity verbs, and in the fientive part of the I/i class, insofar as it mainly contains punctual verbs.90
84. At least in historical Akkadian, see n. 44 to Chapter II. 85. With the notable exception of MA/NA u, u from uu to go /come out, which developed secondarily from earlier u, u, see chap. 16 n. 176 (p. 498). 86. In this respect, the vowel classes can be regarded as conjugations in the sense familiar from Latin, where almost all verbs belong to one of four conjugations on the basis of the final vowel of their stem (there are -stems, -stems, -stems, and consonant-stems [i.e., with vowel]; see Aronoff 1994: 4553), or from Germanic languages with their classes of strong and weak verbs. The weak correlation with certain semantic and syntactic parameters, to be discussed presently, undermines the similarity, however. 87. Pace GAG 87d and von Soden 1989: 18182; Kienast 1967: 82 sub 4). 88. In a very small number of cases, the vowel classes distinguish different verbs with the same radicals, such as au (A/u) to take off, tear off and au (I/i) to jump, attack, aq (I/i) to give to drink and aq (U/u) to be(come) high. This is far too incidental, however, to qualify as a function. There is no observable tendency in Akkadian to systematically distinguish identical roots in this way: other homonymous verbs also share the same vowel class, e.g., kamsu (I/i), which means both to kneel, bow down and to gather, finish, and du () which means to melt (intr.) and to turn about, spin. 89. The attempts to assign a specific semantic function to the vowels a, i, and u by themselves, e.g., by Gelb (1969: 209: a for the neutral action, i for the punctual action, and u for the durative action) and by Castellino (1962: 48), or to their combination in a specific vowel class (e.g., by von Soden [GAG 87c], Kienast [1967: 69], and Sgral [2000: 287]) are to be considered unsuccessful. Cf. Kuryowicz 1972: 43: The association of a given root-vocalism with a certain fundamental meaning (like trans. intrans. stative) can be rightfully established only for derived verb-forms, whether deverbative or denominative. To look for a constant association between the vocalism of R2 and the fundamental meaning of non-motivated (primary) verbs is a methodological derailment tantamount to the old theory of Lautsymbolik (emphasis original). 90. Sometimes much more precise definitions of the meaning of a vowel class are given. For instance, GAG 103b characterizes the I/w verbs with A/i as Verben der Bewegung mit bestimmtem Ausgangs-


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

These correlations are not rules, but tendencies that may be stronger or weaker. Moreover, they are not symmetrical: a vowel class mostly contains verbs that share certain semantic features, but these features are not specific to that particular vowel class. For instance, almost all A/u verbs are transitive, but not all transitive verbs have A/u; many U/u verbs denote atelic activities, but not all atelic activities are expressed by U/u verbs; the A/a class mainly contains low-transitivity verbs, but there are far more low-transitivity verbs outside the A/a class, etc. On the basis of its vowel class, then, we can infer some semantic and syntactic features of a verb with a reasonable rate of success, but it is more difficult to predict the vowel class of a verb on the basis of these features. Here too, however, there are a few tendencies. For instance, an atelic activity verb has a high probability of being U/u, a transitive verb with a punctual Aktionsart is likely to be I/i, and an intransitive verb is very unlikely to be A/u. In this respect, the vowel classes are not essentially different from vowel patterns in general: as a result of the root-and-pattern system, words with a parallel meaning or function tend to share the same vowel pattern, but this pattern is not necessarily restricted to nouns of that particular semantic class, since it may comprise words of quite diverse origins. For instance, abstract nouns derived from adjectives often have the pattern PuRS in Akkadian (GAG 55d), but not all nouns of this pattern are abstract nouns of adjectives, as is clear from nouns such as ummu mother, zumru body, and uznu ear. The ambivalent nature of the vowel classes is a consequence of the way in which they have emerged: they are an accidental by-product of the combination of the inherited perfective with the new geminated imperfective *yiqattal- in a prehistoric stage of Akkadian. Both categories brought along their own vowel: the perfective its root vowel, and the new imperfective presumably a fixed vowel a, at least originally; I will discuss this problem in detail in chap. 4. Once the paradigm based on these two categories was established, the vowel classes gradually acquired their historical form through the mechanism of semantic association: groups of verbs with the same vowel class served as a magnet for attracting existing and new verbs with a similar meaning, so that the similar meaning became more and more dominant and typical of the class in question. Eventually, this led to a situation in which large groups of semantically similar verbs shared the same vowel pattern. On the other hand, since the vowels that determine the vowel classes do not have a meaning of their own, a particular vowel class is not closed to verbs with other meanings, but such verbs are isolated and therefore more vulnerable to undergoing change, such as shifting to another class or being discarded altogether. In sum, we can say that on the level of individual verbs the vowel classes increase the isomorphism of the verbal system, because they make verbs that share a semantic feature also more similar in form. On the level of the verbal paradigm as a whole, they increase its uniformity and coherence, because they constrain the number of possible relationships between the vowels of the basic members of the verbal paradigm to five, although they do not make one form fully predictable from the other one (see further 5.2, p. 126). It is important to note that there is a fundamental difference between the vowel classes of the G-stem and those of the derived stems. Whereas the former are unmotivated and grammatically non-contrastive, the latter are motivated and usually have a grammatical function. They express, for instance, the contrast between imperfective and perfective (e.g., uparras versus uparris in the D-stem), between imperative and stative (e.g., pitras versus pitrus in the Gt-stem), or between
oder Zielpunkt, and Kienast (1967: 72) claims that transitive I/i verbs denote ein Abtrennen oder Loslsen eines Teiles vom Ganzen bzw. ein Zusammenfgen von Einzelnem, d.h. eine Aktivitt, die ein gewisses Richtungsmoment beeinhaltet. Such characterizations are either too vague to be meaningful or too specific to do justice to the observable variety of meaning.

3.5. The Vowel Classes


different derived stems (e.g., Gtn Prec liptarras versus Dt(n) Prec liptarris). Therefore, it is methodologically incorrect to treat the vowel patterns of the basic stem in the same way as those of the derived stems as, for instance, Kienast (1967: 7682) does. Insofar as the derived verbs show variation in their vowel pattern (e.g., in the t-stems and the tan-stems and in the imperfective of the N-stem), it is determined by the imperfective vowel of the corresponding G-stem (see 4.2, p. 89). This explains the relative stability of the vowel patterns of the derived stems, whereas in the basic stem we observe a considerable fluctuation over time, as I will show in 3.5.3. The quadriradical verbs show a comparable picture: the N-stem, which is their basic stem, has vowel classes (A/i, I/i, and U/u; see 12.5, pp. 307310), but the derived -stem has the fixed A/i pattern of all -stems (see 13.4.1, p. 338).91 Finally, unlike West Semitic, Akkadian has never exploited the possibilities of vowel alternation for expressing differences in grammatical voice. In Arabic, for instance, we find contrastive pairs such as malaa (yamluu) to fill versus malia (yamlau) to be full and azana (yazunu) to sadden versus azina (yazanu) to be sad (Kuryowicz 1972: 6768). This is virtually unknown in Akkadian.92 It is hard to say whether the West Semitic cases are a secondary development in which Akkadian took no part or the remains of a Proto-Semitic system that was discarded in Akkadian. The former option seems more likely, because they can hardly be separated from the rise of apophonic voice distinctions in general in West Semitic, which in particular resulted in a class of middle verbs of the pattern qatila/yiqtalu and the internal passive forms of the type of Arabic qutila/yuqtalu.

3.5.2. Theindividualvowelclasses ThevowelclassI/i

The appendix of 3.6 sub 1 contains 359 verbs of the I/i class, which makes it by far the most numerous class.93 There does not seem to be any restriction on the range of meanings expressed
91. The vowel classes in the derived stems are an Akkadian innovation, see 14.2.1 (pp. 356357) for the Gt-stem, 14.7.2 (p. 417) for the Gtn-stem, 12.2.1 (pp. 288290) for the N-stem, and 12.5 (pp. 307310) for the quadriradical verbs (so already Knudsen 1984/86: 23233). See also the statement of Kuryowicz quoted in n. 89. 92. Possible candidates, all extremely rare and marginal, are: (1) taru A/u to stretch (trans.) versus U/u to be right, correct, which can perhaps be derived from a single underlying root trto be straight; (2) qarru U/u to flow, overflow versus A/u to pour (only once: i-qar-ra-ru quoted by CAD Q 127b s.v. qarru 2 (MB legal), which may be a mistake for a D form uqarrar); (3) zaqpu A/u to plant, erect versus zaqpu (U/u) to appear in court, take up a position, which might be a middle or reflexive derivation of zaqpu A/u (to erect oneself), but it only appears in Neo-Assyrian and is clearly late and secondary; (4) a remarkable but also indecisive case concerns the two verbs rau: rau (I/i) to flood, inundate (also to run quickly, cf. AHw 943a s.v. rau I G 3; same verb?), often with Adad as subject, and rau (A/u) to wash, rinse. If they have a common origin, which seems semantically plausible, they have doubtless been differentiated secondarily. For W. von Sodens speculations on the different vowels of this verb, see von Soden 1947: 45657. The alleged transitive verb au A/u to worry (sb.), disturb, alongside au U/u to be worried (Kuryowicz 1972: 57) is to be cancelled: the transitive verb is actually au to catch in a net with a strong (see 17.4, pp. 520521), cf. the Impfv iaa and in particular the Inf a a-a-u quoted in CAD A/2 423a s.v. au A lex. sect. and 425a s.v. au B lex. sect. The fact that the Sumerian version of the two instances clearly points to au to worry suggests some confusion on the part of the Babylonian scribes. 93. This includes all strong verbs and the III/ verbs, but not the II/ verbs, for which see 3.6 sub 7 (40 verbs). According to 3.3.3, there are 51 adjectival I/i verbs (listed in A1, B2, C1, and D1) and thus 308 fientive I/i verbs.


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

by it, but two specific groups of verbs stand out: on the one hand, high transitivity verbs denoting punctual actions (GAG 87c), such as naksu to cut, slaughter, pau to erase and amdu to harness, yoke and, on the other hand, adjectival verbs. These groups are semantically each others opposite, occupying the two ends of the transitivity continuum. Intermediate between them, we find a host of verbs with other meanings, such as transitive durative verbs (e.g., malku to advise, deliberate and zablu to carry), telic motion verbs (e.g., alqu to run away, disappear, rabu to lie down, kamsu to kneel), punctual event verbs (barqu to flash, ganu to cough and au to jump), and even some durative activity verbs (which we would rather expect to find in the U/u class): nazqu to squeak, worry, paslu to turn around, palu to crawl, sapdu to mourn, armu to exert oneself, and adu to move in procession. For purely formal reasons, all III/ verbs belong to this class regardless of their meaning (see 2.3.4, p. 45); for the very few II/gem verbs of the I/i class, see 16.6.1 (p. 491). The size of the I/i class and the virtually unlimited range of meanings it can accommodate make it the productive default vowel class. In Babylonian in particular, there is a widespread drift from other classes towards the I/i class, which especially affects the weak verbs of the III/voc class and most verbs with E-colouring (see 17.5, pp. 525537), but also many strong verbs. I will discuss this phenomenon in 3.5.3 below. TheA/uorAblautclass
The A/u or Ablaut class is the second largest vowel class after the I/i class; it contains 219 verbs according to the Appendix of 3.6 sub 2. Its major feature is syntactic transitivity: almost all members are basically construed with a direct object (Kienast 1967: 6970). It has no connection with a specific degree of semantic transitivity: it contains many typical high-transitivity verbs, such as anqu to strangle, parsu to separate, sapu to scatter and abu to slaughter, but also many transitive verbs that do not meet all criteria for high transitivity, such as amru to see, aknu to place, apru to send, etc. Nor has it any association with a specific Aktionsart: although most A/u verbs are punctual, we also find some typically durative verbs, such as aklu to eat, daglu to watch, naru to guard, nalu to see, look at, assu to think, mention, karbu to pray, bless, aru to write, and zakru to speak, swear. Intransitive A/u verbs are exceptional; apart from some uncertain and problematic instances, they include:94 abtu to flee in Old Assyrian, cf. CAD A/1 45 s.v. abtu B 1; it corresponds to an N-stem nbutu in Babylonian, which remarkably is I/i.
94. Other A/u verbs reported to be intransitive (e.g., in Aro 1964: 23, 3132) are not to be considered as part of this class: adru to fear, magru to do a favour to, qannu to nest, and anu to void (excrement) are not really intransitive. Of apru to squint and kammu to grind ones teeth no perfective is attested, so that the vowel class remains unknown (A/u or A/a). Of abtu to move across, only a Pfv ibut is attested with certainty; all imperfective forms with a are either N-stems or belong to one of the other abtu verbs; see especially Kraus 1975: 3140. This also applies to several verbs in AHw that are characterized as A/u: allu to creep, steal (A/u) is only found in the Pfv ilul; the single instance of iallal (TBP 22: III 6 i-al-la-la) is obscure; palsu to look at (+ Dat) is normally N; the only certain G forms attested are statives; cf. AHw 814a s.v. G 2; note that a-pa-al-la-s-ku-um St. Reiner p. 192:61 (OB) may also be N, and that ip-ta-la-s ARM 1, 109:41 (OB) stands for iptaras, see Durand 1997/2000: I 198 note c. Maru to move in a circle/etwa umschreiten is A/u according to AHw and CAD s.v.; however, the single imperfective instance quoted in the dictionaries (a-ma-a-a-ar ARM 2, 120:21) does not exist; see Durand 1997/2000: II 262 note b. For darru to add an intercalary month, the NA Impfv idarrar (SAA 10, 42: r.20 ni-da-ra-ru-ni ) alongside Pfv idrur (SAA 13, 60: r.1 ni-id-ru-ur) may be explained from the Neo-Assyrian change u > a before stressed u (see Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 31).

3.5. The Vowel Classes


aggu to become angry: SB Impfv ggag and ggug (e.g., ig-ga-gu NBNippur p. 272 no. 128:59 // i-gu-gu BWL 114:58), suggesting a fluctuation between A/u and U/u; Pfv gug OB/SB passim. naggu to bray: OB/SB Impfv inaggag, SB also inaggug; Pfv ingug (1x SB: in-gu-ug CT 40, 36:56); semantically, naggu typically belongs to the large U/u class of atelic activity verbs, which may may explain the rise of inaggug. The deviant Impfv inaggag may have an onomatopoeic background. erbu to enter in Assyrian; it has switched to U/u in Babylonian (like epu, see 3.5.3, p. 76); for erbu + Acc, see 3.4 (p. 67) malu to resemble, be half ragmu to call out to, complain against (mostly + Dat): SAk, OA, and OB Impfv iraggam, OB and later both iraggam and iraggum, Pfv always irgum, see CAD R 6364 s.v. 4b and GKT 81b. Iraggam is attested earlier but the meaning (an intransitive verb of sound) suggests that it is originally an U/u verb. Remarkably, the typically legal terms baqru to claim, magru to agree, and abu to collect show the same interchange of a and u in the imperfective; see also 3.5.3. With regard to the weak verbs, the A/u class contains I/voc verbs (e.g., amru to see) and I/n verbs (e.g., naru to guard, but no I/w verbs (which are A/i, unless their third radical is also weak). It does not contain III/voc verbs, which are all isovocalic, for the reason expounded in 3.5.1 above, nor II/ verbs, which all have A/a or I/i (GAG 98e; see 17.7.1, pp. 554 556).95 The II/ verbs have developed their own variant of A/u: Babylonian Impfv idk < idak, Pfv idk, which is doubtless modelled on iparrasiprus (see 16.5.2, pp. 476478). Diachronically, the A/u class loses a substantial number of verbs to the I/i class, in particular in Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian, and a few to the U/u class. Also in Babylonian, original A/u verbs shift to an isovocalic class, as soon as they acquire E-colouring, mostly I/i, sometimes U/u (see 3.5.3 sub 5 for details). ThevowelclassU/u
The U/u class is the third largest vowel class after the I/i and the A/u classes and contains 160 verbs according to 3.6 sub 3.96 Their semantic range is wide, but two semantic types are dominant. The first one comprises atelic activity verbs, especially verbs of sound (agmu to roar, salu to cough (up), zamru to sing, and dabbu to speak), and verbs of non-directional motion (rapdu to roam about, lasmu to run, saru to turn around). They are basically intransitive, and if they can have a direct object, they tend to be low-transitivity verbs.97 The second semantic type consists of adjectival verbs associated with PaRuS adjectives, which were enumerated in 3.3.3 sub B1 (p. 62).98
95. Except for MB latu to swallow (secondary form of altu) and nadu to praise (Pfv i-ud AfO 18, 50:19 = Tn-Ep. I 19), which is doubtless secondary, remade on the basis of Impfv inaad and a shift to the A/u class. 96. This includes the 34 adjectival verbs listed in under A3, B1, D2, and E and the Assyrian Types 1 and 2. It does not include, however, the 51 II/ verbs of Section 3.6 sub 6. 97. E.g., zamru and dabbu can have words for song and utterance as direct object, and saru can have a direct object in the meaning to look for. 98. The borderline between atelic activity verbs and adjectival verbs is not always easy to draw, especially for verbs that denote emotions: it is difficult to distinguish emotional activities from emotional states. A verb thataccording to the dictionariescan indicate both is rabu (U/u) to tremble (from fear or anger) and to be angry, furious. It seems plausible that various verbs for emotions originally denoted some kind of bodily activity that accompanies the emotion and gradually acquired a more neutral, adjectival


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

A smaller group of U/u verbs comprises telic motion verbs, such as maqtu to fall, namu to depart, and paru to come together. In addition, the U/u class contains a fair number of other verbs that cannot easily be brought under a general heading, such as kapdu to plan, devise and parru to dissolve. Some of them are even transitive: nasku to throw, samdu to grind, and the variants latu/ altu to swallow. The U/u class also contains a large number of weak (III/voc) verbs, which show a much wider semantic variation. They comprise a relatively large number of transitive verbs, such as kam and kas to bind, na to hit, qal to burn, roast, qam to burn, ap to irrigate, at to weave, war to lead, and tar to lead, take along. It seems plausible to assume that these verbs originally belonged to the large transitive A/u class, e.g., *yikassaw *yiks from kas. As a result of the change aw > , this regularly became ikass iks in historical Akkadian. Their membership of the U/u class is therefore secondary, at least for part of these verbs. The U/u verbs show a marked tendency to switch to the I/i class, especially the III/ verbs among them. Moreover, as already stated above with regard to the A/u class, there is some fluctuation between U/u and A/u; see 3.5.3 (pp. 7581) for these developments. ThevowelclassA/a(includingE/e)
The relatively small A/a class comprises 43 verbs according to 3.6 sub 4. Historically, however, the 54 II/ and II/ verbs of 3.6 sub 8 should be added to this number, since virtually all of them were A/a verbs before they lost their guttural R2. The A/a verbs consist of two different groups. One comprises verbs with a guttural as R2 or R3 and is therefore primarily based on a formal criterion, although most of the verbs in question also fit in quite well semantically with the rest of the A/a class. The guttural causes a strong predilection for the root vowel a, which becomes e if it causes E-colouring (see 17.5, pp. 535537).99 Generally speaking, these verbs have preserved their original paradigm much better in Assyrian than in Babylonian; the details will be discussed in chap. 17. The other group is based on a semantic criterion: it mostly contains verbs that are semantically homogeneous and can be characterized as middle verbs (see, pp. 265267). They denote concepts that are typically stative and are often expressed by stative verbs in languages that do not have a grammaticalized opposition between fientive and stative, e.g., lamdu to know, labu to wear, ablu to owe, palu to fear, etc. They may be transitive or intransitive, but if transitive, they are of low transitivity.100 They have an exact counterpart in West Semitic, especially in Arabic, Hebrew, and Geeznamely, the verbs with the vowel pattern A/i (yaqtaluqatila). For instance, Ar yalbasulabisa to wear is completely parallel to Akk ilabbailba, stative labi). According to Kuryowicz (1972: 6768), they are a residue of ancient mediopassives (see further 18.3.1, pp. 588589). A few A/a verbs, however, do not share this low-transitivity character: mau to hit and abtu to seize. They also differ from the rest of this class in the form of their imperative, which has the pattern PaRaS (maa hit!, abat seize!), whereas most other A/a verbs have PiRaS (e.g., limad learn!, rikab ride!; see 5.5, p. 134). Moreover, the verb tablu to take/
meaning through bleaching, such as galtu (U/u) to quiver, shake > to fear, and nakdu (U/u) to palpitate (of the heart) > to worry. 99. However, there also are verbs that originally had a guttural as R2 or R3 but i as root vowel, e.g., na (I/i) to carry and wa (I/i) to go /come out, and a few with u, e.g., am (U/u) to be(come) thirsty, eb (U/u) to sink. See further 16.7.1 (pp. 497498). 100. This is eloquently shown by their behaviour in the N-stem and the D-stem: if they have an N-stem, it is usually ingressive rather than passive (see sub 4, p. 296), and if they have a D-stem, it is mostly factitive, just as with intransitive verbs (see 11.3.3, p. 274).

3.5. The Vowel Classes


bring along (Imp tabal) is also atypical, but this may be related to the fact that it originates as a Gt-stem of wablu to carry, bring (see 16.2.3, p. 454). There are indications that the A/a class was much more numerous in the earlier stages of Akkadian, not only because the loss of the guttural consonants and the concomitant change a > e caused it to fall apart into several subgroups but also as a result of the reorganization of original III/*y verbs. This is suggested by the Mari Old Akkadian form ti-i-da-u MARI 1, 81:23 they drank, i.e., /titay/, which shows that this verb had the root vowel a, as in other Semitic languages, and also by the final - forms of the doubly weak verbs le to be able, e to look for, and re to tend (sheep), which may originally go back to perfective forms *yilay, *yiay and *yiray (see further 16.7.1, pp. 496497). In historical Akkadian, there is a drift from A/a towards I/i: many A/a verbs show occasional I/i forms, especially the III/ verbs; this is part of the general trend for III/voc verbs to shift to the I/i class (see further 3.5.3). ThevowelclassA/i
The vowel class A/i differs from the previous ones in that it only contains weak and irregular verbs: the fientive verbs of the I/w class, insofar as they do not have a weak R3 (in which case they are isovocalic; see 3.5.1 above and 16.2.1, pp. 448449), and the two irregular verbs alku to go (llakillik; see 17.6.2, pp. 545546) and Ass tadnu to give (iddaniddin; see 16.4.3, pp. 472474).101 Accordingly, only 10 verbs can be assigned to it with certainty; see 3.6 sub 5. The A/i class constitutes a purely formal category without any obvious semantic uniformity. A far more prominent use of the contrast A/i is found in the derived stems, where it is one of the means of distinguishing imperfective from perfective in the D-stem, the -stem, and their derivatives, and in part of the N-stems (see 4.5.2, pp. 112115).

3.5.3. Changesinvowelclass
The system of the vowel classes remains stable during the entire history of Akkadian. There are no signs that additional combinations of vowels become possible in the course of time, nor do existing ones disappear completely. Moreover, there are no instances of verbs that do not conform to one of the five licensed classes.102 The only type of change we observe is the shift of a verb from one class to another. Differences in vowel class between Babylonian and Assyrian show that this already occurred in the prehistoric period of Akkadian. Well-known instances are: balu to live, recover (A/a in Ass, U/u in Bab) pardu to be(come) worried (I/i in OA, U/u in OB, later also I/i) au to need, want (A/a in OA, I/i and A/u in Bab) alu to do (for the) third (time) (I/i in OA, U/u, A/u or I/i in Bab, see n. 106)103

101. The verb i/uzuzzu to stand (up) (izzzizzz), which is sometimes included in this class, e.g., by Tropper (1998a: 20 n. 41) and Kienast (2001: 239), does not belong here, since it is a (fossilized) N-stem; see (pp. 488490). 102. If we find an illicit pattern, e.g., a Neo-Assyrian Pfv ilbur to an Impfv ilabbir from labru to be(come) old (cf. AHw 52223 s.v. G 1) or iru versus iarri (cf. CAD 100a s.v. aru C to flare up), the most likely explanation is that the verb fluctuates between two vowel classes, mostly as an intermediate stage in a transfer from one to the other. A vowel class I/u, as assumed by Castellino (1962: 45), does not exist. Pairs such as iblaiballu adduced by Kuryowicz (1972: 56) belong either to different dialects (in this case, Assyrian versus Babylonian) or to different periods of the same dialect. 103. I/i only in the PN I-a-li-i-ilum CT 8, 34a:11 the god will do (give) for the third time.


The Vowel Classes 3.5. qerbu (Ass *qarbu) to come near (U/u in OA, A/a, later I/i in OB) rqu (Ass ruqu) to be/go far away ( in Bab, in Ass).104

In the historical period, we can distinguish various types of changes: 1. In particular in the older dialects, there is some variation between the imperfective forms iparras of the A/u class and iparrus of the U/u class.105 It is usually difficult to establish which form is more original; possible criteria are the period of attestation and whether the verb is transitive or not, but often the evidence is conflicting. A shift from iparras to iparrus may be posited for the following verbs: epu to make, do: originally ppa (still in Assyrian), early OB ppe through E-colouring, later ppu; see Whiting 1987: 45 erbu to enter: originally rrab (still in Assyrian), Bab rrub magru to agree: imaggar passim, imaggur MB and later baqru to claim: ibaqqar passim, ibaqqur rarely OB, later also I/i; see below sub 2 abu to collect (taxes): iabba OB and SB, iabbu MB and SB qannu to nest: iqannan OB (ta-qa-an-na-nu ARM 1, 18:23), SB also iqannun The following instances of fluctuation are indeterminate, mainly because of conflicting evidence (i.e., A/u is attested earlier but the verb is intransitive): ragmu to call out to, complain against (+ Dat); see above naggu to bray: inaggag OB, SB also inaggug (see; same comment as ragmu) zannu to rain: normally U/u, except i-za-an-na-an YOS 10, 36:I 9 and MIO 12/2, 50:11 (both OB), and i-za-an-na-nu Gilg. p. 708:91 var. (SB) zamru to sing: normally U/u, except a-za-ma-ar WO 4, 12:I 1 (OB) nasku to throw, pile up: normally U/u, except i-na-as-s-ka ARM 27, 4:11 (OB) qaddu to bow: normally U/u, except i-qd-da-ad CT 51, 124:I 23 (SB); i-q-adda-a[d ] KUB 4, 35:5 (Bo) Insofar as the instances attested make inferences about the direction of the shift feasible, it seems that the iparras forms are generally older than the iparrus formsi.e., the direction of change is from A/u to U/u (Kienast 1967: 71). This would be in line with the general drift from anisovocalic to isovocalic, which is manifest in later periods (see below). In the same vein, the relatively early date of most of the exceptional iparras imperfectives of the second group suggests that they might be archaisms. If this is true, it lends support to the claim I will make in 4.5.1 (pp. 109112) that the geminated imperfective originally had a fixed vowel pattern with a in the place of the root vowel (iparras).106
104. See (p. 565) on the vowel patterns of qerbu and its antonym rqu. 105. For Neo-Assyrian forms such as ilaqqut (instead of ilaqqat) from laqtu to glean (see AHw 537b s.v. G 2a) and inaur (instead of inaar, e.g., i-na-ur SAA 1, 93:9) from naru to guard, see HmeenAnttila 2000: 33. 106. Problematic cases are napu and alu. Napu to blow, become visible, rise, set fire to, which is normally A/u but once shows an Impfv ina-pu-u KAR 384:20 (SB) it hisses (of a snake). It may come from a different verb. alu to do for the third time has a Pfv ilu and once an Impfv ialla (eqla i-alla- MSL 1, 53:38 (SB) he will break the field for the third time) in Babylonian, apart from ialli in a proper name (see n. 103); in Assyrian, it is an I/i verb. On the basis of other verbs derived from numerals, such as reb to do for the fourth time and amu to do for the fifth time (see in particular OBTI 24:8, 11, 15, and 20), we would expect it to be U/u in Babylonian. Is the imperfective ialla here because it has a direct object (cf. n. 92)?

3.5. The Vowel Classes


2. Far more important in terms of quantity is the shift from A/u to I/i. Mostly, the A/u forms can be argued to be older, because of greater frequency and/or earlier attestation; in the case of gamlu, karu, and parku, the A/u forms are restricted to texts of the third millennium, showing that for some verbs the shift started quite early. The following A/u verbs shifted to I/i at some stage of Akkadian (see also Kienast 1967: 71): baqru to claim (I/i in MB and later, see also above) barmu to seal (I/i in NA) gamlu to be obliging, spare (I/i in OB and later)107 ablu to oppress, wrong (A/u only OB, I/i OB and later) abtu to rob, plunder (rarely I/i in NB) amu to burn (rarely I/i in SB)108 kamru to pile up (I/i in NA) kasmu to cut, chop (I/i in SB) karu to repair (I/i in OB and later [keru])109 kau to master (I/i only in EA) maggu to stretch out (I/i in SB, if i-man-g[i-ga] Gilg. p. 600:231 is restored correctly) mau to rob, plunder (also I/i in SB am-ta-i-i AnSt. 11, 152:50) nakmu to store, pile up (also I/i in MB/SB) naku to bite (rarely I/i in SB) nazru to insult (also I/i in SB and NA) parku to block (I/i in OB and later)110 sadru to set in a row (I/i in SB and later), salu to pierce (I/i in SB lis-i-il- STT 179:48) sapu to cover, overwhelm (I/i already OB: is-i-ip-u ARM 14, 4:11) akku to harrow, string (I/i already OB: li-i-ki-ik OBHorn 2, 261:10) alpu to draw, pull out (I/i in SB i-al-lip ZA 16, 180:34) alu to rule, dispose of (I/i in SB and NA) aqlu to weigh, pay (I/i already in OB: i-a-q-il OBRED 5, 588:10 he will pay)111 arku to grant, bestow (I/i in SB li-rik KB 6/2, 44:19 arpu to burn (I/i in EA: VAB 2, 53:39 and 55:41 i-ar-ri-ip-) zaqtu to sting (I/i in SB i-zaq-qit!-su TU 6:I 17 zarqu to sprinkle (I/i SB and later).

To these verbs should be added the A/u verbs that became I/i in later Babylonian after adopting E-colouring; they are listed below sub 5. According to Kienast (1967: 72), just under (knapp) 20% of the original A/u verbs were transferred to the I/i class at one time or another. Kienast explains the coexistence of A/u and I/i forms from the archaizing tendency of the literary language. He also claims (ibid., 7576) that the shift occurred in stages from A/u to U/u and then to I/i. This is hard to verify. There are
107. A/u only in Sargonic Akkadian: Impfv a-ga-ma-lu-su4 / agammalsu/ SAB p. 117: r.6 (Girsu); Pfv igmul in PNs, see MAD 3, 118 s.v.; similarly in Ebla (Krebernik 1988b: 45). 108. In i-a-me-a LKA 94: II 11 according to CAD G 151b s.v. amu B. 109. A/u in Sargonic Akkadian: Impfv a-ga-sa-ar /akassar/ SAB p. 183: 15 (Gasur); Pfv ik-sur OAIC 36: 2, see Gelb 1984b: 27476. 110. A/u in Ur III Babylonian: p-ru-uk-u NATN 917:2 I blocked his way, and perhaps in literary Old Babylonian: ip-ru-ku-[. . .] Itar p. 81: VII 21. 111. Cf. also the N-stem Impfv iaqqil quoted in CAD /2 12 s.v. 9.


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

indeed two verbs for which this can be documented: baqru to claim (OB ibaqqaribqur, rarely ibaqquribqur (see above sub 1), from Middle Babylonian onwards ibaqqiribqir) and eru to cultivate (originally A/u as in Assyrian, OB rru (1x: i-ru-u BDHP 37: r.5)ru (i -ru-u OBTA p. 78 no. 25:3), elsewhere rriri). In general, however, the shift A/u to I/i only affected transitive verbs (see the preceding list), and the shift U/u to I/i mainly intransitive ones; see the lists below sub 2. It seems more likely, therefore, that the two processes developed in relative independence. Generally speaking, it would be extremely interesting to know more details about these shifts, in particular, which formthe imperfective or the perfectiveis the first to change, but the available material does not allow a firm conclusion about this. On the basis of the same criteria of frequency and earlier occurrence, a very small number of I/i verbs may have undergone the opposite shift from I/i to A/u:112 karu to pinch off (normally I/i, but A/u rarely in SB) palq/ku to slaughter (normally I/i, but A/u rarely in SB) au to need, want (I/i in OB and later, A/u in SB, but A/a in Ass). 3. The vowel class U/u is also affected by a shift towards I/i, especially in Babylonian (Kienast 1967: 74).113 This is demonstrated by the numerous U/u verbs that have occasional forms with i. Among the strong U/u verbs, this applies to: galtu to be frightened (rarely I/i in SB) arbu to become waste (I/i in LB i-ri-ib TCL 9, 138:17) kanu to bow (rarely I/i in SB) kapdu to plan, care for (rarely I/i in OB [ta-ka-ap-p-da-u-um AbB 14, 31:23], MB and SB) nasku to shoot, throw, pile up (rarely I/i in SB) pardu to be frightened (OB U/u, except ta-pa-ri-dam! Kisurra no. 177:25,114 SB also I/i [as in OA, see CAD P 142 s.v. 1a]) rabbu to be(come) soft, weak, to relax (rarely I/i in OB [i-ra-ab-bi-ib/bu ARM 14, 74:9, 12] and SB [ta-ra-ab-bi-ib ZA 64, 146:49]) rau to trust (I/i in SB and NA) artu to break wind (both U/u and I/i in OB and SB) taru to be(come) straight, in order (I/i only in EA) atw to speak (only Gt) (also I/i in SB) ba to be(come) thin (U/u and I/i in SB, not attested in OB) eg to be(come) negligent (also I/i from OB onwards) e to be(come) dark (U/u perhaps once in OB; see n. 46 (p. 62); elsewhere I/i) kam to capture, bind (also I/i already in SAk and from OB onwards) kar to be(come) short (U/u and I/i from OB onwards) kas to bind (also I/i from OB onwards, OA only I/i)

In the III/voc verbs with U/u, the shift took on massive proportions (GAG 105d):

112. For mals/u to pluck out and saltu to split, cut, not enough data are available for conclusions about the direction of change. 113. Interchange of I/i and U/u without clues as to the original vowel class occurs in the adjectival verbs damu to be(come) dark (see n. 37, p. 61) and lapnu to be(come) poor (see n. 53, p. 62). 114. For U/u in Old Babylonian, cf. also i-pa-ar-ru-ud ARM 26/1, 171 no. 37: r.17 and p. 573 no. 275:21, 24; ip-ru-ud MARI 8, 349:13.

3.5. The Vowel Classes lab to growl, groan, cry out (U/u and I/i in SB, not attested in OB) man to count, recite (rarely also I/i in SB/LB) na to hit, beat (U/u, except [i ]-i MSL 1, 10:38 (SB))115 pan to turn to, precede (U/u, esp. OA, later also I/i) qal to burn, roast (also I/i in SB and later) qam to burn (also I/i from OB onwards) seg to move about (I/i in LB) ap to irrigate, moisten (rarely I/i in SB) al to throw, shoot (occasionally I/i in SB, see CAD /1 272 s.v. al A 1b) ap to be(come) loud, dense (rarely I/i in SB) aq to be(come) high (rarely I/i in SB; I/i in Ass; see 3.3.4, pp. 6465) ar to be(come) rich (rarely I/i in MB (Elam) and SB) eg to be(come) rabid (also I/i in SB, N-stem only; see, p. 297) el to be(come) negligent (also I/i in LB) war to lead, bring (I/i exceptional; see chap. 16, p. 453, n. 21; more often i in the Gtn-stem) zak to be(come) clean, free (rarely I/i in SB) zar to scatter, sow (I/i in SB i-zar-ri LKU 33:2122).


The same shift is observable in quadriradical verbs, such as napark to cease, leave (U/u in OB, U/u and I/i in SB), and neqelp to drift down, glide along (with U/u and I/i coexisting from OB onwards); see 12.5, pp. 309310. 4. Parallel to the shift U/u > I/i is the shift from A/a to I/i. Early instances are: qerbu to come near (early OB Pfv iqrab [see n. 57, p. 62], later iqrib [but OA iqrub, see, p. 565]) salmu to make peace (Pfv islam in OB Mari [see n. 31, p. 60], later islim) almu to be(come) sound, in good condition (Pfv ilam in PSAk, SAk, and OB PNs, see n. 34, p. 60), later always ilim) Later instances of A/a shifting to I/i are found in the following verbs:116 anu to sing, lament, moan (I/i in SB in-ni-i Racc. 44b:5) kal to detain, withhold (also I/i in SB and LB) ka to be(come) cold (also I/i in SB ) pau to cool, calm down (I/i already in OB, also in SB, but cf. also lip-u-a-am-ma JAOS 103, 206:47) mal to be(come) full, to fill (also I/i in SB) taklu to trust (also I/i in SB and NA) tam to swear (NB/LB t-Pf ittem) 5. In Babylonian, adoption of E-colouring (see 17.5, pp. 525537) led to membership of an isovocalic class, mostly I/i. Comparison with Assyrian and some archaic forms in Sargonic Akkadian and Babylonian shows that in some cases I/i was the original vowel class (e.g., in ekmu
115. According to CAD N/2 132b s.v. na v. (in one section with im-a-a, i-du-uk and i-pi [Sumerian broken]). 116. For the I/i forms of labu to put on, wear in the Gt and N forms (such as iltabi and illabi), see chap. 14, p. 357 n. 5.


The Vowel Classes 3.5.

to take away, eru to ask, and edu to harvest), whereas in other cases I/i replaced another class: A/u in emdu to lean against, reach, eru to cultivate (but see above for an Impfv rru in Old Babylonian), and perhaps in ezbu to leave. I/i may have replaced U/u in etqu to pass through.117 The cause of the shift is the introduction of global E-colouring in Babylonian (see 17.5.1, pp. 525534), which changed the imperfective vowel to e (e.g., 3ms *ymmed instead of *yiammad ); since e can be an allophone of i, this form was assimilated to the many I/voc imperfective forms with i (kkim, rri, id, etc.) and became mmid, which caused the Pfv mud to be replaced with mid. A few E-verbs, however, do not partake in this change: epu to make/do and erbu to enter joined the U/u class instead (see above), and eb to sink, an original U/u verb, stayed in this class.118 Finally, the verb eru to draw, design shows interchange of u and i in Old Assyrian, which is unique in that dialect, as far as I know.119 In the course of Babylonian history, the number of E-verbs continually increased (see 17.5.1, pp. 528529), especially through the influx of verbs that have r or among their radicals. This also led to adoption of I/i instead of their original vowels. So, in Middle Babylonian or later the following A/u verbs joined the I/i class: aru to cut off, clarify (in NB eru I/i: i-e-ri-i-u SAA 18, 152: r.4) karu to join, bind (in SB also keru I/i: i-ke--ir Izbu 185:3 acc. to CAD K 260a s.v. 2c) makru to irrigate (in MB also mekru I/i) malu to resemble, be half (in MB melu I/i) rasnu to moisten (in NB resnu I/i)) samu to unite, join (in Nuzi semu I/i)) apru to press, inlay (in SB also epru I/i) armu to break, cut (I/i in LB ermu (only i-i-ri-ma TMH 2, 140:8)). It is not always easy to establish the direction of the shift for each individual verb on independent grounds, but the overall picture seems to be beyond doubt and allows the following conclusions. First, there is a tendency to generalize the vowel class I/i at the cost of all other classes (except A/i). Second, there is also a tendency to abolish rather than to introduce vowel alternation (Kienast 1967: 7073), undoubtedly with the motive of discarding a contrast that has no grammatical function. Third, these changes do not entail a semantic change. Fourth, only a minority of the
117. For emdu, cf. Ass emdu A/u, and OB Pfv i-mu-du-u AbB 9, 267:16 (no imperfective attested); for eru, cf. Ass aru A/u, and OB Pfv i -ru-u OBTA p. 78 no. 25:3; for ezbu, original A/u is suggested by the particle ezub (also ezib) apart from, a frozen imperative (but Assyrian also has I/i); for etqu, cf. Impfv i-tu-uq, i-tu-q ARM 18, 7:7; Pfv i-tu-q ARM 27, 80:46 (but i-ti-q ibid., 18, 37); t-Pf e-te-tu-uq AbB 12, 56: 8 (but OA etqum is I/i, so U/u may be secondary). 118. Forms with u are also found in the E-verbs eddu to be(come) sharp (uncertain, see p. 64, n. 64), emu to be(come) hungry (Impfv im-mu-a(-a) BWL 40:44 [SB]), erpu to be(come) cloudy, erru to be(come) dry (see p. 63, n. 63) [OB]), ezzu to be(come) angry (li-zux(SU)-uz Itar p. 78: V 13 (OB); i-zu-uz Ee I 42; VAB 4, 218:11 [both SB]), lemnu to be(come) bad (il-mu-un SAA 10, 79: r.17 [SB omen quotation]), and qerbu to come near (often in Standard and Neo-Babylonian, interchanging with i; cf. AHw 915b s.v. G). Another possible exception is ennu to do a favour (A/u in Assyrian), but it is very rare (mainly in proper names) and suspect, because there seem to be several homonymous ennu verbs; cf. AHw 217 ss. vv. (three verbs) and CAD E 16265 (four verbs). 119. See Veenhof 1995: 331; i is the most common vowel; u occurs in the Pfvs n--ur DTCFD 34, 261:10; le--ra-kum C 43:7 (1s Prec, unpublished, quoted in Veenhof 1995: 330); and t--ra-ni ICK 2, 296:3.

3.6. Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class


Akkadian verbs are involved in these changes: most verbs hold on to the vowel class they have in the earliest sources.

3.6. Appendix: List of g-stem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class

This section contains lists of verbs arranged according to vowel class. Only verbs that can reliably be assigned to a specific vowel class are included. If a verb shows fluctuation between classes, I have included it in the class that I regard as the most original. Variant forms are ignored. However, if Babylonian and Assyrian disagree, I have included the verb in its Babylonian form, with the Assyrian vowels between parentheses. As a result, each verb appears only in one class. 1. Vowel class I/i
*abtu flee (only N; Bab; Ass A/u) apru wear (on the head) arku become long awum calculate (OA) balu become large bau smell bad bak cry balmu tie up balu stare ban build ban become beautiful barqu flash bar see bamu build ba be, exist balu stop, end bed cheat(?) beu stir (Ass) bel become extinguished dapu push dalpu be/keep awake damqu become good dannu become strong dan be of inferior quality(?) darsu trample ebbu become pure ebu gird eblu catch ebru cross ebu swell(?) ebu gird eb become thick edlu close, lock edpu blow away edqu put on, don edru embrace edu elu eggu egru ekb/pu ekku eklu ekmu ekku elu ellu elpu elu el emrum emmu emru emu ennu enqu enu en epqu epru ep eqqu eq eru erru eru er es/ku eslu espu esqu esru esru edu become new bind moan, cry become twisted come near scratch become dark take away scratch sprinkle become pure, free sprout swell, rejoice become high, go up pile up (OA) become hot become swollen try punish suck become weak change embrace, overgrow provide with food bake become paralyzed(?) anoint act aggressively become dry ask become pregnant assign inflate collect carve lock up put under pressure harvest elu enu epu eru e ebu eru e etqu etqu elu eru eru e ew ezbu ezhu ezru gadmu gal ganu garmu garu ger adlu akmu akru albu alpu alqu amdu amlu amu am anmu anpu anu an paralyze smell twine, double draw, design slit grow profusely go straight, prosper confuse cross bend, twist become a man save, take away pay become dark turn into leave gird insult cut off banish cough orbit (planet) become powerful quarrel, sue go back(?) understand reduce(?) milk wear, be dessed disappear hide plan break in two paralyze bloom flatter bare ones teeth put under pressure(?)


Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class 3.6.

labu lamu lakdu lak law lemnu lem leznu maddu madlu madu malku marru marsu mar ma madu ma matqu ma mazu mek men nadu nalu namu nasu nau nab naddu nadnu nad nalu natu nasu nasu nau naklu nakpu nakru naksu naku nap naq na naqu nau na na/tpu nawru nazqu neb nez pad growl consume run become weak surround become bad eat slander escape salt, pickle become numerous advise become bitter squash fatten, become slow become sufficient strike, comb (OA A/u) forget become sweet become insufficient squeeze become negligent love attend, be worried make wet advance boldly chew gasp for breath(?) name, invoke cede(?) give (Bab) throw, leave hand over become small go back lament prosper act cleverly gore, butt become hostile cut set aside sift sacrifice tear, scrape kiss sniff(?) lift, carry tear out be(come) bright squeak, worry shine void excrement spare pazu pakru pallu palq/ku pangu paqdu par paslu pasmu pasqu padu panu palu pau patlu patnu patqu patqu pe pe qab qadpu qad qallu qan qatnu qat qebru qem qer rabqu rabu rab rab radpu raggu rau ram rapqu rapqu rapsu rapu raqqu raq rasb/pu rapu ra ra re ret sab/pu sabku sab samu be arrogant chain guard slaughter mount, cap entrust insult turn around veil choke, strangle(?) carve veil (Ass) crawl erase turn, wrap become strong form, build drink close, plug become white speak, say ? hoot become light acquire become thin end bury grind invite, take away ? lie down become big go down, set pursue become bad trample, destroy set in place hoe fasten beat, thrash become wide become thin, fine hide slay, destroy pile up, build get, acquire itch beget, impregnate fix ? bring into contact(?) brew beer be under pressure(?)

aptu triumph, prevail ardu wake up, guard ()armu cover arpu cut aru be in labour aru graze aspu pluck out asru blunt, chip anu shelter au need, want (Ass A/a) a become dark atnu protect atpu slaughter atru wag (tail), flutter at smite amu muzzle, block a sin, neglect az/m object epru dig ep break er dig es cover kabru become thick kabtu become heavy kadru become arrogant kadru establish a border kalu shrivel, roll up kamlu become angry kamsu gather, finish kamsu squat, kneel k/qaplu roll up kap/bs/u curl, droop karku block, collect karmu hinder k/garu pinch off kartu cut off kaspu perform a kispu sacrifice kasru dam kapu think, wish kapu bewitch karu be successful kau cut off ka cover ka increase (intr.) katru call to aid katru wait kazbu tell lies kezru curl the hair(?) labu infect labku become soft labnu beg humbly labnu make bricks labru become old

3.6. Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class

saklu appropriate saklu get stuck or loose sakpu push away salu tremble sallu flutter, flap salmu make peace salqu go up saltu split, cut salu deceive(?) s/zamrum establish (OA) sanp/bu tie sanqu check, arrive s/anu insert sapdu mourn sapqu be sufficient, able sardu load, pack sarmu cut, incise satlu plant sekru dam sepru write alphabetically se press down ab wish almu become dark, black alpu cross out, cancel alu put down amdu harness, yoke amru strive for, plot apru trim, strip armu apply oneself eru abu adu adlu aglu agu au au akru almu al amdu amtu anu an an an aplu apu ap/tu ap aqru aqtu aq arqu as atnu atpu at become small strike, sweep march, proceed become spacious appropriate ? kill jump, attack become angry become drunk become well submerge oneself apply mark sneer do again; change run flood, wet become low, deep grip exercise authority wrap, fasten pierce ? give to drink steal call, summon urinate groove drink aw ebru eru equ ep er er er e takpu tar temru te/z apru aw ep er wabu wamlu wap waqru warqu wasmu wau watru wa zablu zarpu


roast break pass, cross sneeze(?) ask take refuge lay down redeem(?) spread out speckle lift bury defecate press towards spin, twine add, register penetrate weed become veiled, misted become clear become rare, precious become green become appropriate become stiff exceed go out carry buy

2. Vowel class A/u:

abku abku abtu adru aggu agru azu aklu allu amru aplu aru arru aru aru au ballu baqmu baqru barmu batqu send, lead overturn destroy fear become angry hire take, marry eat hang see answer destroy curse cultivate (Bab I/i) muster catch in a net mix pluck (wool) claim seal cut daglu daku dalu dallu darku emdu watch press in disturb glorify pack lean on, impose (Bab I/i) ennum do a favour (OA) epu make, do (Bab U/u) erbu enter (Bab U/u) gaddu chop, cut galbu shave gamlu be obliging, spare gamru complete, use up gannu confine gazzu shave ablu oppress, wrong ablu borrow abtu rob, plunder abtu borrow addu incise adlu allu allu alu alu ammu amu amu anqu appu arru aru aru assu abu au alu au au kabbu tie up, knot detain creep, slink squeeze out scrape off collect tear off burn strangle break up, smash dig, groove cut off, clarify graze think, mention break off break, build (a reed hut) crush hurry(?) excavate burn

kaddu kabsu kamru kanku kannu kappu kapru kapru karbu karru kasmu kaspu kassu kabu karu kau kau kadu karu kau katmu labbu lammu lappu laptu laqtu latku maddu maggu magru mau maru makku makru malu mallu mal/su marqu marru marsu maru mau malu maru mau mau matu mazqu maz/sru mazu nadu naggu nalu nakmu

Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class 3.6.

rub in, anoint step upon pile up seal twist, coil bend, curve wipe off, rub trim, uproot pray, bless put, place cut, chop chip, break off gnaw reduce join, bind grind ones teeth trim, mutilate reach, acquire repair master cover rage chew wrap touch, affect, write glean test, question measure stretch out favour, comply with soak, soften receive, confront spread irrigate tear out consume, plunder pluck out crush, grind break (a field) stir rub, scratch measure, compute resemble drag wipe rob, plunder lift, carry suck block, withhold squeeze (Ass I/i) praise bray sift store, pile up napu naplu naplu napu napu naqbu naqru nasu nasqu nabu naru naku naru nalu nazlu nazru pau parku palku palu parsu paru paru paru passu paru pau patu patnu paru qalpu qannu q/gardu q/garnu qaru qatlu qatpu rabku rabum blow, light dig out, demolish compensate kick, smash pluck, comb deflower tear down, scrape tear out choose suck guard, watch bite cut off, deduct see, look at pour out insult strike, crush block delimit drill cut, sever break clear away cut off erase loosen anoint pierce dine loosen peel nest tear out, pluck (wool) pile up trim, carve kill pluck, cut off distill, stir substantiate a claim (OA) raddu pursue ragmu shout, complain rau rinse, bathe raksu bind rasnu moisten sadru set in a row salu pierce sapu cover, overwhelm salu sprinkle salqu boil salu sprinkle, infect samu mix, unite samku cover, remove(?) sapu scatter sapnu saqlu sarqu abru atu anhu apru aru aru aru arpu abu addu alu atu au akku aknu alu allu alpu alqu alu ammu amu annu anu ap/bu apku apru aqlu aru arku armu arpu aru atqu aru au tabku tallu tamu taru tarku taru abu aplu ardu zakru zannu zaqpu zaqtu zarqu level, destroy take away strew, sprinkle bend, twist? extract have diarrhea press, inlay lament, cry heat dispatch quickly refine, fire collect (also u/u) pull, carry sift wash, clear take off, pull off harrow, string place tear off kidnap, plunder draw, pull out cut open, split rule, dispose of paralyze strip off rival obstruct sprinkle heap up, pour send, write weigh, pay pick, tear out grant, bestow break, cut burn tear split write slit open pile up, pour stretch, span seize dig beat, palpitate stretch (out) slaughter insult, slander send, drive away declare, invoke provide (food) erect, plant sting sprinkle

3.6. Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class 3. Vowel class U/u
altu arru ar au *aw az ba balu barru baru damu dabbu dakku dal dammu damu daqu eddu eg emu erpu galtu ganu gapu ge abbu abru abu ab addu ad a allu alpu amu amu am anbu arbu arpu au aw kam kanu kapdu kar kas kau latu lab lapnu lasmu swallow tremble vomit worry speak (only Gt) hiss become thin live (Ass A/a) glow, shine shine brightly become dark speak gambol draw (water) mourn humble oneself bend down become sharp become negligent become hungry become cloudy quiver, fear lift (lip or nose) become massive, swell belch murmur, chirp make noise be swollen, elated draw (water) rumble, rustle rejoice cough pipe, wheeze slip in/through be/do fifth hurry rely, be confident grow abundantly lie waste be early swell, rejoice growl bind bend, submit plan become short bind become dizzy(?) swallow howl, groan become poor run lez ma maksu man maqtu marru napu nabbu nabu nabu nabu nabzu nag naru nakdu nalu namu napu naru nasku nassu napu natku na nazmu nazzu padu paru pan pardu parru paru par paqu qaddu qal qam qannu qan qaru q/garru q/garru qatru rabu rabbu radu rau rau ramku rammu ram rapdu continue become frenzied collect taxes count fall leave wither play the flute(?) bark shine brightly rise (flood) bleat sing joyously snort palpitate, worry dew depart relax, expand tremble throw complain blow away, winnow drip beat complain grunt, rustle be in terror come together go to, go in front start, fear (Ass I/i) dissolve sprout vomit become narrow bow burn, roast burn nest acquire freeze fear wind, roll, flow rise (smoke) tremble become soft, relax become viscous trust, entrust mobilize ? bathe roar become loose run around, traverse raqdu rasbu raanu rau rau rattu rapu red salu sabu sag sau saru sakpu saktu samdu sam seg se/ah abbu abru am ap aru arru artu abbu abu agmu au anu atu alu al A amu amru ap A ap B aq arru ar at eg el taqnu tarru taru tar adu anpu eb war


dance err become loud ring (ears) glow tremble start be appropriate cough toss, churn trouble tremble turn, seek lie down be silent grind vacillate move about become disturbed spread (wings) flit, prattle become thirsty irrigate flare up flow, sparkle break wind glow settle (dust) roar, buzz crumble, dissolve become warm fear, respect do third (Ass I/i) shoot, throw thrive, flourish surge, rage be silent flicker, billow become high, rise go ahead become rich weave become rabid (only N) become negligent become secure tremble become correct take along become abundant become dirty sink lead

zak zamru

Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class 3.6.

become clean, free sing zannu rain zar sow

4. Vowel class A/a (including E/e)

ablu anu aru balu ber dek id kal ka katu labu lamdu lazzu leq let dry out be(come) tired hurry boil, ripen become hungry summon know detain, withhold be(come) cold take as security put on, wear learn continue, persist take, receive split le mau mal maru mes nep nes palu pau pet qerbu rau rakbu red be able, win hit, weave become full, cover become ill wash abduct move away fear, respect cool, calm open come near (OA U/u) run ride, sail follow, accompany re abtu allu aru eb em e tablu taklu w/tam teb e wat zen tend, look after seize sleep win, vanquish become sated hear look for, search take away trust swear rise come near find become angry

5. Vowel class A/i

alku tadnu wablu waddu go, come give (Ass) carry, bring love waldu wapu wardu give birth abuse descend wabu wabu wapu add sit down, settle exorcise

6. Vowel class II/ of the II/voc verbs


bum dku dlu *durum gu b/pu lu qu u knu kru ku ku ldu lu lu

stay firm come kill walk around surround (SAk) hurry purify dissolve go give become firm, true become depressed flay, skin be late bend, kneel knead keep in check

lumum mu mnu mtu mu muu muum nu npu nqu nqu nu pugu puu qdu qlu qpu

put pressure on (OA) set out ? supply with food die vomit check (NA) be willing (OA) rest, become still pay in addition cry run, go quake, shake take away (Ass) agree (Ass) set afire pay attention buckle

rbu rdu ru s/zku sru du du bu u u u tpu tru pu zbu zru zzu

tremble tremble become friends pound, crush whirl, dance prowl, spin melt sway, tremble pull, drag be negligent fly be attentive return ? dissolve twist divide

3.6. Appendix: List of Gstem Verbs Arranged according to Vowel Class 7. Vowel class II/ of the II/voc verbs
*bu stamp btu spend the night dnu judge du thresh gru challenge? su install lu scream qu mix ru choose u hurry ku help k/qium seal in a case (OA) lp/bu ? mru buy? nku nlu pqu qlu qpu qu rmu rbu ru rqu ru s/tu smu have intercourse lie down (also II/) become narrow fall trust give bestow replace remain become empty jubilate be left over become red squ u u bu u lu mu nu u bu wru wu zqu become narrow laugh decline become gray, old grow coat, smear decree urinate be negligent become good go become small, few blow (wind)


8. Vowel class II/ and II/ of the II/H verbs

du blu bru bu bu blu bru bu du ru gsu gu u kdu ksu lku lmu msu mu notice pray catch become ashamed pass rule, possess select move away harass, dupe become awake bestow rumple worry be distressed? ? lick consume crush, destroy despise, disregard ndu nu nru nu ntu nu pdu pru rmu ru rmu rqu ru rtu sbu sdu sdu praise scorn kill recover surround loosen, turn imprison search love ? have mercy be far, go away (Ass II/) help spit out draw (water) slay support sru lu nu u lu mu lu nu qu ru u tb/pu tu tlu tlu mu nu zru plaster fight, quarrel load immobilize ask buy whet, sharpen put on shoes measure level rise early disdain, be negligent ? cover, hide pronounce dock, moor? inform grind hate

theimPactOfgeminatiOni: theimPerfectiveiParrvs

Chapter 4

4.1. introduction
In this chapter and those following, I will describe the form and function of the members of the verbal paradigm individually and in relation to one another. The functional description that followswhich is summary, unless there is a specific reason to elaborate on a particular point is valid for all types of verbs. For the form, on the other hand, I will concentrate on the standard paradigm, that of the G-stem of the strong triradical verb. The formal aspects of the other types of verbs will be dealt with later in the relevant chapters. The description is twofold: it starts with an account of the category under discussion in Akkadian itself, distinguishing according to dialect whenever doing so is relevant to the presentation. The findings will be compared with what we know from other Semitic and sometimes also Afroasiatic languages to get an idea about the state of affairs in Proto-Semitic and the prehistoric development of Akkadian. The first of these chapters deals with the imperfective (also called present or durative), not only because it is the most basic category of the verbal paradigm but also because a large part of the prehistoric developments that took place in the Akkadian verb can only be understood from the emergence of the G-stem imperfective iparrVs instead of an earlier imperfective form without gemination.

4.2. the imperfective: Form

The inflectional stem of the G-stem imperfective of the strong triradical verb has the form PaRRvS, with gemination of R2 and a variable vowel between R2 and R3. Gemination of R2 is the hallmark of the Akkadian imperfective.1 The variable stem vowel a, i, or u (iparras, iparris, or iparrus), which I will call the imperfective vowel, has no grammatical function (perhaps with the partial exception of a; see below) but belongs in the sphere of the vowel classes.2 On the
1. In the early days of Assyriology, there was uncertainty about the presence of gemination in iparrVs, since it is often not indicated in the script. This gave rise to interpretations such as ipar(r)as or ipa(r)ras. Goetze established that the correct form is iparras (explicitly so in 1942: 4 n. 43), and this was canonized by W. von Sodens GAG of 1952; see also Greenberg 1952: 12 and Kienast 2001: 29394. Rssler (1958: 115 n. 19) aptly stated that ipar(r)as is not akkadisch but berholt-assyriologisch. Surprisingly, it turns up again in a recent handbook (Malbran-Labat 2001). For the claim that the basic contrast between imperfective and perfective is the vowel a after the first radical, see n. 51 below (p. 103). Finally, it should be noted that there is no evidence at all for the existence of verb forms which have a long vowel instead of a geminate R2, like the Arabic Stem III and Geez Stem I/3 qtala, as is claimed by Zaborski (2003). W. von Soden (GAG 3 88f*) mentions this possibility, only to reject it with good reason. 2. For e instead of a as imperfective vowel in Babylonian as a result of E-colouring, see 17.5.1 (p. 526).


4.2. The Imperfective: Form


basis of the imperfective vowel, we can distinguish A-verbs, I-verbs, and U-verbs (for E-verbs, see 17.5, pp. 525537). The combination of the imperfective vowel with the root vowel of the perfective and the imperative gave rise to the vowel classes discussed in the previous chapter. In the anisovocalic vowel classes A/u and A/i, we can observe their respective roles, especially to what extent they recur in derived categories. It is the imperfective vowel that recurs elsewhere, whereas the root vowel is never used outside the perfective and the imperative of the G-stem. In Table 4.1, the positions where the imperfective vowel occurs are shown in capitals; the forms that preserve the root vowel are printed in bold. As a contrasting example of an isovocalic verb, the I/i verb paqdu to entrust, provide has been added; it has i in all forms:3 A/u tense Impfv t-Pf Pret Imp Impfv t-Pf Pret Imp Impfv t-Pf Pret Imp G-stem iparrAs iptarAs iprus purus uAb ittaAb uib ib ipaqqId iptaqId ipqid piqid Gtn-stem iptanarrAs (see 14.7.2) iptarrAs pitarrAs ittanaAb ittaAb *itaAb iptanaqqId iptaqqId pitaqqId Gt-stem iptarrAs iptarAs pitrAs N-stem ipparrAs ittaprAs (ipparis)4 (napris) Ntn-stem ittanaprAs ittaprAs itaprAs



*iptaqqId *iptaqId *pitqId

ippaqqId ittapqId ippaqid napqid

ittanapqId ittapqId itapqId

table 4.1: the distribution of the imperfective vowel and the root vowel.

As the table shows, the imperfective vowel recurs in the t-perfect of the G-stem (iparras iptaras, ipaqqid iptaqid) and in most finite forms of the derived stems that adopt the vowel pattern of the G-stem: the Gtn-stem (iparras iptanarras, ipaqqid iptanaqqid ), the Gt-stem (iparras iptarras, ipaqqid iptaqqid), the imperfective of the N-stem (iparras ipparras, ipaqqid ippaqqid), and the Ntn-stem (iparras ittanapras, ipaqqid ittanapqid). Therefore, the imperfective vowel is the characteristic or defining vowel of a specific verb. Among the three imperfective vowels a, i, and u, a has a special status, since it occurs not only in the G imperfective of all A-verbs but also in several imperfective forms of the derived verbal stems. Only the Gt-, Gtn-, N-, and Ntn-stems have another present vowel, if they come from an I-verb or an U-verb. This makes a an important secondary imperfective marker in addition to gemination. The respective spheres of use of the imperfective vowel and the root vowel reflect both the hierarchical relationship between the imperfective and the perfective as defined in 2.2.1 (p. 30), and their historical relationship, with the imperfective as the innovative and expanding category,
3. The D-stem and the -stem are omitted because they have a fixed vowel pattern independent of vowel class. 4. The N perfective normally has a fixed i independent of vowel class; see 12.2.1 (pp. 289290) for the complexities in the vowel pattern of the N-stem. The rare instances of the N imperative all seem to have this vowel, too, perhaps on the model of the D and imperatives (Ass parris/apris); see chap. 12, p. 290, n. 8.


The Imperfective: Form 4.2.

and the perfective (or rather the inflectional stem on which it is based) as the receding category that is gradually being replaced (cf. also the replacement of iprVs by iptarVs). As stated in 1.2.3 (p. 5), there are good reasons to assume that the imperfective is generally the most basic form of a verbal paradigm. That this also applies to Akkadian is demonstrated by at least three features of the G-stem imperfective: 1. It is formally differentiated from other categories with more consistency than any other member of the verbal paradigm. With very few exceptions, imperfective forms are recognizable as such without any context,5 whereas all other categories show varying degrees of syncretism. For instance, there is syncretism of the infinitive and the past participle of all derived stems, and of the perfective of the t-stems and the t-perfect of the corresponding primary stems. In the tan-stems, except for the Gtn-stem, the imperfective is the only category that has a form of its own, whereas all other forms are identical to those of the corresponding t-stems. In these cases, we need the context to identify a particular form. 2. The G-stem imperfective imposes its vowel on the t-perfect of the G-stem and on the imperfective of the derived verbal stems that take part in the vowel classes, as shown above. 3. The G-stem imperfective also exerted such a strong formal influence on the imperfective forms of the derived verbal stems that most of them introduced gemination where this is formally possible, in addition to the more original imperfective marking by means of the stem vowel a between R2 and R3. This accounts for doubly-marked imperfective forms such as the N Impfv ipparras, the t2 Impfv utaparras, and the and t imperfectives of the I/voc verbs (uakkal and utakkal ). The details will be discussed in 4.5.2 (pp. 112115). In one respect, the relationship between the imperfective and the rest of the verbal paradigm is atypical: the imperfective is basic, but not unmarked; on the other hand, in Akkadian it is the perfective that is formally unmarked.6 In this respect, Akkadian agrees with many other Semitic and Afroasiatic languages.

5. The exceptions are the Gt imperfective, which is identical to the Gtn perfective, and the Babylonian G imperfective forms of the II/ and II/ verbs without ending, such as im and ibl, which we conventionally and conveniently distinguish in our transcriptions from the perfectives im and ibl. Of course, this claim is only valid for the actual forms of Akkadian, not for the way they are spelled, so it does not allow for defective spellings such as i-pa-q-id from paqdu, which may be G Impfv ipaqqid, N Impfv ippaqqid, and N Pfv ippaqid, or i-ri-i from eru to ask, which may be G Impfv rri and G Pfv ri. 6. Generally speaking, the verbal category referring to the present is semantically unmarked vis--vis the category referring to the past (Jakobson 1990: 138). Therefore, the former tends to be formally unmarked as well (see chap. 1, p. 5, n. 6). However, the common renewal of present categories by stronger marked formations is responsible for the widespread occurrence of marked presents, such as the English progressive form (for the rise of the progressive in English, see Bybee et al. 1994: 13237 and the literature mentioned in Lass 1997: 31819). This process is also responsible for the situation in Akkadian. Comrie (1976: 111) notes that in general, the morphological criteria [of markednessNJCK] are the least telling, since the morphology often reflects systematic correspondences of an earlier period in the history of a language. He mentions an exact parallel from the history of Persian, where a marked imperfective with the prefix mi- has been generalized except in a few stative verbs (ibid., 121). With regard to aspect, Aikhenvald and Dixon (1998: 62) state that [c]oncerning aspect, there is often no markedness in the system and when there is there seems to be no cross-language consistency as to which term is unmarked (also referring to Comrie 1976: 11122). This can be ascribed to the same process, since in languages where aspect is dominant the new form tends to become an imperfective, as in many branches of Afroasiatic.

4.3. The Imperfective: Form


4.3. the imperfective: Function 7

The Akkadian imperfective combines temporal, aspectual, and modal functions, but its aspectual function is marginal. In a context that is unspecified for its location in time, the imperfective refers to the future or to activities (usually habitual ones) taking place at the moment of speech, as opposed to the perfective and the t-perfect, which refer to the past. The imperfective is the only form available for referring to present and future events and therefore covers all possible modalities, such as the actual present, habitual present, generic present, immediate future, and more remote future (GAG 78c/d). Since this use is well-known, I will refrain from giving examples.8 The stative, however, can also refer to the present and indicate simultaneity, but it differs from the imperfective in that it can only refer to a state (see 7.3, pp. 163165), e.g., Impfv adabbub I am talking versus Stat almku I am well.9 An example is the interchange of the stative and imperfective in the following passage, from a description of a (figure of a) goddess:

7. For other descriptions of the use of the imperfective, see GAG 78; Streck 1995a: 19094; Leong 1994: 3132, 292360; Huehnergard 2005a: 9899; Metzler 2002: 88692; Loesov 2004b: 41617, 2005; E. Cohen 2006. 8. Loesov (2005: 1056) argues that the Akkadian imperfective is not used to refer to telic events taking place at speech time and that Akkadian codes such situations in different ways according to the inherent temporal properties of the situation, but in particular by the use of the stative. It is true that imperfectives referring to telic events taking place at speech time are very hard to find. The question is: is this caused by the function of the imperfective itself, or by the nature of our sources? For the time being, I prefer the latter option. The nature of the extant Akkadian texts is not very favourable to the occurrence of this kind of situations: they are typically found in natural conversation, and apart from occasional instances of dialogue in literary texts, the closest thing that we have to natural conversation are letters. However, the problem with letters is that we usually do not know enough of the correspondents and their background to distinguish between references to the present and to the immediate future. Take, for instance, ARM 6, 5:1213, in which the writer communicates to his lord that a boulder has fallen into a canal and has blocked it (see Durand 1997/2000: II 597). He continues: inanna abnam ti -a-ap-pa: nothing in the context nor in our knowledge of the background of this letter allows us to decide whether the writer intends to say now I am breaking down this boulder or now I am going to break down this boulder. This applies to dozens of other cases as well (cf. Loesov 2005: 11415 for a discussion of some of them). Moreover, Loesovs instances of statives referring to telic events ongoing at speech time are all in some respect problematic and are certainly insufficient to prove such a far-going claim. Actually, the Mari letters contain several good candidates for this kind of imperfectives, such as ARM 28, 134:7 itu 3 u4 PN ina GN waib [u] lam -da-an-na-an since three days PN is staying in GN and he is fortifying the town; perhaps also ARM 3, 1:9, 14 and ARM 6, 58:18. 9. This contrast is clear enough as long as prototypical fientive and prototypical adjectival verbs are concerned, but in the case of peripheral members of these categories, the distinction may be blurred and speakers may fluctuate in their use of either form. This applies to the stative verbs discussed in 3.3.1 (pp. 5557), whose imperfective can have stative meaning, and to verbs such as wabu to sit down, stay, allu to sleep, and rakbu to ride, e.g., uab and waib he stays, lives from wabu and iallal and alil he sleeps, is asleep from allu. In their fientive forms, these verbs are basically ingressive and telic, but in the imperfective they may drop their telicity and indicate a state or an activity: uab I am seated, arakkab I am riding (although the imperfective of most of these verbs more often has future or irrealis meaning: iallal he can/will sleep). This is caused by the convergence of two semantic/pragmatic factors: first, the meaning we expect it to have theoretically (I am sitting down [but not yet seated], etc.) is hardly used at all, since it is appropriate in very few contexts. Second, the imperfective aspect of uab, etc., with its typical open-endedness clashes with the basically telic meaning of wabu itself; this neutralizes the telic meaning and allows the verb to take on the meaning of to sit rather than to sit down. For the same reason, these verbs show an overlap in use between their past and present participles (see 8.3.1 end, p. 202).


The Imperfective: Form 4.3.

(01) MIO 1, 70/72: III 4145 (SB) the goddess is girt (rak-sa-at: Stat) with a girdle (. . .), in her left (hand) she has/carries (na-at: Stat) a child, it feeds from (lit., eats) (ik-kal: Impfv) her breast, with her right (hand) she prays (i-kar-rab: Impfv) (i.e., is in a praying posture) The imperfective also has an important irrealis use, which is related to its future meaning (Leong 1994: 3132, 4023; Gianto 1998: 18788): it can express intention, obligation, injunction, prescription, etc. In affirmative clauses, the choice between indicative and irrealis use usually depends on the context; in an omen apodosis, for instance, iddk will indicate a prediction he will be killed; elsewhere it may also indicate an injunction he must be killed.10 However, the particle l can be used to convey the notion of an emphatic statement, especially in a promissory oath; see the final part of 9.3.3 (pp. 231232).11 In negative clauses, the contrast between future tense and irrealis is at least partly indicated by means of the use of a special negation l for the irrealis use, the prohibitive (see 9.2.3, pp. 219220). In Babylonian, there is a clear distinction, since the non-irrealis use normally has ul or ul; for example: (02) AbB 5, 210:910 (OB) libba ki l i-ma-ra-a u libb ul i-ma-ra-a do not be cross, and I wont be cross either In Assyrian, the distinction is less pronounced, since l may also be used in indicative clauses (GKT 105c and GAG 122a/b). The aspectual function of the imperfective is only activated when the temporal location is specified as past by the context or the situation in general.12 In this case, it expresses incompleted action, simultaneity with a past event (non-anteriority), and verbal plurality and serves to exclude the completed or anterior function and the implication of a once-only event entailed by the perfective (see 5.3, pp. 127128).13 Apart from literary narrative, this use is rare, especially in main clauses, and when it occurs, it usually concerns the stative verbs discussed in 3.3.1 (pp. 5557), such as ba to be present, available, izuzzu to stand, and kullu to hold, and the verb alku to go /come in its atelic meaning to go /walk around (without a specific goal), e.g., (02) quoted on p. 56, and:14 (03) AbB 4, 132:89 (OB) pna inma ana rdka a-al-la-ku formerly, when I served as one of (lit., went to) your rds (04) AbB 6, 1:26 (OB) inma ina pti az-za-az-zu when I was (lit., was standing) still in service.15 Instances with other verbs are:

10. See GAG 78d ; Streck 1995a: 9499; Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 112. 11. See GAG 152b and 185bd, Edzard 1973: 12930; E. Cohen 2005: 1768. 12. Many Old Babylonian instances of this use contain the adverb pnnum formerly; with a perfective, it refers to a once-only event (e.g., Sumer 14, 48 no. 24:56), with an imperfective to a repeated event, a habit, etc. (e.g., AbB 10, 1:1316). 13. For the use of the imperfective in past contexts, see also GAG 78ef; Leong 1994: 34346 and 34950; Streck 1995a: 11112 and 11619; 1995b; Metzler 2002: 14749, 49395, and 88891. 14. More examples in Leong 1994 and Metzler 2002. 15. In these stative verbs, the perfective often has ingressive function (see 3.3.1, p. 56): azzz I stood up, allik I went (in the sense of I started moving). An important reason for the use of the imperfective is presumably to exclude this interpretation.

4.3. The Imperfective: Form (05) ARM 27, 133:89 (OB) ina mui eper a i-a-ap-pa-ku izziz it (the army) took position on top of the ramp it was building (06) AbB 11, 7:1314 (OB) alpum ipurma amm i-ka-al [imq]utma imtt the ox strayed away, and while it was grazing (lit. eating grass), it dropped dead.


In (05), the perfective would be a kind of pluperfect (see 5.3, p. 128), implying that the ramp was already finished (which it had built), and in (06) it would make the events sequential: the ox strayed away, ate grass, and dropped dead. The use of the imperfective excludes these interpretations. The remarkable use of the imperfective to introduce direct speech in narrative contexts may have a similar background, e.g.: (07) HSAO [1], 186:7 (OB) DN pu puamma ippuri kala il is-s-aq-q-ar Enlil opened his mouth and spoke in the assembly of all gods (followed by Enlils words).16 The use of the imperfective issaqqar may also be aimed at avoiding the implications of the perfective, which might be interpreted by the hearer as referring to a previous utterance instead of the actual quotation that is still to come. This explanation is essentially the same as Jacobsens (1988: 191) explanation of the same phenomenon in Sumerian.17 In punctual and telic verbs, the imperfective in past contexts can be frequentative (08) or habitual (09) and perhaps emphasizes that an intended event was not realized or completed (10); with the negation ul, it can denote a refusal (GAG 151c), as also in (10): (08) ARM 28, 104:3435 (OB) bl []atkma ana GN ul a-a-ap-pa-ar inanna anumma ana GN a-a-ap-pa-ar for fear of my lord I never wrote to GN; but now I am going to write to GN (09) ARM 27, 1:3839 (OB) aum 1 GuR.m a pnnum i-ka-lu PN imur concerning the one kor each, which they formerly enjoyed, they turned to PN (10) ARM 27, 1:3637 (OB) pnnum 1 GuR.m a-na-ad-di-in-u-nu-i-im-ma ul i-ma-a-ru in the past, I wanted to give them one kor each, but they did not accept (it) (so how should they now accept 100 qa?).18 Cases such as (10) and perhaps also (15B) quoted below may be related to the irrealis use of the imperfective. Finally, the imperfective with past reference is also used in narrative passages in literary texts, as described in detail by Streck (1995b), E. Cohen (2006), and W. R. Mayer (2007). In main clauses, this especially concerns backgrounded events and processes that are durative or iterative (Streck 1995b: 3750); in subordinate clauses, it often occurs in circumstantial, final, and consecutive clauses (1995b: 5373). Streck (1995b: 7577) explains this use from its function of non-anteriority, which is related to imperfective, but the fact that it often has a durative or itera-

16. For more instances, see Sonnek 1940; Streck 1995a: 10611; Metzler 2002: 52039. 17. See Streck 1995a: 10911 and 193 for a discussion and more literature. In Indo-European languages, too, the use of the (historical) present or the imperfective of verbs of speech is widespread to introduce direct speech in narrative; see Kiparsky 1968: 32 n. 3 and Fleischman 1990: 8283. 18. For similar cases in Old Assyrian, see GKT 74c; for Middle Babylonian, see Aro 1955: 80; for Neo-Assyrian, see Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 11112.


The Imperfective: Form 4.3.

tive nuance, or rather that of verbal plurality in general (cf. in particular Metzler 2002: 495517, 88891) may be a residue of its original pluractional function (see 4.4, p. 9597).19 In the protasis of conditional clauses, the use of the imperfective is determined by its temporal relationship to the main clause, just as in the subordinate clauses quoted so far. The imperfective indicates that the event of the protasis either has not yet taken place or has started but is not yet completed. In the former case, the protasis often indicates an intention, usually in punctual verbs: (11) KH 138: 1417 (OB) umma awlum rtau a mr l uldum i-iz-zi-ib if a man wants/intends to leave his first wife who has not born him children.20 In the latter case, the meaning of the verb is usually durative or iterative and denotes ongoing or repeated processes or activities, which are not temporally bounded by the realization of the apodosis. This occurs only rarely in legal texts, as in (12), but is ubiquitous in all kinds of omen texts; for example, (13): (12) KH 141:3342 (OB) umma aat awlim (. . .) bssa -s-ap-pa-a mussa -a-am-a if the wife of a man (. . .) squanders her estate and treats her husband badly21 (13) CT 40, 34: r.8 (SB) (if a horse has become rabid and) l tappu l aml -na-ak bites all the time/wants to bite/tries to bite/is prone to biting its companion or people. The perfective and the t-perfect would indicate that the event is completed at the moment referred to in the apodosis; see 5.3 (pp. 127128), 6.3.1 (p. 148), and GAV pp. 15457, and compare (13) with (14): (14) CT 40, 34: r.16 (SB) umma ss ana bt amli rubma l imra l amla i-uk if a horse has entered a mans house and has bitten a donkey or a person. A striking example of an imperfective indicating uncompleted action in a umma-clause occurs in the following pair of protases: (15A) HUCA 41/2, 90: II 2732 (OB) umma erm l nnam l iram ibatma ipparamma ina mu-u-u-ur awlim i-ku-ul if an eagle has caught a fish or a bird, has flown away and has eaten (kul: Pfv) it on a mans roof22 (that man will experience a loss) (15B) ibid., 91: III 1417 um[ma] er[m] ina r awlim summata i-ka-al-ma u-ta-ad-du--u

19. As Bybee et al. (1994: 1517) have shown, the synchronic use of a grammatical category may still bear traces of the earlier stages it went through during its grammaticalization. In that case, it is an instance of what Hopper (1991: 2830) calls persistence. See also the comments by Metzler (2002: 891) and Loesov (2004b: 413). 20. See GAG 161i; other cases are i-ig-ga-ar KH 274:22 he wants to hire (discussion in Metzler 2002: 14647) and i-na-ad-di-in KH 122:36 he wants/intends to give; -pa-a-an KAV 1: VI 41:1 he intends to veil in the Middle Assyrian laws; also passim in the recipes of YOS 11, 24/26 (see Metzler 2002: 28384 and Loesov 2004a: 141). 21. Also KH 142:72 and 143:8 (same verbs), 172:18 (-s-a-a-mu-i they put her under pressure), and 186:46 (i-i-a-a he searches). 22. I interpret ina mu-u-u-ur awlim as ina mu(i) r awlim with crasis (GAG 17b).

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs if an eagle wants to eat/starts to eat (kkal: Impfv) a dove on a mans roof, but people have forced it to drop it (that man will increase in wealth) (similarly, ibid., 92: IV 4 versus 12)


In (15A), the perfective is used as it normally is in conditional protases; in (15B) its use is avoided because it would mislead the hearer into thinking that the act of eating was completed successfully, and the imperfective is used instead. The imperfective excludes the implication of a single, completed event that adheres to the use of the perfective. This explains why in umma clauses we often find the imperfective of the Gtn-stem contrasting with the perfective of the G-stem, as in (16):23 (16) Dreams 330:5657 (SB) umma nra i-la-a (. . .) umma nra i-ta-na-lu if he has dipped (Pfv G) into a river (. . .); if he dips (Impfv Gtn) into a river time and again The various uses of the imperfective suggest that it may be described as an aspect (denoting incompleted action) and as a relative tense (denoting non-anteriority).24 This conclusion would also be in line with the corresponding categories in other Semitic languages, in particular the imperfective (yaqtVlu) of Classical Arabic, which is part of a basic opposition between simultaneity (yaqtVlu) and anteriority (qatVla) (Kuryowicz 1973). However, the temporal use of the Akkadian imperfective is so dominant in terms of frequency that it is best regarded basically as a tense,25 the more so because the contrasting categories, the perfective iprVs and the t-Pf iptarVs, are clearly temporal in function as well. It is possible that the more temporal nature of the Akkadian imperfective as compared to Ar yaqtVlu is a consequence of the rise of iparrVs instead of the Proto-Semitic imperfective *yiqtVlu, -nV: one might argue that the development from a pluractional to a progressive focusing on the actual moment of speech (see, pp. 107109, below) has enhanced the temporal nature of the imperfective and that its marginal use in past contexts is a residue of its older, more aspectual function.

4.4. the Historical Background ofiparrVs

The G-stem imperfective iparrVs is firmly established from the earliest attested period onward: it shows no significant differences between Babylonian and Assyrian, nor do the very few reliable data about the imperfective in Eblaite reveal any.26 This shows that it had already fully developed in Proto-East Semitic. The few changes that occur during the historical period of Akkadian are instantiations of general phonological processes not specific to the imperfective, such as the spread of E-colouring (see 17.5, pp. 525537) and vowel contraction, or shifts from one vowel class to another in individual verbs (see 3.5.3, pp. 7581). None of these affect the essence of the category. A type of development that is conspicuously absent in Akkadian is the re23. The Gtn perfective is hardly found at all in such contexts. Most alleged instances recorded as such in the dictionaries are undoubtedly t-perfects of the G-stem. 24. For the Akkadian verb as basically aspectual, see Tropper 1998b: 15759 and Stempel 1999: 127; for descriptions as a relative tense system, see, for instance, Kuryowicz 1973 and Streck 1995a: 19094. See also Kouwenberg 1998: 81516 and in particular the discussion in Loesov 2004b: 4019. 25. See the section on terminology (pp. xxixxii) for an explanation of why I continue to call it imperfective in the present study. 26. For the G imperfective in Eblaite, see Gelb 1992: 190; Krebernik 1988a: 59 with n. 37; 1996: 245; Edzard 2006: 7980; and Rubio 2006: 122; e.g., i-da-a- /yiaa/ they come near, cf. Bab e (see chap. 2 n. 63, p. 51), and i-na-- ARET 5, 1: VI 8 he lives (/yinaa/), cf. Bab nu to live, to recover.


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

newal of the imperfective by means of periphrastic forms or grammaticalized participleswhich is such a prominent feature of almost all other Semitic languages.27 Consequently, there is little direct evidence from Akkadian itself to clarify the prehistory of iparrVs by means of internal reconstruction. There are, however, some soft indications that point in a certain direction. First, gemination, especially of the second radical, has a clear iconic background in Akkadian (GAV pp. 2426): it reflects an increase in expressivity, intensity, and in particular plurality, both nominal and verbal. Several grammatical and lexical categories in Akkadian combine gemination with some type of expressive, intensive, or pluractional meaning (see 10.8.1, p. 256, for this term): Nominal plurality underlined by gemination of R2in addition to the normal plural endingsis found in a few individual nouns: abb fathers (Ass abb) from abu, a brothers from au, atu sisters (Ass autum) from atu, and i trees from iu; in a group of adjectives of the pattern PaRRaS (rarely PaRRiS) denoting dimensions, e.g., arraku long, seeru (Ass *aaru > auru) small, young, and rabb big < *rabbium (GAV pp. 5257); and in adjectives of the pattern PuRRuS (Ass PaRRuS), which is often used as the plural of simple adjectives and statives (GAV pp. 35971). Verbal plurality underlined by gemination of R2 is found in the D-stem of transitive verbs, which are often pluractional and sometimes intensive (see 11.3.4, pp. 274277, and GAV pp. 11775); in the pluractional Gtn-stem (see 14.7.2, p. 417); and in the agent nouns of the patterns PaRRS and PaRRiS, which denote habitual activities, often professions (GAV pp. 5866). Expressivity and intensity underlined by gemination of R2 is found in the group of PuRRuS (Ass PaRRuS) adjectives that denote highly expressive and stable qualities, often salient bodily characteristics (GAV pp. 37178).28 It also occurs in a small number of (substantivized) adjectives with unusual patterns, most of which are exceedingly rare (GAV p. 34): e.g., akkru drunkard from akru to be(come) drunk), muttqu sweetmeats from matqu sweet, and kussimtu cut wood from kasmu to cut (gikuus-s-im-tam ARM 28, 152:8). The use of gemination in these categories is completely conventionalized, i.e., a speaker of Akkadian could not replace a single consonant by a geminate ad libitum,29 and is the result of a long
27. It is not a foregone conclusion that such replacements were completely absent; if they existed, they must have concerned (at least initially) the imperfective in its function of referring to the moment of speech. However, as Loesov (2004a: 13132 n. 107; 2004b: 41617; 2005) has aptly observed, this function of the imperfective is very poorly represented in our sources, which because of their nature contain far more imperfective forms with other meanings, such as future, prescriptive, general imperfective, and prohibitive. The concomitant use of the imperfective is typical of dialogue, which is heavily underrepresented. Moreover, this kind of renewal typically starts in everyday speech and does not penetrate into the written language until much later (or perhaps not at all, if this language is conservative and/or highly stereotyped, as most forms of late Akkadian are). 28. These instances of the pattern PuRRuS must be distinguished from the far more numerous PuRRuS forms that serve as stative/past participle to the corresponding D-stem. In GAV pp. 34244, I call these two functions of PuRRuS the lexical and the inflectional function, respectively. The inflectional PuRRuS forms cannot be used as evidence for the (erstwhile) existence and the meaning of adjectives with gemination since their meaning is derived from that of the D-stem. 29. There are several expressions attested in Akkadian showing that a living iconic effect could be achieved by repeating an entire word, e.g., (trtum) lapt lapt they (the omens) are unfavourable each time from an OB Mari letter quoted by D. Charpin and J.-M. Durand, NABU 1988/17 no. [34]. An inter-

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


process of grammaticalization. Even though the Impfv iparrVs has little or no relationship with plurality, it seems reasonable to assume that its gemination has the same background but that grammaticalization replaced plurality with the more abstract aspectual function of imperfectivity, a kind of process for which there are ample parallels in Afroasiatic, as I will argue in the next sections.30 This also implies that iparrVs has a very long history: its genesis as a form (whatever its function) must date back to a remote period, a fact that is confirmed by the Afroasiatic parallels I discuss below. Second, the inflectional stem of iparrVs is an intruder within the paradigm of the G-stem: with the exception of the t-perfect, which is generally agreed to be an intruder as well, all other members are based on the simple triradical root without consonantal additions.31 This ties in with the fact that there is no predictable formal relationship between imperfective and perfective (see 5.2, pp. 126127). Since the latter is of unsuspected Proto-Semitic extraction, it is likely that it already existed when iparrVs emerged as its imperfective counterpart. All these facts point to iparrVs having a different background from the rest of the verbal paradigm and therefore also being a relative newcomer.32 Third, in comparative perspective, this is further supported by the fact that the imperfective has no exact cognates in other Semitic languages: the corresponding forms in Central Semitic, such as Ar yaqtVlu, have no gemination, and South Semitic has an imperfective that does have gemination but differs from Akkadian in some important respects (see 4.6.1, pp. 117121). These facts suggest that the Impfv iparrVs represents a renewal of an older imperfective.

4.4.1. ThecontroversyabouttheProto-Semiticimperfective
The historical background of the Akkadian imperfective with gemination and its relationship to the imperfective forms of West Semitic is one of the most controversial issues of comparative Semitics.33 The Semitic languages generally show two kinds of forms to express the imperfective: East Semitic and South Semitic use a prefixed stem that either has gemination (Akk iparrVs and Geez yqattl ) or had it originally (Modern South Arabian, e.g., Mehri yrkz); Central Semitic uses a simple prefixed stem without gemination but (at least originally) with a suffix -u/mediate stage must have been the use of reduplication, and there are indeed a few instances of the use of reduplication for repetition in the Akkadian verb; see chap. 15. 30. The same happened in the D-stem of intransitive verbs, where the original association with expressivity and intensity was grammaticalized as the factitive function, also a shift from lexical (more concrete) to grammatical (more abstract) (see 11.6.2, pp. 282287). 31. If we consider the forms of the verbal categories alone, it looks as if all forms are derived from the perfective (iprVs), which does have the expected simple stem. This also applies to those of the derived stems that have different inflectional stems, such as the Gt-stem and the N-stem. The Gt PrPartc muptar(i)sum, for instance, looks as if it derives from the Pfv iptaras rather than from the Impfv iptarras, and the N PrPartc muppar(i)sum seems to come from ipparis rather than from ipparras. In view of the dominant position of the imperfective, this is an anomaly, which may be explained on the basis of a scenario in which the form with gemination is a replacement of an earlier form with the simple stem. 32. This is also argued by Rundgren 1955: 32325. The situation of a single inflectional stem for the whole G-stem paradigm (and mutatis mutandis also for all individual derived verbal stems) still exists in Central Semitic (Gensler 1997: 23031). Gensler points to the curious exception of the madar of Stem II in Arabic (taqtl from qattala), for which see 14.6.1 (pp. 400402). 33. I will not repeat here the full history of the debate. It has been described by many others: see, in particular, Rundgren 1959a: 12940; Moscati, ed. 1964: 13334; Hodge, ed. 1971: 1719; Fleisch 1979: 20724; Kienast 2001: 29395. For a bibliography, see also Knudsen 1982: 9 n. 24 with additions in Knudsen 1984/86: 238 n. 1 and 1998: 5 n. 8. An important more recent contribution is T. D. Anderson (2000).


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

nV to distinguish it from another form with the same stem without suffix, which serves as a past tense and/or an irrealis category. The fundamental issue is whether the similarity between the East Semitic and the South Semitic imperfectives justifies the reconstruction of a geminated imperfective in Proto-Semitic, or whether Proto-Semitic instead had an imperfective based on the simple prefix conjugation, like Ar yaqtulu, -na. The former option originates with P. Haupt (1878), who proposed associating Akk ikaad with Geez yqatl (in his notation). Those who follow him ascribe a tense/aspect system with (at least) three different inflectional stems to Proto-Semitic: a long prefix stem with gemination and imperfective function (*yiqattVl-); a short prefix stem without gemination, which has both perfective (or preterite) and irrealis functions (*yiqtVl); and a suffix stem (the stative in Akkadian, the perfect in West Semitic). Those who opt for the latter possibility reconstruct a tense/aspect system with two inflectional stems: a simple prefix stem that performs multiple functions by means of different suffixes, at least the imperfective (*yiqtulu, -nV) and the perfective/jussive (*yiqtul, -), and the suffix stem for the stative/perfect. If we call the former view the three-stem system and the latter the two-stem system, we can summarize this as in Table 4.2: Impfv three-stem (Akk/SSem) two-stem (CSem) -QaTTvLPfv/ Juss -QTvL-QTvLStat/Perf QaTvLQaTvL-

table 4.2: the inflectional stems of the basic verb in semitic.

Neither the three-stem nor the two-stem system as they are currently described offers a plausible explanation for the development of the Semitic verbal system. The three-stem system is unsatisfactory for three reasons. (1) The first concerns the status of the simple prefix form with the suffix -u, -nV, which survives in the Arabic Impfv yaqtulu, -na. The similarity in form between this form and the Akkadian subjunctive in its Assyrian form iprusu, -ni compels us to reconstruct *yiqtulu, -nV in Proto-Semitic, as I will argue in 9.3.3 (pp. 228231). However, which function did it have? Was it an imperfective as in Arabic, a subjunctive as in Akkadian, or something else? Actually, it cannot have been the Proto-Semitic imperfective, if one claims that this function was performed by *yiqattVl-. The usual explanation is, therefore, that the suffix -u, -nV was a marker of subordination but spread to main clauses in Central Semitic and developed into an imperfective marker. This is typologically unlikely, since the usual development goes in the opposite direction: verb forms restricted to subordinate clauses are typically residual categories that were once in general use but were ousted from main clauses by a competing form (see in particular Haspelmath 1998 and 9.3.3, pp. 229231).34 (2) Second, in all attested instances of the renewal of present categories as described by various authors,35 the innovating form is more contrasting, more voluminous, andat least origi-

34. The purely theoretical nature of the Szenarium that Voigt (2004: 4950) proposes to explain the spread of *yiqtVlu, -nV from subordinate to main clauses eloquently shows the lack of any substantial evidence for such a process. The development proposed by Hamori (1973) and adopted by Rubin (2005: 14748) is implausible for the same reason: it requires that a subordinate form *yiqtVlu in relative clauses was powerful and frequent enough to spread to main clauses and oust a better marked and doubtless far more frequently used imperfective with gemination. 35. E.g., Bybee et al. 1994:12575; D. Cohen 1984; Haspelmath 1998.

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


nallymore transparent than the old one.36 This is what we would expect, since the renewal is motivated by the desire to encode the category in question in a more expressive and/or more user-friendly way. According to these criteria, it is unlikely that *yiqtVlu, -nV is a replacement of *yiqattVl-. Quite to the contrary, they suggest that *yiqattVl- replaced *yiqtVlu, -nV, since it has a stronger marking, is more transparent because of its gemination, and is more clearly differentiated from the (original) perfective *yiqtVl, -. (3) The third major deficiency of the three-stem system is that there is no trace of *yiqattVlin Central Semitic.37 It is of course quite normal for grammatical categories to drop out of use, but this particular case is inconsistent with everything we know about the evolution of verbal categories. If *yiqattVl- was indeed the Proto-Semitic imperfective, it was the basic form of the verbal paradigm and therefore a very unlikely candidate for vanishing without a trace. The usual fate of similar categories in other languages is that they are replaced by more expressive ones in a gradual process that tends to leave a residue of older forms, often in secondary functions (Haspelmath 1998). This is the picture that clearly arises from D. Cohens (1984) investigation into the verbal systems of other Semitic languages. There are no such phenomena relating to a geminated imperfective in Central Semitic.38 This is even more surprising, since the development of the Akkadian imperfective outside the G-stem shows that the introduction of a new imperfective in the G-stem has a strong influence on imperfective forms of other categories, as we will see in 4.5.2 (pp. 112115), and that the same seems to have happened with the geminated imperfective in Geez (but in a different way; see 4.6.1, pp. 120121). There is no trace of such an influence in any of the Central Semitic imperfective forms. So much for the main objections against the three-stem system. The two-stem system also has a major defect, insofar as it implies that Proto-Semitic did not have a form *yiqattVl-. This is inconceivable for at least three reasons. (1) First, *yiqattVl- has parallels in Afroasiatic namely, the Berber imperfective with gemination and the Beja imperfective with infixed nasal, which suggest that *yiqattVl- has an Afroasiatic background; see further (pp. 104107). (2) Second, although Akkadian iparrVs may arguably be younger than *yiqtVlu, -nV as an imperfective, it does not look like a recent formation, as Voigt (1990a; 2004: 3538) rightly points out, and it is hard to envisage how it could have developed in the relatively short period between Proto-Semitic and Proto-East-Semitic.39 (3) Third, in reconstructing the prehistory of a language, it is generally more plausible to assume a process of simplification than the emergence of a totally

36. Opaque forms are generally older than transparent forms, as emphasized by Voigt in the context of the Proto-Semitic verb (1990a: 8789; 2004: 3536). 37. There is a long discussion about this issue; see the earlier literature collected by Knudsen (1982: 9 n. 25), but a broad consensus seems to have grown that there are no reliable traces of *yiqattVl- in Central Semitic, as may appear from recent contributions, such as T. D. Anderson 2000: 25 and Kerr 2001. It is significant that Rainey (1996: II 22734) does not find traces of it in Amarna Akkadian, nor does Tropper (2000: 46061) in Ugaritic. However, some dissenting voices remain: Lipiski 1997: 339; Kottsieper 2000; Voigt 2004: 5051 (see Kerr 2001: 14547 for a criticism of Kottsieper). For Amorite, an imperfective with gemination is sometimes assumed on the basis of a handful of proper names (Kerr 2001: 136), but others find the evidence inconclusive (von Soden 1985; Knudsen 1991: 879 with n. 14). 38. See, however, n. 50 (below, p. 102) on possible traces of *yiqattal- as a derived verbal stem. 39. Because of the (probable) amount of time separating Proto-Semitic from Akkadian, we should regard all Akkadian verb forms as Proto-Semitic, since however long this period may have lasted, it was certainly too short to allow for the rise of the relatively opaque verbal categories of Akkadian; relatively young categories are generally more transparent in form, such as the periphrastic categories of West Semitic (Voigt 2004: 3743).


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

new category (Voigt 1990a: 93).40 It is therefore more likely that the two-stem system of Central Semitic is a reduction of an older, more comprehensive system than that the three-stem system is a relatively recent extension of the two-stem system (Voigt 2004: 36).

4.4.2. TheemergenceofiparrVs
The circumstantial evidence discussed in 4.4 suggests a solution that obviates the shortcomings of both the three-stem and the two-stem systemsnamely, to reconstruct both imperfective forms in Proto-Semitic: a basic imperfective *yiqtVlu, -nV and a derived imperfective *yiqattal-, which gemination reveals to have originally been the imperfective of a derived stem with pluractional function. This leads to the following hypothetical account of what happened after the proto-language split up into the historically attested branches. (1) The basic stem of the Proto-Semitic verb had an Impfv *yiqtVlu, -nV, which is reconstructible on the basis of the correspondence between the Ar yaqtulu, -na and the Akkadian Subj iprusu, -ni (see 9.3.3, pp. 228231).41 (2) In addition, Proto-Semitic had a derived verbal stem serving for the expression of verbal plurality, similar in function to the later Gtn-stem of Akkadian: a pluractional G-stem, or GPL-stem. Its imperfective can be reconstructed as *yiqattal-, with gemination of R2. It is different from the D-stem, which had an Impfv *yuqattilu, -nV (see below).42 (3) After the Proto-Semitic stage, East Semitic substituted its basic imperfective with that of the GPL-stem. The ultimate motive for this change was the need to increase the formal contrast between the Impfv *yiqtVlu, -nV and the Pfv *yiqtVl, -, which was apparently felt to be insufficient since they only differed in the presence or absence of the suffix -u/-nV; this issue will further be discussed in 18.3.1 (p. 591). Therefore, it was only the imperfective and not the entire
40. Hetzron (1976a) calls this the principle of archaic heterogeneity and invokes it (1976a: 104) to argue for the primacy of the Akkadian and South Semitic systems, with their geminated imperfectives, over the Central Semitic system, with the imperfective *yiqtVlu. This principle says that, if cognate languages share a specific (sub)system that is similar enough to be related but more heterogeneous in one language than in another, the relatively most heterogeneous system may be regarded as the most archaic, and the more homogeneous ones are more likely to result from simplification (1976a: 93). Accordingly, Hetzron (1976a: 104) argues that the three-stem system of Akkadian and South Semitic is more archaic than the two-stem system of Central Semitic and closer to Proto-Semitic. The same reasoning is implicit in Voigt 1990a: 93. I accept the general usefulness of Hetzrons principle for morphological developments and I agree with his conclusion insofar as the Akkadian imperfective is concerned, but for the evolution of verbal categories in general the principle can easily be shown to be invalid, if we compare the expression of the present tense in other languages, e.g., in modern English and standard German: English has two present categories, a simple present (I write) and a compound present, the progressive (I am writing), whereas standard German only has one (ich schreibe). According to the principle of archaic heterogeneity, the English situation would be more original and the German one would result from a simplification. However, we actually know that the reverse is true: German has preserved the Proto-Germanic situation with a single (reconstructible) present, and English has innovated (see also Bybee et al. 1994: 144). The same applies to the rise of past tense forms, which tend to be enriched by old resultatives or completives (Kuryowicz 1975: 106, 128; Bybee et al. 1994: 51105). In an earlier article (1975: 127), Hetzron still adds a reservation to the validity of his principle: unless we find obvious motivation for the enrichment of the richer system. This is clearly the case where the renewal of verbal categories is concerned. 41. Everything points to Ar yaqtVlu, -na not being an innovation but an ancient form (Voigt 2004: 3637), the great antiquity of which is further demonstrated by parallels of the -u/-nV suffix in Cushitic (Hetzron 1974) and Chadic (Voigt 1988a: 121); see further 18.3.1 (p. 589). 42. For the time being, I will write this derived form as *yiqattal-. In 4.5.3 below (pp. 115117), I will discuss whether or not it also had the ending -u/-nV of the basic Impfv *yiqtVlu.

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


conjugation of the G-stem that was replaced. In this respect, the emergence of iparrVs from the GPL-stem is parallel to that of the t-Pf iptarVs from the Gt-stem, which is also an individual form taken from a complete conjugation (with the important difference that in the case of the t-perfect we know this for certain, since this conjugation continued to be used in its original function).43 The extension of the use of yaqattal- was accompanied by a corresponding weakening of its association with plurality: from a pluractional he kills all the time, repeatedly, etc., it developed into a progressive he is killing and took over the hic-et-nunc function of the basic Impfv *yiqtVlu and later also most of its other functions (Kuryowicz 1962: 5960; see below for parallels). This was a specifically Akkadian innovation in which West Semitic took no part: Central Semitic continued to use the Proto-Semitic basic Impfv *yiqtVlu, -nV, and South Semitic initially did the same, but followed the example of Akkadian in a later stage and replaced it with a form with gemination of R2 (Geez yqattl; see 4.6.1, pp. 117121). In Akkadian, the ancient basic imperfective was relegated to subordinate clauses, where its ending was reanalyzed as a marker of subordination (Kuryowicz 1972: 60; see 9.3.3, pp. 228231). The view that Proto-Semitic had two coexisting imperfective forms has also been proposed by other scholars, but it does not seem to have been elaborated systematically.44 In particular, it was advocated by Rssler (1950: 466 and elsewhere) and Kuryowicz (1962: 53, 5960; cf. also 1972: 5354).45 Prima facie, this view may seem no more than a weak compromise between conflicting viewpoints. Moreover, we should generally avoid multiplying the number of morphosyntactic categories that we reconstruct, not only for the sake of simplicity, but also because the more categories we posit, the weaker the explanatory power of our model becomes.46 In this case, however, the reconstruction of two imperfective forms in Proto-Semitic is fully justified, since it offers a relatively straightforward explanation of the state of affairs attested in the diverse languages and a plausible account of the processes that have led to it, supported by some evidence from cognate languages (see and abundant typological evidence (see The scenario outlined above accounts for most of the problems raised by both the three-stem and the two-stem systems: 1. It gives due credit to the high antiquity of iparrVs: iparrVs is an innovation, but only insofar as it has a new function, as Kuryowicz (1973: 120 n. 5) emphasizes: The renewal did not consist in the creation of a new form, but in the shift derivative > inflectional form, i.e., in the incorporation of a derivative into the system of conjugation. 2. It explains the different functions of *yiqtVlu, -nV in Akkadian and Central Semitic as the typologically common restriction of an old form to secondary contexts: *yiqtVlu, -nV

43. Faced with the same problem, West Semitic chose to renew the perfective *yiqtVl by replacing it with the suffix conjugation qatala; see 18.3.1 (pp. 591). 44. In several publications, W. von Soden suggested the existence of a contrast between a durative and a punctual imperfective, of which the former has gemination (1957: 207a; 1991b: 469). Similar views were expressed by Blau (1971: 144), T. D. Anderson (2000: 2425), and Kerr (2001: 154). 45. The scenario proposed here notably differs from Rsslers in that Rssler regards the geminated imperfective as part of the basic stem rather than as an (originally) derived stem. This leads to the difficulties inherent in the three-stem system discussed above. 46. This is perhaps more evident in historical phonology: in reconstructing the phoneme inventory of a proto-language, we can easily achieve complete regularity if we posit a different phoneme for each individual sound correspondence we find. However, apart from leading to a an atypical number of phonemes for the proto-language, the resulting system will obscure important generalizations and so conceal rather than clarify what actually happened in the course of its development.


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

preserves its original function in Central Semitic but was relegated to subordinate clauses in Akkadian. 3. It reduces the absence of *yiqattal- in Central Semitic to a problem of more manageable proportions. As I argued above, this is a major problem for the three-stem system as it is usually formulated. It remains an explanandum, of course, but if *yiqattal- is a derived imperfective with pluractional meaning, most of the reasons why its disappearance is so unlikely are no longer valid. A derived pluractional is interchangeable with an analytical (lexical) construction and can therefore easily be replaced by it, a process that is crosslinguistically very common.47 In this particular case, one could plausibly argue that the disappearance of *yiqattal- is related to competition with the D-stem:48 two derived stems with the same basic marker, even though they have a different origin, may easily influence each other. 4. It clarifies the relationship between iparrVs and the D-stem. In spite of the fact that both categories share gemination of R2, they have a different origin: the D-stem is originally a denominal category derived from adjectives (see 11.6.2, pp. 283284), whereas the Impfv *yiqattal- originates in the category of fientive verbs (see below for details). Neither of them is derived from the other.49 However, if we assume that *yiqattal- had a complete conjugation, their conjugations must have been rather similar, especially in the forms without prefixes; see 4.5.3 below.50
47. See van Loon 2005: 43, 8183 about the loss of marked categories. 48. The loss of the imperfective with gemination in Central Semitic is often ascribed to its formal similarity to the D-stem (e.g., Brockelmann 1951: 143; Polotsky 1964: 11011; Hetzron 1975: 127; 1976a: 105; Voigt 2004: 49). Their view crucially differs from the one proposed here in that they regard *yiqattal- as the basic imperfective of Proto-Semitic. Ratcliffe (1998b: 123) claims that gemination became redundant once the suffix conjugation had become established as the usual indicator of the perfective tense/aspect in West Semitic). However, these are post factum arguments that are only relevant if we have first established the existence of such an imperfective on other grounds. Note that in Akkadian the G-stem Impfv iparrVs and the D-stem forms uparras and uparris have coexisted for several millennia without observable problems. 49. The relationship between iparrVs and the D-stem has played a prominent role in the discussion. Rundgren, in particular, argued (1959a: 12627, 267, and elsewhere) that iparrVs arose from prefixation of the stative patterns qata/i/ul under the influence of the D-stem, in order to renew the cursive (i.e., imperfective) aspect, his famous remploi de lintensif. However, there is no good reason to posit any formal connection between the stative and the imperfective; see the next note (n. 50). For similar objections, see, for instance, Kienast 2001: 294. 50. It is not impossible that remnants of *yiqattalu as a derived stem are found in a few Hebrew D-stems, such as dibber to speak, zimmer to make music, riqqed to dance, and hillek to go. They are atypical because of their meaning (durative activities of low transitivity) and/or the absence of a corresponding basic stem, as was already observed by Landsberger (1926b: 972) and several other scholars after him, e.g., Goetze (1942: 78), von Soden (1957: 2067), Kuryowicz (1962: 53), Aro (1964: 19394), Kerr (2001: 14748), and H.-P. Mller (2003: 439). As durative verbs, they were relatively often used in the derived pluractional *yiqattal- and may therefore have survived the decline and ultimate disappearance of this form, to be incorporated in the very similar D conjugation, in spite of their aberrant meaning. The atypical nature of these verbs may also have a different backgroundthey may be denominal, for instancebut the present explanation is supported by a few atypical Hithpael forms in Hebrew and perhaps by the vowel pattern of the Arabic Stem V (yataqattalu), as I will argue in 14.5.5 (p. 394). It is also possible that the existence of agent noun patterns with gemination in West Semitic thatjust as their Akkadian counterparts PaRRS and PaRRiSsemantically do not belong to the D-stem (Loretz 1960; Kerr 2001: 15054) also testifies to the erstwhile existence of a verbal category with gemination different from the D-stem. Finally, it is conceivable that the well-known alternation of II/gem and II/voc roots in Arabic and Hebrew discussed by Kuryowicz

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


5. It decides the controversy about whether gemination is the actual imperfective marker or whether it is a secondary phenomenonfor instance, a consequence of a stress shift, to preclude syncope of the vowel between R1 and R2, etc. The original pluractional function indicates that gemination is the essential and defining feature of *yiqattal-.51 An important consequence of this scenario is that Central Semitic preserves the Proto-Semitic paradigm of the basic stem most faithfully, in particular the Impfv *yiqtVlu, -nV, which has become Arabic yaqtulu, -na, and the Pfv *yiqtVl, -, which is preserved in Arabic as a past tense after the negation lam and in the Hebrew imperfective with waw consecutive wayyiqol. With regard to South Semitic, we might argue that it replaced its original imperfective with that of the derived pluractional in the same way as Akkadian. There are good reasons, however, to separate iparrVs from yqattl and regard their emergence as parallel but independent processes. I will discuss this issue in detail in 4.6.1 (pp. 117123).

4.4.3. Evidence
There are three kinds of evidence in favour of the reconstruction proposed in the preceding section: internal historical evidence from Akkadian itself (, comparative evidence from Afroasiatic (, and typological evidence, especially from other Semitic and Afroasiatic languages, to be discussed in HistoricalevidencefromAkkadian
The Akkadian evidence in support of the scenario proposed above concerns two phenomena, the Assyrian form of the subjunctive and the tan-stems. The endings of the Akkadian subjunctive in the form in which they may be reconstructed for (Pre-)Assyrian are so similar to those of the imperfective of Classical Arabic that the two categories must have a common origin. The
(1972: 1011), e.g., Ar dakka (u) and dka ( ) to grind, He zrr to squeeze and zwr to press, wring, goes back to a reinterpretation of pluractional forms as basic verbs; see 16.6.2 (pp. 495496). 51. This controversy was mainly sparked by the initial uncertainty about the exact form of the Akkadian imperfective, iparVs or iparrVs. The defective spelling of geminates and the reluctance to accept the existence of gemination as a grammatical marker in the basic stem led scholars to claim that iparVs is the primary imperfective form (usually explained as a derivation of iprVs by means of vowel insertion and a shift of stress) and that gemination is secondary and only served to safeguard this a from being syncopated (e.g., Sayce [1877: 3940], Klingenheben [1956: 21819], Gelb [1969: 205], Janssens [1972], Diakonoff [1988: 86], H.-P. Mller [1998: 149], Kropp [1999: 100] and Rubio [2006: 124, 131]). Other Semitists, inspired by the identity of the vowel in the final syllable of Akk iparras and the West Semitic active/transitive perfect qatala, have maintained that there is a genetic relationship between them and that iparras arose from prefixation of a stative pattern PaRaS and secondary insertion of gemination for the same reason. This was first proposed by Barth (1887) and followed by many illustrious others, such as Delitzsch (1889: 23536), Brockelmann (1908: 569), Bauer (1910: 44), Rundgren (1959a: 12627; 1963b: 106), and Kuryowicz (1962: 55). However, it is only based on the superficial similarity of the shared a-vowel in the final syllable of both forms. Aro (1964: 18) rightly calls it ein Spiel des Zufalls. There are no other reasons to suppose that there is a connection between qatala (which is undoubtedly a secondary development specific to West Semitic) and iparras. At least since the publication of W. von Sodens GAG in 1952 (and even earlier, from A. Goetzes studies; see n. 1 in this chapter, p. 88), it has been established wisdom that the Akkadian G-stem imperfective always has gemination. This means that all these speculations are irrelevant (so also Kienast 1982: 19; 1995: 126; 2001: 294). The argument that the vowel a after the first radical is the actual imperfective marker becomes invalid if we regard gemination as original: this a is the default vowel in all verbal forms in which R2 consists of a geminate or a cluster (and in many others as well), so that an intervening vowel is necessary. It is purely morphological and does not have a morphosyntactic function (see also Buccellati 1996: 88).


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

hypothesis that the subjunctive is a residual form that in its core function was replaced by the new imperfective with gemination offers a plausible explanation for their difference in function. I will come back to this issue in 9.3.3 (pp. 228231). Furthermore, the tan-stems provide indirect proof of the original pluractional function of iparrVs. Since their historical development can best be treated in the context of the development of the t-infix in Akkadian in chap. 14, I will only give a brief summary here. The tan-stems are an Akkadian innovation, but the oldest forms of their conjugation are rooted in Proto-Semitic, specifically in the Pfv iptarrVs. IptarrVs goes back to a form with gemination of R2 and the marker t, which was originally prefixed: *yi-t(a)-qattal-. In some prehistoric stage of Akkadian, this form became *yiqtattal, the direct ancestor of iptarrVs. The double marking shows it to be the pluractional of the Gt-stem *yiqtatVl-. However, after iparrVs had ousted *yiqtVlu, -nV as the basic imperfective, iptarrVs was re-employed to provide the new imperfective with a new pluractional counterpart, thus restoring the old contrast between a neutral and a pluractional form, see Table 4.3. Proto-Semitic basic Impfv plur. Impfv *yiqtVlu, -nV *yiqattalAkkadian iparrVs iptarrVs

table 4.3: Basic and pluractional imperfectives in Proto-semitic and Akkadian.

Thus the form iptarrVs testifies to the former existence of a derived pluractional imperfective in the Gt-stem. The principle that a marked category will not show distinctions that the corresponding unmarked category does not have entails that the G-stem must have had a derived pluractional as well.52 It is not difficult to guess what it must have looked like: gemination but no t-infix, in other words, *yiqattal-. As I will argue in chap. 14, this process was ultimately made possible by the previous decline of the Gt-stem, which already started in Proto-Semitic. The Gtn-stem is only one of several categories that owe their emergence to this decline and the ensuing reemployment of some of its forms for different purposes. The historically attested conjugation of the Gtn-stem with the Impfv iptanarrVs as its most salient member is based on iptarrVs, and the other tan-stems are based on the Gtn-stem; see further 14.7.6 (pp. 431437). ComparativeevidencefromAfroasiatic
Outside Semitic, there are imperfective forms in Afroasiatic languages that show a striking resemblance to the Akkadian imperfective iparrVs. The forms most widely discussed come from the Berber languages and the Cushitic language Beja (Bedauye).53 In spite of considerable differences among the Berber languages, their verbal paradigm can generally be described as comprising three categories for the expression of affirmative predicates (we will not be concerned with the additional categories used in negative clauses): an aorist, a perfective, and a third form that is basically a kind of imperfective, usually construed with
52. For this principle, see, for instance, Greenberg 1966: 2728. 53. The main protagonists of the relevance of these forms for Proto-Semitic are Rssler (1950, 1951, 1952, and elsewhere), Greenberg (1952), Voigt (e.g., 2002: 28186); see also Rubio 2003a: 17276; 2006: 12332. Others have denied a direct relation between these forms, e.g., Klingenheben (1956: 22627); D. Cohen (1984: 7881).

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


particles. It is known under various names, in particular intensive aorist, but I will simply call it imperfective (see D. Cohen 1984: 80; Chaker 1995: 55; Kossmann 2002: 354 n. 2). It basically has two markers: either gemination of a consonant or a prefixed t- or tt-, but both procedures may be accompanied by vowel alternation (D. Cohen 1984: 7980; Kossmann 2002: 35456); see the following instances of aorist versus imperfective from Tashelhit (examples from Aspinion 1953: 26973): gemination: tt-prefixing: gemination + apophony tt-prefixing + apophony krz krrz to plough kks ttkks to take away dl ddal to cover dm ttdam to work

In Tuareg, where the reflex of a has remained distinct () from that of i and u (), the earlier vowel pattern of these forms is still visible (the examples come from Prasse 1972/4: III 86 and 92; see also Heath 2005: 34142): gemination: t-prefixing: krz krrz to plough kks tkks to take away

Which of the two basic imperfective markers applies to a given verb largely depends on the form of the basic stem (that of the aorist): gemination is particularly frequent in stems of the form CCC and CCV; prefixing is typical of longer stems, but also of monoconsonantal stems. A combination of gemination and prefixing is very unusual (Kossmann 2002: 35556). It has not gone unnoticed that the imperfective with gemination is very similar to the Akkadian imperfective.54 Rssler (1950: 467, 48384; 1951: 36669; 1952: 150) has equated it directly with iparrVs, arguing that these forms are genetically related and go back to an Afroasiatic imperfective. However, there is a wide consensus among berberologists that the imperfective is a diachronically secondary formation and that at an earlier stage the basic opposition was between the aorist and the perfective (D. Cohen 1984: 8081; Chaker 1995: 5557, 23031; Kossmann 2002: 35658, with earlier literature). This suggests that the Berber imperfective is originally a derived verbal stem that has penetrated into the tense/aspect system. Rssler (1951: 106) claims that this is not possible, because it is formed from all stems and has definite syntactic uses. However, this argument is only valid synchronically and does not say anything about its historical background, the more so because there is no doubt that the other marker, the prefix t(t)-, also goes back to a derived stem, which is well attested over the entire Afroasiatic area (Kossmann 2002: 35859). There is no reason, therefore, why the form with gemination should not have a similar origin. The Akkadian t-Pf iptarVs and, as I am arguing here, iparrVs itself show that derived stems can become inflectional members of the basic stem. The historical background of the Berber imperfective with gemination cannot be determined on the basis of Berber evidence alone but can only be studied in a wider Afroasiatic context (Kossmann 2002: 364). It is, more specifically, unclear whether we should associate it with the Akkadian imperfective iparrVs (i.e., in my account with the derived pluractional stem *yiqattal-)
54. Kossmann (2001: 7172) reconstructs the 3rd p. sg. masc. of the triradical verb in Proto-Berber as *yv-CCC (where v stands for a high vowel or ).


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

or with the D-stem (assuming that we recognize any relationship at all). Two observations should be made in this context. First, there are no clear indications of the existence of the D-stem in Afroasiatic outside Semitic (see 11.6.1, pp. 280282). If it did exist originally, the Berber languages have either lost it completely or they have conflated it with the Berber counterpart of the Proto-Semitic pluractional *yiqattal-.55 Perhaps a detailed study of the history of the Berber verb will shed more light on this matter. Second, there is one important argument in favour of associating the Berber imperfective with gemination with *yiqattal-: verbs denoting typical adjectival properties rather consistently form their imperfective by means of the prefix t(t)- rather than by gemination (see Prasse et al. 1998: 43439, 448 for Tuareg, about the verb classes IV and XIII, which comprise stative verbs; Aspinion 1953: 272 for Tashelhit, and also Lumsden 2000: 202). If the Berber imperfective is in some way related to the D-stem, we would expect these verbs to have a particular preference for using gemination, since in Semitic the D-stem is typically associated with adjectives (see 11.6.2, pp. 282287). In sum, if we assume that both the Berber imperfective with gemination and Akk iparrVs go back to the derived pluractional *yiqattal-, which thereby proves its Afroasiatic ancestry, we can plausibly account for the origin of the former as a derived stem as well as for its similarity to the Akkadian imperfective. In that case, they have both undergone a parallel process of being incorporated into the basic system as an imperfective. Among the Cushitic languages, there is one that has an imperfective reported to be genetically related to iparrVs, Beja. Here, too, the issue is controversial.56 Beja has five imperfective categories that are markedly different from each other (Voigt 1988c: 39598). One of these is characterized by an infixed -n- which in biliteral verbs comes before the first consonant, e.g., Pret dah, Impfv ndh to be fat (1st p. sg.), and in triliteral verbs before the second one, e.g., Pret bib, Impfv ambb to look (1st p. sg.) (the examples come from Voigt 1988c: 396). There are two competing explanations of the imperfective forms. The first one takes them to be the reflex of an originally periphrastic construction consisting of an auxiliary verb containing nwhich is also preserved independentlypreceding a nominal form of the verb. This n became a prefix in the biliteral imperfective forms, but by an analogical process got incorporated before the middle consonant in the triliteral ones (Voigt 1988c: 38182, with earlier literature). The second one, which was promoted by Rssler (1950) and Greenberg (1952: 6), explains the n-infix as secondary nasalization of an original geminate and equates this imperfective type directly with the geminated imperfective of Akkadian and the imperfective of Berber (Voigt 1988c: 38286). If this is correct, we must add Beja to the Berber languages and Akkadian as a third source providing evidence for the existence of a geminated imperfective in Afroasiatic. After discussing in detail the pros and cons of both theories, Voigt (1988b, 1988c) rejects the former and forcefully pleads for the latter, giving some strong arguments against the auxiliary verb hypothesis. I am not in a position to judge the issue and must leave a final judgementif possibleto the
55. The closest parallel to the Semitic D-stem in Berber is presumably to be found in the Tuareg class IV verbs with adjectival meaning, many of which have gemination of the second consonant in the perfect (parfait), e.g., izwag to be red, perfect zggag, imgar to be big, perfect mqqr/mqqor ; see Prasse et al. 1998: 422; Heath 2005: 38793; and Rssler 1952: 14647. These forms may be parallel to adjectives with gemination in Semitic, which are the starting point of the development of the D-stem (which is a denominal category of such adjectives; see 11.6.2, pp. 282285). Of course, they do not directly point to the existence of a derived verbal stem parallel to the Semitic D-stem; on the contrary, in Tuareg they have been incorporated into the paradigm of the basic stem as perfects, with a kind of resultative meaning (Prasse 1972/4: III 18184, 19396 [type c]). 56. A detailed history of research can be found in Voigt 1988c. See also Zaborski 1994a: 23637.

4.4. The Historical Background ofiparrVs


specialists of Beja. However, the important point is that the model advocated above with a basic and a pluractional imperfective in Proto-Semitic enables us to recognize a genetic relation between the Akkadian, Berber, and Beja imperfectives, while at the same time maintaining that Akk iparrVs is an innovation replacing an older Proto-Semitic Impfv *yiqtVlu. The only problem we face is that we have to assume that the development from derived pluractional imperfective to basic imperfective occurred independently in Akkadian, Berber, and Beja. I will elaborate on this in a wider context in the next section. Typologicalevidence
There is abundant typological evidence for the frequent occurrence of present renewalas I will henceforth call the phenomenon for the sake of convenienceacross languages. In 1.2.2 (p. 4), I have quoted Kuryowiczs (1975: 104) classic formulation of this process. It is investigated from a historical and typological perspective by Bybee et al. (1994: 12575), who discuss numerous examples of what they call progressives; in many languages from their sample that have a progressive, it has a transparent etymological background and thus a relatively recent origin. This is an indirect indication that renewal is a fairly common phenomenon. For the Semitic languages, D. Cohen (1984) collected a wealth of evidence for the continuous renewal of the West Semitic imperfective *yiqtVlu, -nV by various formal devices.57 In this section, I will adduce typological evidence to answer three more specific questions: (1) What can we say about the cause of the process and the source of the new category? (2) How likely is the occurrence of the Akkadian development from pluractional to present/imperfective? (3) Most importantly, how likely is it that this process occurred independently in several related languages rather than once in the proto-language? D. Cohens (1984) detailed account of present renewal in West Semitic demonstrates that it tends to have the same cause and very similar consequences. The cause is the tendency to introduce a form with the specific function of explicitly expressing what D. Cohen calls concomitance, i.e., that the event is taking place at the actual moment of speech (1984: 58691 and passim). Initially, the new form is an optional, expressive alternative, but it has a tendency to replace the neutral form, until it becomes obligatory. This reduces the old form to secondary functions, such as the generic, the habitual and the historical present, and the future, if the old present also had future meaning (see also Kuryowicz 1975: 104; Bybee et al. 1994: 14044, 15360; Haspelmath 1998: 3641, 56). Subsequently, the new category may extend further to the secondary functions of the old form. The old form may then disappear altogether or may be preserved as a special verb form for even more secondary clause types, such as subordinate, nonindicative, and negative clauses. This is a classic instance of a grammaticalization process: the function of the new form develops from highly specific to more and more general, increases in frequency, and at the same time undergoes the pertinent formal changes of morphologization (Hopper and Traugott 2003: 14059). The tendency to create more expressive modes of expression is a universal feature of language, and this particular manifestation of it is so common that it is questionable whether any particular reason is required for the present renewal to be set in motion.58 It is plausible, however,
57. Later contributions include Gzella 2004: 2013; 2006, and Rubin 2005: 12952. For the same process in other branches of Afroasiatic, see Sasse 1981: 207 for Cushitic and Wolff 1979 (see the quotation at the end of this section) and 2001 for Chadic. 58. See also Hopper and Traugott 2003: 124: Rather than replace a lost or almost lost distinction, newly innovated forms compete with older ones because they are felt to be more expressive than what was available before. This competition allows, even encourages, the recession or loss of older forms.


The Historical Background ofiparrVs 4.4.

that a more concrete cause may be the fact that at a particular stage of a language the formal contrast between the present/imperfective and its main contrasting category (the past or the perfective) was felt to be marked insufficiently, for instance as a result of phonological changes, such as the loss of final vowels. A case in point is the Berber imperfective discussed in the previous section. Chaker (1995: 230) argues that its penetration into the tense/aspect system of Berber alongside the aorist and the perfective is caused not only by la tendance naturelle linsistance et lemphase, but also by the loss of the distinctiveness of aorist and perfective in an important class of verbs after the partial or complete merger of short vowels. A second instance of a similar cause is the Geez imperfective yqattl, as I will argue in 4.6.1 (pp. 117123). This may also have played a role in Akkadian, as I suggested in 4.4.2, especially because the original pluractional *yiqattal- only replaced the G-stem *yiqtVlu, -nV in the imperfective. The second question concerns the likelihood of a basic present/imperfective developing out of a category that originally expressed notions such as verbal plurality and intensity. There seems to be a fair amount of typological support for such a development. Bybee et al. (1994: 16674) adduce instances of a development from iterative/frequentative to habitual, from there to progressive and ultimately to imperfective;59 most of their instances concern forms with reduplication. In the Semitic languages, this type of development is not very well represented. Apart from Akkadian iparrVs, it is only Ethiopian Semitic that shows something comparable: the Geez imperfective yqattlbut it is questionable whether this is a good parallel (see 4.6.1 on the Geez form). In other branches of Afroasiatic, however, we find important parallels, apart from the forms in Berber and Beja mentioned in the previous section. Wolff (1977, 1979, 2001) argues that in Chadic languages there is widespread use of original pluractional categories to renew the basic imperfective. He demonstrates that gemination and infixation of a, which are primarily used as plural markers both in the noun and in the verb, have further developed into aspect markers in some individual languages, basically for the expression of a kind of imperfective. To what extent similar phenomena also occur in Cushitic (apart from Beja) is not quite clear to me. Zaborski (1975: 165) regards it as dubious whether intensive and plural verb forms are used for the renewal of the imperfective in Cushitic, but Sasse (1981: 173) reports that the Cushitic language Dasenech has used a frequentative stem for the creation of a new present category. In conclusion, then, the mechanism that Akkadian used to renew its imperfective has typological parallels in other branches of Afroasiatic and beyond, even though it may be more or less unique in Semitic and perhaps generally less common than other means of present renewal.60 The third question is by far the most important. The development I have argued for Akkadian in the preceding part of this chapter presupposes the occurrence of the same process in at least two and possibly three languages separately: Akkadian, Berber, and Beja, and not in their common ancestor, since it had not yet occurred in Proto-Semitic, as is clear from the situation in Central Semitic (and also in South Semitic, as I will argue below). Is it not much simpler to assume that it happened only once in the proto-language? This is a classic problem in historical linguistics.61 The likelihood of the first option crucially depends on the probability of the processin
59. See also Rets 1989: 162; Givn 1991: 305. 60. It is interesting to speculate on the background of its geographical distribution. Within Afroasiatic, this means of present renewal may have been more typical of the languages located (at the present moment) in Africa than in the Asiatic Near East, especially if we assume that its use in the Semitic languages of Ethiopia is due to areal influence of neighbouring Chadic (and perhaps Cushitic) languages. If this is correct, Akkadian is of course a glaring exception. Does this point to a very early period of contiguity between Akkadian and the African branches of Afroasiatic? 61. See, among others, Meillet 1948a: 43; D. Cohen 1984: 106; and Harrison 2003: 23239.

4.5. From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs


other words, on the extent to which it is a natural development in the history of a language. In the light of the ubiquity of present renewal in Semitic, as demonstrated by D. Cohen (1984), and in other branches of Afroasiatic, there can be no doubt about its naturalness. Another question is to what extent these processes are independent of each other. On the one hand, the entire range of the Semitic languages (or at least West Semitic) can safely be regarded as a single linguistic area. To this extent, the parallel developments are doubtless not quite independent of each other. This is fairly obvious, for instance, for the parallels between Hebrew and Aramaic in the predicative use of the present participle and among modern Arabic dialects in the use of particles to renew the imperfective. Outside Semitic, this also applies to the strengthening of the imperfective by means of particles in almost all Berber languages (Chaker 1995: 5562) and to the use of pluractional forms in Chadic for the same purpose. On the other hand, the large variety in the formal means of renewal shows that the inspiration may have come from areal influence but that the actual realization was independent in different languages and that the process started afresh in many different places.62 The process in question is attested or can be reconstructed independently for so many Afroasiatic languages that we may speak of a genuine drift, as Wolff (1979: 169) does with regard to the Chadic development mentioned above:
[W]e could very tentatively assume that the Proto-Afroasiatic dialect cluster shared a drift towards integrating verbal plurals, which all of the dialects seem to have possessed, into their AUX-systems based on the fact, that verbal plurals when they are used to indicate frequentative/repetitive/ habitual action have strong imperfective connotations (Iterativity).

In sum, a definitive answer to the question how likely is it that the rise of a geminated basic imperfective *yiqattal- has taken place independently in Akkadian, Berber, and Beja? can obviously not be given, but there is no good reason to reject the possibility that it is the result of parallel innovations.

4.5. From Proto-semitic *yiqattal- to Akkadian iparrVs

So far, I have referred to the derived Proto-Semitic imperfective as *yiqattal-, a form that is meant to be non-committal in several respects but that in fact conceals a number of problems. If we try to reconstruct the details of the prehistoric development from *yiqattal- to iparrVs, some difficulties arise that are not easily explained, although they do not seem serious enough to invalidate the scenario proposed here. In the next sections, I will give a more detailed account of this process and discuss the problems it raises. The main issues are, first, how *yiqattal- developed a variable vowel (4.5.1); second, what the specific form was of the derived verbal stems of ProtoSemitic that corresponded to the G-stem pluractional *yiqattal- (if they had any) (4.5.2); third, to what extent the pluractional imperfective originally had a complete conjugation (4.5.3).

4.5.1. Thedevelopmentofavariableimperfectivevowel
The reconstruction of the Proto-Semitic pluractional *yiqattal- with a fixed stem vowel a is based on the fact that derived verbal stems tend to have a fixed vowel pattern63 and that a is
62. Generally speaking, the kind of grammaticalization process discussed here is often subject to areal influence. A parallel may be the emergence of the have-perfects in European languages. Heine (1994: 56) observes that have-perfects are quite common in Europe but virtually absent in all other parts of the world, which clearly points to areal influence: the have-perfect in one language arose as a calque of that in a neighbouring language. 63. The variable vowel in the Akkadian Gt-, Gtn-, N-, and Ntn-stems is likely to be an innovation; see 4.2 (p. 89).


From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs 4.5.

widespread in Afroasiatic as a marker of the imperfective and of plurality (Greenberg 1952: 78; Voigt 1987b: 343). Both functions coincide in *yiqattal-. A concrete parallel to *yiqattal- may be found in the Berber imperfective, which is often characterized by a in addition to gemination or a prefixed t(t)- (see, pp. 105106). In Cushitic, the basic aspectual opposition was also based on the contrast of imperfective a versus perfective i, but the imperfective forms reconstructed by Sasse (1980: 16971) do not have gemination.64 For a as the imperfective marker of the Akkadian derived verbal stems, see 4.5.2. This suggests that the variable vowel of iparrVs is an innovation, caused by the gradual incorporation of *yiqattal- into the paradigm of the G-stem. In this respect, the development of iparrVs is parallel to that of the t-Pf iptarVs: as a Gt perfective, it doubtless had a fixed vowel (presumably i; see 14.4.1, p. 376), but as a t-perfect it adopted the imperfective vowel: iparras iptaras, ipaqqid iptaqid, imaqqut imtaqut (see 6.2, pp. 138139). This implies that the vowel classes A/a, A/u, and A/i preserve the original situation, whereas the vowel classes I/i and U/u have replaced a in the imperfective with i and u, respectively. This presupposes a massive shift from iparras to iparris or iparrus in the preliterary period of Akkadian, since the latter two patterns comprise about two-thirds of all verbs. The occurrence of such a shift has indeed been proposed by several scholars, such as Kienast (1967: 7172), Kuryowicz (1972: 5760), Voigt (1988a: 108), and Tropper (1998a: 1920 with n. 41)), but the available evidence is rather scanty and mostly speculative.65 The following arguments can be adduced in favour of the replacement of *iparras by iparris or iparrus: 1. The changes in vowel class observable in the historical period (discussed in 3.5.3, pp. 7581), especially the rather common shift from A/u to I/i and the incidental shift from A/u to U/u, point to a gradual expansion of isovocalic verbs at the cost of the originally anisovocalic ones and a concomitant reduction in the number of iparras imperfectives. This process may have started already in prehistoric times and be responsible for at least part of the iparris and iparrus imperfectives we already find in our earliest sources. 2. A few I/i verbs actually show an imperfective with a in Sargonic Akkadian, which in later dialects is replaced by i : nadnu to give: SAk Impfv inaddan, Pfv iddin, Bab inaddin, iddin (see 16.4.3, pp. 472474, for details) ba to exist, be present: SAk Impfv yiba < *yibaay, Pfv yib, Bab iba, ib

64. See also Zaborski 1975: 164; Hetzron 1980: 39; D. Cohen 1984: 88102; Voigt 1985. 65. Kuryowicz (1972: 5760) has argued that iparras was specific to transitive verbs and that intransitive verbs had iparris or iparrus from the outset. This would greatly reduce the number of verbs that must have shifted (mainly the transitive I/i verbs). However, vowel alternation on the basis of transitivity (or any other semantic or syntactic factor) is typical of basic categories and does not seem to occur anywhere in derived verbal stems in Semitic. Kuryowiczs reconstruction is related to his claim that iparrVs arose through the verbalization of the agent nouns PaRR/S and PaRRiS by means of prefixing a person marker: zabbilum always carrying > *yi-zabbil he always carries (1972: 57). This has also been argued by others, e.g., Klingenheben (1956: 24950). It is true that agent nouns with gemination of R2 are as old as the pluractional imperfective, since at least QaTTL can be reconstructed to Afroasiatic on the basis of Semitic and Berber (Kienast 2001: 551). It seems not very likely, however, that the pluractional imperfective was derived from them: first, because agent nouns are typically deverbal, so that it is far more plausible that the PaRR/S and PaRRiS forms are derived from a verbal form with gemination than vice versa (so also Rssler 1950: 477); second, there are no agent nouns with the pattern PaRRuSwhich only comprises (verbal) adjectivesso that the numerous iparrus imperfectives are still to be explained as secondary.

4.5. From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs


qab to say, tell: SAk Impfv yiqabb he says < *yiqabbay, Pfv yibq, Bab iqabb iqb (see, pp. 499500, for the latter two verbs) Note that iba and iqabb also occur as such in Assyrian, where ay becomes . This rules out a purely phonological change of ay to . To what extent these verbs are representative of the III/voc verbs of the I/i class or even the I/i class as a whole is impossible to say. 3. The quadriradical verbs of the nabalkutu group also replaced a by i in the imperfective during the historical period: they tend to have A/i apophony in Old Babylonian (Impfv ibbalakkat, Pfv ibbalkit ), but I/i in Standard Babylonian (Impfv ibbalakkit, Pfv ibbalkit ); see 12.5 (pp. 307311) for details. The question is whether this is an aftermath of the same shift in the triradical verb in prehistoric times or whether it is a completely independent development specific to the quadriradical verbs. 4. As noted in (p. 74), the III/voc verbs of the U/u class that are atypical because they are transitive can plausibly be explained as original A/u verbs that have become U/u as a result of the change aw > , e.g., from kas to bind: Impfv ikass < *yikassaw alongside Pfv iks. 5. More speculative is the possibility that several Akkadian A/u verbs that correspond to Arabic verbs with i in the imperfective may go back to original A/i verbs, in which i has become u under the influence of a neighbouring labial (Frolova 2003: 8586; see also Kuryowicz 1972: 59). Such verbs include, apart from some less reliable instances: abbu to caress (Akk ibub, but Ar yaibbu to love) kabsu to trample (Akk ikbus, but Ar yakbisu to make even, fill) kaspu to break into pieces (iksup vs. yaksifu) laptu to touch (ilput vs. yalfitu) naplu to make a supplementary payment (ippul vs. yanfilu) napu to winnow (iup vs. yansifu) parsu to sever, decide (iprus vs. yafrisu) qalpu to peel, skin (iqlup vs. yaqlifu) qatpu to pluck (iqtup vs. yaqifu) sapnu to level, devastate (ispun vs. yasfinu) arpu to refine (metal) (irup vs. yarifu) apru to send, order (ipur vs. yasfiru to chase, remove).66

The scale of the required shift of iparras to iparri/us may perhaps be reduced by assuming that in adjectival verbs, which almost all have I/i or U/u (see, pp. 5866), the iparri/ us imperfectives do not go back to *yiqattal- directly but only emerged when the geminated imperfective was fully established as an inflectional member of the verbal paradigm in fientive verbs.67 Typological evidence suggests that if a new imperfective develops from an originally pluractional category, this process will start in verbs for which plurality of action is most relevant, i.e., in punctual telic verbs to express frequentativity and in atelic activity verbs to express durativity (Sasse 1991: 43). It is therefore plausible that originally PSem *yiqattal- was typically associated with fientive verbs.68 In adjectival verbs, the new imperfective may have appeared
66. In several of these verbs, Hebrew sides with Akkadian in having o (< u) as root vowel (e.g., yikbo ikbus, yilpot ilput, yiqop iqtup, yirop irup, yipor ipur), but since there is a large-scale shift toward o in Hebrew transitive verbs, this says little or nothing about the original root vowel. 67. So Voigt 1988a: 11516. 68. Also in historical Akkadian, pluractional (Gtn) forms of adjectival verbs are rather uncommon.


From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs 4.5.

in a later stage and simply have adopted the root vowel, e.g., from kabtu (I/i): *yikbit(u) he/it becomes/became heavy *yikabbit. The new imperfective vowel in iparris and iparrus is always identical to the inherited root vowel and thus to the vowel of the original imperfective *yiqtilu, -nV in the I/i class and *yiqtulu, -nV in the U/u class. This suggests that in verbs that did have *yiqattal- initially, the original imperfective imposed its vowel on the pluractional imperfective during the transitional period in which the two forms competed: *yiprisu *yiparras became *yiprisu *yiparris and *yiprusu *yiparras became *yiprusu *yiparrus (mainly in intransitive verbs).69 After the new imperfective had established itself as the basic form of the verbal paradigm and had relegated *yiprVsu to subordinate clauses, the derivational relationship was reversed and the historical relationship imperfective perfective with the five vowel classes came into being. The existence of such a transitional period is also presupposed by the historical paradigm of the I/voc verbs, which will be discussed in detail in (pp. 537546). Let it suffice to state here that the long vowel in the imperfective of these verbs (mmar I see from amru, rrab he enters [Ass] from erbu), which cannot be explained from a regular vowel contraction rule (see Kouwenberg 20034a: 9498), is introduced by analogy with forms where the guttural had been dropped much earlier since it was syllable-final, especially older imperfective forms such as *ymuru. The presence of a long vowel in the basic forms triggered the same process in the derived pluractional forms, giving rise to the historical form mmar. This illustrates how the old imperfective may have influenced the form of *yiqattal- pluractionals during the process of their incorporation in the basic stem.

4.5.2. Thepluractionalofthederivedverbalstemsandthequadriradicalverbs
In principle, the formal aspects of verb types other than the strong triradical verb are discussed in later chapters together with the rest of their paradigm, but an exception has to be made for the imperfective forms of the derived verbal stems and the quadriradical verbs. The rise of the historical imperfective forms of these verb types is the outcome of a single process under the influence of the geminated imperfective of the G-stem. Therefore, they can best be discussed together in the context of this process. Just as in the G-stem, the imperfective is always the marked member of the imperfective perfective opposition. The derived stems have three different markers: gemination of R2, a/i apophony, and infixing of -na-. They may occur alone or in various combinations, and some weak verbs have all threee.g., utanakkal he repeatedly causes to eat, the tn imperfective of aklu to eat (Pfv utakkil; see, pp. 549550). Table 4.4 shows the imperfective of the derived verbal stems of the strong verb with the corresponding perfective in smaller print; Table 4.5 shows that of the quadriradical verbs, exemplified by nabalkutu to cross. It is precisely the complexity of imperfective marking in these verb typescaused by the competition of different markers and by the tendency to create an unambiguous distinction between imperfective and perfectivethat gives us the clues necessary to reconstruct their historical background. Gemination and apophony are the oldest markers, dating at least from the Proto-Semitic period, whereas -na- is an Akkadian innovation. There are good reasons to assume that gemination was initially specific to the G-stem and the Gt-stem and a/i apophony to the other derived verbal stems and the quadriradical verbs (see below). However, as the marker of the basic stem, gemination spread secondarily to all imperfective forms where it was phonologically possible without

69. For this kind of overlap, see Heine 1993: 4853.

4.5. From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs primary stems () G N D iparrVs


113 tertiary stems (-tan-) iptanarrVs


secondary stems (-t-) iptarrVs



(see 14.5.4, pp. 391392) utap(ar)ras








table 4.4: the imperfective of the derived verbal stems.

N N ibbalakkat

Ntn ittanablakkat



table 4.5: the imperfective of the quadriradical verbs.

disrupting important associations between paradigms (Knudsen 1984/86: 237; Goldenberg 1994: 46), in addition to a/i apophony. Secondary introduction of gemination was phonologically possible if the position of R2 was occupied by a simple consonant or a cluster of two consonants. A simple consonant was geminated, e.g., in the imperfective of the I/voc and the I/w verbs: uakkal I cause to eat from aklu and uabbal (Bab) I cause to bring from wablu . The corresponding strong form does not have gemination (uapras), nor does the perfective (ukil, ubil, strong uapris).70 This means that gemination can only be caused by the corresponding G Impfv iparrVs, which caused an original *ukal (< *uakal ) and *ubal (replacing *ubal < *uawbal ) to adopt gemination, presumably with shortening of the long vowel: uakkal, uabbal.71 For a similar process in the corresponding tn imperfective forms utanakkal and utanabbal (Bab), see (pp. 549550). Gemination also penetrated into the N Impfv ipparras, which later adopted the imperfective vowel, replacing a with i or u in the I-verbs and the U-verbs (see 12.2.1, pp. 289290). If a cluster occupied the position of the second radical, the cluster was dissolved by an epenthetic vowel to allow its second member to be geminated: e.g., utapras *utapVras utaparras in the t2-stem, and *ibbalkat *ibbalVkat ibbalakkat in the quadriradical verbs.
70. This shows that Edzards proposal (1996: 24) to regard these forms as influenced by the -stem of I/n verbs (Impfv uaddan, Pret uaddin, etc.) is incorrect; see also Tropper 1998a: 16. 71. This explanation was also proposed by Knudsen (1984/86: 23334). Other accounts of these forms were given by Steiner (1981), Voigt (1987a), and Tropper (1997a: 19093); they will be discussed in the context of the tan-stems (14.7.6, pp. 431433). As Knudsen (1984/86: 234) points out, this process presupposes the previous loss of syllable-final in *uakal.


From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs 4.5.

This process is based on the model of the G-stem, where the same happens (although it has a quite different historical background): utapras utaparras iprVs iparrVs, where the relevant part of the word is underlined (cf. 4.6.1 below for the same process in Geez).72 There is one major area in which gemination did not penetrate: the D-stem, the -stem, and their detransitive derivations Dt and t1. This is only one of the numerous features by which these stems stand apart from the rest of the verbal stems and constitute a separate system of their own (see 10.3, p. 247). For D and Dt, the reason is phonological: gemination does not penetrate into forms that already have gemination. This is most clearly shown by the quadriradical verbs, where the nabalkutu type shows imperfective gemination (ibbalakkat ), but the naparruru type does not (ipparrar, not **ippararrar) (see 12.3, p. 302, and 12.5, p. 309, respectively). Therefore, gemination could not penetrate into the D Impfv uparras and the Dt Impfv uptarras. This does not apply, however, to the and t1 imperfectives uapras and utapras. Here, gemination is phonologically possible by dissolving the cluster: uapras **uaparras > uparras after vowel syncope,73 and utapras utaparras. Both forms actually exist, but with a different function: uparras is known as the imperfective of the D-stem, which will be discussed in 13.3 (pp. 334337), and utaparras is the imperfective of the t2-stem. The reason that uapras and utapras did not get gemination is that this would disrupt the parallelism with the D-stem and the Dt-stem, on which the -stem and the t1-stem are strongly dependent in form and in function (see 13.2.1, pp. 324325, and 14.5.2, p. 386).74 This can be graphically represented as follows: D uparras uapras Dt uptarras t1 utapras

This is confirmed by the fact that the t2-stem, which is not dependent on any other derived stem (see, pp. 404407), did introduce gemination and so acquired the imperfective utaparras.75 The third imperfective marker, the infix -na-, is restricted to the tan-stems. It is the only marker in the Gtn- and the Ntn-stem and was added to a/i apophony in the Dtn- and the tn-stems. It is an Akkadian innovation connected with the rise of the tan-stems and will be discussed in detail in that context (14.7.6, pp. 431437). In historical Akkadian, all primary stems have a corresponding tan-stem with pluractional function. This is a consequence of the tendency in the Semitic verbal system to extend formal distinctions in the basic stem to the derived stems, although the resulting stems often have an
72. Note that the inversion of the correct analogical formula (which would be imperfective perfective) is only apparent: strictly speaking, the rise of the new imperfective forms is not by analogy with the perfective but by analogy with the older imperfective category, which had the same inflectional stem as the perfective (the Proto-Semitic imperfective *yiqtVlu). It is actually this form that is historically the first member of the analogical proportion, as shown in 4.5.1 (p. 112). 73. The development *uaprras > *uparras > uapras proposed by Tropper (1997a: 189) is phonologically impossible: the first form is subject to the vowel syncope rule and can only be realized as uparras. Moreover, there is no evidence at all that in Akkadian a shift of accent can be made responsible for changes in the form of a word, apart from the vowel syncope rule itself. 74. Similarly Goldenberg 1994: 46. 75. Another reason why the t2-stem utaparras developed gemination is that it is derived from a quadriliteral base, namely, the deverbal noun taPRvS(t) (Voigt 1988a: 152), as I will argue in (pp. 404 411), and is thus associated with the imperfectives ibbalakkat and ubalakkat of the quadriradical verbs.

4.5. From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs


incomplete paradigm.76 The existence of *yiqattal- as derived pluractional of the basic stem, therefore, suggests that the derived stems that can be reconstructed for Proto-Semitic (see 18.3.2, pp. 591593) also had a secondary derived stem with pluractional function. Its marker may have been the stem vowel a, contrasting with the stem vowel i in the (relatively) basic stem, as presented in Table 4.6 with the relevant forms of the Gt-stem, the D-stem, and the -stem: Impfv basic pluract. G *yiqtVlu *yiqattalGt *yiqtatilu *yiqtattalD *yuqattilu *yuqattal *yuaqtilu *yuaqtal-

table 4.6: the original pluractional imperfective of the derived stems

The basic imperfective with the vowel i is preserved as such in the derived stems of Arabic; it differed from the perfective only in its ending, just as in the G-stem: D Impfv *yuqattilu vs. Pfv *yuqattil G *yiqtVlu vs. *yiqtVl. In Akkadian, after the basic Impfv *yiqtVlu was replaced by the pluractional imperfective in the basic stem, the same happened in the derived stems, e.g., in the D-stem: *yuqattal- instead of *yuqattilu. West Semitic has discarded the secondary derived forms with the stem vowel a together with the basic form *yiqattal-, since just as new distinctions in the basic stem tend to be copied in the derived stems, the loss of such distinctions also tends to lead to their loss in the derived stems.77 It is possible, however, that Modern South Arabian preserves traces of an original a in the imperfective of the causative stem (see 4.6.2, p. 125). The reconstructed forms *yuqattal-, *yuaqtal-, etc., are obviously inspired by the historical forms of the D and imperfective uparras and uapras, which in this way find their natural (but circular) explanation, even though they are ultimately based on the Afroasiatic a as a marker of imperfective and plurality. The closest parallels are found in Berber, where the derived stems, such as the causative, show imperfective forms with a contrasting with aorist forms with , presumably from i, such as Tashelhit ssa wad ssa wd (i.e., [ssa wd ]) to stand (sth.) upright (Kossmann 2002: 35859), and Tuareg skrs skrs to cause to build (Prasse 1972/4: III 87; Heath 2005: 447; cf. also Rssler 1950: 485 and Willms 1972: 12729). Rssler (1951: 106) cites Tuareg isfras versus isfrs (his transcription) he causes/caused to cut as a striking commonality with Akk uapras/uapris.

4.5.3. Theending(s)ofProto-Semitic*yiqattalIf we reconstruct *yiqattal- as a derived verbal stem in Proto-Semitic on the model of the derived stems in the historical languages, we should deck it out with a complete paradigm
76. Apart from Akkadian, the system of the verbal stems in Geez is a good example of this: after the verbal stems with geminated R2 (Stem I/2) and with a long vowel (Stem I/3) had become independent from the simple stem (I/1), they acquired the same range of derived stems as the latter; see, for instance, D. Cohen 1984: 6162. For incomplete paradigms in derived categories, see also Edzard 1996: 1718. 77. The homonymous passive imperfective/jussive forms of Arabic, such as Stem II yuqattal(u) and Stem IV yuqtal(u) have nothing to do with these pluractional forms. They represent an independent development that accidentally had the same outcome as the new Akkadian imperfective. The Arabic forms are analogical extensions of the passive imperfective yuqtalu of the basic stem and can only have emerged after the development of the apophonic passive at some stage of Central Semitic or perhaps West Semitic (Huehnergard 2005b: 182). However, these Arabic forms are a good illustration of the principle invoked here that in Semitic languages morphosyntactic distinctions in the basic stem tend to spread to the derived stems.


From ProtodSemitic *yiqattal to AkkadianiparrVs 4.5.

comprising more or less the same forms as the basic stem *yiqtVlu, -nV. Because derived stems tend to have a predictable vowel pattern, it is not difficult to envisage what such a paradigm (if it existed) may have looked like for the pluractional *yiqattal-, see Table 4.7:78 G-stem Impfv Pfv Imp Inf PPartc PrPartc *yiqtVlu *yiqtVl *q(V)tVl *qatl- (e.g.) *qatVl*qtilGPL *yiqattalu *yiqattal *qattil *qattVl(*qattVl-) *muqattil-

table 4.7: the Proto-semitic g and gPL stems.

It is questionable, however, whether this is a plausible reconstruction. There is only one direct parallel to a pluractional derived stem in the Semitic languages, namely, the Akkadian tan-stems, which are the direct successors of *yiqattal- and the secondary pluractional stems derived from it. In several respects, the paradigm of the tan-stems is significantly different from that of the other derived stems. First, except for the Gtn-stem, only the imperfective is different in form from the corresponding t-stems. Second, the imperfective of the tan-stems is by far the most frequent form; the other forms are significantly less common or even hardly exist at all. Third, there are good reasons to assume that the formal distinction between the imperfective and the perfective of the tan-stems (e.g., Gtn iptanarrVs vs. iptarrVs) is secondary and that the imperfective form is an innovation; see further 14.7.6 (pp. 431437). A similar state of affairs may apply to the Proto-Semitic GPL-stem. First of all, it may have lacked (part of) the non-finite forms. Second, the non-prefix forms and the present participle may have been identical to those of the D-stem, because the only consistent difference between GPL and D concerns the prefix vowel and the stem vowel, and the latter may safely be assumed to conform to the overall vowel pattern of the derived stems. The same applies a fortiori to the pluractional of the D-stem. Table 4.8 shows my reconstruction of these two stems; see 11.6.1 (pp. 280282) for more details. D-stem Impfv Pfv Imp Inf PPartc PrPartc *yuqattilu *yuqattil *qattil *qattVl*qattVl*muqattilDPL-stem *yuqattalu *yuqattal *qattil ? *qattVl- ? *qattVl- ? *muqattil- ?

table 4.8: the Proto-semitic D and DPL stems.

78. The reconstruction of the basic stem paradigm will be motivated in greater detail in chap. 18.

4.6. Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective


The partial overlap in form between the GPL-stem and the D-stem is not a serious drawback, however, in view of the functional similarity between them (in particular in transitive verbs; see 11.5, p. 279), and even less serious when we recall that in historical Akkadian the paradigm of the tan-stems is on many points identical to that of the t-stems (see 14.7.6, p. 431). The greatest problem is created by the differentiation of imperfective and perfective. There is no direct reflex of *yiqattalu, -nV in Akkadian: the historical imperfective is simply iparrVs, and iparrVsu, -ni only occurs as a subjunctive. The disappearance of the suffix -u, -nV in the indicative must be a consequence of its reanalysis as a marker of subordination. However, it is also conceivable that *yiqattal, -i.e., the form corresponding to the perfective in other verbal stemswas unspecified for tense/aspect in the pluractional stems. This has the advantage of associating *yiqattal, - directly with iparrVs, whereas the existence of an imperfective *yiqattalu, -nV makes the restructuring of -u, -nV as a marker of subordination a more complex process. These issues will be discussed in 9.3.3 (pp. 227231). It does not seem possible to take a definitive position on this issue. As a working hypothesis for the rest of this study, I will assume that the pluractional stems were distinct in the imperfective and the perfective only, with the opposition Impfv *yiqattalu, -nV versus Pfv *yiqattal, -, as elsewhere in the verbal paradigm, while expressly leaving open the possibility that they were not formally distinct.79 Accordingly, I will henceforth speak of the GPL-stem *yiqattalu.80

4.6. Akkadian iparrVs and the south semitic imperfective 4.6.1. iparrVsandyqattl
A final issue to be discussed is the background of the South Semitic imperfective with gemination and its relationship to the Akkadian Impfv iparrVs, because it was the similarity between iparrVs and Geez yqattl that led Haupt (1878) to contest the Proto-Semitic status of the Arabic Impf yaqtVlu, -na and to advocate its replacement with the alleged common ancestor of iparrVs and yqattl. Two of the three branches of South Semitic have a G-stem imperfective with gemination or one that is likely to have had gemination at some stage in the past: Ethiopian Semitic (represented here by Geez) and the Modern South Arabian (henceforth: MSA) languages (represented by Mehri).81
79. The consequences of the historical development proposed here for the subgrouping of the older stages of Semitic will be discussed in 18.4 (pp. 595598). 80. The existence of this form is also assumed by Hetzron (1972: 452), who states that there is good reason to believe that proto-Semitic once possessed a non-past (present-future, imperfect) conjugation of the following pattern. . . . [followed by a paradigm of verb forms with gemination and the endings -u, -nV]. Since Hetzron assumes a basic conjugation of the type non-past *yaqattalu versus a past yaqtVl (translated into my notation), he is at a loss to explain the function of this ending: It does not seem to have fulfilled any clear-cut function in proto-Semitic. It was a redundant element confined to an indicative nonpast stem. It may have been more functional in the derived verbal forms (. . .) where no stem-difference can be reconstructed with certainty for the different tenses and moods (1972: 453 n. 2). The problem is solved if we regard *yaqattalu as a derived stem, with -u, -nV as the imperfective marker contrasting with in the perfective. 81. The third branch of South Semitic, Epigraphic South Arabian (ESA), has a purely consonantal alphabet, which makes it difficult to reach definitive conclusions about anything related to vowel patterns, but specialists on ESA seem to agree with Nebes (1994a) and Stein (2003: 1661) that ESA does not have an imperfective with gemination, even though this makes the subgrouping of the South Semitic languages rather problematic (Appleyard 1996: 209, 225).


Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective 4.6.

Geez has an Impfv yqattl,82 and Mehri has yrkz he puts upright (also spelled with ), the long vowel of which can be equated with the geminate of yqattl, because as a rule the MSA languages have lost gemination of the second radical, both in the imperfective and in what used to be the D-stem.83 The scenario with the double imperfective of Proto-Semitic advocated here seems to provide an easy solution for the South Semitic imperfective as well: we might simply argue that South Semitic replaced its original imperfective with the imperfective of the derived pluractional *yiqattalu, just as Akkadian did. Although this is not impossible, it is unlikely because of the systematic differences that exist between the Akkadian and the South Semitic forms in the stem vowel of the imperfective in the G-stem and in the derived verbal stems. They become apparent if we consider the verbal paradigm of the South Semitic languages as a whole rather than the imperfective forms in isolation. I will argue, therefore, that we can achieve a more satisfactory account of the Geez forms if we assume that they have developed parallel to but independently from Akkadian. First of all, the Geez Impfv yqattl does not formally correspond to the historical form of Akk iparrVs with its variable vowel, nor to its prehistoric ancestor *yiqattalu. To start with the latter, since in Geez i and u have merged into but a remains unchanged, *yiqattalu would give **yqattal.84 We can of course discard this as an unimportant detail, but in all verb forms that can safely be regarded as inherited from Proto-West Semitic or even Proto-Semitic, there is a fairly exact correspondence between the vowels of Geez and those of other (West) Semitic languages, in particular Arabic.85 The G-stem jussive is either yqtl or yqtal, forms that are equivalent to Ar yaqtu/il and yaqtal, respectively. In spite of some fluctuation between yqtl and yqtal, most verbs with yqtl can be matched with Arabic yaqtulu or yaqtilu verbs, and most verbs with yqtal with Arabic yaqtalu verbs. The same correspondence holds in the G-stem imperative, which has the same vowel as the jussive. There is a similar correspondence between the Geez perfect qatala and Ar qatala on the one hand and Geez qatla < *qatla and Ar qati/ula, on the other.

82. The presence of gemination in this form is based on the traditional pronunciation of Geez; cf. Goldenberg 1977: 48487, 1994: 47; Voigt 1990b. The debate about whether it is original or a secondary phenomenon seems to be decided in favour of the first option; see in particular Voigt 1990b. 83. Cf. Greenberg 1952: 5; Voigt 1994: 297301; Lonnet 1993: 70; and Appleyard 1996: 213. Leslau (1953: 166), however, argues that the original presence of gemination in these forms is not evident. D. Cohen (1984: 6875) also explains the long vowel in a different way (but cf. Goldenbergs [1977: 47577; 1979] criticism). An important difference between Geez and the Modern South Arabian languages is that in the latter not all verbs have two prefix conjugations with different inflectional stems for the imperfective and the jussive. Transitive verbs have an apophonic passive/intransitive form, which uses the same form for both: the Mehri verb br to break, for instance has a passive/intransitive br, with ybr as imperfective and jussive (doubtless from qatila, yVqtal-; cf. Voigt 1994: 29799). The same pattern occurs in some basically intransitive verbs, e.g., wl to arrive, reach, imperfective and jussive ywl, and in some weak verb patterns (1994: 298), but the exact state of affairs is difficult to extract from the available reference works on Mehri. It is unclear whether in this language group gemination was introduced in transitive verbs only and never penetrated to all verbs, as it did in Geez, or whether the absence of gemination in intransitive verbs is secondary. Appleyard (1996: 21013) prefers the latter option. 84. The fact that the prefix vowel has become is irrelevant, since Geez has generalized , except in the causative stems, presumably from i (whereas Arabic has generalized a); see Hasselbach 2004. 85. For the Geez verb, see in particular Dillmann and Bezold 1907: 140212; Tropper 2002: 87136; and Rubio 2006: 12426.

4.6. Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective


Second, there is also an exact correspondence in the stem vowel of the prefix conjugation(s) of the derived verbal stems: where Arabic has i, Geez has , but where Arabic has a, Geez also has a; cf. Table 4.9:86 Geez Impfv/Juss Stem I/2 ~i Stem I/3 Stem II/1 Stem IV/1 a~a Stem III/2 Stem III/3 yqttl/yqattl yqttl/yqtl yqattl/yqtl ystaqattl/ystaqtl ytqttal/ytqattal ytqttal/ytqtal Stem II Stem III Stem IV Stem X Stem III Stem VI Arabic Impfv/Juss yuqattil(u) yuqtil(u) yuqtil(u)) yastaqtil(u) yataqattal(u) yataqtal(u)

table 4.9: the stem vowels of derived stems in geez and Arabic.

These instances illustrate the overall stability of the vowel patterns in the Geez verb: categories that are inherited from an earlier period usually preserve their original vowels. This is broadly confirmed by the MSA languages, although drastic phonological changes have obscured the original situation.87 The important thing is that the imperfective, such as Mehri yr/kz he puts upright, also has a fixed vowel , whereas the jussive has a variable vowel that tallies rather well with the corresponding vowel in Geez and Arabic, and this also applies to the variable vowel of the perfect. In transitive verbs, the Arabic pattern of jussive u or i versus perfect a (Ar yaqtu/ilu qatala) can be reconstructed as the dominant pattern for the whole of South Semitic, and the same applies to jussive a versus perfect i (Ar yaqtalu qatila) for intransitive verbs (Voigt 1994: 29399). The stability of the vowels in inherited categories makes it difficult to equate yqattl with reconstructed *yiqattalu. If we prefer to compare it with the imperfective iparrVs in its historical form, the problem becomes even bigger: there is no conceivable reason why Geez would abandon the alternating stem vowel of a PSem **yiqattVlu, whereas it faithfully preserves all other inherited vowel alternations.88 Therefore, rather than assuming an idiosyncratic behaviour that is
86. An exception is the Geez Stem III/1 ytqattal/ytqatal versus the Arabic Stem VIII yaqtatil(u). This is an additional indication that these stems have a different background, as I will argue in 14.4.2 (pp. 380382). 87. For (basically synchronic) descriptions of the MSA verb, see Bittner 1911, Johnstone 1975, 1987, and Simeone-Senelle 1997, 1998; for diachronic analyses, see Wagner 1993, Voigt 1994, and Appleyard 1996, 2002. In general, the verbal paradigm of the MSA languages stems from the same source as that of the languages of Ethiopia; cf. the pertinent remarks of Bittner (1911: 45), W. W. Mller (1964), Kienast (2001: 3067), and Appleyard (2002: 4056). 88. Those who follow Haupts thesis about the genetic relationship between iparrVs and yqattl tend to dismiss this difference as unimportant. Landsberger (1926b: 970) calls it unwesentlich; Gensler (1997) and Voigt (2004: 4950) ignore it; Rssler (1950: 5045) and Kienast (2001: 228) attribute it to secondary levelling. This is unsatisfactory: why would levelling only affect the imperfective and not the jussive, imperative, and perfect? On the basis of the hierarchy in the verbal paradigm, we would rather expect the latter categories to be levelled. Aro (1964: 194 n. 1), on the other hand, correctly observes that the Geez state of affairs presupposes eine etwas gewaltsame Umvokalisierung und Vereinheitlichung der Form. In addition, M. Cohen (1953: 8990) rejects the connection between iparrVs and yqattl because of the difference in vowel pattern.


Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective 4.6.

hard to motivate on independent grounds, it seems far more plausible to regard the invariable in yqattl as an original feature and thereby dissociate it from both *yiqattalu and iparrVs. Fixed vowel patterns are typical of motivated forms, such as the derived stems, which do not distinguish vowel classes outside Akkadian. Of particular importance is the fact that the Geez imperfective is immune to the influence of neighbouring gutturals (Kuryowicz 1972: 59): it has even if R2 and/or R3 are gutturals, although the other finite verb forms are sensitive to gutturals and take the vowel a (Tropper 2002: 11014). This is a strong indication that yqattl is originally a derived verbal stem, and several authors have indeed claimed that it goes back to the D-stem form *yuqattilu, which we may reconstruct for Proto-West Semitic on the basis of the Arabic Stem II Impfv yuqattilu.89 F. Rundgren, in particular, has argued for such a development in many publications, the remploi de lintensif.90 He relates it to another innovation of the Semitic languages of Ethiopia, namely, the loss of a grammatical relationship between the basic stem and the derived stems with gemination (Stem I/2) and with vowel lengthening (Stem I/3): their relationship is completely lexicalized, i.e., the two are used as variants of the basic stem or as separate lexemes.91 This made it possible to use the D imperfective *yuqattilu > yqattl for renewing the G-stem imperfective after the latter had coincided in form with the jussive as a result of the loss of word-final -u. So this is one more instance of the penetration of a derived stem into the paradigm of the basic stem. The adherents of Haupts thesis have ignored rather than refuted Rundgrens arguments,92 without offering a more convincing account of the fixed vowel of yqattl.93 The difference in background between iparrVs and yqattl is confirmed by the derived verbal stems.94 As we saw above, Akkadian primarily marks the imperfective by means of a/i apophony, sometimes secondarily strengthened by gemination. Geez, on the other hand, distinguishes the imperfective from the jussive only by means of gemination, and where a form already has gemination, it introduces a vowel in the first syllable of the imperfective stem.95 The stem vowel of imperfective and jussive is always the same; see by way of illustration the Geez column in Table 4.9 above. Only one of these procedures can go back to Proto-Semitic, and it is fairly clear
89. And also to Proto-Semitic as a whole; see 11.6.1, pp. 280282. 90. For instance, in Rundgren 1955: 32829, 1959a: 29294, and 1963b: 6468. I do not agree with Rundgren that the rise of iparrVs is a case of remploi de lintensif, but the term is fully appropriate for what happened in Geez. 91. The remploi did not lead to the loss of the D-stem: it coexisted with the Impfv yqattl, and the D imperfective was differentiated by introducing (yqttl). Sasse (1980: 173) mentions the case of the Cushitic language Dasenech as parallel to Akkadian: auch im Dasenech ist der Frequentativstamm zur Bildung einer neuen Prsenskategorie verwendet worden und besteht trotzdemwie im Akkadischenals abgeleiteter Stamm weiter. 92. There was criticism by Voigt, however (1990b: 1011; 2004: 3940). His main objections are obviated by the scenario proposed here. Rundgrens proposal is endorsed by Stempel (1999: 133). 93. Recently, Hudson (2005) has argued that the geminate of yqattl in A-type verbs (i.e., Stem I/1, the basic verb) results from an analogical extension from B-type (i.e., I/2) verbs, which have gemination of R2 in their entire paradigm (2005: 2012). Since the class of I/2 verbs goes back to the Proto-Semitic D-stem, this is very similar to the development assumed here on the basis of Rundgrens ideas. The difference is that Rundgren posits a remploi of the corresponding D form *yuqattil(u) of the same verb, whereas Hudson assumes that *yiqtVlu is renewed by analogy with the geminated imperfectives of I/2 verbs in general. Especially significant is the fact that Hudson also assumes that the geminate of yqattl in the basic stem is secondary (2005: 204). 94. Testen (1998a: 132 n. 10) also doubts the equation iparrVs yqattl because of the discrepancies in the imperfective formation of the derived stems, such as uparras versus yqttl. 95. The source of is a matter of debate that need not concern us here; see Voigt 1990b: 611, with the comments of Gensler 1997: 23637 n. 11.

4.6. Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective


that it is the Akkadian a/i apophony that does so96 because it has Afroasiatic backing, is difficult to explain as secondary, and may have survived in MSA, as I will argue in the next section. The Geez procedure can easily be explained as an innovation: when imperfective and jussive had coincided after the loss of word-final -u, the formal contrast was renewed by introducing gemination of R2 from the G-stem, where it had emerged for the same reason through the replacement of the original imperfective by the former D-stem imperfective. If the consonant that is to be geminated is part of a cluster, as in Stems II/1 (yqtl ) and IV/1 (ystaqtl ), the cluster is first dissolved by the insertion of a, in the same way as in the Akkadian t2-stem (utaparras) and the quadriradical verbs (ibbalakkat); see 4.5.2 above (pp. 113114). Furthermore, in Geez, it is the G-stem (I/1) which provides the model: I/1 II/1 IV/1 yqtVl yqtl ystaqtl ( yqtVl) ( yqtVl) ( ystaqtVl) yqattl



So in spite of the superficial similarity of these imperfectives to their Akkadian counterparts, they can be explained more plausibly as inner-Ethiopic innovations triggered by the introduction of gemination in the basic stem than as retentions from Proto-Semitic. This conclusion is important for the explanation of another type of Geez imperfective, which has been claimed to offer incontrovertible evidence for the three-stem system discussed in 4.4.1 (pp. 97100). Gensler (1997) points to the striking similarity between the quadriradical Impfv ydanaggd in Geez and the corresponding Akkadian Impfv ibbalakkat 97 and claims that it provides a new argument against those who may still hesitate to accept the Geez/Akkadian tripartite tense/aspect system as representing the Proto-Semitic one (1997: 255).98 Therefore, we have to discuss Genslers argument in some detail. The forms involved are shown in Table 4.10. For reasons that will be become clear later on, it includes not only the quadriradical verbs of the dangada type but also the quadriradical verb type of Arabic that follows the paradigm of the D-stem, the quinqueradical verbs of Geez, and both types of verbs from MSA, represented by Mehri. The categories involved are the imperfective, perfective/jussive, and stative/perfect: root Geez IV-rad Mehri Arabic Akk V-rad Geez Mehri Juss Pfv ydangd ykrbl yutarjim ibbalkit yngargr ynqrb Impfv ydanaggd ykrbl yutarjimu ibbalakkat yngaraggr ynqrb Perf Stat dangada karbl tarjama nabalkut angargara nqrb

table 4.10: Quadri- and quinqueradical verbs in Akkadian and south semitic. 96. So also Greenberg 1952: 56. 97. For the quadriradical verbs, Geez dangada to be upset, Ar tarjama to translate, Mehri krbl to crawl on the knees (Johnstone 1987: 213), and Akk nabalkutu to cross over (see 12.5, pp. 307314) will serve as examples. For the quinqueradical verbs (cf. Tropper 2002: 13436), I will use Geez angargara to wallow, roll and Mehri nqrb to be curled, wrinkled (Johnstone 1987: 234). 98. For an earlier discussion, see von Soden 1987: 564.


Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective 4.6.

First, I will focus on the similarity between ydanaggd and ibbalakkat. Gensler describes these forms as a near-exact match (ignoring derivational prefixes) (1997: 246) and specifies four points of detail: the added vowel of the imperfective is specifically a, it serves to enable gemination, gemination comes at the same place, and in most relevant verbs R2 is a sonorant (n, l, r ) (1997: 24647).99 He concludes that this suggests the straightforward reconstruction to ProtoSemitic of this shared Geez/Akkadian pattern and rejects the opposite possibility: that the Geez and Akkadian patterns represent independent secondary innovations vis--vis some hypothetical earlier pattern (1997: 247). However, none of these four points is specific enough to justify such a conclusion. The first three actually form a single phenomenon that follows from the procedure of imperfective formation on the model of the basic stem that I have described above. In other words, we can add ydangd ( ydangd ) ydanaggd to the three categories included, just as I have included ibbalakkat in the account of the parallel forms in Akkadian in 4.5.2 (pp. 113114). The fourth point, that R2 is usually a sonorant, indicates that this type of quadriradical verb is a common legacy from Proto-Semitic (which is not at issue, see below), but it does not say anything about the historical background of its actual conjugation. Gensler isolates the quadriradical verbs from the II/1 and IV/1 Stems and only mentions the latter in passing (1997: 231). However, these categories constitute a natural formal class of verbs whose antepenultimate and penultimate radicals form a cluster, which is of crucial importance for the formation of the imperfective.100 I argued above that the way the II/1 and IV/1 Stems form their imperfective does not go back to Proto-Semitic but is an innovation following the introduction of gemination in the basic stem. This implies that the Impfv ydanaggd is an innovation as well. The strikingly similar Akkadian Impfv ibbalakkatbut note the vowel contrast in the final syllable, which Gensler ignores, parallel to that between yqattl and iparrasis the result of a parallel development: originally it contrasted with the perfective by means of a/i apophony (Impfv *yibbalkat vs. Pfv *yibbalkit ), but secondarily acquired gemination together with most of the other non-basic imperfective forms. As a result of the introduction of gemination to mark the imperfective, both Akkadian and Geez faced the contradictory desideratum (Gensler 1997: 233) that they had to include gemination but also conform to the dominant triradical pattern. Both achieved this in the same way by sacrificing conformity to the triradical pattern, but not at a high price: a new conformity is obtained, namely to the patterns of (part of) the derived stems. As Gensler elegantly demonstrates (1997: 23335), this is the most efficient way of solving the dilemma. It is quite possible that two languages, faced with the same challenge, independently come up with the same solution, if this solution is the most efficient one. Against the view that ydanaggd and ibbalakkat represent a parallel development, Gensler argues that the dominant structural principle responsible for the rise of these forms cannot have worked independently in Akkadian and Geez, because it was already present in Proto-Semitic itself (1997: 249). This, however, is a perfect case of circularity. It leads directly to another point: Genslers claim is crucially dependent on the existence in Proto-Semitic of a geminated triradical (basic) imperfective: if it does not exist, there is no point in reconstructing a quadriradical im99. Gensler does not discuss the difference in stem vowel, but see 1997: 247 n. 28 (where his remark that this same position [i.e., the vowel of the final syllable of the stemNJCK] is often variable in the triliteral inflection as well is unjustified; see the beginning of this section. 100. Therefore, it does not apply to the Gt-stem (Stem III/1) and the stem with vowel lengthening (Stem I/3), where the penultimate consonant is intervocalic, nor to Stem I/2, where it is a geminate.

4.6. Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective


perfective of the same type. He offers no arguments for this claim, however; he simply takes the tripartite tense system as represented by Akkadian and Geez as given.101 Even by Genslers own methodological principles, the Geez and Akkadian imperfective forms are parallel developments. He states that independent parallel genesis based on a triliteral model would be plausible only if it served somehow to create a more regular verb system (. . .), either (1) generalizing some dominant structural principle of the triliteral verbal system, and/or (2) conforming to some pre-existing triliteral inflectional pattern (1997: 248). I have argued that the quadriradical imperfective does indeed do (1)i.e., it generalizes gemination of the penultimate radical. It does not do (2), since that is impossible, but instead it conforms to the quadriradical pattern of the derived stems. This leads to the conclusion that the similarity between ydanaggd and ibbalakkat is not the compelling kind of evidence Gensler argues it to be. Rather than providing a new argument for the tripartite tense/aspect system of Proto-Semitic, it does exactly the opposite: it suggests that Geez and Akkadian represent independent developments as an answer to the same challenge.102 This is not to say that the alternative optionthat ydanaggd is a survival of Proto-Semitic as a quadriradical counterpart to *yiqattaluis impossible: one could argue that even though *yiqattalu was discarded, the corresponding quadriradical category remained in use and adopted as stem vowel by analogy with the triradical verb. This is an ad hoc explanation, however, which does not do justice to the systematic nature of the developments that have taken place both in Akkadian and in Geez as a consequence of the introduction of gemination in the basic imperfective.

4.6.2. ThequadriradicalandquinqueradicalverbsinSouthSemitic
A more detailed study of the paradigm of the quadriradical and quinqueradical verbs in South Semitic supports the conclusion of the preceding section (see Table 4.10 for the relevant forms). The closest Geez counterpart to the Akkadian verbs of the nabalkutu type is not the dangada type but the small group of quinqueradicals with n as first radical, most of which consist of reduplicated biliteral elements, e.g., angargara to wallow, roll and anssawa to walk about (Tropper 2002: 13436). They are defined as quadriradical in Akkadian because the nasal has the status of a prefix (e.g., it is replaced by in the -stem; see 13.4.1, pp. 338340). In Geez it is a stable part of the conjugation, although several of the verbs in question have variants without n (2002: 134).103 This should not detract us from the fact they are obviously related; there is even at least one cognate pair among them, which is exceptional for this kind of verbnamely, the abovementioned angargara and Akk nagarruru with about the same meaning (see 12.6.1, pp. 319320).104 Their imperfective is parallel to that of dangadayngaraggrand can be explained in the same way. Its Akkadian counterpart, the imperfective iggarrar, cannot be directly compared, since it results from an inner-Akkadian development (see 12.3, p. 302). There
101. He states, for instance, that I will take it for granted that the Akkadian/Ethiopic three-way pattern, with gemination of the Present/Imperfect, is archaic and reconstructible to Proto-Semitic (1997: 232; cf. also 249), and that it is now generally accepted as reflecting a pattern reconstructible to Proto-Semitic (1997: 230). I agree, but with the small change I have proposed above, that the form in question is not the basic imperfective, which makes a big difference. 102. The same conclusion was drawn by D. Cohen (1984: 1067) and T. D. Anderson (2000: 25). 103. Several dictionaries, such as CDG, do not list them under n but under the second radical: e.g., angaragara under grgr (CDG 202a). 104. I will argue in 12.6.1 (pp. 319320) that this type of quadriradical verb forms the Akkadian counterpart to the quadriradical verbs of the structure C1C2C1C2 elsewhere in Semitic.


Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective 4.6.

can be no doubt that the Akkadian quadriradical verbs and the Geez quinqueradicals with n as first radical are both inherited from the common proto-language, one of the many highly archaic shared retentions of these two branches of Semitic.105 With very few exceptions, Akkadian does not have quadriradical verbs without the prefix n-.106 In Geez, the quinqueradical verbs of the angargara type are a marginal group, numerically dwarfed by the mass of quadriradical verbs of the dangada type. This suggests that the angargara type is a residual group and that dangada represents the productive way of conjugating quadriradicals.107 We can glimpse the contours of a historical development here. Originally, quadriradical elements needed a conjugational prefix n- to be conjugated as verbs. This stage is attested by the Akkadian nabalkutu group. In West Semitic, an alternative arose in which the two middle radicals were treated as a cluster equivalent to the geminate of the D-stem. Hence, new quadriradical verbs were regularly conjugated on the model of the D-stem (Gensler 1997: 22930): Arabic tarjama yutarjimu qattala yuqattilu, Hebrew gilgel to roll, conjugated as a Piel verb, and Geez dangada *ydangd (which survives as a jussive).108 This conjugation, which had the great advantages of being transparent and having a high type-frequency, gradually replaced the older one with the prefix n-. The process has reached its completion in Central Semitic, where no traces of quinqueradical verbs with n as R1 survive, and is almost completed in Geez. Accordingly, the conjugation of quadriradical verbs on the model of the D-stem is a West Semitic innovation. This is in keeping with the data from Geez: in Geez, the forms of the dangada type closely correspond to those of Ar tarjama (see Tropper 2002: 131), except the imperfective ydanaggd. There can be little doubt, therefore, that the original conjugation of the quadriradical verbs of the dangada type was exactly like in Central Semitic and that the deviating imperfective is a secondary form that arose after the introduction of gemination in the basic stem. This is supported by the fact that the closest relatives of Geez, the other North Ethiopian languages Tigre and Tigrigna, have a quadriradical imperfective without gemination (see Hudson 2005: 201, 207 Table 5). Moreover, this also applies to the corresponding verb types in MSA. The Mehri imperfective forms, as presented in Table 4.10, show that Mehri did not take part in the introduction of gemination: the quadriradical ykrbl he crawls and the quinqueradical ynqrb it is curled, wrinkled may be derived from *yVkarbl(u) and *yVnqarb(u), respectively, on the model of similar forms discussed by Voigt (1994: 3056). Even though the vowels of this reconstruction may be wrong, the important thing is that these forms clearly lack the geminate penultimate radical of ydanaggd. So Mehri has also preserved the West Semitic conjugation in the imperfective. In conclusion, there is plentiful evidence indicating that the quadriradical imperfective forms of Geez and Akkadian result from parallel but independent developments, triggered by the introduction of gemination as the basic feature of the imperfective. This happened in Geez more
105. See Cantineau 1932; von Soden 1987. 106. An exception is parumu to let live to old age (NA); see chap. 12, n. 69 (p. 307). A partial exception is mlulu to play (see 12.4, pp. 305307). 107. In Modern South Arabian, the number of quinqueradicals with the prefix n- seems to be somewhat larger: Johnstones Mehri lexicon contains about 45 instances. 108. With the exception of the infinitive (the madar): the triradical verb has taqtl and the quadriradical verb has tarjamah (Fleisch 1979: 448), doubtless because the secondary formation taqtl (see 14.6.1, pp. 397402) could not easily be adapted to a quadriradical root. There are also a few quadriradical verbs of a quite different type that are not relevant to the issue at hand; see Fleisch 1979: 45363 and Larcher 2003: 13233.

4.6. Akkadian iparrVsand the South Semitic Imperfective


consistently than in Akkadian, since Akkadian also disposed of a/i apophony to differentiate between imperfective and perfective. This option was apparently not open to Geez, which suggests that the Proto-Semitic pluractional forms of the derived verbal stems had already fallen into disuse. However, there is a possible trace in some MSA forms. The causative stem of the strong verb in Mehri, for instance, has an imperfective yhnsm and a jussive yhnsm (Johnstone 1987: xxxviixxxviii; Voigt 1994: 301). The most straightforward way to account for these forms is to derive them from *yuhaqtal(u?) and *yuhaqtil, respectively, parallel to Akkadian uapras uapris (Rssler 1951: 106; Voigt 1994: 301). If this analysis is correct, MSA uses an imperfective that goes back to the Proto-Semitic PL-stem *yuaqtalu. It is possible that a different analysis will present itself as we learn more about the historical background of MSA morphology, but for the time being these forms provide an additional argument for the ProtoSemitic nature of the Akkadian system rather than the South Semitic one and for the survival of the Proto-Semitic system in at least one class of MSA forms. Moreover, they show that the corresponding Geez form, the II/1 Stem Impfv yqattl, is an Ethiopic innovation (Voigt 1994: 301), as we already concluded above on the basis of comparison with Akkadian. The same applies to the reconstructed quadriradical and quinqueradical forms I have mentioned above: if the stem vowel a that I have posited above in *yVkarbl(u) and *yVnqarb(u) is correct, it provides a parallel with the corresponding reconstructed Akkadian imperfective *yinbalkat, which is the predecessor of the historical form ibbalakkat (see 12.5, pp. 309310). It is conceivable that Proto-Semitic had a basic quadriradical imperfective *yi-n-balkitu and a derived pluractional imperfective *yi-n-balkatu, but in view of the overall semantic nature of the verbs involved, it is also possible that only the latter form existed. In that case, the in the final syllable of ydanaggd arose by analogy as a result of the joint pressure from all other derived categories.


Chapter 5

5.1. introduction
The form and the function of the perfective (which is usually called preterite; see pp. xxi xxii) and the imperative are straightforward and require little comment. Therefore, the main topic of this short chapter will be their historical background (little as we know about it) and the relationship between the past tense function of the perfective and its irrealis use in the precative and the vetitive.

5.2. the Perfective: Form

The perfective and the imperative are the simplest forms of the Akkadian verbal paradigm: their inflectional stem consists only of the prefix base PRvS (see 2.2.1, pp. 3132). The perfective is the unmarked prefix conjugation, and in the G-stem its basic feature is a negative onethe absence of gemination. The additional contrast between the root vowel and the imperfective vowel in the anisovocalic vowel classes does not seem to play a significant role. The relationship between the two is not arbitrary, since only five out of the nine possible combinations actually occur, which represent the five vowel classes discussed in 3.5 (pp. 6875); see Table 5.1: A/u Impfv Pfv iparras iprus A/i uab uib A/a ilammad ilmad I/i ipaqqid ipqid U/u imaqqut imqut

table 5.1: the imperfective vowel and the root vowel of the five vowel classes.

Nor is the relationship between imperfective and perfective predictable in either direction:1 an imperfective with u and i entails a perfective with the same vowel, but an imperfective with a allows any vowel in the perfective. Conversely, a perfective with a entails an imperfective with a, but a perfective with u allows both u and a in the imperfective. A perfective with i entails i in the imperfective, except in the small group of I/w verbs and irregular verbs of the A/i class. Only by including semantic factors can we obtain a higher rate of predictability. For instance, only if the verb is transitive do we expect an imperfective with a to have a perfective with u and a perfective with u to have an imperfective with a (see 3.5.2, pp. 7175). As a past tense, the perfective is functionally subordinate to the imperfective, but since it is unmarked, not predictable in form, and highly frequent (at least until it was ousted from most
1. In the derived stems, the perfective is usually predictable on the basis of the imperfective.


5.3. The Perfective: Function


environments by the t-perfect), it has a relatively independent status. Hence, the Akkadian verbal paradigm can best be described as built on two basic forms rather than one.2 Their relationship is understandable from a diachronic point of view: the prefix base PRvS represents the basic form of the verb in the period before the introduction of iparrVs, when the root vowel was still the basic vowel. Where the new imperfective *yiqattalu held onto its original stem vowel a,3 the root vowel lost its status as dominant vowel and remained restricted to the forms in which it was historically present, the perfective and the imperative, whereas the new imperfective vowel expanded to derived categories dependent on the G imperfective, as was shown in 4.2 (pp. 8890).

5.3. the Perfective: Function 4

In the older dialects, the basic functional opposition among the finite fientive categories is between imperfective and perfective. As opposed to the imperfective, the perfective indicates past tense, perfective aspect, and realis mood, but in practice it has the value of a simple past tense: it presents the event as real, anterior to a temporal reference point and completed (in telic verbs) or terminated (in atelic verbs). A series of perfectives, therefore, denotes a succession of events, which makes it the main form for narrative (E. Cohen 2006: 5460). The perfective has no correlation whatsoever with the durative or punctual nature of the event, pace Landsberger (1926a: 35960) and W. von Soden (GAG 79a). Therefore, it is freely compatible with durative qualifications, e.g.:5 (01) ArAn. 1, 48 n. 23 kt 88/k 507b:1112 (OA) itu mtn 10 antim ab ib-l-a after the plague, my father was (still) alive for ten years (02) ARM 27, 2:10 (OB) amm kayyni iz-nu-un (from the 3rd(?) to the 14th day of the month) it rained continuously (also MARI 8, 327:78); (03) YOS 3, 140:89 (NB) 20 maarta (. . .) k a-u-ru after I had kept watch for 20 years. Whatever the objective duration of the event, by using the perfective the speaker presents it as completed.6 If an event or an activity is not completed at the moment of reference, the perfective is normally avoided, as in examples (05) and (06) of chap. 4 (p. 93).

2. In this respect, Akkadian agrees typologically with a great number of languages that have a verbal paradigm with a basic distinction between present and past or perfective and imperfective in such a way that these categories are not formally predictable from each other (cf. the strong verbs in Germanic, the imperfective stem versus the aorist stem in Greek, and the infectum versus the perfectum in Latin, etc.). The West Semitic contrast between prefix and suffix conjugation is another example. 3. This only happened in a minority of all verbs: in most verbs, the root vowel was strong enough to impose itself on the new imperfective and oust its original a, as we saw in 4.5.1 (pp. 109112). 4. For definitions of the function of the perfective, see also GAG 79; Streck 1995a: 19596; Buccellati 1996: 101; Huehnerguard 2005a: 19; Leong 1994: 3031, 62136; Metzler 2002: 87374. These works also deal with some secondary uses of the perfective that I will not discuss, such as the Koinzidenzfall and the gnomic perfective; see GAG3 79b* with literature. 5. See also Loesov 2005: 111; more examples with discussion can be found in Leong 1994: 13436. 6. When the actual length of the period in the past is unspecified, as with adverbs such as pnnum formerly (OB) or kayyntam (and variant forms) regularly, constantly, there is a strong tendency to use the imperfective (see 4.3, pp. 9295), because an indefinite period of time lacks the boundedness that


The Perfective: Function 5.3.

In subordinate clauses, the perfective is anterior because of its function of denoting completed action (versus the non-anterior function of the imperfective); this makes it into a kind of pluperfect in past contexts: (04) AbB 11, 116:1314 (OB) x a. a am-u-ru itbalma alp a ina marya il-q- ana libbu x eqlim uti [i ]talal he appropriated the 2 bur of sesame field that I had received and dragged the oxen which he had taken from me to that 2 bur field. In conditional clauses, the perfective indicates that the protasis is completed at the moment the apodosis is realized; see (14) and (15A) in 4.3 (p. 94). This is especially common in legal texts, where the condition normally has to be fulfilledi.e., the unlawful act must have been committedbefore the specified sanction can apply (cf. GAG 161df; Hirsch 1969: 125). The most noteworthy functional aspect of the perfective is its competition with the t-perfect (iptarVs). As a neutral past tense that does not say anything about the attitude of the speaker toward the event in terms of his own involvement in it, its current relevance, or its actuality, the perfective was exposed to competition from a more expressive form that enables a speaker to include this kind of nuance. This is a typologically common process.7 Akkadian opted for an unorthodox solution to fill this need: it pressed the perfective of the Gt-stem into service; the details of this process are problematic and will be dealt with in chap. 6, which deals with the t-perfect. The tendency to replace the perfective with the t-perfect is already observable in the oldest period. Instances of the perfective in contexts where speaker involvement, actuality, and recentness are likely to be presentas far as we can judgeare mostly restricted to very early texts, such as Sargonic Akkadian and Archaic Babylonian letters, which have relatively few t-perfects; see 6.3.2 (pp. 149150).8 As the t-perfect became more common, the perfective came to be associated with the absence of the nuances expressed by the t-perfect and was restricted to the function of a neutral (narrative) past tense. From Middle Babylonian and Middle Assyrian onward, there was a syntactic distinction between the t-perfect and the perfective: the former was the regular past tense in affirmative main clauses and Satzfragen, whereas the latter was relegated to negative and subordinate clauses and Wortfragen. This process will further be discussed in 6.3.4 (pp. 153155). The equivalents of the Akkadian perfective in other Semitic languages also have an irrealis function. In Akkadian, this is only possible with an explicit markernamely, in the precative and the vetitive, which will be discussed in chap. 9. However, in Late Babylonian the perfective is attested with a volitive function and without the precative markers l- and i (GAG 81g; Streck 1995a: 12741). In the first-person plural of the precativethe cohortativethis also occurs in Neo-Assyrian (Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 93; Streck 1995a: 13941), and sporadic instances can even be quoted from Old Babylonian Mari (Finet 1956: 216 78gh) and Standard Babylonian (GAG3 81g*).9 It is difficult to determine whether this process is related to the fact that in Late
is inherent in the meaning of the perfective (see Langacker 1987: 8084 and Smith 1997: 6566 for the bounded nature of perfective aspect). 7. See Kuryowicz 1975: 106, quoted in 1.2.2 (p. 4); D. Cohen 1984 passim; Bybee et al. 1994: 51105. 8. However, after the asseverative particle l, the perfective held its ground: although semantically l would agree very well with the t-perfect, it occurs with the perfective to denote an emphatic statement in the past tense (GAG 81f, 152b). Instances with the t-perfect are extremely rare (AbB 2, 47:8, 115:15 [OB]); cf. also E. Cohen 2005: 4950, 6971. This may be an indication of its relatively recent origin (Loesov 2004a: 123). 9. Additional instances include ni-i-i-i ARM 28, 113:14 let us attack; NI-sa-a-i-ir (sic!) ibid. 16 let us turn around (trans.); ni-i-a-bi-it ibid. 155:19 let us compete with each other. In ShA 1, 109

5.4. The Historical Background of the Perfective


Babylonian the perfective is no longer used in affirmative main clauses, so that no ambiguity can arise from the omission of the precative marker, or whether it is an independent development related to the widespread use of past tense forms in irrealis function, an issue I will address in the next section. It is possible that Aramaic influence is also involved, as argued by Streck (1995a: 24547) and Lipiski (1997: 51314).

5.4. the Historical Background of the Perfective

The Proto-Semitic ancestry of the perfective iprVs is beyond doubt. Both its form and its function demonstrate that it is a very old formation. Formally, it has exact correspondences in West Semitic, not only in the basic stem of the strong triradical verb, for which we can reconstruct PSem *yiqtVl, but also in most other verb types, e.g., the N-stem *yinqatil (see 12.6.2, pp. 322323), and the D-stem *yuqattil (see 11.6.1, p. 280), the quadriradical perfective *yinbalkit (see 12.5, p. 309), and the weak perfective of the II/voc verbs *yimt (see 16.5.2, p. 476).10 Parallels in Berber and Cushitic show that *yiqtVl already existed in Afroasiatic. For Berber, Kossmann (2001: 72) reconstructs a 3ms aorist y-C1C2vC3, contrasting with a preterite y-vC1C2C3 (where v stands for or ). Sasse (1980: 170) reconstructs a prefixed perfective *yu/iqtu/il for the strong triradical verb in Proto-Cushitic, and Beja also has a prefixed perfective with a stem CCvC (G. Gragg apud Kienast 2001: 6034). It is therefore futile to explain the constituent parts of *yiqtVl on the basis of (Proto-)Semitic formations, as, for instance, Bauer (1910: 8) does when he claims that *yiqtul arose from the combination of a pronominal subject with a verbal stem qutul, which was at the same time imperative and infinitive.11 In principle, this kind of development is plausible, but it ignores the fact that *yiqtVl must have emerged long before the Proto-Semitic period. The use of iprVs and its counterparts in West Semitic also suggest a high antiquity. As a past tense, it has been or is being marginalized in the historical period. In Akkadian, it is gradually replaced by the t-perfect, a process that will be investigated in detail in the next chapter. In the rest of Semitic, it only occurs in the oldest stages of several early Central Semitic languages and survives there as a residual past tense (T. D. Anderson 2000: 1314, 1720). In Ugaritic, it is restricted to poetic texts as a narrative form in competition with the suffix conjugation, whereas prose texts only use the latter (Tropper 2000: 69597). In Aramaic, too, it is only found in some of the oldest inscriptions (Muraoka 1995: 1920). In Biblical Hebrew, it occurs as a narrative past in the consecutive imperfect wayyiqol (Joon and Muraoka 1991: 13941; T. D. Anderson 2000: 20) and occasionally elsewhere (2000: 5152). In Arabic, it is also restricted to a few specific environments: e.g., after the negations lam not and lamm not yet and in conditional clauses (Wright 1967: II 41; Fischer 1972: 96). We may conclude that *yiqtVl was the standard perfective formation in Proto-Semitic but that it was replaced by other formations after the
no. 39:1617 (OB Shemshara), a 1p Prec i ni-il-wi let us lay siege to is followed by ni-ir-i let us obtain without i, which is also attested in Mari (Finet 1956: 216 78g). For Standard Babylonian, see also W. R. Mayer 1987: 58. 10. For a selection of individual verbs in the basic stem that we can reconstruct for Proto-Semitic on the basis of an exact correspondence in the root vowel, see 18.3.1 (p. 588). 11. Similar ideas were expressed by Bauer and Leander (1922: 176), Kienast (2001: 196 and elsewhere), and Cook (2001: 130). Cook identifies the verbal stem involved with the Common Semitic *q(u)tul infinitive form (like Bauer and Leander). The infinitive seems a less likely candidate from which to derive a resultative; see Bybee et al. 1994: 6768. Moreover, Cooks example *ya-qrub he is drawn near is unfortunate, since all evidence points to *yVqrab as the correct Proto-Semitic perfective of the verb in question; see (p. 565).


The Historical Background of the Perfective 5.4.

break-up of the parent language: by the t-perfect in East Semitic and by the suffix conjugation qatVla in West Semitic.12 However, typological parallels can give us an idea about the historical background of *yiqtVl. Grammatical categories denoting a simple past tense usually represent a very late stage in a grammaticalization process. As Bybee et al. (1994: 51105) have shown, they arise either from an earlier completive, or from a resultative, or from a perfect (which itself often comes from a resultative).13 Since *yiqtVl does not contain a marker that could have had completive function (completives are often grammaticalizations of a verb to finish; 1994: 5661), it is most likely an ancient resultative that has developed into a perfect, a past, or a perfective, just as the West Semitic suffix conjugation qatVla must have done at a later point in time. Resultatives often come from a combination of a copula (which may be zero) with a past participle (1994: 6768); so nothing prevents us from speculating that *yiqtVl goes back to the univerbation of a pronominal subject (+ copula) + participle in a very early stage of Afroasiatic.14 A small piece of evidence in favour of this is formed by the defective stative verbs id to know and i to have: they are iprVs forms, yet they can refer to the present (GAG 106q/r). This suggests that they are a remnant of the original resultative meaning of *yiqtVl, since it is a typical feature of resultatives of stative verbs to denote a present state.15 A major problem concerning *yiqtVl is the historical and functional relationship between its use as a past tense and its irrealis function to express wishes, exhortations, injunctions, etc. The two coexist in Central Semitic, although, as stated above, the past-tense function is mostly dependent on a specific syntactic environment; see Gai 2000 for a survey. In Akkadian, this dual nature was abandoned, since the irrealis function is obligatorily marked by a prefix or a particle. Hetzron (1969) proposed solving the problem by assuming that the two functions were dif ferentiated by stress: he reconstructs an irrealis form *yaqtVl with final stress and a past tense 16 *yqtVl with penultimate stress. There are, however, serious difficulties with this proposal. First, it is widely held that in early Semitic stress was automatically assigned according to syllable structure and was therefore not contrastive. Second, the actual evidence Hetzron adduces (from Akkadian, Geez, and Hebrew) is unconvincing and open to a different interpretation.17 The only Akkadian evidence is the opposition between l as the marker of the precative and l as an asseverative particle: the former contracts with a following iprVs form (if it starts with a vowel): liprus, etc. (see, p. 213), whereas the latter remains separate: l iprus. Hetzron explains this difference from an original contrast between *l iprs > liprus and *l prus, which
12. The very early date of the rise of *yiqtVl is indirectly confirmed by the incompatibility rules for Semitic roots, which were discussed in 2.3.3 (pp. 4344). The strictest rules concern the first two radicals, which can be explained from the fact that these radicals were most often contiguous. This also pleads for a verbal paradigm based on both *yiqtVlu and *yiqtVl as posited above, where the first two radicals are adjacent in all basic forms. 13. See also Givn 1991: 305: [ p]ast tense morphemes seldom arise directly, but rather as reanalysis of either the perfect or perfective aspects. 14. Regarding the personal prefixes, the most we can say is that it is typologically plausible that they ultimately have a pronominal background (personal pronouns in the first and second persons, perhaps demonstrative pronouns in the third person), as already stated in 2.5 (p. 52). 15. See Bybee et al. 1994: 7478, 92. The perfect of stative verbs in West Semitic languages shows the same feature (Tropper 1995a: 510). 16. Hetzrons views are also found in Lipiski 1997: 336 (without reference to Hetzron; Lipiski cites examples from Modern Colloquial Arabic and Modern South Arabian); Buccellati 1996: 183; and Voigt 2004: 44. 17. For Arabic, Hetzron (1969: 18) himself admits that [t]here is no indication whatsoever of an earlier formal opposition between them [i.e., the yaqtVl forms for past tense and jussiveNJCK].

5.4. The Historical Background of the Perfective


remains unchanged. This is ad hoc and unlikely: the difference between asseverative and precative can more plausibly be explained as a difference in degree of grammaticalization, as I will argue in (pp. 214216). Hetzrons evidence from Geez concerns a single form: yb he said, which is the only trace of a *yiqtVl perfective in Ethiopic. In all other words it was replaced by the suffix conjugation. The corresponding jussive is ybal. Hetzron traces this contrast back to a difference in stress: *yVb(h)l versus *yVb(h)al. In the latter form the final l was weakened and palatalized to y: b(h)al > *ybay > yb. He admits, however, that this explanation is strongly hypothetical *yV and highly questionable (1969: 8). And indeed, the interpretation of yb is so controversial (see Tropper 2002: 12527) that it can hardly be regarded as serious evidence for such a far-reaching hypothesis. It is far simpler to assume that the idiosyncratic behaviour of this verbalso in other forms, in particular the loss of its middle radical his related to its high frequency. The Hebrew evidence consists of the difference between the jussive and the consecutive imperfect wayyiqol in some types of weak verbs: yqm may he stand up and yibn may he build, with final stress, versus wayyqom he stood up and wayyiben he built, with penultimate stress. However, there is no reason to question the more common explanation that these forms reflect an original endingless perfective and jussive *yqtVl and an imperfective *yaqtVlu 18 (see Huehnergard 1983: 58788 n. 165). This leads to the conclusion that none of Hetzrons arguments is compelling and that there is no reason to doubt the unitary nature of PSem *yiqtVl. So we have to look for a functional or developmental explanation for its double function. A functional explanation usually consists of a proposal to assume an original function that either encompasses the actual functions to be reconciled or is in some way intermediate between them. In order to account for the apparent contradiction between the past tense function of *yiqtVl and its irrealis function, which in temporal terms refers to the future, W. von Soden (GAG 79a) supposes an original Zeitlosigkeit, and Tropper (1998b: 15859) argues that it is purely aspectual (perfective). This does not solve the problem of the irrealis use, however. It is true that the imperfective iparrVs includes an irrealis use in addition to its basic indicative function (see 4.3, p. 92), but this is based on its temporal function of referring to the future. IprVs does not normally refer to the future, since perfective is closely associated with past tense, which means that there is no path leading from perfective to volitive, as Tropper calls its irrealis use. The fact that the future may be aspectually represented as perfective plays no role here.19 A more likely explanation can be given if we consider the special association between past tense and irrealis (Kuryowicz 1972: 64; Muraoka 1975: 6667). Kuryowicz points to the widespread use of past tense forms with non-realis function in modern languages, such as English if he wrote. . . , French sil crivait, Russian esli by (na)pisal. A well-known Semitic parallel is the use of the suffix conjugation for wishes, e.g., Arabic raimah llhu may God have mercy on him! (Fischer 1972: 92), and for the prophetic perfect in Hebrew (Joon and Muraoka 1991: 363). Fleischman (1989) offers a cognitive explanation: tense is basically used to locate an event chronologically in relation to a reference point, usually the now of the utterance. What is happening here and now (what is proximate) can usually be vouched for by the speaker, who experiences it as actual and real. An event that takes place not-here and not-now (which is distant) cannot be vouched for by the speaker in the same way: it is not experienced as actual and real. Therefore, there is a move from spatial and temporal proximity to a broader conceptual and cognitive proximity of actuality/reality, and a move from spatial and temporal distance to
18. Objections to Hetzrons thesis have also been raised by Streck (1997/8: 31920) and Gai (2000: 25). 19. Kienasts explanation (2001: 336) is incomprehensible to me.


The Historical Background of the Perfective 5.4.

conceptual and cognitive distance (non-actuality/non-reality) (Fleischman 1989: 23). In this way, temporal distance in the direction of past is pressed into service to express modal distance, in particular to signal the speakers assessment of the certainty-/reality-/actuality-status of a predicated situation (1989: 4). Synchronically, this use of past tense forms is simply an extension of their basic meaning (1989: 38), but over time it may give rise to purely irrealis categoriesfor instance, when the past tense function is taken over by a new form.20 According to Kuryowicz (1972: 64), this happened in West Semitic when yaqtVl was replaced by qatVla. This started in its primary past tense function, leaving yaqtVl mainly with its secondary, irrealis use as jussive, prohibitive (with l), and a potentialis or irrealis in conditional clauses; afterward, qatVla tended also to oust yaqtVl from other functions, such as conditional clauses (where yaqtVl and qatVla interchange: in yaqtul if he killed is equivalent to in qatala) and in wishes. The use of qatVla in wishes represents Fleischmans (1989: 2) synchronic extension toward irrealis contexts.21 This explanation seems to be better founded than the one usually encountered in literature on Semitic grammarthat the perfective in wishes results from a tendency to represent the desired state of affairs as already realized (e.g., Streck 1995a: 19596, with other literature).22 In Akkadian, the irrealis use of iprVs is restricted to the fixed environment of the precative and the vetitive. In an earlier stage, it must also have been a secondary synchronic extension of its temporal use. Already in Proto-Semitic, *yiqtVl had a strong association with a particle with initial l- (Testen 1993b: 3). In the historical period, the irrealis use was not grammaticalized as a result of the loss of the past tense function, as in West Semitic, but because the particle became obligatory. From that moment, the irrealis function resided in the particle. (See further 9.2.1, pp. 212217, for the precative and 9.2.2, pp. 217219, for the vetitive.) In historical perspective, iprVs is a residual form that in the course of time cedes more and more of its original function(s) to other categories with a more explicit and therefore more expressive marking. In this respect, it shows a striking similarity to the injunctive in Indo-European, as pointed out by Rundgren (1960). The injunctive is a verbal form with the secondary (i.e., basically past tense) endings of the aorist and the imperfect but without the augment (*e-) that marks these forms. It survived precariously in Indo-Iranian and Ancient Greek before being replaced by forms that have a more overt marking. In itself, it is neutral toward tense and mood, but in contrast to a marked present or imperfective, it has past or perfective (including narrative) function, and in contrast to marked indicative forms, it can have non-indicative function.23 This is very similar to the way *yiqtVl is used in Semitic. However, it is not directly useful to clarify the problems raised by *yiqtVl, since it raises the same kind of questions.
20. According to Bybee et al. (1994: 230), renewal of an old form typically starts in main asserted clauses, and it takes over all its functions only gradually. Non-assertive clauses are not used for the expression of focus or topic and tend to be conservative. So the old form continues to be used in such non-assertive contexts and adopts irrealis semantic aspects from it. Subsequently, it can again be used in main clauses, bringing their irrealis use with them. For the same process in the domain of the imperfective, see 9.3.3 (pp. 229231). 21. According to Kuryowicz (1964: 136), the subjunctive and the optative of Indo-European languages also go back to old indicatives. Imperfective-future categories give rise to the subjunctive (eventuality), whereas past-tense categories give rise to the optative (wish). These represent secondary functions that were formally renewed in their fundamental function; cf. the irrealis use of the future in French and similar phenomena in other Romance languages. 22. A general account of the relationship between past tense and irrealis forms is found in Palmer 2001: 20316. He discusses various solutions that have been proposed (in particular on the polite use of past tense auxiliaries in English) without coming to a definitive conclusion. 23. For the Indo-European injunctive, see, for instance, Szemernyi 1996: 26366.

5.5. The Imperative: Form and Function


5.5. the imperative: Form and Function

The function of the imperative is straightforward and needs no further comment. It is restricted to the second person and is not normally combined with a negation.24 Commands or exhortations in other persons are expressed by the precative (for which see 9.2.1, pp. 212213), and negative commands by the prohibitive, i.e., l + imperfective: alik go!, but l tllak do not go! (see 9.2.3, pp. 219220). The imperative can take the usual dative and accusative suffixes and the ventive endings. For obvious reasons, it does not take the subjunctive endings. The imperative has the same inflectional stem as the perfective, namely, the prefix base (see 2.2.1, p. 32), i.e., in the G-stem PRvS. Synchronically, it is derived from the perfective in its secondary irrealis function by subtraction of the personal prefix, e.g., -prus from ta-prus.25 In historical perspective, however, the relationship is different, as I will argue at the end of this section. The resulting forms have an illicit initial cluster, which is resolved by an epenthetic vowel: Sg Masc purus decide! The other two forms of the imperative, the singular feminine with the ending - and the plural (communis generis) with - (the same endings as in the second person of the prefix conjugations), are based on the singular masculine form but lose their second vowel through the vowel syncope rule: 2ms 2fs 2p ta-prus ta-prus ta-prus *-prus, realized as purus *-prus, remodelled on the Sg Masc purus as *purus > purs *-prus, remodelled on the Sg Masc as *purus > purs.26

The G-stem imperative has four different vowel patterns correlating with the three root vowels (the root vowel a includes two patterns), as in Table 5.2 (see also GAG Verbalpar. 7): vowel class Pfv A/u + U/u iprus purus purs purs I/i + A/i ipqid piqid piqd piqd A/a ilmad limad limd limd A/a ibat abat abt abt

2ms 2fs

table 5.2: the four vowel patterns of the g-stem imperative.

Generally speaking, in the derived verbal stems and most types of weak verbs, the same subtraction rule applies, although historical changes and phonological rules sometimes obscure
24. See GAG 81a. The fact that the imperative does not take a negation is also found in other Semitic languages (Edzard 1973: 131) and typical of many other Afro-Asiatic languages (Greenberg 1952: 8b). 25. So also Gai 2000: 26; Kienast 2001: 200; Bravmann 1977: 19799, with earlier literature. A good illustration is found in modern colloquial Hebrew, where a new imperative has emerged that is derived from the second person of the prefix conjugation by truncating the prefix t- and the following vowel or only the vowel: ftax, Fem ftexi open! < tiftax/tiftexi, and tmale, Fem tmali fill! < temale/temali, instead of the older imperative patax, pitxi and male, mali (Bolozky 1979; Bat-El 2002). Other parallels are He qa and Ugar q take! from lqa, where the absence of the first radical depends on its absence in the prefix forms yiqqa, etc., in which l is assimilated to q (see 12.6.1, p. 319). For Arabic, Benmamoun (1996; 1999: 19295) argues that the imperative is derived morphologically from the imperfective. Here the mechanism is even clearer, since the initial cluster is preserved if the preceding word ends in a vowel: ta-qtul > qtul (uqtul if there is no preceding vowel); see Fleisch 1961: 16162 and 19899. 26. Alternative forms of the type puruss/ turn up occasionally in most dialects; see GAG 87f. They may point to a different stress pattern related to the specific function of the imperative.


The Imperative: Form and Function 5.5.

the pattern. The connection between the perfective and the imperative is apparent from the fact that they always have the same stem vowel: in the Gt-stem iptaras pitras, iptaqid pitqid ( paqdu Gt to be cautious) and terub etrub (erbu G = Gt to enter), in the Gtn-stem iptarras pitarras, etc., in the N-stem ipparis napris; in the D-stem uparris purris (Bab), etc. See the respective types of verbs for more details. In comparison to other members of the verbal paradigm, the imperative shows an unusual amount of formal variation and instability over time. The first type of variation concerns the epenthetic vowel that dissolves the initial cluster. As Table 5.2 shows, it is sensible to the root vowel: it is identical to the root vowel in purus and piqid, but if the root vowel is a, the epenthetic vowel may be i (limad ) or a (abat ). The distribution of i and a is complex and unstable. A few A/a verbs always have a: abat from abtu to seize maa from mau to hit tabal from tablu to bring/take along27 The first two differ from most A/a verbs in being high-transitivity verbs (see 3.4, pp. 6667), so there is a semantic correlate to their deviating form.28 The a of tabal may be related to the fact that tablu is a secondary verb derived from wablu to bring/take and therefore belongs to the second type to be discussed presently. Moreover, PaRaS is also the normal pattern for the imperative of II/ verbs of the A/a vowel class (OA aam buy!, raam love!, etc.); see (p. 560) and (p. 567). A larger number of A/a verbs always has i; it includes a few III/voc verbs with E-colouring that originally belonged to the A/a class (see Kouwenberg 2001: 240 n. 39): limad from lamdu to (get to) know pila from palu to fear, respect rikab from rakbu to ride ilal from allu to sleep kil from kal to hold, detain kit from katu to take as security (OA). liq from leq to take, receive29 pit from pet to open rid from red to follow, accompany im from em to hear (see GAG 3 105f*) tib from teb to stand up i from e to approach30

27. An additional instance may be *raa, attested with a ventive in ra-a-a-am ShA 1, 110 no. 40:8 and 114 no. 43:12 (OB) come here quickly; it presupposes a Pfv ira he ran, although only iri is attested (1x): awtka li-ir-i-a-am AbB 11, 1:1415 let your word hurry to me (tr. M. Stol, ArBab), and thus a verb *raum or perhaps rau (see 17.4, pp. 520525), which may be a by-form of ru to come to aid (see 17.2, pp. 512513). Note, however, that CAD R 75 s.v. rau D to gather(?) lists another verb rau, which also has both iri and ira as perfectives. 28. However, the A/a verb kal to detain is from the same semantic sphere as abtu but still has an imperative with i: kil. 29. E.g., li-i-q Kisurra 157:12 (OB) and Iraq 58, 162:8 (SB). 30. In verbs with E-colouring, it is mainly the Assyrian form that shows that the first syllable has i. If these verbs had a PaRaS imperative, they would show a in the first syllable in Assyrian, because Assyrian has local E-colouring; see 17.5.1 (pp. 525527). Alternatively, they might be PiRiS forms, but it is fairly clear from numerous plene spellings with final e that these verbs do not belong to the I/i class.

5.5. The Imperative: Form and Function A third group occurs with i or a, usually according to dialect: tikal/takal from taklu to trust pia/paa from pau to calm down tiab/taab from wabu to sit down tim/tam from tam to swear (perhaps ultimately from SAk wamum to swear)


The verbs taklu and pau mostly have tikal and pia (in PNs, e.g., pi-a-a-dingi r AbB 13, 131:3), but in third-millennium proper names we find takal and paa.31 The other two instances come from an I/w verb and from a verb starting with t-, which can plausibly be explained as a secondary verb derived from the Gt-stem of a I/w verb (see 16.2.3, p. 454). In the older dialects, a predominates and most i forms are from later periods.32 This suggests that the form with a is older and that i is expanding, and that at least part of the limad imperatives are secondary substitutes for an earlier form with a.33 It seems unlikely, however, that all PiRaS imperatives are secondary, since they have a close parallel in Arabic, which has (u)qtul and (i)qtil but (i)qtal parallel to purus, piqid, and limad. This suggests that the use of i before the root vowel a goes back to Proto-Semitic and is related to the parallel use of i in the prefix conjugations, where according to the Barth-Ginsberg Law we may perhaps reconstruct 1s *iqtal(u), 2ms *tiqtal(u), and 3ms *yiqtal(u), etc., versus 1s *aqtu/
31. Paa is only found in Sargonic Akkadian PNs (MAD 3, 218; Hilgert 2002: 198 n. 91) and not later; takal, on the other hand, has a wider distribution: it is the usual form in Sargonic Akkadian (cf. MAD 3, 295, e.g., Ilis-da-gal and Suns-da-gal ); just once, tikal occurs (ti-ga-a[l ] SAB p. 72:5, Girsu). Moreover, it is still used a few times in Ur III Babylonian alongside the more common form tikal (Hilgert 2002: 2023). In Old Assyrian PNs, it may be in use alongside tikal (Hirsch 1972: 11b, 42b), but it is also possible that OA takal is a stative, just like alaq, waab, and bala (see 7.2, p. 162). However, the coexistence of Auri-takil and Auri-tikal in CCT 5, 19b:3, 8, and 13, which obviously refer to the same person, should warn us against taking these forms too seriously. One could argue that the Sargonic Akkadian instances also represent PaRaS statives, but Sargonic Akkadian has no other instances of PaRaS statives where other dialects have PaRiS. 32. Taab and tam are the usual forms in Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian; there are no reliable instances of tiab in these dialects; see AHw 133738 s.v. *tabu (the reading ti !?-i-ba-am(-ma) in Sumer 14, 73 no. 47:25 [OB] is implausible), but tiab occurs passim in Standard Babylonian (AHw loc. cit.). However, there is one possible instance of tim in Old Babylonian: ti-ma-a ARM 26/1, 437 no. 208: r.19 (reading according to AHw 1317b s.v. tam II G 4). J.-M. Durands objections against ti-ma-a in MARI 3, 153 n. 26 are only partially valid; for a introducing an oath that not, cf. VAB 5, 13:2830 n DN u RN a awt tuppim annm -na-ka-ru oath by DN and RN that they will not change the words of this tablet; cf. CAD N/1 168b s.v. nakru 10a). Tim also occurs in Neo-Babylonian: ti-ma-an-na-a- SAA 13, 185:25 swear to us. 33. This conclusion is somewhat unexpected in view of the fact that in general the default epenthetic vowel in the first syllable of verb forms is i, as may be inferred from numerous verbal categories, such as the non-prefixed forms of the Gt- and Gtn-stems (PitRvS and PitaRRvS, respectively). Without the PaRaS imperatives, we could even argue that the imperative also uses i in principle (**PiRuS, PiRiS, PiRaS) but that **PiRuS was realized as PuRuS, because Akkadian tends to avoid i and u in the same word by means of assimilation. There are several indications for this. First, there are no nominal patterns of the types **PiRuS and **PuRiS. Second, the infinitives izuzzu to stand (up) and itlu to lie down (a fossilized N-stem and a fossilized Gt-stem, respectively; see Huehnergard 2002b) have both developed by-forms uzuzzu (Bab) or izizzu (OA) and utlu as a result of assimilation (GAG 107d, j; Huehnergard 2002b: 173), and another lexicalized Gt-stem, pitqudu to be cautious, also appears as putqudu in Neo-Babylonian (CAD P 44142 s.v.). This tendency may also have been responsible for changing an original **pirus to purus, which caused u to spread to the Fem purs and the Pl purs. In regular (i.e., non-lexicalized) verb forms of the pattern PitRuS, the sequence i u was protected against assimilation by the pressure of the verbal paradigm.


The Imperative: Form and Function 5.5.

il(u), 2ms *taqtu/il(u), and 3ms *yiqtu/il(u), etc., when the root vowel is not a.34 Since the pattern *yiqtal (corresponding to the A/a vowel class in Akkadian) is typical of low-transitivity verbs, this suggestion is supported by the fact that abtu and mau, which are high-transitivity verbs, do not have a PiRaS imperative. The second type of variation concerns the I/w verbs. They show a tendency to replace their monosyllabic imperatives with bisyllabic ones: taab sit down!, ta go out!, tar take/ bring!, and perhaps the above-mentioned tabal take/bring along!, instead of monosyllabic ib, , r, and bil.35 These forms will be discussed in greater detail in 16.2.2 (p. 453). There is also variation in the imperative of nadnu (Ass tadnu) to give: Bab idin versus Ass din give!, the background of which is not quite clear; see 16.4.3 (p. 474). Noteworthy later developments in the imperative concern Middle and Neo-Assyrian. From Middle Assyrian onward, II/gem verbs show an ending -u in the singular masculine imperative: du-ub-bu KAV 201:24 and MARV 1, 13:15 speak! from dabbu, mu-ud-du MARV 1, 15:7 measure! from maddu. This form also appears in Neo-Assyrian, not only in II/gem verbs, e.g., du-ub-bu SAA 15, 95:10 and ku-ur-ru SAA 1, 235: edge 1 put down! from karru, but also in strong verbs, e.g., u-up-ru SAA 5, 115:12 send! and mu-ut-u SAA 15, 123: r.2 raise! from matu. In this dialect, it is part of a wider tendency to copy the vowel of the first syllable after a cluster of R2 and R3; cf. the imperatives --la SAA 16, 63: r.1 ask! (Sg) from alu, and it-zi SAA 5, 63: r.5 stand! from izuzzu.36 The nature of this phenomenon is unclear to me.37 A highly interesting development in Neo-Assyrian is the tendency to strengthen the imperative of alku (without ventive) by reduplicating it (Parpola 1984: 18592): likalka go! (Pl) < (a)lik-alk, e.g., li-kal-ka CTN 5 p. 44:8. The usual plural Imp alk is preceded by the singular Imp alik, of which the initial syllable is dropped. According to Parpola, the reason for this renewal was the confusion between alk and the singular imperative with ventive alka (< alkam), which obscured the crucial contrast between come! and go! (Parpola 1984: 19192). Other imperatives of motion verbs, too, are sometimes strengthened by alk, e.g., et-qa al-ka StAT 2, 163: r.14 come here!, and especially i-al-ka SAA 5, 14:13 come and bring (them) (< i alk, with i < i from na; cf. 17.8.3, p. 581), where it has coalesced with the preceding imperative. Generally speaking, the form of the imperative is firmly grounded in Proto-Semitic: other Semitic languages show the same procedure of subtraction and vowel epenthesis (Moscati, ed. 1964: 13637; Kienast 2001: 200202). Arabic, however, resolves the cluster by introducing a vowel before the cluster, as we saw above (unless the preceding word ends in a vowel). This is
34. Needless to say, this reconstruction of two contrasting prefix conjugations (see also chap. 2, n. 72, p. 52) is highly speculative and is largely meant to be a working hypothesis. See 16.3.1 (pp. 463464) for the Barth-Ginsberg Law in Akkadian. 35. There are some other verbs, mostly doubly weak, that show occasional imperatives extended by means of t-: in Old Babylonian, teq from eq to daub, paint and tapul from aplum to pay (normally apul ): te-q-i-u MSL 4, 114:16 (OB) paint it!, which is undoubtedly an imperative, because it is parallel to zu--I-in /zuin/ (ibid., 15) and equated with the Sumerian imperative [] b and ta-puul-u AbB 4, 57:16 pay him! In Old Assyrian, we find ten from en to change in qtka t-ni TC 3, 101:7 change your attitude alongside qtkunu e-ni-a TC 3, 63:8. The problem with many forms of this type is that they can also stand for a defectively spelled imperfective, which can also express an injunction (although this is not very common). A different case is tis from as (OB, e.g., ti-si AbB 7, 134:30), a variant of the regular form is caused by dissimilation of the two sibilants. 36. See S. Parpola, Iraq 34 (1972) 2425 with n. 11 and Luukko 2004: 12930. 37. It cannot be explained as a ventive ending assimilated to the vowel of the preceding syllable, as GAG 101f claims; cf. Parpola, loc. cit.

5.5. The Imperative: Form and Function


also the standard procedure in other contexts in Arabic (Fleisch 1961: 16162, 198200; Fischer 1967: 4044). Since other West Semitic languages agree with Akkadian in this respect (e.g., He qol kill!, xab lie down!; Geez ngr speak!, gbar make!), this seems to be an Arabic innovation. According to Fischer (1967: 4244), this applies at least to Arabic nouns starting with a cluster, such as ismun name, and ibnun son.38 The relationship between the imperative and the other members of the verbal paradigm is complex and can only be understood from a historical perspective. Before the emergence of the imperfective iparrVs, all finite fientive verb forms of the G-stem used the prefix base PRvS as their inflectional stem. This created a tight unity between imperfective (*yiqtVlu), perfective (*yiqtVl ), and imperative (*q(V)tVl ), especially between the imperfective and the imperative because of their semantic relationship in the temporal sphere (incompleted, non-past events). In Akkadian, this relationship was disrupted by the rise of iparrVs, which isolated the imperative from its natural partner and associated it secondarily with the perfective, to which it is most similar in form, although the precative may have played a role in establishing a kind of functional connection as well. So the subtraction rule represents the synchronic way to describe the derivation of the imperative. Historically, however, the imperative is prior to the perfective and all other finite forms in the sense that it represents the pristine form of the verb in the period before the other finite categories developed their specific grammatical markers by means of the grammaticalization of independent words or clitics. It did not take part in most of these developments, because an imperative is always second person, refers to the moment of speech, and is by definition irrealis, so that it can dispense with person, tense, and mood markers.39 Once the other categories had acquired their own markers, this pristine form became an imperative by default. It is unlikely that it already had specifically imperative function, since this would make it unfit to serve as basis for the development of verbal forms with other functions. Cross-linguistically, therefore, the imperative is often the stem in isolation and the shortest member of the paradigm.40 This agrees perfectly with its function, since commands are more urgent and efficient when they are shorter.
38. For a recent discussion of imperative forms in Afroasiatic, see Banti 2005: 6566. 39. The only kind of marker we regularly find on imperatives are gender and number markers agreeing with the addressee(s) and markers of degrees of urgency (e.g., the energic endings (u)qtulan(na) on Arabic imperatives). Some kinds of voice markers are also possible, e.g., middle voice markers, but not normally passives, since passive imperatives are highly marked. Akkadian can also add the ventive to the imperative to denote the direction of the motion or as a first-person singular dative; see 9.4.1 (pp. 232233). 40. Cross-linguistically, this is the most common way to express a command (Martin 1957).


Chapter 6

6.1. introduction
The third prefix conjugation of Akkadian is the t-perfect. It has drawn more attention than most verbal categories in the scholarly literature on Akkadian grammar because of two controversial issues: (1) the nature of its opposition to the perfective and (2) its relationship to the Gt-stem, whose perfective is formally identical to the t-perfect of the G-stem.1 Moreover, the use of the t-perfect shows a clear diachronic development from a semantic opposition to the perfective in the older dialects to a syntactic one in the later dialects. Because of the principally diachronic aim of the present study, I will focus on the earlier dialects and on Old Babylonian in particular, which provides the most copious sources and has been studied most extensively (see below), and on the diachronic development of the t-perfect. In this chapter, I will only discuss the t-perfect itself and its historical background. The process that already in Proto-Semitic affected the use of verb forms with a t-infix in such a way that they could develop the function of a perfect tense will be discussed in chap. 14.

6.2. the t-Perfect: Form

The basic marker of all t-perfects is an infixed -t- or -ta-, but further details differ according to verb type. In the G-stem of the strong triradical verb, -ta- is inserted after R1 and the root vowel is replaced by the imperfective vowel: iparras (root vowel u: iprus) iptaras, ipaqqid iptaqid, imaqqut imtaqut (see below for the Assyrian forms). In many other verb types, however, it is not the imperfective vowel that appears between R2 and R3 but the vowel of the corresponding perfective, i.e., the root vowel or the stem vowel (see 2.1, p. 28, for definitions of these terms). Obviously, this only applies to verbs in which these vowels are not identical, i.e., the G-stem verbs of the anisovocalic vowel classes, several types of weak and irregular verbs, and a part of the derived verbal stems. Table 6.1 shows the relationship of the vowels in the imperfective, the t-perfect, and the perfective; the arrow indicates the direction of the dependency:
1. I will not go into the problem of how to distinguish it from the homonymous perfective of the corresponding t-stem. Since the t-perfect is more frequent than any of the t-stems and becomes more and more frequent in later texts, whereas the t-stems gradually drop out of use (see chap. 14), an ambiguous form should be interpreted as a t-perfect unless there is positive reason to assume otherwise. Actually, it is only in the very small number of cases where there is no clear difference in meaning between the t-stem and the corresponding primary stem that any confusion may arise; examples include ittalak from alku G to go / come or Gt to start going, set out (see 14.3.4, pp. 371372) and uttazzim he (has) complained from nazmu D = Dt (see 14.5.1, p. 385).


6.2. The tPerfect: Form Impfv G A/u G A/i N alkum II/voc Ass D izuzzum tadnum Ass II/voc. Bab iparras uab ipparras llak imat uparras uapras izzz iddan imt t-Pf iptaras ittaab ittapras ittalak imtuat uptarris utapris ittazz ittidin imtt uib ipparis illik imt uparris uapris izzz iddin imt Pfv iprus


table 6.1: the relationship between the vowels of imperfective, t-perfect, and perfective.

The question is how this situation arose and which of the two directions is the most original. There is one class of verbs in which we can establish with certainty that the identity between the t-perfect vowel and the perfective vowel is the original situationnamely, the II/voc verbs, where Assyrian has imtuat, iqtiap, whereas Babylonian has imtt, iqtp (GAG Verbalpar. 2627).2 Since an original imtuat would give **imtt in Babylonian, the Babylonian form is original and Assyrian has innovated by introducing the imperfective vowel: iparras : iptaras imat : imtuat. This agrees with the D and forms (uptarris, utapris), where the t-perfect preserves the perfective vowel i of the corresponding t-stem. These forms are originally the perfectives of the Dt-stem and the t-stem, which were introduced into the paradigm of D and by analogy with the introduction of iptarVs into the G-stem. This leads to the conclusion that the forms in the upper half of Table 6.1 are innovations: they have introduced the imperfective vowel in the t-perfect, first in the G-stem itself, and from there in the categories whose vowel pattern is based on that of the G-stem (see 4.2, pp. 8890).3 Since the Gt-stem has also adopted the imperfective vowel of the G-stem and has further extended it to the Gt perfective and t-perfect (see 14.2.1, pp. 356357), the identity of the t-perfect of the G-stem and the perfective of the Gt-stem was maintained. The vowel change in iptarVs is a consequence of its change in status from derivational to inflectional (Kuryowicz 1972: 62). As long as it was the perfective of the Gt-stem, iptarVs doubtless had a fixed vowel pattern, like other derived stems, presumably *yiptaris, as suggested by the comparison with Ar yaqtatil(u) (see further 14.4.1, p. 376). Another consequence is that it became necessary to create a t-perfect for all verbs, including the existing t- and tan-stems. The obvious solution would be to double the t-infix. However, for a very long period this method was avoided, doubtless because it meant breaking out of the extremely stable and isomorphic matrix of the derived stems (see 10.310.4, pp. 246250). In Old Babylonian, forms with a double t-infix are very unusual; in Old Assyrian, they do not seem to occur at all; only in later dialects do they start appearing on a somewhat larger scale. I will come back to this issue in the description of the individual t- and tan-stems in chap. 14.
2. See 16.5.2 (p. 478) for a more detailed account of these forms. 3. The t-perfect forms of izuzzu and Ass tadnu are problematic. See (p. 489) for ittazz and 16.4.3 (p. 472) for ittadin.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

The Assyrian conjugation of the G-stem t-perfect iptarVs offers yet another interesting innovation. IptarVs is subject to the vowel assimilation rule, so we find, for instance, iptiqid < iptaqid and imtuqut < imtaqut, if the imperfective vowel is i or u, respectively. If a vocalic ending is attached, the vowel does not change, e.g., 3mp iptaqd, imtaqt in Old Assyrian (GKT 10b). In Middle Assyrian, however, the vowel of the endingless forms is extended to the rest of the paradigm if it is u but not if it is i; cf. the following t-perfect forms of namu U/u to depart, move as opposed to those of qarbu I/i to come near and tadnu A/i to give: ta-tu-mu-u St. Pettinato p. 131:9 vs. it-tu-um-u-n MATSH 118 no. 6:25, 28 she/they departed aq--ri-ib MATSH 96 no. 2:29 vs. iq-ar-bu KAV 159:4 I/they came near ittidin vs. ittann (passim) he/they gave (< ittadn, see chap. 16, n. 90, p. 472) In weak verbs of the III/voc class, however, both and show this phenomenon, e.g., iqtib, iqtibi he/they said from qab (I/i), and *izzuk, izzuk he/they became available from zak U/u (see further, pp. 502503). In Neo-Assyrian, the penetration of i and u into the forms with an ending also extended to the strong I/i verbs, but not consistently; cf. the following t-perfect forms of namu U/u, saru U/u to turn, labnu I/i to make bricks, and au I/i to sin: at-tu-mu RIMA I/2, 197:54 vs. at-tum4- RIMA 2/I, 174:54 I set out (Ass forms in a SB RI) i-su-ur SAA 5, 129:3 vs. is-su-ra SAA 5, 204: r.7 he returned *issibin vs. i-si-ib-nu /issibn/ SAA 15, 156: r.5 and r.7 they made bricks, with -ss< -lt- (Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 31) a-ti-i SAA 16, 36:3 I have sinned vs. i-ti-i-u--nik-ka /itittnikka/ ABL 879:4 they have sinned against you4 Other I/i verbs preserve the ancient scheme of iptiqid iptaqd, e.g.: e-ti-bir CTN 5 p. 41:5 vs. e-tab-ru ibid. 12 he/they crossed from ebru ni-iq-i-[r]i-ib CTN 5 p. 45:8 versus iq-ar-b[a] p. 77:7 we/he approached from qerbu ittidin vs. ittann passim from tadnu, fossilized as a result of its frequency

6.3. the t-Perfect: Function 5

The overall function of the t-perfect, as it appears in Old Babylonian, is that of referring to a past event, not as a neutral past, but with a specific nuance. Starting with Goetze (1936), most authors agree that this nuance is actuality: the speaker represents the past event as still actual to the moment of speech.6 Following Loesov (2004a), we might define the basic function of the
4. For the spelling with -- rendering original - -, see 17.8.3 (pp. 577578). III/ verbs such as au are generally conjugated as strong verbs in Neo-Assyrian; the situation with the III/voc verbs is the same as in Middle Assyrian. 5. Earlier literature includes Oppenheim 1935; Goetze 1936; von Soden (GAG 80); Maloney 1981; Leong 1994: 151225; Streck 1995a and 1999; Metzler 2002: 87586; Loesov 2004a. 6. The formulations used are slightly different. Goetze (1936: 312) states that the t-perfect serves to link the past to the present; (. . .) it denotes the action which has just been performed and still affects the situation. This is translated almost literally by W. von Soden in GAG 80b: vor allem soeben erst vollendete bzw. als solche gedachte und noch wirksame Handlungen. Maloney (1981: 33 and elsewhere) chooses the term current relevance. Most recently, Loesov (2004a: 172) defines the t-perfect as expressing now

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


t-perfect as follows: by using the t-perfect in reporting a past event, the speaker relates it to the present situation and includes it in his (subjective) perception of the present (the time of utterance). The reasons for doing so are manifold: he may be personally interested or involved in it, the event may be very recent and/or still unknown to the addressee (the hot news perfect), or he may wish to highlight (foreground) it vis--vis other events. At least in origin, the t-perfect typically belongs to the deictic register of discourse rather than to the narrative register (Loesov 2004a: 1089). It is therefore very common in letters, the genre most closely related to spoken language that we have.7 In its function of referring to past events, the t-perfect contrasts with both the perfective, which denotes a simple past event and is neutral as to the speakers attitude towards it, and the stative, which denotes a (usually present) state resulting from a preceding event.8

6.3.1. Thet-perfectinOldBabylonian
A major feature of the t-perfect in Old Babylonian is that it is mostly restricted to a small number of syntactic environments. The great majority of Old Babylonian t-perfects occur in three fixed syntagms: 1. In a sequence of a perfective or a string of perfectives + -ma + t-perfect, the so-called consecutio temporum, which will be discussed below; 2. In temporal and conditional clauses dependent on a main clause with future reference; 3. In letters as an epistolary t-perfect, i.e., after inanna and/or anumma. For the sake of convenience, I will call such t-perfects bound t-perfects and t-perfects outside these syntagms free t-perfects. In spite of their relative rarity, the free t-perfects are a better guide for establishing the specific value of the t-perfect than the bound ones, since the use of the latter may not only be determined by the value of the t-perfect itself but also by the syntagm in

extended past-wise, i.e., a past fact possessing a resultative component that is temporalized at the moment of observation coinciding with the coding time. In other words, it is a present perfect (cf. also 2004a: 1078), which grammaticalizes the notion of speakers time, i.e., the time-span that the speaker perceives as extending from the event itself up to the present moment (2004a: 107). 7. There are also, however, some rather differentand in my view untenableviews on the function of the t-perfect, in particular, those of Buccellati (1996: 87, 10812), Streck (1995a: 21934; 1999) and Metzler (2002: 384, 87576). I will not discuss them in detail here, apart from a specific point of criticism in n. 22 (p. 145) below. For Buccellatis claim that the temporal function of the t-infix is no more than a specific realization of its alleged separative function, see Kouwenberg 2005 and 1998: 17778. For further criticism of Buccellatis and Strecks views on the t-perfect, see also Sallaberger 1999: 138 n. 194 and Loesov 2004a: 8790. 8. In contrast to Loesov, I prefer not to use the term resultative in the definition of the t-perfect. In the first place, it is not the result of the event that stays prominent in the mind of the speaker but the event itself. Therefore, the t-perfect is not, like the stative, restricted to telic verbs: prototypically atelic verbs, such as to dance and to walk around, are also used in the t-perfect. Second, it might obscure the basic difference between t-perfect and stative: the stative of a fientive verb denotes the state resulting from a previous event. It is therefore in principle restricted to verbs denoting events that can result in a state, usually telic verbs. This is the kind of misunderstanding to which Leong (1994: 3233) has fallen victim when he defines the t-perfect as a semantic fusion of a perfective event and a stative situation. It describes both the anterior event as well as a stative situation that resulted from it. (. . .) [the perfect] also expresses the current relevance of that anterior perfective event, i.e., the event resulted in a state that has sustained validity. It is also prominent in Rowtons description of the function of the stative, e.g., Rowton 1962: 29091. For the difference between stative and perfect, see also Maslov 1988: 6465.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

which it occurs. The bound t-perfects have developed from the fixation of patterns of free use that were frequent enough to become stereotyped. Free t-perfects in main clauses can be found in letters and in dialogue passages of literary texts. They convey notions such as involvement of the speaker/writer, urgency, and actuality; the events in question arouse strong feelings in the speaker, are recent or relevant to the present situation and/or the people involved, and often as yet unknown to the addressee.9 Here are three examples from Old Babylonian letters and two from literary texts:10 (01) MARI 5, 178:5 PN im-tu-ut PN has died (beginning of a letter) (02) AbB 14, 135:46 atka im-tu-ut ummaka maratti u PN mr im-tu-ut your sister has just passed away, your mother is ill and PN my son has (also) passed away11 (03) AbB 14, 18:612 tu-u-ta-am-ri-i libb 12 u muru libbi rabiam ana pnya ta-a-taka-an kma l aturrma ina puur aya umi bt abi l azakkaru te-te-ep-a-an-ni you have hurt me and caused me great chagrin, and you have made it impossible for me to mention the name of (my) family ever again in the company of my relatives!13 (04) Gilg. p. 234:33 ibr a-ta-mar antam my friend, I have seen a second (dream)14 (05) Atr. p. 52:162 [upikku] atru id -du-uk-ni-a-ti excessive toil has killed us15
9. For the letters, see Oppenheim 1935: 1213; Goetze 1936: 30821; Maloney 1981: 3338, 7785; Leong 1994: 16064; Sallaberger 1999: 14447; E. Cohen 2006: 52. For the hot news perfect, see McCawley 1971: 104. For literary texts, see Metzler 2002, in particular pp. 384492; E. Cohen 2006: 5052. A full study of the use of the t-perfect in Old Babylonian narrative passages in literary texts still has to be done. Metzlers discussion is marred by the fact that he does not distinguish adequately between narrative and dialogue (see in particular his discussion (2002: 42223) of Gilg. p. 172:24 tamar and 26 tamar, the first of which is narrative in the consecutio temporum and the second of which is a free t-perfect (see also Loesov 2004a: 118 n. 77) and by his assumption of a Perfekt des Fortschreitens, which in my view does not exist (see n. 22 below, p. 145). Even so, the Old Babylonian epic texts, especially Gilgamesh and Atraasis, contain many t-perfects that are not easy to explain. 10. Cf. also the (rare) use of the t-perfect in proper names, where it expresses das unmittelbar Erlebte according to Stamm 1939: 9495 ( pace Streck 2002a: 112 n. 5), in names such as tana-il I have had enough, my God (but perhaps a Gt perfective; see 6.3.2, p. 150), tamar-DN I have seen DN and Ittabi-dn-Aur the verdict of Assur has (just) come about (MA). Streck (2002a: 112) observes that the earliest instances are first persons (if Imtda(m) also belongs here, it is not a counterexample, since it has a first-person dative). For the use of T-forms in Eblaite proper names (as abbreviations of perfective + DN?), see Krebernik 1988a: 5759. 11. Perhaps the emotional involvement is also indicated by the i-Modus maratti; see Kraus 1973a, especially p. 264, and chap. 9, n. 3 (p. 211). 12. Note the very unusual inversion of verb and direct object: is this also a sign of strong emotions? 13. Further examples from letters include Sumer 23, pl. 5/6:11 i-te-ep-a-ni, versus 28 i-pu-a-ni (in a question); AbB 14, 88:45; ARM 1, 4:58; ARM 28, 145: r.89. 14. The t-perfect also occurs elsewhere in this phrase, e.g., Gilg. p. 172: 26; 232: 4; 238: 84; 242: 9. However, another Old Babylonian version of Gilgamesh uses a perfective in this phrase, but with the verb nalu instead of amru: Gilg. p. 248: 3 ibr uttam a--ul, since the perfective can always replace the t-perfect. 15. Other likely instances include Gilg. p. 242:1; 278: II 12; 280: IV 12; Atr. p. 72:7.

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


The use of the t-perfect is optional. However, when a t-perfect is available, the speaker will tend to use it, since an explicit indication of actuality heightens the interest of the hearer and by not using it he runs the risk that his words will be misinterpreted as purely historical information.16 If there is no t-perfect available, as in the case of t-stemssince in Old Babylonian a double t-infix is avoided (see 14.2.1, pp. 357358, for details)the perfective can be used (Loesov 2004a: 11011), e.g., in (06A), where we expect a t-perfect on the basis of similar contexts, such as (06B), an example pointed out by Sallaberger 1999: 145 n. 202: (06A) AbB 2, 3:67 kaparr a qtni ana rd um-ta-al-lu- the shepherds under my command have been assigned (Pfv Dt) to the rds (06B) AbB 2, 26:611 kartapp a qtya (. . .) PN ana rd u ilkim am um-ta-al-li-u-nu-ti PN has assigned (t-Pf D) the grooms under my command to the rds and a different ilku-task Generally speaking, free t-perfects are not very common, since often more than one event is reported, especially in letters. In this case, the existence of the actual t-perfect alongside the neutral perfective offered a ready opportunity to create a semantic ranking between successive past events, e.g., in reporting personal experiences. A fairly complex instance from an Old Babylonian letter is: (07) AbB 2, 87:711 (as soon as I had entered GN) amall imr il-q-ma i-ta-li-iq u anku am-ta-ra-a ina napitim e-li-i u am-tam(sic) a ana bulim ana rka im-tu-ta-an-ni my assistant has run off (t-Pf), taking (Pfv) the donkeys with him; in addition, I have fallen ill (t-Pf) to the point of (almost) losing (Pfv) my life, and the slave girl who was destined to be sent to you has died (t-Pf) on me. Here, at least amtara and imttanni are free t-perfects, highlighting the main events that involve the sender of this letter; italiq is semantically on a par with them, but since it is preceded by ilqma, it is formally bound; as I will argue below, the event denoted by ilq is subordinated to italiq; the perfective l modifies the preceding amtara (cf. the unusual asyndeton and the fact that ina napitim l is obviously metaphorical; it is not in the t-perfect because it is not a major reported event).17 In this way, the t-perfect came to express the central event in a sequence of events, the event on which the action in subsequent clauses is based (Huehnergard 2005a: 157). An example is (08), in which all events are situated in a rather remote past, but by means of a t-perfect the writer singles out the last one as the event that is most crucial to the present situation: (08) AbB 9, 50:512 my mother, a nadtum-priestess, adopted (il-q-e-ma: Pfv) a youth, but that youth ran away (ta[m i ]r-i-ma: Pfv), and I brought together (-pa-a-iir-um-ma: Pfv) 20 elders of the town with regard to him, I put (a-ku-un-ma: Pfv) his case before them. Because that youth has run away (tam ir-u-: Pfv Subj) itu mu.3.kam ina atim at-ta-sa-a-u I removed him (t-Pf) from (his) position as my brother three years ago
16. For a few instances of perfectives where the context would lead us to expect a t-perfect, see Loesov 2004a: 11011. 17. For this passage, again see Loesov 2004a: 11819. He interprets italiq and amtara as Gt perfectives, which is purely pour besoin de la cause and very unlikely, if not impossible, in view of the general use of the Gt-stem in Old Babylonian letters.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

In accordance with its foregrounding function, the t-perfect tends to be avoided in negative, relative, and interrogative clauses (apart from rhetorical questions and Satzfrageni.e., questions without an interrogative word) (Maloney 1981: 3738; Loesov 2004a: 12425). The latter kind of clause typically contains information that is not asserted but presupposed, which leads to a backgrounded status (Maloney 1981: 8485). There are numerous instances of t-perfects in affirmative main clauses contrasting with perfectives in a corresponding negative (09), relative (10), or interrogative (11) clause:18 (09) AbB 3, 77:1420 2 ward ana GN ana ekallim u-ta-ri (. . .) ana GN wardam uti ul -a-ri I have had two slaves brought (t-Pf) to GN (. . .) that slave I have not had brought (Pfv) to GN (10) AbB 12, 177:910 ina pim p alpim i-te-bi-ir alpum a pu i-bi-ru (. . .) with an axe he broke (t-Pf) the foot of an ox; the ox whose foot he had broken (Pfv) (. . .) (11) ARM 10, 38:1217 ana mnim 2 amtim limdtya [t]a-ap-ru-s (. . .) 1 amtam ta-ap-ta-ra-as why have you withheld (Pfv) the two slave girls promised to me? (. . .); you have withheld (t-Pf) one slave girl! In the course of time, the difference between foregrounding t-perfect and backgrounding perfective was interpreted as a contrast between main event and subordinate event, respectively. Accordingly, a perfective or a series of perfectives followed by a t-perfect can often best be translated by means of a subordinate clause. Illustrative examples include ilqma in (07), murma in (12), and especially imdma in (13), where the contrast between the t-perfect as main verb and the perfective plus -ma as semantically subordinate is especially clear, since they come from the same verb: (12) Gilg. p. 174:32 murma a-ta-du anku (when) I saw it (Pfv), I rejoiced (t-Pf). (13) Sumer 14, 23 no. 5:47 ina libbu Gab.du munnabt i-mi-du--ma itlam kam abat umma anakma anna munnabt im-ti-du (since) among the the number of fugitives has become large (Pfv), I have deliberated as follows: surely, the number of fugitives has become large (t-Pf)19 Sporadic instances in third-millennium Akkadian (see (25) and (27)) and perhaps in Old Assyrian (see 6.3.3 below, pp. 152153) show that this process was already under way in the earliest period attested. The perfective(s) and the t-perfect are usually connected by -ma. This confirms their respective roles, since the basic function of -ma is to establish a logical connection between the surrounding
18. Additional examples of affirmative versus negative clause: VS 7, 149:810 (el); ARM 4, 74:611 (erbu); ARM 1, 1: r.49 (alqu); ARM 26/2, 183 no. 373:32, 46 (laptu); OBTR 101: 2025 (nadnu); AbB 10, 145:1518 (nadnu); ARM 1, 4:916 (abtu); MARI 6, 263:58 (arqu); ARM 10, 160:2325 (wuuru); of main clause versus subordinate clause: AbB 9, 42:2122 (batqu); KH 267 (ba ); AbB 12, 102:2324 (leq); AbB 4, 119:910 (nad); AbB 1, 127:1718 (sekru); ShA 1, 84 no. 12:611 (abtu N); ARM 2, 22:1920 (ardu); LE p. 46 5:2526 (eb D); of affirmative versus interrogative clause: AbB 4, 43:512 (baqru). For a similar alternation in umma-clauses, see the end of this section. 19. For this passage, see also Loesov 2004a: 11215 (with a different interpretation).

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


predicates (GAG 123a: und dann, und daher, und demgemss). In the words of Maloney (1981: 92), -ma indicates (. . .) that the whole thrust of the construction is towards the final clause which represents the culmination of the -ma chain.20 If, on the other hand, t-perfects are used in succession in coordinated structures, they represent independent clauses of equal rank.21 In a series of one or more subordinated perfectives and a t-perfect, the t-perfect always comes at the end. This fixed order is known as consecutio temporum (henceforth: CT), which is an inaccurate term, insofar as the essential difference between perfective and t-perfect in the CT is not one of temporal order or sequentiality (which is iconically expressed by the order of the predicates and does not require further marking),22 but of rank, namely virtual subordinationin other words, it is a consecutio ordinum. Actually, it is an automatic consequence of the strictly verb-final word order of Akkadian, which entails that most types of subordinate clauses precede the main clause. For this reason, the foregrounded (main) event with the t-perfect regularly landed in final position and became fixed there, so that it could also be interpreted as signaling the end and the culmination of the clause.23 The use of the perfective as virtually subordinate to the t-perfect foreshadows the situation in the later dialects of Akkadian, where the contrast between them has developed into a purely syntactic opposition in which the t-perfect is restricted to affirmative main clauses and the perfective mainly to subordinate clauses. I will return to this process below. A past tense with an additional nuance of actuality has a natural propensity to extend its domain, since it enables the speaker to heighten the interest of the addressee. Accordingly, the t-perfect came to be used in narrative contexts as well (Loesov 2004a: 11719). Various factors contributed to this: first, the fact that there is no clear-cut boundary between the relating of personal experiences, experiences of others, and historical events; second, the rise of the CT, which provided a convenient means of foregrounding and backgrounding events in an unobtrusive way, which is vital to narrative; and third, the development of the t-perfect toward the standard past tense in affirmative main clauses. Yet, free t-perfects in narrative texts are rather uncommon; they usually seem to indicate momentous events that have consequences of crucial importance for the rest of the story (see also von Soden 1965: 106). Examples are: (14) Atr. p. 72:5 DN i-te-me rigimin Enlil heard their (the peoples) noise (15) Atr. p. 100:5 makurra i-ta-ma-ar q[urdu DN] the hero Enlil saw the vessel
20. Cf. also Patterson 1970: 11314. The subordination of a predicate without conjunction is not peculiar to this construction: the imperfective with -ma is used as a virtual conditional clause (see GAG 3 160ab) and the stative with -ma often serves as a circumstantial clause (GAG3 159a* with lit.), as in AbB 6, 64:1011 gerrum pa-ri-is-ma adi inanna ul apurakki because the road was blocked, I have so far not written to you. 21. Loesov (2004a: 15253) argues that the succession of perfective and t-perfect represents a shift from the narrative to the deictic register, which in laws and in letters is irreversible. This does not seem incompatible with the formulation adopted here. 22. There is therefore no reason to assume that the t-perfect has the function of indicating Nachzeitigkeit, pace GAG 80d, GKT 76c, and Streck 1995a: 21934; 1999, nor that there is a Perfekt des Fortschreitens, pace Metzler 2002: 384, 87576. 23. Maloney (1981: 127) explains the fixed position of perfective and t-perfect in Koppelungen by claiming that a mechanical rule of Old Babylonian syntax is restraining a perfect from appearing in penultimate position. There may indeed be such a rule, but it is completely grounded in the actual use of the t-perfect as a superordinate category.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

(16) Anzu RA 46, 88:1 Enliltam i-te-ki-im He (Anzu) took away the Enlilship (first line of a new tablet) In contrast, instances of the CT in Old Babylonian narrative texts are quite common (Metzler 2002: 384492; E. Cohen 2006: 6062). The t-perfect usually comes after a string of perfectives at the end of a passage; its impact often seems to be to recapitulate the previous events and highlight their meaning for the sequel of the story (as in the instances from Atra-asis discussed by Metzler [2002: 38791] and the two texts he quotes on pp. 39495 [ibtan in Aguaya and terub in the merum-incantation]). The t-perfect also automatically downplays the preceding event(s); an illustrative example from a hymnal context is: (17) JRAS Cspl. 68: II 14 ta-am-gu-ur-ma arram u kalunu im-ta-ag-ru / ta-ab-bi massu u kalunu it-ta-bi-i- you (DN) have shown (Pfv) your favour to the king and they have all (i.e., all other gods) done (t-Pf) the same; you have ordained (Pfv) his destiny, they have all done (t-Pf) the same. However, it seems more accurate to translate the perfectives as subordinate: because/after you had shown your favour to the king, they have all done the same, etc. Other t-perfects in literary texts seem no more than mechanical instances of the CT in which its foregrounding nature can still be detected, but is hard to isolate from the natural emphasis that lies on the last-mentioned item of a series of events, e.g.: (18) Atr. p. 48:8990 DN1 i-di-il bbu kakku il-q it-ta-zi-iz maar DN2 DN1, after having closed (Pfv) his gate and taken (Pfv) his weapons, appeared (t-Pf) before DN2. The interchange of perfective and t-perfect may also serve a stylistic purpose, as in (19) and especially (20), where the stylistic sophistication is underlined by the chiastic arrangement of the two final constituents:24 (19) Gilg. p. 200:16566 p i-pu-ku rabtim / an 3 bil i-tap-ku they cast (Pfv) big hatches, they cast (t-Pf) axes of three talents each (20) Atr. St. Garelli p. 399:15, 18 arktum ik-ru- lmin / arktum mazzzina ik-ta-ru- the tall became short (Pfv) in stature (. . .); the tall, their stature became short (t-Pf) Significantly, the t-perfect is virtually absent from the narrative of Old Babylonian royal inscriptions. This is doubtless related to their generally stereotyped, solemn, and sometimes archaizing style, which did not promote the use of an innovating form.25
24. Other instances include Bab. 12:1617:67 (Etana) (ulid ittalad ); Atr. p. 42:1718 (l [it]tard). 25. Instances from RIME 4 are it-ta-a-ka-an-um p. 376:32 and -t-di p. 669:9. A reason for these t-perfects (discussed by Metzler 2002: 45859) may be that they are the first main verb after a rather intricate temporal clause (as is typical for these texts): the t-perfect may signal that the main clause has started. A third instance, in the recurring phrase ge-ra-am i-ta-BA-al RIME 4, 708:11 // 710:11 // 711:11 in Archaic Babylonian inscriptions should instead be interpreted as Gtn perfective ittabbal (from wablu to carry) or tappal (from aplu to answer). Note that W. Farber (NABU 1998/129) reads the preceding word as zi-ra-am, with a variant zi-ra-tim hostile actions/words (for the expression zrti aplu; cf. ze-re-tim u parktim i/ta-ta-na-ap-pa-la-an-ni Syria 33, 67:21, 26 (OB Mari) he/you keep(s) answering me with hostile words and lies (tr. CAD P 185b s.v. pariktu B).

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


The second type of bound t-perfect in main clauses is the epistolary t-perfect of verbs of sending and writing in letters, usually underlined by anumma, inanna, or both, as in (21):26 (21) AbB 7, 155:1417 inanna PN ana marka a-ar-dam eam kaspam i-di-i-um-ma ana GN li-ib-lam herewith I am sending you PN: give him barley and silver so that he can bring it to me in GN This type represents a conventionalized use of the regular function of the t-perfect. The writer of the letter transfers the event of writing or sending from his own temporal perspective (present or future) to the speakers time of the addressee, when this event is in the addressees (actual) past (Loesov 2004a: 13031). The actuality is often made explicit by means of a following injunction, in the form of an imperative or a precative, as in (21) (Leong 1994: 157; Huehnergard 2005a: 15758). In Late Babylonian, the epistolary t-perfect is often introduced by amur or enna amur (also enna alone) (Streck 1995a: 15556) instead of OB anumma and/or inanna, e.g.: (22) CT 22, 52: 2122 a-mur PN al-tap-rak-ka see, I am sending PN to you. The Imp amur see! underlines even more clearly than anumma and/or inanna that the writer visualizes the moment at which the recipient takes note of the contents of the letter and takes it as his reference point. Therefore, he expresses the act of writing or sending as a recent past event, the result of which the addressee has before his eyes.27 The use of a perfective instead of an epistolary t-perfect does not seem to be impossible (pace Loesov 2004a: 130), although it is very rare: (23) AbB 4, 54:12 ina qab bla a-pu-ra-ak-kum I am writing to you by order of my lord28 The third bound use of the t-perfect concerns temporal clauses that refer to the future, where the t-perfect serves as a future perfect ( futurum exactum): it indicates an event that is anterior to the main clause (in accordance with its regular past function) but posterior to the moment of speaking (GAG 170f, 171h, 172f, 174af; Maloney 1981: 19699; Loesov 2004a: 13440), e.g.: (24) AbB 2, 5:1719 itu nram uti te-e-te-ru- ipram a apurakkum [e] pu after you have dug (t-Pf) the canal, do the work I wrote you about! In this context, the t-perfect is regular whereas the perfective is very unusual, if it occurs at all. The reason for preferring the t-perfect here may be that it relates the event to the moment of speaking because of its nuance of actuality, whereas the perfective would suggest that the event
26. For the epistolary t-perfect, see Maloney 1981: 5976; Pardee and Whiting 1987; Leong 1994: 191202; Loesov 2004a: 1012, 13034. 27. Therefore, the epistolary t-perfect is not a future perfect, as contended by Wilcke (1978: 20809 n. 6) and Streck (1995a: 15559; 1999: 1035)cf. the comments by Maloney (1981: 6775) and Metzler (2002: 48486)nor is it a Koinzidenzfall, as claimed by Heimpel and Guidi (1969), nor does it refer to an event he [the speaker] is doing at the moment of speech (Leong 1994: 191). This kind of t-perfect indicates precisely what the t-perfect indicates elsewhere. The fact that we can conveniently translate it by means of an English progressive form (I am sending you this letter . . .) is simply a matter of idiomatic expression in English, not a feature of the Akkadian t-perfect itself. 28. Other cases are ARM 10, 19:511; FM 2, 104 no. 62:1114, 63:2122. The instance quoted by Streck (1999: 119): ARM 6, 55:1012 inanna anumma tuppam ana r arrim -a-bi-lam, is not an epistolary perfective, since the king is not the addressee of the letter containing this message.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

already belongs to the past. It is arguably a secondary development, because earlier texts, e.g., in Old Assyrian (see 6.3.3 below, pp. 151152) use either the perfective or the imperfective in the same circumstances, and at least the imperfective is still possible in Old Babylonian.29 It is a symptom of the gradual syntacticization of the t-perfect, the shift from a semantic or pragmatic motivation toward a syntactic one. It is significant that in Middle Babylonian and Middle Assyrian, where the t-perfect is generally not used in subordinate clauses, it is still used in temporal clauses with a future main clause (see 6.3.4 below, p. 155). The t-perfect also occurs in conditional clauses as a future perfect, since the apodosis of a conditional clause is typically situated in the future.30 It alternates with the perfective (see 5.3, p. 128); both indicate that the event of the protasis is completed at the moment the apodosis is realized. If all finite verbs of a conditional clause are in the t-perfect or in the perfective, it is hard to observe a clear difference between them (Maloney 1981: 270). It is much more common, however, to find a t-perfect preceded by one or more perfectives in the CT (Maloney 1981: 27199; Hirsch 1969), especially in the complex protases of the Old Babylonian law collectionsthe Codes of Hammurapi and of Eshnunna. In this case, the t-perfect typically expresses the most important condition for the sanction expressed in the apodosis to apply (Maloney 1981: 27778; Huehnergard 2005a: 157), whereas the conditions expressed by means of a perfective are typically backgrounded: they are circumstantial or qualifications of the main condition.31 So the use of the t-perfect in umma-clauses is syntactically parallel to that in main clauses (Loesov 2004a: 147).32 This is further demonstrated by the fact that it is often avoided if there is a negation.33
29. In particular after itu; see GAG 171i; in the instances presented in GAG 171g, the context suggests that itu has shifted here toward a causal meaning, parallel to English since. An instance after inma is AbB 6, 126:18 inma i-il-la-ka-ku-nu-i-im when he comes to you (followed by an imperative in the main clause); see GAG 170g; 30. For the t-perfect in conditional clauses, see Hirsch 1969; Maloney 1981: 23148; Streck 1999: 11213; Metzler 2002: 3850; Loesov 2004a: 14047. Von Sodens claim (GAG 161f) about the t-perfect in umma clauses as potential oder hypothetisch is generally rejected; see Loesov 2004a: 146 n. 137 with earlier literature. 31. A counter-example to this claim seems to be KH 22:2225 umma awlum ubtam ibutma it-taa-ba-at, with the crime in the perfective and the legally superfluous statement that he has been caught in the t-perfect. However, the correct interpretation is doubtless if a man has been caught in the act of committing a robbery, with the two verbs in a kind of hendiadys, and the core statement is that the seizure occurred flagrante delicto, as Loesov (2004a: 154) has observed. 32. In Akkadian, conditional clauses are main clauses, since they have the verb in the indicative. According to Loesov (2004a: 14445), this is due to the fact that the realization of the main clause depends on the realization of the condition, which makes a conditional clause more foregrounded than other types of subordinate clauses. The fact that conditional clauses employ the negation l is due to the association of l with modality (cf. the prohibitive) rather than to its use in subordinate clauses. For the non-factual status of conditional clauses, compare the use of the precative and the prohibitive with the function of a conditional clause. 33. See, for instance, it-ta-la-ad KH 146:47 she has given birth versus l -li-id 147:61, and cf. also 146:52 aum mr ul-du because she has given birth (Pfv) to sons in a relative clause. Other instances include AbB 4, 80:4 and 11 and AbB 9, 196:7, 14. However, from time to time the t-perfect is carried over to the negated alternative, as in: AbB 9, 16:1114 umma i-te-er-ba-ak-ki (. . .) umma l i-te-er-ba-ak-ki if he has entered into your (Fem) presence, (. . .); if he has not entered into your presence, (. . .). For details, see Maloney 1981: 34452, with a summary on p. 344: sometimes the t-perfect is replaced by perfective in the negated clause, and sometimes it is not; the conditioning factor is unknown. Yet, according to Maloney (1981: 23233), the umma-clause is the only place in Old Babylonian where t-perfects regularly occur with a negation.

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


6.3.2. The t-perfectinthird-millenniumAkkadian

Among the four third-millennium dialects distinguished in (pp. 1112), only Sargonic Akkadian and Ur III Babylonian offer reliable instances of t-perfects.34 Although they are very few in number, they suggest that there are no substantial differences from what we find in Old Babylonian as regards the use of the t-perfect. Sargonic Akkadian shows two instances from a single letter and one from a royal inscription: (25) SAB p. 116:3 (Girsu) -m-ma a-da-tu / asmama(?) atad/ when I heard (it), I rejoiced (26) SAB p. 116:67 e-ni awtsu i-ti-i i-da-a-az /ytaaz/ now he has taken his affair into his own hands. (27) AKI p. 304:3739 ip-la-a-su-ma e-da-ra-ab /(y)iplasma (y)tarab/ sadsum (the enemy leader,) having got frightened of him, fled into the mountain(s) All of them represent usages that are familiar from Old Babylonian: (25) and (27) are model instances of the CT, (26) contains a prototypical t-perfect, underlined by e-ni, which (perhaps) means now. It is remarkable that other Sargonic Akkadian letters do not contain any t-perfects.35 In a few cases, we find a perfective in a context where later texts would doubtless have a t-perfect, which perhaps indicates that its use was less common in the third millennium than in later periods, e.g.: (28) SAB p. 170:48 (Eshnunna) x k.babbar PN1 l-gi-ma /yilqma/ ana PN2 i-ti-in /yiddin/ PN1 has received x silver and has given it to PN2 (29) SAB p. 167:1315 (Diyala) epinn i-zu-a-ma /yissuma/ eql ana err i-ti-na /yiddin/ (two persons?) have taken away my plough and have given my field to (the?) farmers36

34. The occurrence of the t-perfect in Eblaite remains uncertain. There are several verb forms with infixed t that seem to be t-perfects rather than t-stems, in particular ni-da-za-an ARET 13, 9: r.VI 19 we have weighed from waznum (see 16.2.4, p. 458). Other forms of the same type are doubtless Gt-stems, since they occur as such in Akkadian or elsewhere (e.g., i-da-al /yitaal/ he deliberated or the like, and i11-da-mar in proper names [for the controversial meaning of the latter, see Pagan 1998: 24]), or their interpretation is uncertain (e.g., the forms mentioned in Rubio 2006: 122). A remarkable phenomenon pointed out by Krebernik (1988a: 5759) is the use of perfective forms with infixed t (i.e., t-perfects?) in abbreviated names where the subject (a god) has been omitted, whereas the corresponding full name uses the perfective; see also Pagan 1998: 2223. 35. Three other instances quoted by Hasselbach (2005: 19899) are no doubt Gt perfectives: yittalk in ana GN l it-tal-ku SAB p. 116: r.3 they have indeed gone to / set out for GN comes from atluku to start going, set out (see 14.3.4, pp. 371372), since l is hardly ever followed by a t-perfect; see chap. 5, n. 8, p. 128; da--da-bu /tatap/ SAB p. 186:9 (Gasur) you were silent is from a verb that is regularly used in the Gt-stem (G: ap); see 14.3.4 (pp. 371372), and Streck 2003a: 70 no. 186; and id-ba-lu /yitbalu/ OAIC 7:24 (Diyala) he took along (Subj) is a perfective of tablu to take along; see Kouwenberg 2005: 8990. 36. For err instead of Inf eri, as interpreted by Kienast and Volk (SAB p. 167), see Sommerfeld 1999: 19.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

In the narrative style of the Sargonic Akkadian royal inscriptions, we would not expect to find t-perfects at all, so (27) is highly remarkable; it comes from a rather late (slightly post-Sargonic) inscription of Erridu-pizir of the Gutian dynasty.37 In Ur III Babylonian, the t-perfect is attested a few times in letters and legal documents and does not seem different from its later use. An example is: (30) TMH NF 1/2, 7:79 nadnam iqbumma i-ta-d-in he promised to give him (the amount due), and he has indeed given (it)38 Finally, third-millennium Akkadian offers a few proper names containing a verb form with infixed -t-, some of which may be t-perfects (although this is hard to prove for lack of context). The most likely examples are: Imtda(m) it has become (too) much for me in Ur III Babylonian (Hilgert 2002: 380 82), apparently a t-perfect of mdu () to be(come) much, numerous39 tana I have had enough! from anu in Sargonic Akkadian (A-da-na-a ELTS p. 130 no. 40 side C: IV 6 (Manituu Obelisk) and in Ur III Babylonian (in various spellings, see Hilgert 2002: 238, 23435 n. 22). This name is still common in later periods (Stamm 1939: 163)40

6.3.3. Thet-perfectinOldAssyrian41
In some respects, the use of the t-perfect in Old Assyrian is markedly different from the use in Old Babylonian, although there are also some striking similarities. The main differences are that Old Assyrian makes a more sparing use of the t-perfect (GKT 76h) and that there is little reason to distinguish between free and bound t-perfects as defined in 6.3.1 (p. 141). Most t-perfects are basically free, and their use is largely parallel to the use of the free t-perfects of Old Babylonian: they typically express recent events that have an effect on the persons involved. We often find the t-perfect when the speaker relates an event that concerns him personally and has aroused his anger, impatience, disappointment, or any other emotion. Referring to the speaker, it often expresses a personal experience, as in (31); elsewhere, the speaker often expresses his feelings
37. The verb form in g r . n i ta2 g r . n i ta2 i -da-ga-an AKI p. 292:15 he has appointed governors everywhere is doubtless a Gtn perfective /yistakkan/. 38. Similar instances are i-ta-d-in ZA 82, 184a:12 he has given; u-te-li ASJ 12, 52:8 he has dispossesssed; and ir-t-i- FAOS 17, 127:13 she has got. 39. Instances of third-millennium t-perfects that are uncertain but still worth mentioning are: -DA-bibu-si(-ma) Or. 46, 201:30 (incant. from Kish), which is interpreted as a t-perfect of ebbu by AHw 181a s.v. D 4 but for which a derivation from dabbu D, as proposed by J. and A. Westenholz 1977: 210, seems more likely, precisely because of the rarity of the t-perfect in this period; ti-ib-da-ad-ga in line 11 of the same text (according to Lambert 1992: 5354 /tibtatq/, a t-perfect of batqu to cut off but perhaps also an indirect reflexive Gt-stem (they(?) cut off for themselves); ir11-ti-ab MAD 3, 229 s.v. R3B in a broken context; and the PN Dar-ti-bu (MAD 3, 229) she has replaced (Gasur), perhaps an abbreviation of Tartb-DN, both from rbu () to replace (which, however, more often shows the form rabu in Sargonic Akkadian PNs (Yirib-DN, etc.; see 17.7.2, p. 558). 40. However, since t-perfects in proper names remain very unusual until the Neo-Babylonian period (Stamm 1939: 38, 94), it may also be a lexicalized Gt-stem; see 14.3.4 (pp. 371372), and cf. perhaps the taPRS noun tn/u (see 14.6.1, p. 409). 41. An earlier and thorough treatment was presented by K. Hecker in GKT 76. However, some of his instances are to be explained as t- or tan-stems, especially the putative instances of future meaning in 76d (the t-Pf -ta-a-a BIN 6, 113:5 mentioned there is not very clear but presumably refers to the past) and the tn Pfv u-t-bi4-l-ku-ni TC 1, 2:19 (= OAA 1, 47:19) mentioned in 76g.

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


about negative behaviour of the addressee or a third person who has failed to do something he promised or something he has a moral obligation to do, as in (32)(34): (31) BIN 4, 35:910 l libbi ilimma erum i-a-b-ta-ni unfortunately, I have been confined to bed (lit., the bed has seized me) (32) ICK 1, 187:7, 19 mu e-ta-at-q his term has already finished!42 (33) AKT 1, 27:2023 umma tma llak kaspam ubbalakkum isliannma kaspam l i-ta-b-l-am he said to me I will bring you the silver, but he has cheated me and has not brought me the silver (similarly TPAK 1, 3:1518) (34) CCT 4, 45b:1619 mium kma sinnitim itu itu.10.kam iqqerab lim ta-p-ta-a-a-ni-i why have you held me locked up in the town like a woman for 10 months? When a t-perfect and a perfective of the same verb are used side by side, the contrast is one of recent past versus more remote past, as in (35) and (36), and/or personal involvement versus a more neutral attitude, as in (37) and (38): (35) TPAK 1, 191:56, 1419 adi inu ina dittim t-a-i-l-ni-[m]a (. . .) e-a-ni-ma yti (. . .) ina dittim t-u-ta-i-l-ni twice you questioned (Pfv) me in court (. . .); now you have questioned (t-Pf) me again in court (also CCT 1, 49b:1417 with mam, quoted in GKT 76e)43 (36) BIN 6, 104:39 abki (. . .) i-pu-ra-am u anku ura u napert ar abki -ta-p-ra-am your father wrote (Pfv) to me and (now) I have sent (t-Pf) my servants and my message to your father (. . .) (37) TC 2, 3:711 etalluttam puma uql ipur annik il5-q app awlim sarrim t annakam yam il5-t-q he acted high-handedly, opened my container and took (Pfv) my tin: instead of a criminal, he himself has taken (t-Pf) the tin which is mine! (38) OAA 1, 126:2225 t ira awlma m uti ta-q-ip-ma yti ul ta-aq-t-p-ni he is (apparently) a better man than I am: you have put (Pfv) your confidence in him, but you have not put (t-Pf) your confidence in me Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian also differ in their use of the t-perfect in the following ways. First, the epistolary t-perfect is very rare in Old Assyrian letters.44 Second, the use of the t-perfect
42. This t-perfect contrasts with the perfective in the same text (ICK 1, 187), line 49 mu e-t-q, which means the same but lacks the urgency of the first two times the writer uses this expression. In Old Assyrian, the t-perfect occurs passim in similar contexts with etqu, alku, and mdu () to be(come) (too) much. 43. However, recentness alone is not a sufficient condition for using the t-perfect: a trivial recent event is often expressed by a perfective, e.g., CCT 2, 29:911 10 mana mam kunukka ak-nu-uk-ma nakkum today, I have sealed (Pfv) 10 minas of silver with my seal and I am bringing it to you, where aknuk is doubtless too colourless a verb to deserve a t-perfect (cf. also ICK 1, 51:78 and the two examples of mam + perfective quoted in GKT 76h). 44. Only OIP 27, 5:3 // 6:4. The instance mentioned by Pardee and Whiting (1987: 23)TC 1, 2:19, quoted in n. 41 aboveis without any doubt a tn perfective.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

as a future perfect in temporal clauses is exceptional (GAG 172h and GKT 76f).45 In temporal clauses situated posterior to the moment of speech, Old Assyrian normally uses the perfective or the imperfective, e.g.: (39) TPAK 1, 42:r.9 kma kaspam ta--q-lu-u-ni as soon as you have paid (Pfv) him the silver (send your message to me and my representative) (40) CCT 2, 1:89 ina mim a tupp ta-a-me- as soon as (lit., on the day when) you hear (Impfv) my tablet (, buy tin for our joint property) Third, the Babylonian tendency to avoid the t-perfect in negative, interrogative, and subordinate clauses is not very conspicuous in Old Assyrian, although there are some examples suggesting the contrary.46 A difficult point is the existence of the CT in Old Assyrian. From time to time we encounter phrases that are strongly reminiscent of it, such as: (41) RA 58, 120:1113 n-gu5-ur-ma aru ni-i-ta-p-ar we (have) rented (Pfv) (a messenger) and have sent (t-Pf) (him) to him (42) TC 1, 34:610 anku u PN n-ru-ub-ma tasistum (. . .) n-ta-mar PN and I entered (Pfv) and we looked (t-Pf) for the memoranda (cf. also GKT 76c and 134b) (43) OAA 1, 127:811 uzrum e-gi5-ri-ma am-q-ut-ma p -t-bi4-ir-ma ak-ta-l a pig crossed (Pfv) my path and I fell (Pfv); (now) I have broken (t-Pf) my foot and have become delayed (t-Pf) The perfectives in these clauses precede one or two t-perfects and may be interpreted as semantically subordinate and thus as instantiations of the CT. The question is, however, whether this sequence has a special syntactic status in Old Assyrianas it undoubtedly has in Old Babylonianor whether it is only one out of many possible sequences. These clauses may simply result from the general tendency in Akkadian to save the most salient information for the end. Actually, there is wide variation: apart from the rather common perfective t-perfect order, we also find the reverse order (44) and a succession of t-perfects, as in (45) and (46): (44) OAA 1, 12:1517 annakam abbu im-t-du-ma ani nu---ib here his fathers have become (t-Pf) numerous, so we convened (Pfv) our colleagues (45) BIN 6, 114:1416 kuum i-s-ni-iq-ni-a-t-ma ellutum i-ib-t-re winter has reached (t-Pf) us and the caravan has become (t-Pf) hungry47 (46) CCT 4, 14b:89 DN u ilka qt i-a-b-t-ma -t-lim Assur and your (personal) god have seized (t-Pf) my hand and I have become (t-Pf) well (again)
45. A good example is BIN 4, 63:67 kma awtim annitim ni-i-ta-am--ni although we have heard (about) these matters (we do not intend to leave); also CCT 2, 48:25 (i-a-b-t-) and Prag I 715:26 t-Ku-ta-i-na-ni (both after itumma) 46. E.g., TC 3, 252 case: 21/3 umma . . . i-tab-lu-nim versus TC 3, 252 case: 25 umma l ub-lu-nim. 47. Cf. OAA 1, 50:89 kuum is-ni-iq-ni-a-t, where the same event is expressed neutrally with a perfective.

6.3. The tPerfect: Function


It seems most likely that the order perfective + -ma + t-perfect is not (yet) syntacticized but that each constituent still has its own specific function. Finally, a major problem is the use of the t-perfect in conditional clauses with umma (GKT 137d). In umma clauses that are anterior to the moment of speech, the perfective is used (GKT 137c); if the condition is posterior to the moment of speech, both perfective and t-perfect may be used (cf. GKT 137d). The difference between them is unclear; in some contexts, the t-perfect seems to be used if a previously affirmed future event is negated in a umma clause, or vice versa,48 as in: (47) Prag I 491:1113 (PN will send [uebbalam] silver to me) umma in miqit nigallim l u-t-bi4-lam if he has not sent it by the time of the falling of the sickle (i.e., harvest time) (he will pay a fine) (48) AKT 1, 76:67 (PN has married PNF and he will not marry [ul az] a second wife) umma e-ta-a-az u e-t-zi-ib- if he (nevertheless) has married (another woman) and has left her (i.e., the first woman) (he will pay (a fine of) 5 minas of silver) (and often in similar contexts) Comparing the use of the t-perfect in Old Assyrian and in Old Babylonian, we can provisionally conclude that its development is basically parallel in the two dialects but that Old Assyrian represents an earlier stage than Old Babylonian. This is also suggested by the remarkable fact that the differences between them no longer seem to exist in later periods: the use of the t-perfect in Middle Assyrian is virtually identical to its use in Middle Babylonian (see below). A more detailed study of the Old Assyrian t-perfect is required to obtain more clarity regarding how this came about.

6.3.4. Thet-perfectinthelaterdialects
From Middle Babylonian and Middle Assyrian onward, the perfective and the t-perfect have the same temporal function of referring to a past event, but they differ syntactically in the fact that they occur in different types of clauses: the t-perfect is the regular past tense in affirmative main clauses and Satzfragen (i.e., without a question word), and the perfective is used elsewhere i.e., in subordinate and negative clauses and in Wortfragen (which include a question word).49 The roots of this differentiation are already observable in the CT of Old Babylonian, in which the perfective denotes virtual subordination, as we saw in 6.3.1 (pp. 144146). The (partial) replacement of the perfective by the t-perfect is an instance of a typologically common process, caused by the fact that the t-perfect with its nuances of involvement, actuality, and recentness is more expressive than the perfective and therefore tends to be overused and gradually generalized at the cost of the neutral form, at the same time losing its expressiveness (Bybee et al. 1994: 8687). In this particular case, we can establish the course of this process in some detail. The use of the t-perfect in Old Babylonian shows that the replacement started in
48. This is presumably what J. Lewy (MVAeG 35/3 (1935) 169 n. 1) intends with his proposal to translate the t-perfect in Old Assyrian with wirklich, tatschlich, jetzt wirklich, or nunmehr. It is also reminiscent of the use of the negated t-perfect in umma clauses of Hammurapis Laws, of which Loesov (2004a: 15657) states that it indicates behaviour that is contrary to the normal (expected) course of events, most typically penalized omissions. 49. From this period onward, the term (t-)perfect is strictly speaking inappropriate (as it is in the West Semitic suffix conjugation): it should rather be called simple past or preterite, but this would cause confusion; see also Streck 1995a: 212 n. 487.


The tPerfect: Function 6.3.

affirmative main clauses. This is due to the fact that such clauses are typically foregrounded: they are used for the most important and most salient part of the message, to convey new information, and to refer to highly focalized events. Consequently, it is in affirmative main clauses that new and more expressive words and constructions tend to be introduced first. Other clause types are more likely to contain information that is presupposed (non-challengeable), already known to the interlocutors, and therefore backgrounded. After the rise of innovative forms in affirmative main clauses, they will be formally different in that they preserve older forms (Bybee et al. 1994: 23036; Haspelmath 1998; Loesov 2004a: 123 n. 93)). In a later stage, the new forms may spread to all environments and thus completely replace the older ones, but in Akkadian this did not happen with the perfective: it was not given up but was restricted to secondary environments. The details of the process are, however, fairly complex. Generally speaking, conservative types of language use, especially literary and legal texts, lag behind in completing the strict syntactic division between the two tenses. The literary dialect of Standard Babylonian never adopted it at all and continued using perfectives in main clauses, just as in Old Babylonian, side by side with t-perfects. For Middle Babylonian, Aro (1955: 81) distinguishes between letters on the one hand and legal texts (Urkunden) and kudurru-inscriptions on the other. In letters, the t-perfect is the usual past tense in affirmative main clauses, whereas the perfective is found in questions and negative clauses. However, in the legal texts and the kudurru-inscriptions, the perfective is also used in affirmative main clauses. Aro ascribes this to the difference between Behauptung (for the t-perfect) and Feststellung (for the perfective) defined by W. von Soden (GAG 80f). It should instead be ascribed to a difference between contemporary usage on the one hand and archaizing or formulaic style on the other (Streck 1995a: 15354).50 This is confirmed by the fact that the t-perfect does appear in legal texts but only in verbatim quotations of the persons involved (Aro 1955: 8283). However, Aro (1955: 8386) also points to a fair number of perfectives in main clauses of letters, and among these are the perfective of qab to say and apru to write. These examples indicate that the replacement of the perfective in main clauses by the t-perfect was not yet quite completed and that these frequent and colourless verbs preserved their old form longer than other verbs. As Aro states (1955: 86), a more detailed study on a wider basis is required. Finally, in conditional clauses, the t-perfect has largely replaced the perfective (1955: 14445), and in temporal clauses it is used as a future perfect (1955: 14849), continuing Old Babylonian usage. Neo-Babylonian and Late Babylonian essentially show the same picture (Woodington 1982: 8788; Streck 1995a: 12026). Interestingly, in Late Babylonian legal documents, the perfective still continues to be used in affirmative main clauses alongside the t-perfect (1995a: 12224). Streck plausibly explains this as due to their stereotyped and traditional style (1995a: 15354). It shows that the advance of the t-perfect was gradual and took place first in passages that are closest to everyday language. The details for Middle Assyrian are unclear, since W. Mayers representation of the facts (W. Mayer 1971: 58 and elsewhere) is too laconic to be of much use. In Middle Assyrian letters,
50. W. von Sodens (GAG 79b, 80f) distinction between the t-perfect as a Behauptungsform and the perfective as Form der blossen Feststellung in later dialects has no basis in the actual use of these tenses and is directly refuted by the syntactic distribution that I have described above: if two categories differ in that one mainly occurs in affirmative main clauses and the other one in other kinds of clauses, they cannot also differ in that one expresses Behauptungen and the other Feststellungen. Moreover, the use of the t-perfect in Satzfragen directly contradicts the claim that it is a Behauptungsform, as Streck (1995a: 208) points out.

6.4. The Historical Background of the tPerfect


the situation seems to be parallel to Middle Babylonian, with the t-perfect in affirmative main clauses and the perfective in subordinate clauses, negated clauses and questions (CancikKirschbaum 1996: 63), e.g.:51 (52) MATSH p. 96 no. 2:5456 ana ne mull a be u imr alqte a GN l tu-ma-al-li imr um-ta-al-li why have you not provided (Pfv) compensation for the lost workers and donkeys of GN? I have provided (t-Pf) donkeys Other kinds of Middle Assyrian texts show a less consistent picture. In the legal texts of the Harem Edicts, the past tense in main clauses may still be expressed by the perfective (e.g., riksa irkus AfO 17, 280:60 he [the king] issued a binding regulation in the introductory formula), and this is also found in contracts. However, W. Mayer (1971: 58) claims that in younger texts, such as the economic texts from the time of Ninurta-tukulti-Assur (ca. 1130 b.C.), the t-perfect has replaced the perfective as the past tense in main clauses. So here, too, we witness a gradual replacement, with the Harem Edicts and the contracts doubtless representing a more archaic stage. In the conditional clauses of the Middle Assyrian laws (which doubtless also represent an older stage), the CT is used as it was in the Old Babylonian law collections (W. Mayer 1971: 11011), but the t-perfect tends to become more frequent (Hirsch 1965: 131). In subordinate clauses the t-perfect is used if the main clause refers to the future (W. Mayer 1971: 112, 115), an interesting Babylonian-style innovation versus Old Assyrian. In relative clauses, only perfectives are used for past tense (W. Mayer 1971: 58). All instances of Wortfragen referring to the past quoted by W. Mayer (1971: 108) have the perfective rather than the t-perfect. He makes no mention of Satzfragen. The situation in Neo-Assyrian, as described by Hmeen-Anttila (2000: 110), seems a close continuation of the tendencies observable in Middle Assyrian: the t-perfect is the usual form in affirmative main clauses and Satzfragen, the perfective is used in subordinate clauses, negative clauses and Wortfragen. Hmeen-Anttila (2000: 110) also reports the use of the epistolary t-perfect in the formula m annuri(g) assapra or assaprakka herewith I am writing to you. This is remarkable, since it does not seem to be attested in earlier Assyrian.52

6.4. the Historical Background of the t-Perfect

There is a broad consensus among Semitic scholars that the t-perfect of the G-stem goes back to the Gt-stem and that it represents a specific development of the originally detransitive function of the t-infix. However, this seems largely based on the lack of an alternative explanation (Loesov 2004a: 167): apart from the well-known and widespread T-forms in Semitic (including Akkadian), there does not seem to be any plausible source for the t-perfect. There are, however, a few positive arguments for this derivation. First, there is no distinction in form whatsoever between the t-perfect forms of the primary stems and the perfective of the corresponding t-stem. Second, infixes do not easily emerge: they are by far the least common type of affix (Greenberg 1963: 73; Ultan 1975; Mayerthaler 1988: 78). Therefore, a unitary origin of t-perfect and t-stem
51. According to Cancik-Kirschbaum (1996: 63), the perfective is also found in Aussagestze (. . .) fr die Vorvergangenheiti.e., in main clauses. However, this cannot be substantiated from the texts, as demonstrated by Streck (1997: 272). 52. The rare use of the t-perfect as a future perfect is mainly attested in the legal formula a (. . .) dnu dabbu ubtani who (. . .) lodges a complaint, which according to Hmeen-Anttila (2000: 111) is a petrified formula dating from the Middle Assyrian period.


The Historical Background of the tPerfect 6.4.

is a priori much more likely than the assumption of two homonymous infixes emerging through different historical processes. Obviously, this presupposes the existence of a plausible development from a detransitive voice marker in the perfective to a tense marker with the function of a perfect. Given this point of departure, there are two major problems regarding the historical background of iptarVs. First, how did it acquire its function as perfect of the basic stem? and second, is the t-perfect an Akkadian innovation, or did it already exist in Proto-Semitic or even Afroasiatic? The second question seems to be relatively easy to answer. Other Semitic languages do not have a perfect characterized by a t-infix among their tense/aspect categories, and it is therefore generally assumed that the perfect function of iptarVs is an Akkadian innovation. There are, however, at least three dissenting voices. First, Zaborski (2004) claims, on the basis of Berber evidence (see below), that already in Afroasiatic the t-infix was used as a perfect and that the existence of numerous Arabic Stem VIII (iqtatala) verbs that do not have the regular detransitive meaning of this stem (reflexive, etc.; see 14.4.2, pp. 380381) but have the same meaning as Stem I or are isolated are a residue of this perfect. This line of reasoning is questionable, however. What these verbs demonstrate is that the t-infix of Stem VIII has lost part of its original force and has largely become a variant to the basic stem, in accordance with the development that will be described in chap. 14. They do not provide any evidence for the existence of a perfect with infixed t. In order to prove that these T-forms were once a perfect, we also need to show that this perfect was an inflectional part of the basic stem with a paradigmatic relationship to the other finite categories, the imperfective and the perfective (see, for instance, Loesov 2004a: 164). This was not really proved by Zaborski. Second, Voigt (1987c: 9397; 2002: 28485) adduces T-forms in Berber and Beja as evidence for the fact that parallels to iptarVs already existed in Afroasiatic. This is unconvincing, since in Berber the T-forms have imperfective function (see above, pp. 104106). In Beja, they characterize what Voigt (2002: 28485) calls the present and the perfect of a specific class of verbs but are lacking in the corresponding aorist. So their function is sufficiently different from that of iptarVs to raise serious doubts about this parallel. The forms in question instead show that iptarVs is not the only instance of the penetration of t as prefix or infix into the paradigm of the basic stem: in Berber and Beja, this also happened but in tense/aspect categories different from Akkadian. The general explanation behind these parallel developments is the fact that at a very early moment the detransitive function of t started to weaken so that it lost its function or was reused for a different function. In Semitic, this happened on a large scale, as I will argue in chap. 14.53 Third, Loprieno (1986: 12341) has also argued in favour of the Proto-Semitic provenance of the t-perfect iptarVs. His view is intimately connected with his reconstruction of the functional evolution of the t-infix and with his claim that the Semitic t-infix is cognate with the suffix t of the Egyptian sm.t=f form. He argues that the t-infix originally had perfective function, which is preserved as such in Akkadian but was replaced in West Semitic by the suffix conjugation qatVla, and that the reflexive, reciprocal, and passive functions are secondary developments. This is very unlikely, however. It is contradicted by massive typological evidence, which strongly suggests that exactly the opposite has happenednamely, that the reflexive function is original and the
53. Lipiski (1997: 338) quotes two Ugaritic Gt forms construed with a direct object in support of a Proto-Semitic origin of the Gt-stem used as a perfect. However, Tropper classifies both of them as unclear (2000: 521 s.v. m and 525 s.v. bm), and D. Testen (IOS 20 [2002] 517) rightly observes that more evidence is needed for such a far-reaching claim.

6.4. The Historical Background of the tPerfect


other functions are successive stages in a continuing grammaticalization process, of which the temporal function of t in Akkadian is undoubtedly the last. Loprienos claim that the Semitic t-infix (which was originally a prefix; see 14.4.1, pp. 375 380) and the suffix t of the Egyptian sm.t=f form are genetically related remains to be proven. It is true that the derivational prefixes of Semitic occur as suffixes in other Afroasiatic languages, especially in Cushitic and Chadic, but Egyptian sides with Semitic, at least in the case of the causative sibilant and the detransitive n (or m), both of which are prefixed in Egyptian.54 This raises the question why t would appear as a suffix, if it is indeed related to the Semitic t. Moreover, it is far from clear how the sm.t=f form should be analyzed. In view of its three main functions (after prepositions, after the negation n with the meaning not yet or before . . ., and as a complement after verbs of seeing, speaking, etc.), Edel (1955/64: 368 732) deems it most likely that it is actually a nomen actionis rather than a finite category. Others regard it as a finite form, however: Loprieno (1995: 78) describes it as a subordinate negative perfective form, Zonhoven (1998: 600, 61213) as a verbal verb form (as opposed to a substantival verb form) indicating a relative future tense, and Schenkel (2005: 2057) as a tense with two temporal reference points, one in the past and one in the future. This is strikingly similar to Strecks (1995a: 196209; 1999) definition of the Akkadian t-perfect iptarVs, and Schenkel explicitly mentions the possibility that the two categories are etymologically related (Streck 1995a: 207). However, Strecks account of the t-perfect has not found general acceptance among Assyriologists (see n. 7 above, p. 141). According to the description of its function given here, which is based on earlier studies by authors such as Goetze, Maloney, and Loesov, there is very little similarity with the sm.t=f form. Consequently, since neither the function nor the form of sm.t=f provides a sufficient basis for treating it as cognate with Akkadian iptarVs, I will not include Egyptian in the discussion of the next sections nor in the reconstruction of the evolution of the t-infix in chap. 14. In sum, there are no compelling reasons to assume that the verb forms with infixed t were used as a perfect anywhere but in Akkadian. This means that the perfect function of the t-infix is an Akkadian innovation and the t-perfect itself a relative newcomer in the Akkadian verbal paradigm.55 The second and more difficult question is how the original perfective of a t-stem acquired the function of perfect of the corresponding primary stem in a paradigmatic relationship with its imperfective and perfective. This implies a double change: from a simple past tenseor perhaps, more accurately, a perfectiveto a perfect, which is a typologically bizarre development, since it is the opposite of the common development from perfect to perfective or preterite (Kuryowicz 1975: 106, 128; Bybee et al. 1994: 81, 104), and from detransitive to active, which seems to be unusual as well. Essentially, two kinds of developments have been proposed for this change, one based on the well-attested development from resultative to perfect, the other based on the original indirect reflexive function of the t-infix.56
54. See 13.6 (pp. 351352) on the causative sibilant and 12.6.1 (p. 315) on the prefix n in Egyptian and their relationship to the Semitic forms. 55. This is also claimed by Loesov (2004a: 123) on functional grounds. 56. I will not discuss other views that I think lack any plausibility, such as the claim that the t-perfect arose from a specific use of t in its separative function, as was proposed by Goetze (1936: 33233), Gelb (1955b: 110), von Soden (1965: 104b; 1991b: 472), and Buccellati (1996: 87, 10812); see my arguments (Kouwenberg 2005) against this alleged separative function. A striking piece of verbal acrobatics (entirely fanciful in my view) deriving the t-perfect from the reflexive function of t (which in itself is quite plausible; see presently) can be found in Lieberman 1986: 627. For possible Sumerian influence on the rise of iptarVs, see the end of this section. Loesov (2004a: 16272) presents a brief discussion of the most important proposals.


The Historical Background of the tPerfect 6.4.

The claim that the Akkadian t-perfect goes back to a resultative use of the t-infix originates with Kuryowicz (1962: 6465; 1972: 61; 1975: 110) and was taken upwith minor variationsby various others, such as Voigt (1987c: 8889), Stempel (1995), and the present author (GAV pp. 7275).57 It is based on the observation that, cross-linguistically, many perfects come from a resultative, a common verbal category indicating the state which is the result of a preceding event.58 Resultatives often become passives as well, as is shown by the widespread use of the same marker for both categories. In many European languages, for instance, the copula is used to denote the perfect and the passive (Kuryowicz 1964: 5657). In Akkadian, the stative has come very close to expressing both notions, in the active versus the passive stative; see further 7.3.2 (pp. 168174). Since the t-infix also combines both functions in Akkadianif not in the Gt-stem, then at least in the Dt-stem and the t1-stemthis seems to be an attractive solution. On closer inspection, however, it does not seem applicable to the Akkadian t-perfect. The main reason is that the t-infix is not a resultative, neither in actual use, because it never has resultative function, nor in origin, because we can be confident that it goes back to a reflexive, as I will argue in chap. 14. In view of the general polysemy of detransitive voice markers (see 10.8.3, pp. 257258), this may seem too critical an attitude: if the t-infix can be direct and indirect reflexive, reciprocal, (medio)passive, and perhaps denote yet other detransitive notions, why could it not be resultative as well? The answer is that reflexive and resultative belong to two different grammaticalization processes. The reflexive is usually part of a development: reflexive noun reflexive/reciprocal affix middle spontaneous event passive (see 14.3.4, pp. 369370). The resultative, on the other hand, is part of a development: stative expressions resultative passive and/or perfect. In the corpus studied by Bybee et al., there are no instances of reflexives developing to resultatives. Instead, resultatives tend to go back either to stative expressions, such as clauses with a copula, or to auxiliary verbs for to remain or to come (Bybee et al. 1994: 6769). This has three important consequences. First, the passive may arise from both reflexive and resultative markersapart from other possible sources (see Haspelmath 1990)but these are different processes unrelated to each other. This is illustrated by most of the Romance and Slavic languages, which use both types of passives side by side. Second, if passive and resultative are diachronically related, the development is from resultative to passive, not vice versa (Nedjalkov and Jaxontov 1988: 49), as the situation in Akkadian would require, if we wanted to derive the perfect from a resultative use of t. Third, if we want to derive the perfect function of iptarVs from a resultative, we have to combine two grammaticalization paths that are superficially similar and may lead to the same outcome but which should actually be kept distinct. This leads to the conclusion that the use of the t-infix for the perfect cannot be derived from a putative resultative function. The second option that has been proposed is to derive the perfect meaning from the indirect reflexive. In the indirect reflexive, the subject is coreferential with the indirect object. As such, it can have autobenefactive meaning: the subject does something for his own benefit, as in
57. The present account of the rise of the t-perfect (and its complementary part in chap. 14) replaces my explanation of the t-perfect in GAV pp. 7277, which includes some implausible developments, as pointed out by, for instance, Streck (1998b: 52728) and Loesov (2004a: 166). 58. For the development from resultative to perfect, see Kuryowicz 1975: 10910; Voigt 1987c: 8893; Nedjalkov and Jaxontov 1988: 4144; Bybee and Dahl 1989: 6873; Bybee et al. 1994: 6869, 1045. For the development from resultative to passive, see Kuryowicz 1964: 5658; Nedjalkov and Jaxontov 1988: 4549; Voigt 1987c: 9092 n. 15.

6.4. The Historical Background of the tPerfect


the middle voice of Classical Greek. Coreferentiality with the subject may easily develop into subject-affectedness (Waltereit 1999: 26573), which does not seem to be too far removed from subject involvement. As we saw above, this is an important feature of the use of the t-perfect in Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian. Along these lines, L. B. Anderson (1982: 25657) has argued that the form with infixed t was an ethical dative, which took on the expression of relevance of experience and in combination with past tense became a category similar to the English perfect of have plus participle. Andersons characterization of the t-infix as an ethical dative does not seem very plausible (at least not as its original function), but the notion of ethical dative is closely related to subject involvement, so this idea is compatible with a development from an indirect reflexive. Likewise, Loesov (2004a: 167) derives the perfect use of the t-infix from its use as a middle voice. The problem is that this does not answer the question why and how this originally indirect reflexive completely lost its detransitive meaning and became restricted to the past tense.59 For the time being, we can say little more than that the rise of the t-perfect is likely to be related to the autobenefactive meaning of the t-infix, but further details remain completely obscure.60 Finally, several authors have argued that Sumerian influence played a role in the emergence of the t-perfect. The first was probably Goetze (1936: 33234), but the classical formulation comes from von Soden (1965).61 He points to similarities in use between the Akkadian t-perfect and Sumerian verbs forms with the prefixes ba-, imm a-, and u- and argues that the first two prefixes occur in narrative in places where an event is highlighted (hervorgehoben; 1965: 107a), just as the t-perfect may function in narrative contexts, and that the use of the prospective prefix u- is parallel to the future perfect use of the t-perfect.62 In the present state of our knowledge, it does not seem possible to decide this issue. On the one hand, the functional parallel between the t-perfect and any specific Sumerian verbal category
59. Loesov (2004a: 171) states that the form with t was at a certain point put to the service of expressing an explicit temporal relation of past facts to the speaker, but he does not explain how. His attempt (2004a: 16772) to find iptarVs forms in Old Babylonian letters that would show a trace of this original medial value (his terms) are generally unconvincing: they are more likely to be t-perfect forms, although not all of them completely fit the normal use of the t-perfect. 60. It is possible that the use of the reflexive marker se in Spanish gives an idea of how these processes may have come about, although I do not wish to argue that Akkadian must have had exactly the same development. Apart from the usual functions of a reflexive marker, se can also have completive function in transitive clauses, if their direct object refers to a finite quantity (Nishida 1994: 428) in a way that is reminiscent of preverbs in Germanic languages: the contrast between comer and comerse is parallel to the conrast between to eat and to eat up in English (1994: 45051). This implies that apart from being detransitive, se can also increase the transitivity of a clause. Moreover, the completive meaning of se associates it more closely with perfective than with imperfective aspect (Maldonado 1999: 177). This may give us a hint why the grammaticalization of the t-infix to a tense/aspect form of the basic stem only took place in the perfective. As shown by Bybee et al. (1994: 5761), completives are a well-known source of perfects. Maldonado (1999: 15455) describes the non-detransitive use of se as benefactive or completive or as expressing full involvement of the subject. The last-mentioned function makes it clear that this use of se is a natural extension of reflexive se in its function of indirect reflexive to do something for oneself. The Spanish reflexive pronoun shows that it is possible for a detransitive voice marker to lose its detransitive value and to acquire an association with completive function. We do not know whether the t-infix in Akkadian underwent a similar development, but it seems at least theoretically possible. For the parallel between se in Spanish verbs such as irse to go away and t in Akkadian atluku to start going, to set out, see 14.3.4 (pp. 371372). 61. Others have taken up this idea: Streck (1995a: 221), Woods (2001), and Huehnergard (2006: 1314). 62. For a more recent discussion of these prefixeswith a rather different interpretationsee Rubio 2007a: 134449.


The Historical Background of the tPerfect 6.4.

or group of categories is far from obvious (see Streck 1998a: 19091 for a discussion of possible parallels). Generally speaking, the function of Sumerian verb forms is more problematic than that of the Akkadian forms, so trying to explain the latter on the basis of Sumerian is tantamount to explaining obscurum per obscurius. Moreover, there is a widespread tendency in languages to develop a past tense form that underlines the recentness, current relevance, etc., of a past event. This increases the possibility that Akkadian and Sumerian developed this function independently. On the other hand, the likelihood of Sumerian influence also correlates with the absence of a plausible inner-Akkadian explanation. I have argued above that there is one, but admittedly it is far from conclusive. In conclusion, it cannot be ruled out that contact with Sumerian was indeed a factor in the rise of the t-perfect, butas is usual in such matterspositive evidence is difficult to find.


Chapter 7

7.1. introduction
The last of the finite verbal categories to be discussed is the stative. It offers both historical and typological interest. Historically, the stative is a fairly transparent combination of an adjectival (rarely nominal) stem and a pronominal subject, and it has become an important member of the Akkadian verbal paradigm. It is related to verb forms with suffixed person markers in other Semitic languages and further afield in Egyptian and Berber. Functionally, it represents an intermediate stage between Berber, where it is essentially a conjugation of predicative adjectives, and West Semitic, where it has evolved into a perfective and/or past tense. Typologically, it belongs to a cross-linguistically common category of deverbal adjectives (past participles) that penetrate into the verbal system and gradually take on functions such as (medio)passive, resultative, perfect, and, ultimately, past tense.

7.2. the stative: Form

The G-stem stative consists of an inflectional stem combined with suffixed endings for person, gender, and number. The stem is mostly that of an adjective, but may under certain conditions also come from a noun. Table 7.1 shows the standard paradigm of the G-stem stative as it appears in the main dialects, using the adjective almu sound, in good shape.1 Since many formal details of the stative endings have a strong diachronic aspect, they will be dealt with in 7.4, which deals with its historical background. person 1st 2nd masc. 2nd fem. 3rd masc. 3rd fem. singular almku, -k almta, -ti, -t almti (-t?), -t alim almat alm alm/ alimt
table 7.1: the conjugation of the stative.


plural almnu, -ni almtunu almtina alm alm

In the G-stem, the stative is built on the suffix base PaRvS, which originally belongs to the (verbal) adjective. Statives derived from primary adjectives have PaRiS, PaRuS, or PaRaS, corresponding to the (unmotivated) vowel of the adjective. Statives derived from verbs regularly
1. For details about the variant endings, see 7.4.1 (pp. 176181). See also GAG 3 75bc; GKT 72a; Huehnergard 2005a: 21920. For the stative forms of E-verbs, see 17.5.1 (pp. 525526).



The Stative: Form 7.2.

have the inflectional stem PaRiS, at least in Babylonian.2 Assyrian shows more variation: apart from PaRiS, there are two other (marginal) patterns: PaRaS and PuRuS (see 3.3.4, pp. 6466) in the following verbs:3 waab he is sitting, staying from wabu (A/i) alaq he/it is lost from alqu (I/i) bala he is alive from balu (A/a) qurub he/it is near from *qarbu (U/u) rq he/it is far away from ruqu () (see, p. 565) *kuzub he is charming (no corresponding verb attested) *pulu he is frightful from palu (A/a) *puur it is assembled, together from paru (U/u) muul he/it is similar from malu (only NA, U/u?)

The Assyrian forms are all from intransitive verbs that are semantically close to denoting stative situations, similar to the verbs of the A/a vowel class (see, pp. 7475) and can be regarded as borderline cases between fientive and adjectival verbs. In the G-stem forms, the stem vowel is only visible if there is no endingi.e., in most 3ms forms: alim (cf. Fem adjective alimtu), maru (marutu) ill, and kabar (kabartu) thick. Statives derived from nouns simply copy the stem of the noun. In the derived verbal stems and the quadriradical verbs, the stative has the stem vowel u (Pa/uRRuS, naPRuS, naBaLKuT, etc.) and is always identical in pattern to the infinitive. As a finite verbal form, the stative canat least in principletake the same range of endings and suffixes as the prefix conjugations: the endings of the ventive and the subjunctive and the suffix pronouns of dative and accusative. For ventive forms after a stative, see 9.4.1 (p. 233).4 The subjunctive was originally not used with a stative, but during the history of Akkadian there was a growing tendency to attach the subjunctive ending -u to the third-person singular (see 9.3.1, p. 221, for details). The first and second persons of the stative do not take ventive or subjunctive endings for morphological reasons (Reiner 1966: 97), but they do occasionally take suffix
2. A systematic exception concerns the stative of II/ verbs in Babylonian, which have : m it has been bought (e.g., a(-a)-am YOS 8, 66a:16 // 66b:30, Fem a-ma-at TCL 1, 133:4); see (p. 567). The only other genuine exception seems to be epu, a rare by-form (MB/SB) of regular epi, from epu to make, do (e-pu-u VAB 2, 10:35 (MB); CT 13, 35:1; IV R 25: III 58 (both SB); e-pu-us-si BWL 236: II 13 (SB), d -u (/epu/) A 1, 96:99100, cf. Huehnergard 1987a: 221 n. 10). The corresponding past participle sometimes has the feminine form eputu in Neo-Babylonian; see CAD E 247a s.v. epu adj. 1e. This verb has a strong general predilection for the vowel u; cf. also the atypical N forms Impfv inneppu, Pfv innepu, and t-Pf ittenpu , which will be discussed in detail in 12.2.1 (p. 291). For other instances of past participles with u derived from fientive verbs, all rather doubtful and most of them unique variants of normal PaRiS forms, see Kouwenberg 2000: 5859 nn. 3334; an additional instance is at it has been found from wat (a-tu MSL 5, 50:3 (SB)). 3. For a possible fourth instance naal from nlu to lie down, see chap. 16, n. 100 (p. 475). In addition, Assyrian has a few Fem nouns with the pattern PaRaSt, which may be derived from obsolete PaRaS past participles: aatu need, requirement, napatu life, and abartu (broken) piece, block, for which Babylonian has PaRiS (napitu) or PiRiS (ietu and ibirtu). It is also possible that the Sargonic Akkadian proper name -lu-ga-sa-ad RA 8, 158 AO 5659:3 contains a PaRaS stative /kasad/; cf. the Old Babylonian name type DN-kaid (Huehnergard 1987a: 221 n. 10). References for the PuRuS statives and adjectives were given in 3.3.4 (pp. 6466). 4. Since the stative denotes a state (see below), it is normally incompatible with the ventive as allative, but not with the ventive as dative (see Kouwenberg 2002: 2013); an exception is napata quoted below.

7.3. The Stative: Function


pronouns from Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian onward, although not very frequently; cf. the following selection of first- and second-person statives with a suffix pronoun:5 1. after -k(u) (1st p. Sg): dam-q-ku-um AbB 3, 33:19 (OB) I am favourably disposed toward you (damqk(u) + -kum) na--a-ku-nu-t Prag I 709:7 (OA) I am bringing to you (Pl) (nak(u) + -kunti) ka-ab-s-ak-u-nu-ti ARM 26/1, 421 no. 195:16 (OB) I have trampled them (kabsk(u) + -unti) a-bu-l-ak-u-um AfO 31, 17:37 (OA) I owe him (abbulk(u) + -um)6 i-ra-ka-u KAR 66:24 (SB) I have chosen it (rk(u) + -au) 2. after -ti, -ta, -t (2nd p. Sg): (atta) m-a-ta-an-ni ARM 10, 8:9 (OB) you disregard me (mt(a) + -anni (atta) a-a-a-as-s ARM 28, 81: r.10 (OB) you want (to do something) against him (at(a) + -u(m)) a-ak-na-as-s MSL 4, 82:87 (SB LL)you have been placed for him (aknt(a) + u(m) 3. after -at (3fs): nap-a-ta SAA 10, 31: r.5 (NA) she (the planet Venus) has risen (napat + a(m))7 ma-a-ra-ta-an-ni BE 17, 43:6 (MB) it has confronted me (marat + -anni) na-ad-na-ta-u(-ma) RIMA 2/I, 13:32 (SB) it has been given to him (nadnat + -au) a-da-tak-ka Dreams 340: IV 8 (SB) it (amltu mankind) rejoices in you (adt + -akka) Although there seems to be no reason why statives in the first- and second-person plural should not be able to accommodate a suffix pronoun, I am not aware of any instances.

7.3. the stative: Function 8

The grammatical function of the stative is the expression of a state.9 It is used indiscriminately for all kinds of states, whether permanent or transient, whether a pure state or a state resulting from a previous event. As such, it is opposed to the fientive members of the verbal

5. It makes no difference whether the stative is derived from a verb, an adjective, or a noun, but most instances are from verbs, and instances from nouns with a ventive or suffix pronoun are not known to me. This is not caused by the nature of the stative but by the meaning of the affixes in question, which are far more compatible with verbal than with adjectival or nominal predicates. Dative suffix pronouns attached to statives that do not seem to be verbal at all include ka-a-a-an-um AfO 18, 65:22 it is constant for him, ka-ia-na-kum AbB 1, 37: r.14 it is constant for you (both OB). 6. By way of exception, the final -u of -ku may be preserved: a-bu-l-ku-u-um OAA 1, 63:34. 7. This form is unique, as far as I know, in that it is the only instance of a 3fs stative followed by a pure ventive. It is less uncommon to find forms with a ventive followed by another element such as a nisubjunctive (e.g., ibid. 3 nap-a-ta-ni (napat + a(m) + ni ) (see Parpola 1983: 14 ad loc.), (a . . .) e-ua-ta-ni KAV 205:6 (MA) (which) has been taken out), the particle -ma ((a. . .) ab-ka-ta-am-ma YOS 7, 7:44 (which) has been led away [LB]), or a suffix pronoun (see above). 8. Earlier literature on the function of the stative includes GAG 77; GKT 72c/e; Rowton 1962; Kraus 1984; Huehnergard 2005a: 21923; Metzler 2002: 892900. 9. According to Lyons (1977: 483), [a] static situation (. . .) is one that is conceived of as existing, rather than happening, and as being homogeneous, continuous and unchanging throughout its duration.


The Stative: Function 7.3.

paradigm, which express events.10 This opposition is formally underlined by the contrast between the suffixes and the originally nominal stem of the stative (PaRvS) versus the prefixes and the verbal stem of the prefix conjugations (PRvS). A corollary of the stative function is the lack of tense distinctions: the stative may refer to the present, the past, andmuch more rarelythe future.11 This is ultimately grounded in pragmatics: tense distinctions are less relevant as the situation they denote is more prolonged, and stative situations typically continue over a longer period of time than prototypical eventsi.e., they are more time-stable (Givn 1984: 5156). Aspectually, the stative has imperfective aspect, since it does not envisage the beginning or the end of the state.12 The stative is basically uniform in function, but for a more detailed description we should distinguish between statives derived from adjectives, from nouns, and from verbs. For the sake of convenience, I will refer to them as verbal statives, adjectival statives, and nominal statives, respectively, but these terms purely refer to their derivational background and not to their grammatical status, which is verbal in all cases. Adjectival and nominal statives (to be discussed in 7.3.1) are simply the predicative form of the corresponding adjective or noun. Verbal statives, on the other hand, have a complex relationship to the verb they are derived from, a relationship based on their historical development and on the fundamentally different properties of states versus events. First of all, for the reasons explained in 2.2.1 (p. 30), the verbal stative is subordinate in rank to and (synchronically) derived from the fientive prefix conjugations: iparrVs/iprVs/iptarVs paris. Historically, of course, the stative is derived from the past participle, but the verbalization of the stative has reversed their relationship (see 8.3.1, pp. 200201, and Kouwenberg 2000: 5963). The dependence of the verbal stative on the verbal paradigm, and in particular on the fientive forms, is most clearly demonstrated by the active stative to be discussed in 7.3.2 below and by verbal statives that differ semantically from the corresponding past participle, such as: taklku I trust in (+ Dat) from taklu + Dat to trust, put ones trust in (versus the adjective taklu reliable, good, lit., that which can be trusted) qpku I trust, I believe (+ Acc) from qpu () to entrust, believe (versus qpu trustworthy, usually substantivized as official, administrator) kadku I have arrived, I am at my place of destination (GAG 77d) from kadu to arrive (versus kadu obtained, successful, sufficient) Second, in terms of semantic transitivity, statives have zero transitivity, since they do not indicate a change in the state of the world. Accordingly, they cannot have an agentive subject, since agentivity implies a conscious volitional act on the part of the subject and is therefore only applicable to actions (Binnick 1991: 187).13 Moreover, since statives do not envisage the termination of the state, as noted above, they are by nature atelic, whereas the fientive verb itself must be telic in order to have a stative at all. Finally, statives derived from verbs are neutral for voice: they can be active or passive. This is due to the fact that they only refer to the result of an event and
10. Only in very specific, exceptional circumstances are some statives capable of referring to events; see 7.3.3 (pp. 174176). 11. For the stative with future reference, see GAG3 77d*; Leong 1994: 244. 12. Comrie 1976: 5051; Binnick 1991: 18788; Smith 1997: 32. For adjectival states, Akkadian uses the prefix forms of the corresponding adjectival verb to express the beginning of the state. 13. This is important for Akkadian insofar as it bears on the interpretation of some types of active statives that Rowton (1962) claims to have an agentive subject. I will briefly discuss some of Rowtons views in n. 32 below (p. 170).

7.3. The Stative: Function


do not indicate how it came about; it is therefore immaterial whether its subject was the agent or the patient of the event. These features will be discussed further in 7.3.2. The sum of these semantic differences sets the stative apart from the fientive prefix categories and explains why it has a strong tendency to lexicalizei.e., to develop its own meaning different from that of the other forms of the same verb, a process that is especially prominent in the active statives to be discussed below (Rowton 1962: 26768). The nature of the stative has given rise to a controversy concerning its nominal or verbal character. In particular, Buccellati (1968) has claimed that the stative is (also synchronically) a nominal sentence consisting of a nominal (adjectival) base and an enclitic subject pronoun, and that it is therefore a syntactical rather than a morphological category that can be more economically treated in the grammar in the sections on the noun and the pronoun, respectively.14 In Kouwenberg 2000: 2226, I argued that this view is untenable for a variety of reasons and that from a synchronic point of view the stative is a verbal category. Briefly summarized, the main arguments are the following. First, the stative is verbal in syntax, since it is always the predicate of the clause, has the verb-final word order of the verbal clause (whereas in non-verbal clauses with a pronoun the subject is clause-final), and can be a complete clause in itself (whereas a nonverbal clause needs an explicit subject, unless it is existential). Second, it is verbal in morphology, since it has personal endings and can have most of the verbal endings and suffixes that the prefix conjugations can have.15 Only semantically is the stative similar to non-verbal clauses in being tenseless and expressing states. However, semantic criteria are inferior to morphological and syntactic ones as a basis for deciding whether a form is verbal or not. In the next two sections, I will first deal with the adjectival and nominal statives (7.3.1) and subsequently with verbal statives (7.3.2).

7.3.1. Stativesderivedfromadjectivesandnouns
An adjectival stative is the predicative form of a primary adjective (GAG 77b; Rowton 1962: 236; Reiner 1970: 292). For instance, arru dn the king is powerful is the predicative form of arru dannu the powerful king. Adjective and stative do not differ in meaning but only in their syntactic status. The stative is directly derived from the adjective without interference from the verbal paradigm. Needless to say, the root vowel of the adjective is copied in the stative, where it only surfaces in the 3ms: kabar he is thick from kabru (< *kabarum, cf. Fem kabartu. For a predicative adjective, the use of the stative is more or less obligatory, especially in the older dialects. Very rarely, however, we find a predicative adjective in the nominative; this seems to occur mainly if the adjective is substantivized (01) and if it is followed by the enclitic particle -ma (02) but exceptionally also in other cases for unclear reasons, as in (03)-(04) (see Kouwenberg 2000: 3438 for more examples): (01) TC 3, 70:1112 (OA) ke-e-nu-um anku I am an honest person (02) ARM 26/1, 111 no. 13:1213 (OB) bt mrt [k]a dam-q-um-ma the house of your daughter is excellent
14. See also Buccellati 1988 and 1996: 12122; Huehnergard 1987a: 23031; and Kouwenberg 2000: 22 n. 3 for more references. 15. A nominal feature of the stative, however, is its combination with the precative particle l (GAG 81b; e.g., l i-a-ra-a-ti MSL 4, 74:227 (OB) may you be prosperous!; bl l a-di ARM 10, 26:7 (OB) may my lord be glad!), which is also used in nominal clauses (GAG 127d). For the stative with l as a prohibitive, see chap. 9, n. 36, p. 220).


The Stative: Function 7.3.

(03) St. Larsen p. 14:32 (OA) (four persons) e-lu-tum unu they are free of claims (elsewhere Stat ell, e.g., St. Nimet zg p. 133:14 and p. 135:35 e-lu) (04) OBTR 120:1416 (OB) ina lim GN [e].b a wa-aq-rum u .gi wa-aq-rum in the city of Assur barley rations are expensive and sesame oil is expensive (05) MATSH p. 131 no. 8:49 (MA) me-e-tu t is he dead? However, in the later stages of Akkadian, and especially in Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian, it is quite common to find predicative adjectives in the nominative (Kouwenberg 2000: 33 n. 16; De Vaan 1995: 17476) It is possible that Aramaic influence is involved, as suggested by Buccellati (1968: 9).16 See the following instances: (06) CT 54, 22: r.40 (NB) a-as-si u pu-ut-qu-du atta you are wise and circumspect (07) SAA 10, 245: r.6 (NA) al-mu it is safe (08) SAA 9, 3: III 8 (NA lit.) DNF pa-aq-t Itar is slight (tr. S. Parpola) Apart from the vowel pattern, adjectival statives are not formally different from verbal statives. Their identification depends on the difference between fientive and adjectival verbs, which was discussed in 3.3.2 (pp. 5860). However, in the II/gem verbs, there is a difference in form between adjectival and verbal statives: the former are monosyllabic in the 3ms, e.g., dn he is strong and l he is pure (see 16.6.1, p. 492) from dannu and ellu, respectively; but the latter are bisyllabic, e.g., balil it has been mixed or polluted, madid it has been measured and akik it has been harrowed from ballu, maddu, and akku. This difference is due to a difference in derivation: dn and l are derived from the adjectives dannu and ellu by subtraction of the case ending and mimation (see 7.4.1, p. 178), whereas verbal statives such as balil are derived from the corresponding fientive forms (iballal balil ) on the model of iparrVs paris.17 The stative of nouns is a subcategory of the stative of adjectives.18 A predicative noun may be conjugated as a stative, if it has the function of an adjective (i.e., if it is classifying rather than identifying) and constitutes a simple predicate (i.e., if it is not accompanied by any qualification or complement, such as an attributive adjective, a genitive, a suffix pronoun, a relative clause, or an enclitic particle), e.g., arrku I am (a) king. It is not possible, however, to use the stative in a clause such as arru dannu anku I am a mighty king or if the predicative noun identifies the subject as a specific individual (i.e., if it is referential), as in: (9) VAB 2, 4:8 (MB) lugal atta you are the king (i.e., you are the one who decides)19

16. The available grammars of these dialects do not allow us to determine the extent and the details of this development. 17. There are some counter-examples, however, in Standard Babylonian; see 16.6.1 (p. 492). 18. For a detailed discussion and an enumeration of nouns occurring in the stative, see Kouwenberg 2000: 3848, and earlier discussions in Rowton 1962: 26162 and Kraus 1984: 1417. 19. The logogram l u g a l can only be interpreted as a nominative arru.

7.3. The Stative: Function (10) OIP 27, 56:7 (OA) wbil tuppim t the bearer of (this) tablet is the creditor (tamkru) (i.e., he is the person who is entitled to the money specified in the tablet)


The stative of nouns mainly occurs in two types of (con)texts: in legal (con)texts, in order to classify a person as belonging to a social group and thus being entitled to its rights or subject to its obligations, as in (11) and (12); and in literary texts, as an epithet on a par with adjectives, as in (13):20 (11) CHJ pp. 7071 no. 143:1617 (OB) PNF mrt ul a-ma-at PNF is my daughter, she is not a slave girl (12) AKT 3, 88:56 (OA) l a-wi-l-t be a gentleman (also in OB: ARM 1, 69: r.13) (13) RIMA 2/1, 239:3436 (SB) ar-ra-ku be-la-ku na-a-da-ku ge-ra-ku kab-ta-ku ur-ru-a-ku (. . .) qar-ra-da-ku lab-ba-ku u zi-ka-ra-ku I am king, I am lord, I am praised, powerful, honoured and famous, (. . .) I am a hero, a lion and a he-man However, even if a predicative noun is non-referential and qualifies for being in the stative for other reasons as well, it may be in the nominative; this is common in all dialects and again seems to be the only possibility in the later dialects.21 Here are a few examples: (14) ShA 1, 138 no. 64:62 atta l a-wi-lum be a man (OB, also Kisurra 156:16); (15) Legends p. 184:18 (OB lit.) bl attma l la-bu my lord, verily you are a lion (tr. J. Westenholz) In practice, mainly animate nouns are used in the stative, as is clear from the examples given so far; a rare example of an inanimate noun (from agurru kiln-fired brick) is:22 (16) Gilg. p. 538:20 (SB) umma libittau l a-gur-rat (see) if its (Uruks) brickwork is not kiln-fired brick (tr. A. R. George) There is a contrast in markedness between statives of adjectives and statives of nouns: for predicative adjectives the use of the stative is unmarked, whereas that of the nominative is marked, and for predicative nouns the situation is the opposite (Huehnergard 1986: 23233; Kouwenberg 2000: 55).23 The nominal stative developed secondarily as a subcategory of the adjectival
20. Outside literary texts, statives of nouns are very rare; in the Old Babylonian letters of AbB 110, for instance, Kraus (1984: 14) counts only 20 nominal statives among 1200 instances of statives. 21. Nominal statives are very hard to find in Neo- and Late Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian, which is not surprising in view of the fact that even predicative adjectives are often in the nominative in these dialects, as stated above. One exception is known to me: mu-ke-n-ku ABL 1059:6 (NB) I am a commoner (but muknu is a borderline case between noun and adjective; cf. the nominative in arru mu-ke-e-nu SAA 10, 43:15 (NA) is the king a poor man?). However, it is not always easy to see whether a form is a stative or a nominative because of the loss of final vowels and the resulting inconsistencies in spelling. 22. See Kouwenberg 2000: 3940 for a list (add perhaps JRAS CSpl. 71:20 [OB lit.] DN a qabalu n-e-re-et whose onslaught is murder(ous), from nrtu murder). 23. This is in keeping with the general markedness relationships between different kinds of nominal predicates, as established by Hengeveld 1992: 13055 and Stassen 1997: 12531; see also Pustet 2003: 7273. Nouns are less likely to occur as predicates than adjectives and are therefore marked in this respect (Pustet 2003: 18687).


The Stative: Function 7.3.

stative.24 This is demonstrated by the fact that if a nominal stative is derived from a noun with the feminine marker t, this t is omitted in the stative, a peculiarity that was taken over from the adjectival stative, where a single stem serves for masculine and feminine (see 7.4.1, p. 177), e.g.:25 (17) ARM 10, 31: r.7 (OB) umma anku s-ni-a-ku (even) if I am (only) a woman (i.e., sinniku from sinnitu) (18) Or. 36, 120:65 (SB) ma-ra-ku kal-la-ku i-ra-ku ab-rak-ka-ku I (DNF) am daughter (mrtu), bride (kallatu), spouse (rtu) and housekeeper (abrakkatu)

7.3.2. Stativesderivedfromverbs
Verbal stativesi.e., statives derived from fientive verbsare the most common and most complex type. In contrast to adjectival and nominal statives, which differ only syntactically from the adjective or noun they are derived from, verbal statives have the same syntactic status as the other finite forms of the verb but a different meaning: they denote the state that results from the event expressed by the fientive forms of the verb (GAG 77e).26 A few random Old Babylonian instances are: (19) AbB 6, 219:1415 napakum (. . .) pa-te-e-ma eum le-q the storehouse (. . .) has been broken into (lit., pierced) and barley has been taken (20) CT 47, 63:5759 tupptum ina ina bt PN i-li-q-ma (. . .) kma tupptum ina al-q-a these tablets disappeared from the house of PN (. . .); because these tablets are gone, (. . .) (21) FM 7, 15 no. 5:510 (the weapons of Adad of Aleppo have arrived here) ina bt DN2 ina GN2 ka-le-ek-u-nu-ti I have stored them [hence: I keep them] in the temple of Dagan in Terqa

24. So already B. Landsberger 1926b: 971, Huehnergard 1986: 23839; Voigt 1988a: 121; Tropper 1995a: 49899. The opposite claim, that the ability to form statives of nouns is an archaic feature (e.g., Rssler 1950: 471; von Soden 1961b: 41) is implausible, since it goes against the markedness relationship referred to in the previous note, which implies that the predicative use of nouns presupposes the predicative use of adjectives. This also sheds light on the rarity of statives of nouns in Neo-Assyrian and NeoBabylonian: the decline in the use of the stative of nouns must have preceded the decline in the use of the stative for predicative adjectives. 25. The 3fs (e.g., sinniat she is a woman from sinnitu) is only an apparent exception, since -at of the stative has developed into a different ending from -(a)t- as the feminine marker, in spite of their historical identity. 26. Nedjalkov and Jaxontov (1988: 6) define the resultative as follows: The term resultative is applied to those verb forms that express a state implying a previous event. The difference between the stative and the resultative is as follows: the stative expresses the state of a thing without any implication of its origin, while the resultative expresses both a state and the preceding action it has resulted from. With regard to Akkadian, it seems that the definition of Nedjalkov and Jaxontov puts too much weight on the preceding event at the cost of the resulting state. Since Akkadian has both a resultative and a t-perfect, which typically expresses a past event that the speaker includes in his subjective present (see 6.3, pp. 140141), it seems better to define the Akkadian stative in its resultative function as expressing a state and implying (rather than expressing) the preceding action it has resulted from; cf. Bybee et al. 1994: 54: a state exists as a result of a past action.

7.3. The Stative: Function


In (20), for instance, the stative alq they (Fem) are gone expresses the result of the past event iliq they got lost, disappeared. Usually, the preceding event is not explicitly mentioned. The occurrence of resultative statives is therefore restricted to verbs denoting telic events, which culminate in a state. Atelic verbs for activities, such as malku to deliberate, s/ull to pray, u () to laugh, and zannu to rain, do not normally have a stative.27 On the basis of the valency relationship between the fientive forms of a verb and the stative, we can distinguish three kinds of verbal statives: intransitive statives, passive statives, and active statives.28 The intransitive stative applies to single participant verbs and describes the state of the subject of the preceding event after its completion (John has sat down > John is (now) seated ). Examples are (20) quoted above, and, e.g.: (22) ARM 5, 43:89 (OB) nakrum ina GN pa-i-ir the enemy is assembled in GN (23) KH 240:72 (OB) eleppau e4-bi-at his ship has sunk (and is therefore on the bottom of the river) The most typical cases are statives of intransitive verbs of telic movement, such as alqu to get lost, kamsu to kneel down, paru to come together, qerbu to approach, rabu to crouch, lie down, teb to stand up, and wabu to sit down, and change-of-state verbs, such as bel to go out (of fire), mtu to die, pau to become calm, and eb to become satisfied. As argued in 3.3 (p. 55), there is no clear-cut borderline between the intransitive statives of the latter type and adjectival statives, as in the case of ablu to be(come) dry and mal to be(come) full. If the verb is transitive, either the subject or the direct object of the underlying fientive clause may become the subject of the stative, depending on the context and on semantic and pragmatic factors outside the stative itself, which, as stated above, is neutral with regard to voice. If it is the direct object, we have a passive stative.29 It describes the state of the object (the patient), e.g., the lion in: arru na idk the king killed the lion nu dk the lion is dead as a result of being killed.30 Therefore, it usually requires a passive translation, as in (19) quoted above and: (24) St. von Soden (AOAT 240), p. 45:1015 (OB) PN GN1 ul ibat / lam GN2 PN ibat (. . .) mimma GN1 ul a-bi-it Bun-ma-Addu has not seized Apar, B. has seized the town of adura (. . .). Apar has not been seized [or, more accurately: is unseized] The passive stative competes with the fientive forms of the derived stems with (medio)-passive function, the N-stem, the Dt-stem, and the t1-stem. In principle, the latter refer to the event itself
27. For cases such as lasmu quick (Stat lasim he is quick) beside lasmu to run, see chap. 3, n. 30 (p. 59). 28. Nedjalkov and Jaxontov (1988: 810) speak of the subjective, objective and possessive resultative, respectively. 29. If we take the terms active and passive in their strict sensei.e., as denoting an action which an agent performs on a patient and an action which is undergone by a patient, respectivelythey are inappropriate to the stative, because the stative does not denote any action. Nevertheless, I will retain them as convenient terms in a purely syntactic meaning: in relation to the stative, passive only means that the original direct object appears as subject, active means that the original subject remains the subject of the stative. This use is also prompted by the fact that most European languages do not have a grammatical category stative and often have to use passive constructions to translate the passive stative. 30. Promotion to subject of other participants than subject and direct object is exceptional: see (p. 260) for an example of the indirect object promoted to subject in the verb qab to speak.


The Stative: Function 7.3.

rather than to the resultant state, and sometimes this nuance is tangible, as in (25A) versus (25B), but in practice there is often little difference, so that the choice depends on the subjective decision of the speaker, as in (26), where the stative and the N perfective occur as variants:31 (25A) ARM 5, 67:910 (OB) bum bqimu ul ibai immertum ul ba-aq-ma There are no sheepshearers (available/present) and the sheep are still unshorn (Stat) (25B) ARM 2, 140:810 (OB) am aittum iznunma 1 m e immertum ul ib-ba-aq-ma since it has been raining incessantly, one hundred sheep have not yet been shorn (N Pfv) (similarly FM 2, 140 no. 76:17, 19 and AbB 4, 79:7 vs. 25) (26) B 14:5 (OB) amnum s-pi-i-ma (var. i-s-pi-i-ma) ksam iml (if) the oil has been scattered and has covered the (surface of the) bowl (similarly KH 120:14). If the subject of the underlying transitive clause retains its subject position in the stative, we have an active stative, which describes the state of the subject after the completion of the event, e.g., the army in: bum lam ilw the army laid (Pfv) siege to the city bum lam law the army holds (Stat) the city under siege.32 There is no standard way to translate an active stative into English; we often need some kind of periphrasis; cf. the following clauses: (27) ARM 3, 1:67 (OB) ipir nr GN a-ab-ta-ku I am engaged in (lit., I have seized) work on the canal of GN
31. See Rowton (1962: 27985), who argues that the passive stative may be used instead of the N perfective and that [I]f (. . .) the speaker selects paris, then the continued bearing of the past event on the existing situation is rendered explicit by the choice of that tense (1962: 284). This is not borne out by the examples he cites and confuses the stative with the t-perfect (which also vitiates Rowtons account of the active stative; see below); see also Maloney 1981: 15153. It is true, however, that there is a tendency for the stative to encroach upon the domain of the t-perfect (see 7.3.3 below, pp. 174175), and the situation in the passive is more complex than in the active, also because of the relative rarity of the N t-perfect (ittaprVs). A more detailed study is clearly required. 32. The active stative was the subject of a detailed description by Rowton (1962). His study is welldocumented, exemplary as to how a grammatical problem should be addressed, and pioneering in its inclusion of competing categories such as the t-perfect and the passive. However, his semantic interpretation of many statives is highly questionable. Using the term permansive for the stative, he distinguishes two functions: the descriptive permansive, which describes the subject in terms of his condition, position, location, appearance, etc.; and the active or agentive permansive, in which the subject is an agent who is engrossed in the action and which serves to emphasize persistency or sustained care on the part of the subject (1962: 234). He characterizes the latter kind of permansive with terms such as control, persistency, and sustained effort, and once claims that it expresses not merely action, but a highly intensive aspect of action (1962: 299). These notions are quite alien to the nature of the stative, however, which purely expresses a state resulting from a previous event. Any impression of effort or persistency on the part of the subject resides in the meaning of the verb itself and/or in the context (and is sometimes read into the text by Rowton without actually being there). To quote only two instances: Rowtons no. 116 on p. 251with greatest care I have examined (i-a-ku) the inscriptions on stone (dating) from before the flood: in my view, ku simply means I have examined/studied (with the result that I am now expert in), without any implication of effort, just as amrku simply means I (have seen so that now I) know; likewise, Rowton (1962: 255 no. 166) translates AbB 2, 74:1112 PN ani rabm a-ab-la-an-ni-a-ti PN, our elder brother, persists in wronging us; in my view, this verb simply means has wronged us (so that we are now victims of injustice), or the like. Earlier criticism of some of Rowtons views can be found in Kraus 1984: 610; Maloney 1981: 15153; and Streck 1995a: 177. For Rowtons views on the use of the stative as a t-perfect, see below.

7.3. The Stative: Function (28) AbB 13, 110:2829 (OB) inanna iprum a-ab-ta-an-ni at the moment, work keeps me busy (lit., work has seized me).


Through its resultative nature, the active stative is closely related to the fientive past tenses of perfective and t-perfect. There are many situations that the speaker can describe in different ways, according to whether he prefers to stress the past event itself (perfective), its association with the present moment (t-perfect), or the resultant state (stative).33 Therefore, we find instances of perfective and stative alternating in the same context, e.g.: (29A) CT 47, 13:23 (OB) kirbnam ana nrim is-su-uk he has thrown (Pfv) a clod into the river, versus: (29B) CT 47, 13a:23 kirbnam ana nrim na-si-ik (Stat) (see Veenhof 1973: 36667) (30A) St. Dietrich, p. 586 nr. 7:1820 (MA) (garments) a ikkartu ma-a-ru--ni (Stat) which the farmers have received, versus: (30B) ibid. p. 587 no. 9:1718 (garments) a ikkartu im-u-ru-ni (Pfv) Stative and t-perfect are two sides of the same coin: the t-perfect represents a past event as still associated with the present moment, whereas the stative describes a state resulting from a past event. Accordingly, the choice is often subjective, and we find both forms used in the same context: (31A) AfO 18, 65: II 31 umma awlum uru nu ka-at-ma if a mans brows hold his eyes covered (Stat) (31B) YOS 10, 56: II 23 umma izbum uznu nu ik-ta-ta-ma if an anomalys eyes have covered (t-Pf) its ears (32) AbB 14, 119:69 (OB) (with regard to the three textiles which are your impost) ina libbi 3 ubtka itn na-ad-na-a-ti u aniam anku annikam at-ta-di-in from your three textiles, you have given (Stat) one and I have given (t-Pf) another one here34 Whether the stative of a transitive verb is active or passive primarily depends on the context. The presence of an accusative does not automatically entail an active interpretation, as is clear from (33), nor does its absence guarantee a passive one; see (34) and (35): (33) BAM 4, 393: r.5 (OB) umma awlum kalbam na-i-ik if a man has been bitten by a dog (or, more accurately, if a man has a dogbite) (34) AbB 10, 7:14 (OB) 2 b.i.a a ibai al-da the two cows that are present have calved (/ald/ < wald) (35) ATHE 46:18 (OA) annakam emr ak-lu- the donkeys have eaten here (i.e., they are well fed now) However, verbs exhibit large differences in the likelihood that their stative will be active or passive. Statives of high-transitivity verbs are almost always passive. This is due to the fact that
33. See also Leong 1994: 3233; Streck 1995a: 16689. For a similar contrast in Egyptian between stative and eventive verb forms, see Reintges 1997: 36264. 34. In this passage, the stative doubtless implies that the addressee is now free of his legal obligation, whereas the t-perfect indicates the news value of the message for the addressee and/or its recentness and relevance.


The Stative: Function 7.3.

it is the degree of affectedness of the participants that determines whether the resultant state is more likely to be predicated of the subject (the agent) or of the object (the patient). Since in high-transitivity verbs the direct object (the patient) is strongly affected by the event, whereas the agent usually suffers no relevant effect as a result of having performed the action in question (see 3.4, p. 66), it will generally be the state of the object that is described by means of a stative.35 It is therefore unlikely that we will ever find active statives of verbs such as dku to kill and pet to open: clauses such as *arru na dk the king has killed a/the lion or *awlu bba pet the man has opened the/a door would imply that these actions have left some kind of mark on the subject that is relevant enough to be described in the form of a resultative stative, a situation that will not often occur. Statives of low-transitivity verbs, on the other hand, can be both active and passive, because the direct object of low-transitivity verbs is not or not significantly affected by the action (see 3.4, p. 66), so that their subject becomes proportionally more salient and therefore a more likely candidate to be described as having performed the action (Kozinskij 1988: 51721). Therefore, most active statives come from transitive verbs with a low degree of transitivity. This is confirmed by the list of active statives attested in Akkadian that was compiled by D. Cohen (1984: 25758).36 The fact that the stative describes an entity in terms of the result of a previous event makes the active stative eminently suitable for legal (con)texts to describe the legal status of a person (Rowton 1962: 29294), as in the following instances: (36) KH 158:28 (OB) (a woman) a mr wa-al-da-at who has given birth to sons (i.e., who has sons, is the mother of sons) (also LE 59: A IV 29) (37) CT 6, 6:5 (OB) eqlum a PNF (. . .) a-ma-at the field that PNF has bought (and therefore now owns) (38) AbB 3, 2:11 (OB) ani erum aatam ul a-i-iz our youngest brother has not taken a wife (i.e., is still unmarried) (39) YOS 8, 150:1922 (OB) a p kunukkim annm kaspam gamram l na-ad-na-ku I have certainly given/paid all the silver in accordance with the words of the document! (40) CCT 5, 11d:67 (OA) (an amount of gold) a ana PN a-p-k-t-ni which you have invested for PN (41) KAV 1: VII 47:2831 (MA) (in accordance with the words of the tablet that you have sworn to (ta-am--a-ta-a-ni: Stat + Subj) before the king and his son) ta-am--a-ta you have sworn (i.e., you are bound by this oath)37 The subject of these clauses has performed an act which has brought him or her into a state with legal consequences,38 and the stative emphasizes the ensuing rights or obligations. The corre35. See Comrie 1981b: 7071; what Comrie argues here for the perfect applies to the stative in Akkadian. 36. D. Cohens list could be augmented substantially, but the overall picture is not likely to change significantly. D. Cohen concludes (1984: 260) that the active stative is typical of the verbs that M. Cohen (1935) has called dponents internes and that we would call middle verbs or low-transitivity verbs, see 18.3.1 (p. 588). 37. Many additional examples are quoted in Rowton 1962: 29294. 38. [E]ine juristisch bedeutsame Situation (Aro 1964: 8); similarly, Rowton 1962: 292.

7.3. The Stative: Function


sponding perfectives or t-perfects would simply have stated the occurrence of the event. This explains why so many active statives come from verbs denoting legally binding actions.39 As I stated above, active statives have a particular tendency to develop a lexicalized meaning if they are used frequently enough. The most common instances are four verbs that express different modalities of taking or acquiring, and whose active stative denotes the corresponding state of possession, as was first established by Ungnad (1918): abtu to take, seize, leq to receive, maru to receive, and na to lift, carry. The first three verbs often occur in the legal contexts referred to above and express different nuances of possession. abtu often refers to the ownership of real estate: he owns, he is the legitimate owner of (but it also has a more general use, see, e.g., (27) and (28) above), and leq and maru to ownership of commodities that someone is entitled to and has received, e.g.:40 (41) AbB 4, 40:7 (OB) eqel bt aba a itu m mdtim a-ab-ta-nu the field of my fathers estate which we have owned for a long time (PN has claimed from me) (42) AbB 6, 43:89 (OB) 1/2 g n 15 e kaspam la-q-a-ku I have received 1/2 shekel and 15 grains of silver (43) AbB 11, 47:1213 (OB) eam ma-a-ra-a-ta libbaka b you have received the barley, (so) you are satisfied (i.e., you have been paid and have no further claims) The stative of na, on the other hand, typically refers to the transportation of goods with which somebody is on his way: to have on oneself, carry, especially in Assyrian, but occasionally also in Babylonian: (44) Prag I 553:1315 (OA) itti kaspim (. . .) PN na--a-kum PN is on his way to you (naakkum) with (carrying) the rest of the silver (45) AbB 1, 132:7 (OB) kaspam ul na-i-a-ku I have no silver with me (tr. CAD N/2 95a s.v. na v. A 2d2) Numerous other verbs have an active stative with more or less lexicalized meanings, among which I may single out (see Rowton 1962: 267 for a longer list): amru to see, Stat to know, have experienced41 lamdu to learn, Stat to know katmu to cover (action), Stat to cover (state) law to lay siege to, Stat to besiege (i.e., to lie around (a city)) rakbu to mount (an animal or a ship), Stat to ride, sail

39. For active statives in Old Assyrian, see Rowton 1962: 28588. A very atypical case is the legal but apparently non-resultative use in: (a woman) u-ba-at ak-l-at u p-a-at itunu St. Larsen p. 12:14 // 14:1718 shall live, eat, and be anointed together with them (the owners of the house). The usual form in such contexts is the imperfective, e.g., the ubiquitous kkal he has the usufruct of (a field), which comes close to stative meaning in this context, where a situation rather than an event is described (see Loesov 2005: 111). This may explain the shift to the stative in this clause. 40. Many additional examples are quoted in Rowton 1962: 24345. For an atypical use of the active stative of na to lift, carry, see chap. 17, n. 212 (p. 574). 41. Cf. Greek (w)oida, Sanskrit veda I know, which are also resultatives of a verb to see, preserved in the Greek aorist (w)eidon I saw and Latin vidre; cf. also the Gtn stative of amru: to have seen many times > to know well (AHw 41b s.v. Gtn 2).


The Stative: Function 7.3.

In their typological study of resultatives, Nedjalkow and Jaxontov (1988: 2226) use the term possessive resultative for this kind of active stative, and they observe that it is cross-linguistically the least common type.42 In Akkadian, however, it is fairly widespread and productive, although less frequent than the passive stative.43 Moreover, the term possessive resultative does not capture the essence of the active stative and is far too restrictive. There are numerous instances in which the notion of possession is quite inappropriate, such as the passages (39), (40), and (41) quoted above.

7.3.3. Marginalandsecondaryusesofthestative
Not all verbal statives conform completely to the definition of a resultative as given above. First of all, the stative of some verbs may express a state that, strictly speaking, does not result from a previous event, doubtless as a secondary extension of their core function. This applies in particular to the frequent locational statives of aknu to place (see (47)) and nad to put down (see (48)), which have developed more or less into a copula in such contexts (see CAD /1 13233 s.v. aknu 3b; N/1 9192 s.v. nad 5) and to the stative of aknu with a double accusative to provide with (see (49)); but it sporadically occurs in other verbs as well, such as kabsu to tread on, trample in (50): (47) AbB 4, 1:11 (OB) (a good field) a ana m a-ak-nu that is situated along/borders the water (48) RA 44, 13:14 (OB) umma (. . .) l mdtum na-du- if there are numerous holes (49) MIO 1, 74:24, 29 (SB) qaran alpi ga r-in (. . .) kapp gar-in he has (lit., is provided with) the horn of an ox (. . .) he has wings (in a description of a figure of a god, and passim in such contexts) (50) Sg. 8:375 (SB) (a figure of two goddesses) a iar pina uk-bu-sa labb nadrte erbettaunu the soles of whose feet are standing on four raging lions (tr. CAD K 11a s.v. kabsu 7b; also MIO 1, 80: VI 3 and elsewhere with kabsu G; for the -stem, see, pp. 330331) Second, resultative forms have a widespread tendency to develop into perfects and further into past tense forms, as we saw in 6.4 (pp. 157159). The Akkadian stative did not become a productive perfect, doubtless because Akkadian already had one in the iptarVs form,44 but it was not
42. See Kozinskij (1988: 51622) for a thorough discussion of functionally similar categories in a variety of languages. 43. The active stative is attested in all dialects but is apparently most common in Old and Standard Babylonian. For third-millennium Akkadian, the only instances I know are TCBI 1, 235:11 (wool for the palace) PN za-bi-it /abit/ PN has in his possession, and the problematic na-se11-a-nim AKI p. 256:55 (cp RI of Naram-Sin) they (Fem: the people) carry for me (see chap. 17, n. 212, p. 574). It also occurs in the latest dialects, but the available handbooks do not make it clear how common it is. Instances are aas-sa-na-i-ni SAA 10, 39:14 (NA) he has thought about us (Subj) from assu, and ma-rak SAA 18, 160:13 (NB) I have received from maru. Streck (1995a: 16970) mentions a few instances from Late Babylonian. 44. This was already argued by Kraus (1984: 1112), who discusses various Old Babylonian passages with a stative that cannot be interpreted as denoting a state but only indicate that the event in question has occurred or not occurred. See also Loesov 2004a: 86 on the similarity between perfect and stative.

7.3. The Stative: Function


completely immune to such a development.45 The clearest cases are the passive stative of dku to kill and the intransitive stative of mtu to die; cf. the following instances: (51) VS 26, 26:49 (OA) 6 imr (. . .) u ura ina GN de8-ku six donkeys (. . .) and my servants have been killed in GN (also AMMK 1995 p. 150:7, 12, 18, 20) (52) AbB 13, 181:3132 (OB) ina mituri 1 mr GN di-i-ik one man from GN was killed in the clash (also AbB 8, 24:1720 and ARM 2, 63:14 according to Durand 1997/2000: I 487 n. 144) (53) BIN 4, 141:13 (OA) (I sent half a textile to PN) inmi merassu me-ta-at-ni when his daughter (had) died (54) KAV 1: VI 45:8586 (MA) umma l ittra ina mte antemma me-e-et if he has not returned but has died in another country (also KAV 1: VI 43:22 with the stative l me-e-et parallel to the Pfv l innbit: if he has either died or fled) (55) Or. 24, 243:3 acc. to CAD /3 220 s.v. uklultu c (SB) (the ghost of a person) a ina uklulti mtu mi-tu4 who died at the completion of his allotted lifespan In themselves, the statives dk (Bab)/dk (Ass) and mt/mt mean he has been killed (and therefore is now dead) and he has died (and therefore is now dead), respectively, and simply describe the condition of the subject. However, the inclusion of a specification of the time and/ or the place of death (as in all these instances) shifts the attention from the present state to the previous event, since it can only refer to the event itself. Therefore, the stative is used as a perfect here.46 Instances from other verbs include: (56) AbB 3, 48:3233 (OB) awtum ekallam ka-a-da the words/matters have reached the palace (cf. Kraus 1984: 1112 on the interpretation of this stative) (57) AbB 10, 208:45 (OB) kma ina pa- ni -tim ina aptya a-mi-a-ta as you heard from me (lit., from my lips) in the past (58) AbB 7, 59:911 (OB) itu mu.2.ka m eqlam (a. -lam) tu-ur-ra-an-n-i-im Seit zwei Jahren hat er uns das Feld zurckgegeben (tr. F. R. Kraus) (59) ABIM 20:82 (OB) (a slave girl) a mdi namrat itiu inma wa-al-da-at who is in very good shape and has given birth once or twice already (i.e., has one or two children)

45. Rowton (1962, especially 29295) also claimed that the stative tends to become a perfect. In principle, he is right, but he supports his claim in particular by means of numerous active statives in legal (con) texts for which an English translation with a present perfect is often possible or even unavoidable (see above, (36)-(41)). However, as I argued above, these are pure statives that describe the state of the subject, whatever English translation we prefer. 46. It is interesting in this context that dku does not seem to have an N-stem perfective or t-perfect; there is only an N Impfv iddk (earlier iddak), familiar from the Old Babylonian law codes. So it is conceivable that the stative dk serves to fill an awkward gap, since a passive perfective of the verb to kill seems hard to dispense with. This explanation does not apply to mtu, however, whose t-Pf imtt is commonplace in Old Babylonian; see (01) and (02) in chap. 6 (p. 142), for instance.


The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4.

Third, in Standard Babylonian literary texts, we find occasional instances of statives in contexts that exclude a stative interpretation. They are apparently employed as stylistic variants of the other finite categories. A detailed investigation of this phenomenon is required before we can venture an explanation; I will therefore restrict myself to a few examples. The three following statives replace an active imperfective (in (60)), an active perfective (in (61)) and a passive (narrative) perfective (in (62)), respectively: (60) AGH 68:1617 ma u imma umki itammar qurudki dal-la night and day they keep praising your name and they extol your heroism (also OECT 6, 73:18) (61) Gilg p. 622:59 var. (the shepherd) [a] kayynamma tumr up-pu-kak-ki (var. of i-pu-kak-ki) who regularly piled up for you (bread baked in) embers (tr. A. R. George) (62) Ash. p. 92 61:1415 l pu-ul-lu-q asl u-ub-bu-u armann qudduu sur-ru-qu kiukki bulls were slaughtered, lambs slain, holy armannu was scattered on the censer (tr. CAD A/2 291a s.v. armannu a)47

7.4. the Prehistory of the stative 7.4.1. Theformalbackgroundofthestative

From a formal point of view, the stative is a relatively transparent combination of a nominal/ adjectival stem and person affixes of nominal or pronominal descent. This does not imply, however, that it is of recent origin. On the contrary, many of its formal and functional characteristics presuppose a long grammaticalization process. The formal ones will be discussed below; the most important functional characteristic is the active stative. Since the past participle of transitive verbs is typically passive (see 8.3.1, pp. 200201), it is likely that the earliest verbal statives had passive meaning. Typological evidence shows that passive statives are much more common than active statives in the languages of the world and that the existence of an active stative presupposes the existence of a passive one (Nedjalkow and Jaxontov 1988: 22). There can therefore be little doubt that the active stative is a secondary development that started from intransitive statives (Huehnergard 1987a: 228; Tropper 1995a: 502). This is confirmed by the fact, stated above, that most active statives come from low transitivity verbs, which generally form a bridge between prototypically transitive and intransitive verbs. Since adjectives constitute the most typical kind of predicative nominals (see 7.3.1, pp. 165 168), it is plausible that the univerbation that created the stative started with primary adjectives and spread from there to past participles, which have the same form. If it is possible to derive a predicative form marku I am ill from maru ill, for instance, it is not a big step to derive ablku I have been wronged from the PPartc ablu wronged and thus indirectly from the verb ablu to wrong. This related the stative paradigmatically to the established finite members of the verbal paradigm and incorporated it into the verbal paradigm as a resultative.48 Since
47. Metzler (2002: 63940) signals a possible instance from an Old Babylonian Sargon legend: Legends p. 84: I 17 qarrdu ap-lu-ni-u his warriors answered him. 48. Loesov (2004b: 41718, 2005: 14245) argues that the stative originated with past participles and spread from there to primary adjectives. This seems to be contradicted by the evidence from Berber, where the suffix conjugation is only open to primary adjectives; see 7.4.3 below (pp. 191192). This does not

7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative


a resultative state is dependent on the previous occurrence of the event expressed by the verb, the stative abandoned its dependence on the past participle to become hierarchically dependent on the fientive prefix conjugations. This enabled it to express the resulting state of any event, both active and passive, and to adopt more and more verbal properties. The past participle itself became a deverbal derivation of the stative, semantically subordinate to it, so that the historical derivational relationship past participle stative became stative past participle.49 This process of verbalization was essentially completed in the pre-literary period. The few historical changes we observe in the conjugation of the stative, especially the gradual adoption of the u-subjunctive in the third-person singular, are the final stages on the road to verbal status.50 The univerbation of stem and personal pronoun had two important consequences. The first is the creation of a single stem for all persons regardless of gender and number. Differences in gender and number are only encoded in the personal endings themselves. This is a common outcome of grammaticalization processes (simplification, according to Croft 2003: 26364).51 It was doubtless strengthened by the fact that almost all conjugations of Akkadian have an invariable stem.52 The second is that the third person could occur without an explicit subject even though it does not contain a subject marker: e.g., ar he is king. This only became possible after the stative had acquired verbal status, since other finite verb forms do not need an explicit subject either. A non-verbal form cannot in itself be a complete (propositional) sentence (Diem 1997: 47). For instance, ammurapi arru H. is king and arru he is king are well-formed clauses, but arru alone cannot mean he is king. The first- and second-person endings have a pronominal origin, and the third-person forms are only provided with gender and number markers agreeing with the subject. This reflects the fundamental contrast between the participants in the speech situation and the persons who are absent and spoken about. It is related to the non-existence of personal pronouns of the third person in languages all over the world.53 However, even without a personal suffix, the third-person stative forms are unambiguously marked through their contrast to the other forms. I will start with the third-person endings, shown in Table 7.2, which also includes the nominal endings of adjective and noun (cf. GAG Nominalparadigmen 1):
mean, however, that originally only adjectives had a suffix conjugation (e.g., Tropper 1995a: 49798). The similarity between the prefixed perfective of adjectival verbs in Akkadian (ikbit he became heavy, etc.) and the aorist of adjectival verbs in Berber languages (which often have the structure C1C2vC3; see D. Cohen 197071: 182) shows that the prefix conjugation of property concepts goes back at least to the common Berber-Semitic period, and probably further. 49. See also Kouwenberg 2000: 5668 for a more detailed description of this process. 50. There is no compelling reason why we should assume Sumerian influence on this development, as maintained by Streck (1995a: 185), although it cannot be ruled out. 51. Although it was deemed problematic by Kraus (1984: 20) and Diem (1997: 73). 52. Streck (1995a: 184) attributes the invariable stem of the stative to Sumerian influence. Although this cannot be ruled out (cf. n. 50 above), it is especially hard to believe that the relatively rare predicative use of nouns that Streck mentions (l u g a l . m e . e n I am (the) king, we are (the) kings, with invariable l u g a l) would be able to impose its pattern on the vastly more frequent statives of verbs. 53. The fact that Semitic uses pronouns that are originally demonstrative as independent subject pronouns of the third person, alongside the real personal pronouns of the first and second person (see Table 7.3), has the same background. See, in general, Benveniste 1966: 22831; Comrie 1981a: 21920; for IndoEuropean: Beekes 1995: 207; for Semitic and Afroasiatic: D. Cohen 1984: 1089; Huehnergard 1987a: 22122 ; Tropper 1995a: 49394; Streck 1995a: 18283; Satzinger 1999: 24 (interlocutive versus delocutive). Furthermore, in Neo-Aramaic, several of the new suffix conjugations have a zero marker in the 3ms; see D. Cohen 1984: 462 for Western, and p. 512 for Eastern Neo-Aramaic; and also Jastrow 1997: 343, 363.

178 stative 3ms 3fs 3mp 3fp 3dum 3duf alim almat alm alm alm alm/alimt

The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4. adjective (Nom) almu alimtu almtu almtu almn alimtn noun (Nom) 54 arru arratu arr arrtu arrn arratn

table 7.2: the third-person forms of the stative.

The third-person singular forms have a zero ending in the masculine and the nominal suffix -at in the feminine,55 so that they are identical to the corresponding nominal forms without case ending and mimation.56 They result from the subtraction of these elements, which symbolizes the loss of nominal or adjectival status: alim lmum and almat lmtum (the outcome is somewhat obscured by the effect of the vowel syncope rule). For verbal statives, this statement is only historically true, however, since synchronically they are derived from the prefix forms, as I argued above; for statives derived from nouns and adjectives, it is also synchronically valid. Statives such as arrq he is a thief and qtt he stands surety come directly from the nouns arrqu and qttu, respectively, and dn he is strong is directly derived from dannu strong (see 16.6.1, pp. 492493).57 The historical reason why the third-person singular of the stative has no ending is doubtless a consequence of the fact that, when adjectives in their primary attributive function acquired case markers, their predicative form remained the same.58
54. From arru king and arratu queen. 55. In proper names from the third millennium, there are 3fs forms without -t, e.g., Si-be-la /-bla/ MAD 1, 163: I 28 she is lord/lady, especially in Mari Old Akkadian: E4-dar-dam-ga /Etar-damqa/ ARM 19, 303:4, Ma-ma-a-li-a /Mama-alia/ ARM 19, 384:12, and E4-dar-a-li-a /Etar-alia/ ARM 19, 384:13, and exceptionally in Old Babylonian: Um-mi-na-da my mother is exalted (quoted by Gelb 1961: 216), Um-mi--ba my mother is good and Ba-ba6-i-la Baba is divine (quoted by Stol 1991: 195 as Ba--i-la); see also Gelb 1961: 15051, 1965: 74. We would expect damqat she is good, aliat she is sublime, etc. It is not clear to me whether we may regard these forms as alternatives for the 3fs stative or secondary forms determined by their position in a proper name, e.g., because of the sex of the bearer of the name according to the principle established by Edzard (1962) that the sex of the bearer may overrule the gender required by the subject of the sentence that forms the name. 56. See Tropper 1995a: 49394, who convincingly refutes Huehnergards (1987a: 22122) contrary view. The reconstruction of Diem (1997: 6971), who derives the third-person endings from the second part of the independent pronouns of the third person (as reconstructed by him), just as the first- and secondperson endings come from the second part of the corresponding pronouns (-ta from anta, etc.), is unconvincing, since it does not account for the background of this process. Presumably, the first- and secondperson independent pronouns are compounds themselves, for instance, of a former copula and an enclitic pronoun: an-ku (it is) me. It is unclear how an analysis of, say, hua/iat into hu/i- plus -a/-at fits into this picture. I will come back to Diems views in 7.4.2 (pp. 182183) for a different problem. 57. For arrq he is a thief, see, e.g., awlum a-ar-ra-aq KH 7:5556 (OB) that man is a thief, and for qtt, e.g., PN au q-ta-at VS 26, 120:33 (OA) PN, his brother, stands surety. 58. However, this issue is intimately connected with the prehistoric development of the 3ms stative. The corresponding form in West Semitic, the 3ms perfect qatVla, does have an ending -a, and both the background of this -a and the question whether it can be reconstructed for Proto-Semitic or not are highly controversial. I will discuss this further in the next section.

7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative


In the plural, the third-person endings - and - are parallel to the nominal and adjectival endings without the suffix -tu and could also be explained from a process of subtraction. However, it is more likely that they were taken over from the corresponding endings of the prefix conjugations (e.g., Impfv 3mp iparras, 3fp iparras), as part of the process of incorporation of the stative into the verbal paradigm.59 This was suggested by Kuryowicz (1972: 93) and explains both the absence of -t- in the third-person plural feminine and the remarkable fact that this ending is always -, even if the corresponding adjective has -tu, as in ertu, Fem Pl of eru small, young, but 3fp stative er.60 The dual forms are restricted to the oldest dialects: Sargonic Akkadian has a 3dum (l) za-a-ra /ar/ () zu-ku-na /zuqqun/ SAB p. 158:10 (Diyala) they (the two slaves) must be young and not have a beard, and a separate 3duf s-lim-da /salimt/ SAB p. 177 top: 9 (Eshnunna) they two are well. This special feminine form is not found anywhere else, with the remarkable exception of na-mu-ra-ta (nu) TIM 9, 65:12 // 66:24 its eyes are shining in an Old Babylonian incantation. Mari Old Akkadian has the dual form mar (spelled mar-za) (they are) ill both for men (e.g., ARM 19, 55:2; 57:2) and for women (ARM 19, 19:2) (Limet 1975: 4950). Old Babylonian instances include zi-za /zz/ UET 5, 114:12 they (the two brothers) have divided (the inheritance); wa-a-ba-a(-ma) St. de Meyer p. 85:11 they (two partners) are present. In proper names, we find Dingir.dingir-dan-na /Iln-dann/ AbB 10, 200:1 the twin gods are strong; Dingir.dingir-ra-bi-a /Iln-rabi/ CT 8, 44b:7 the twin gods are great; Mara-an-ki-na /Mrn-kn/ the two sons are legitimate (quoted in Stamm 1939: 296).61 These dual forms have a different structure from the plural: whereas the plural forms are built on the stem (al(i)m-), the dual forms are derived from the singular of the corresponding gender by adding : alim alm, but almat alimt (originally lmat lmt, a form preserved in namurrat).62 It is remarkable that these forms are built exactly like the thirdperson dual forms of the Arabic perfect (if we ignore -a of the 3ms): 3ms qatala qatal and 3ms qatalat qatalat (see Fleisch 1979: 11719) and the corresponding forms of the Modern South Arabian suffix conjugation, e.g., Mehri 3dum ktb, 3duf ktbt (Johnstone 1975: 16). The suffixes of the first- and second-person have a pronominal origin, as is clear from their similarity to the independent subject pronouns; see Table 7.3.
59. Since the moot problem of - versus -n as original 3fp ending mainly concerns West Semitic, I will not go into it; for a recent summing up of the discussion, see Diem 1997: 5361. 60. Cf. Kouwenberg 2000: 57. The absence of -t in the plural forms, especially in the 3fp alm, results from a morphosyntactic process and cannot be compared with the loss of final t in Arabic (-ah < -atum) and Aramaic (- < -t), as claimed by Streck (1995a: 183 n.427). The latter is a phonetic process of attrition at the end of a word for which there are no parallels in Akkadian at so early a date. 61. For Old Babylonian dual forms in the verb in general, see Stol (1988: 178). 62. This also applies to the adjective, which has -n/-n (Ass -n/-n) instead of -: Masc almu almn, Fem alimtu alimtn, e.g., Masc k-ab-t-an VS 26, 157:5 (OA) from kabtu heavy, a-ni-an UM 5, 156: r.5 (OB) from ann this, mi-it-a-ri-in YOS 10, 62:30 (OB) from mitaru of equal size; Fem p-t-t-en6 OAA 1, 88:4 (OA) from pet open (< *patitayn), re-ti-ta-an Legends p. 198:49 (OB) fixed (ret), ra-ab-ba-ta-an Itar p. 24:43 (OB) from rabbu soft; ra-q-t-en CTMMA 1, 121 no. 85a:12 (OA) from raqqu thin (< *raqqatayn). The Sargonic Akkadian Nom Fem da-m-iq-t Or. 46, 201:7 (incant. from Kish) from damqu good, beautiful is irregular in that it lacks the final -n. Is this a defective spelling for -tn or a kind of absolute state serving as a vocative? The latter option is taken by J. and A. Westenholz (1977: 207), referring to GAG 62j, and Hasselbach (2005: 184). In the noun, the same principle holds: aptu lip, Pl aptum, but Du aptn (e.g., a-ap-ta-an Itar p. 24:43, OB). A parallel in the verbal system is the sporadically attested reciprocal first-person dual mentioned in 2.5 (p. 51; lurtm let us love (each other), etc.), which is derived from the first-person singular by affixation of the dual ending -; see Kouwenberg 2005: 100101.

180 person 1s. 2ms. 2fs. (3ms. (3fs. 1p. 2mp. 2fp. (3mp. (3fp. pronoun anku atta atti

The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4. stative almku (-k) almta (-ti, -t) almti (or -t?) (-t)
alim) almat)

nnu attunu attina

unu ina

almnu (Ass. -ni) almtunu almtina

alm) alm)

table 7.3: the subject pronouns and the personal endings of the stative.

The emergence of the first- and second-person forms almku, almta, etc., presupposes the existence of a predicative 3ms alim(-) or perhaps alima(-). They consist of this form plus a short, probably enclitic, form of the independent pronoun, which apparently lacked the element an-: *-()ku), *-tV, *-t, etc.: almku < alim + -ku. Stem and pronominal element coalesced into a single word through univerbation (Hopper and Traugott 2003: 14549), with the pronouns developing from independent words to clitics and then to personal endings. Some problematic aspects of this development will be discussed further in the next section. However, the match between pronoun and suffix is far from perfect. In spite of atta, the 2ms form -ti is doubtless older than -ta: -ti is standard in Old Assyrian (sometimes reduced to -t, see GKT 72a, 45a) and is also typical of Archaic Babylonian and Early Old Babylonian, see GAG 3 75c* and Stol 1988: 178.63 So -ta may be a secondary adaptation of -ti to the form of the independent pronoun. Old Assyrian seems to have -ti for both genders (GKT 72a), but it is conceivable that the feminine was actually -t. The short forms without final vowel are found from the oldest period onwards, e.g., SAk l tu-mu-at /tummut/ SAB p. 53:10 (Adab) be (2ms) bound by an oath from tam D to cause to swear,64 OB la-ab-a-a-at AbB 6, 22:15 you (Fem) wear from labu, and OA q-bi4-a-at Prag I 727:7 you (Masc) have promised from qab to say, promise. They are doubtless secondary, just as is 1s -k for -ku. In the first-person plural, Babylonian -nu contrasts with Assyrian -ni (GAG 75b; GKT 72a). It is hard to determine which is more original: on the one hand, the Babylonian form may be due to the influence of the pronoun, which has -nu in both dialects (nnu or nnu)65; on the other hand, Assyrian -ni may result from influence of the genitive suffix pronoun -ni. In conclusion, we cannot rule out the possibility that the similarity between the independent subject pronouns and the personal suffixes of the stative results from a gradual convergence rather than from an original identity.

63. Add to the instances mentioned there (l) wa-a-ba-a-ti YOS 10, 36: III 14 the town where you live. 64. This is the only 2ms stative attested so far in Sargonic Akkadian, so it is unknown whether a longer ending -ta or -ti also existed (Hasselbach 2005: 18990). 65. The forms nni and anni appearing in Neo-Babylonian and occasionally in Standard Babylonian are doubtless secondary, perhaps influenced by the suffix pronoun -ni.

7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative


Apart from the variations shown in Table 7.3, the endings of the stative are relatively stable during the history of Akkadian, with the exception of Neo-Assyrian, where a noteworthy development takes place: -t- of the second person is replaced by -k- (GAG 75b; Hmeen-Anttila 2000: 9091), e.g., -ka instead of -ta (kam-mu-sa-ka SAA 1, 107:8 you are staying), -ki for -ti (ur-ba-ki Or. 23, 347:14 you (Fem) are magnificent (NA lit.), and -kunu for -tunu (pal-a-ku-nu CTN 5 p. 13:26 you (Pl) are anxious).66 This may be explained as an analogical extension starting from -k- in the first-person singular and represents a remarkable parallel with the same (but undoubtedly independent) development in South Semitic (Moscati, ed. 1964: 139; see 7.4.2 below).

7.4.2. TherelationshipwiththeWestSemiticperfect
Diachronically, the Akkadian stative is closely related to two other categories in cognate languages: the suffix conjugation of West Semitic, which is traditionally called the perfect (originally qatVla, in fientive verbs usually qatala), on the one hand, and several suffix conjugations with basically stative meaning in Afroasiatic, on the other. In this section, I will discuss some aspects of the relationship between the stative and the West Semitic perfect. The common origin of the Akkadian stative and the West Semitic perfect is ascertained by the commonalities in the personal endings, by the correspondence between the non-active perfects qatila/qatula and the Akkadian adjectival statives, and by the correspondence between the intransitive or low-transitive qatila perfects and the passive/intransitive stative pattern PaRiS in Akkadian. Moreover, the function of the West Semitic perfect can be understood as a further development of the resultative function of the verbal stative in Akkadian (Aro 1965; Tropper 1995a: 50412; T. D. Anderson 2000: 2632; Cook 2001: 12730). It underwent the well-attested grammaticalization process from resultative to perfect and further to perfective or simple past (Bybee et al. 1994: 8187).67 The oldest function of the suffix conjugation as a predicative form of adjectives is preserved in West Semitic in the use of the perfect of adjectival verbs to denote a state or a quality (Tropper 1995a: 510; Cook 2001: 129): e.g., Hebrew kbd it is heavy, habt I love (Joon and Muraoka 1991: 359), Arabic kafar they are unbelievers (Reckendorf 1977: 1011, who calls this prsentisch-resultativ).68 In this process, the perfect replaced the earlier perfective *yiqtVl, which is still in use in Akkadian and survives as a residual past tense in West Semitic (apart from a fully-fledged irrealis function); see 5.4 (pp. 129130). The similarity between the personal endings of the Akkadian stative and the West Semitic perfect confirms their common origin: see Table 7.4 (p. 182), which compares Akkadian with Arabic and Geez as representatives of Central and South Semitic, respectively.69
66. By way of exception, this also occurs in Neo-Babylonian: ku-u-u-pa-ku-nu ABL 301: r.2 you (Pl) are planning; ma-a-a-ku-nu ABL 1146: r.4 you (Pl) are able; see Woodington 1982: 94 (but note that in the latter form -- is typically Assyrian; see Kouwenberg 2003: 85). The alleged Old Babylonian instance of a second person with -k- (ka-a-da-ki AbB 2, 135:4) mentioned by Gelb (1955b: 108b), Tropper (1995a: 509 n. 53), and Lipiski (1997: 362) is actually a first-person singular with a second-person feminine dative suffix: kadk(u)-ki(m) I have come to you. 67. Not to mention the various other functions the perfect has developed in the West Semitic languages, such as the prophetic perfect in Hebrew (Joon and Muraoka 1991: 363) and the Arabic use of the perfect in wishes (Fischer 1972: 92). 68. According to Fleisch (1979: 19394), Arabic normally employs a nominal clause or the copula kna to express a state and has restricted the perfect to fientive use: kna karman he was generous versus perfect karuma he became generous. This is modelled on the situation in the fientive verb and doubtless represents a secondary development. 69. See Moscati, ed. 1964: 137; Lipiski 1997: 35961; Kienast 2001: 203; for Arabic: Fischer 1972: 102; for Geez: Tropper 2002: 88.

182 person 3ms 3fs 2ms 2fs 1s 3dum 3duf 2du 3mp 3fp 2mp 2fp 1p Akkadian parVs parsat parsti, -ta, -t parsti/, -t parsk(u) pars pars/parist pars pars parstunu parstina parsnu, -ni Arabic qatala qatalat qatalta qatalti qataltu qatal qatalat qataltum qatal qatalna qataltum() qataltunna qataln

The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4. Geez nagara nagarat nagarka nagarki nagarku nagar nagar nagarkmmu nagarkn nagarna

table 7.4: the personal endings of the semitic suffix conjugation.

There are four major differences between the Akkadian and the West Semitic paradigms as they can be reconstructed on the basis of Arabic, Geez, and other languages not included in the table. Three of these concern the endings: the distribution of k and t in the first and second persons, the presence of between stem and ending in these persons in Akkadian, and the vs. a ending in the third-person singular masculine. The fourth one concerns the stem vowel a in most West Semitic forms, which has no counterpart in Akkadian.70 With regard to k and t, there is a general consensus that Akkadian represents the original situation and that Central Semitic has extended t to the first-person singular, whereas South Semitic has extended k to all second persons (see in particular Hetzron 1976a: 9394). According to Diem (1997: 1416), this solution was first formulated by Theodor Nldeke. Its correctness is confirmed by the stative conjugations of Egyptian and Berber (to be discussed in the next section), which have the same distribution of k and t as Akkadian (Tropper 1999a: 175). The three remaining differenceswhich are intimately connected with each otherare less easy to solve. I will start with the difference between Akkadian and West Semitic with regard to the vowel -- between stem and ending in the first and second persons.71 A popular explanation, which according to Diem (1997: 19) goes back as far as Brockelmann (1908: 583) and Bergstrsser (1928: 12 n. 2) and which is still embraced by Diem (1997: 22), claims that the presence of -- in the first-person plural and all second persons of Akkadian is due to an analogical extension from the first-person singular, where it comes from the pronoun anku. The original stative endings would thus be identical to the pronouns (in historical times anku, atta [< *anta], att [< ant ], etc.) minus the element an-: 1s almku < al(i)m-ku, but 2s *alim-ta/t (as in West Semitic), which was later replaced by the historical form almta by analogy with almku. A consequence of this view is that the West Semitic first-person singular without -- (qatVltu
70. I will not try to account for the other (minor) differences between the Akkadian and West Semitic personal endings; see Diem 1997 for a recent discussion. 71. A detailed Forschungsgeschichte is given by Diem (1997: 1926).

7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative


<*qatVlku) must be a secondary form modelled on the persons that did not have --, i.e., an extension from the first-person plural and the second persons (Diem 1997: 1923). This explanation is possible but seems unnecessarily complicated. Since -- does not actually occur in West Semitic, what reason is there to introduce it into a prehistoric stage of its development, only to have it subsequently removed by an analogical process? It is far simpler to assume that West Semitic never had -- at all and that the original first-person singular was *-ku, which in West Semitic became -tu by analogy with the combined force of all second persons.72 In this case, only Akkadian has innovated substantially, first by replacing PSem *qatVlku by al(i)mku as a rhyme building to anku and subsequently by extending -- to the first-person plural and all second persons.73 An indication in support of this is the fact that, in Old Babylonian letters, statives are often accompanied by a (seemingly superfluous) subject pronoun in phrases such as anku wabku I am staying (somewhere) (Kraus 1984: 2122). This is particularly frequent with the first-person singular, and in many cases there is no obvious reason, such as emphasis or contrast; perhaps the independent pronoun represents a renewal of an earlier construction with a cliticized pronoun. A further argument in favour of PSem *qatVlku, *qatVlta, etc., is that the stative conjugation in Berber does not show signs of a different vowel quantity before the consonants of first- and second-person singular suffix (see below). There is also a quite different explanation for the Akkadian --, which we find, for instance, in Rssler (1950: 473), Loprieno (1986: 15758), and Tropper (1999a: 18287) in slightly different versions. It regards -- as a stress-conditioned lengthening of a short a between the stem and the pronominal ending. Tropper, for instance, starts from the view that the adjectival or nominal base of the stative had a predicative ending -a, e.g., 3ms *qatVl-a, 2ms *qatVl-a-ta, etc. Before enclitic subject pronouns, it was lengthened in Akkadian (*alim-a-ta > al(i)mta) but syncopated in West Semitic as a result of antepenultimate stress (*qatVl-a-ta > qatVlta). Although this might work for Akkadian (Tropper adduces the genitive singular as a parallel: bli-u > blu of his lord), it seems too ad hoc to be credible for West Semitic and against the usual stress patterns. The question of this short after the stem brings us to the two most problematic differences between Akkadian and West Semitic, namely, (1) the third-person singular masculine ending, for which Akkadian has (parVs) but West Semitic (originally) -a (qatVla), and (2) the origin of the stem vowel a in the West Semitic active/transitive perfect qatala. I will start with the second problem. On the surface, it may seem to concern West Semitic alone and thus to fall outside the scope of the present study. However, it bears directly on the reconstruction of the Proto-Semitic verbal system in so far as we have to answer the question whether Proto-Semitic had or did not have an active participle *QaTaL.

72. Some authors have argued that this must have occurred in West Semitic, since it has left traces in some types of weak verbs, especially in the Hebrew conjugation of the II/gem verbs, e.g., sabbt, sabbt I/you surrounded from sbab (e.g., Tropper 1999a: 186; Kienast 2001: 203). This would be plausible if we knew for certain that the first-person singular also had -- originally. Since this is not the case, it is one hypothesis piled on top of another. Actually, we do not need an original long vowel to explain these forms: starting from an original 1s *sabbatu (3ms *sabba 1s *sabbatu (or -ku) modelled on the strong form *qatVla *qatVltu) may become *sabbta by vowel lengthening and sabbt by regular sound change (Tropper 1999a: 186). It is also possible that the vowel was lengthened in order to conform to the prosody of the corresponding strong form *qatVltu (etc.). Bauer and Leander (1922: 430) explain from analogy with the III/w verbs (< aw), which is also possible. 73. The source of -- in the pronoun itself is not clarified by this proposal, of course, but this falls outside the scope of the verbal system.


The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4.

There seems to be a general consensus that the qatala perfect is a West Semitic innovation.74 The earliest factual evidence for its existence comes from Amarna Akkadian and Ugaritic, i.e., the 14th century b.C.75 Rainey (1996: II 296301) mentions forms such as na-da-an VAB 2, 298:26 he has given, a-ka-an VAB 2, 114:8 he has established, and a-bat VAB 2, 114:17 he has taken. In Ugaritic, we find a few syllabic spellings showing a: ta-ba-a he departed, a-ma-ta it devolved (Huehnergard 1989: 68 with n. 142; van Soldt 1991: 442; Tropper 2000: 464).76 However, since we do not have earlier reliable sources, we cannot determine when these forms emerged for the first time. As to the source of the qatala perfect, two possible options present themselves: it may represent the verbalization of a QaTL participle, which was the active counterpart of the wellestablished passive/intransitive QaTiL form, or it may be a secondary offshoot of a doubtless more original perfect with the pattern qati/ula. I will start with the first option, which is the most far-reaching. From a typological point of view, it is not implausible that qatala arose from the grammaticalization of a periphrastic construction built on an active participle, parallel to the rise of qati/ula from QaTiL. This is indeed a widespread view, originating with Bauer (1910: 1215).77 Aro (1964: 19899) rejected it because of the cross-linguistic rarity of past active participles with the meaning having done sth.. It is true that such participles are rare (Haspelmath 1994: 15457), but parallels from Modern Arabic show that the meanings expressed by qatala can very well develop from a present participle. This is based on the inherent ambiguity of a present participle. On the one hand, it can describe somebody as engaged in the activity expressed by the verb, e.g., Ar qtilun killing. As such, it may acquire an implication of habituality and thus develop into an agent noun (Ar. qtilun killer, murderer, and prominently in Akkadian; see 8.4.1, pp. 205 206). On the other hand, if a participle of a transitive verb is qualified by a definite noun, e.g., qtilu Zaydin the killer of Zayd, it refers to a single event and the clause has an implicature: if someone is a killer of Zayd, he has killed Zayd. In this way, the present participle of a transitive verb may evolve into a resultative or a perfect (D. Cohen 1984: 269328, esp. 275; Brustad 2000: 18284 with additional literature). Concrete cases of this process have occurred in various Eastern Arabic dialects. According to D. Cohen (1984: 283), in the dialect of Bahrain the perfect is replaced by a predicative participle for the expression of perfect meaning in terminative verbs, whereas the participle in atelic motion verbs normally indicates the actual present. In the dialect of Baghdad, the perfect is the unmarked form for past reference, whereas the participle can serve as a resultative perfect. However, in verbs of state and movement the participle can express ongoing processes or processes about to begin (1984: 28788).78 Johnstone (1967) reports a similar state of affairs for Kuwaiti, Baraini, and Qaari Arabic (1967: 144, 153, and 163, respectively).
74. A selection of pertinent views includes Fleisch 1947/48: 51; Rssler 1951: 37071; Rundgren 1959a: 280; Petrek 1963: 592; Diakonoff 1988: 94; Tropper 1995a: 504; Kienast 2001: 2023. 75. For the putative occurrence of QaTaL in Eblaite and the (non-existence of) earlier qatala perfects in Amorite proper names, see n. 93 (p. 189). 76. It is significant, however, that the attested perfects of II/ verbs, where the stem vowel can be inferred from the preceding , all have i: lik /laika/ he sent, sid /saida/ he served food, and il / aila/ he asked (Sivan 1997: 113; Tropper 2000: 470). 77. See also, for instance, Nyberg 1920: 188; Brockelmann 1951: 146; Rundgren 1966: 137; Kuryowicz 1972: 66; Loprieno 1986: 15260; Tropper 1995a: 51213; T. D. Anderson 2000: 3134; Kienast 2001: 202. 78. Further afield, T. D. Anderson (2000: 4041) adduces evidence for this development from Japanese and Dravidian languages.

7.4. The Prehistory of the Stative


Moreover, T. D. Anderson (2000: 3450) argues that the Hebrew perfect qal has many imperfective-like uses in addition to its main perfective function, the most important of which is its consecutive derivation wqal, which is problematic in almost all theories that attempt to explain the highly controversial verbal system of Hebrew. He proposes to account for this apparent contradiction by starting from qatala as an active participle. This scenario presupposes the existence of an active QaTL participle in Proto-Semitic or, at least, in a very early stage of West Semitic. There is, however, hardly any evidence for this. Particularly detrimental to its existence in Proto-Semitic is the absence of unambiguous traces in Akkadian (Rssler 1950: 473).79 Akkadian has a rather marginal adjectival pattern PaRaS, but it does not have the required meaning: it comprises primary adjectives, most of which express prototypically adjectival concepts. They were enumerated in 3.3.3 under C15 (p. 63) and some additional Assyrian cases in 3.3.4 as Type 3 (p. 65). Moreover, Assyrian has a few PaRaS statives, already mentioned in 7.2 (p. 162): waab, alaq, and bala. They suggest that PaRaS statives of fientive verbs may once have existed and that therefore the predominance of PaRiS in Akkadian may be secondary (so also Kienast 1967: 65).80 However, even if these statives are fientive, they are neither transitive nor active (in the sense of denoting an action) and are therefore poor parallels to the West Semitic qatala perfect. Other possible traces of QaTL in Akkadian are also disputable. First, the agent noun PaRRS (residually PaRRS; see n. 81), might be interpreted as an expressive extension of a hypothetical pattern PaRS with active/transitive meaning. Second, since vowel lengthening is a common indicator of substantivation in Semitic (Kuryowicz 1972: 113; Kienast 1989: 281, 2001: 376), one could arguewith Kuryowicz (1972: 109)that the Akkadian infinitive pattern PaRS is a substantivation of a participle PaRS with active meaning, which contrasted with the farbetter-known detransitive past participle PaRiS. The identity of past participle and infinitive in all Akkadian derived verbal stemsboth have the stem vowel umay be taken as an argument that in the G-stem, too, the infinitive was derived from the past participle (see further 8.2.2, pp. 199200). This line of reasoning obviously contains a high degree of speculation, and the forms involved may quite well have a different background. With regard to West Semitic, the only direct evidence for the former existence of an active QaTL participle consists of the residual agent noun pattern QaTaL in Classical Arabic, studied by Fleisch (1955), e.g., akam arbitre, taba qui suit). It is the basis for the more productive extended patterns QaTL and QaTTL.81 However, Fox (2003: 161) is reluctant to accept Fleischs claim that the extended patterns with a or in the second syllable are affective derivations of an original QaTaL pattern. He points out (2003: 179) that QaTL has no evident semantic connection to *qatal, which does not normally serve for action nouns. This is remarkable,
79. In so far as there are any traces of QaTaL in Berber, they are prototypical adjectives, as in Akkadian (Rssler 1950: 303), and there is nothing that points to an active participle with this pattern. 80. It may be added hereif only for the sake of completenessthat several nouns that can plausibly be derived from primary adjectives or past participles with the pattern PaRiS actually have PaRaS: alamtu corpse (cf. almu to be(come) sound, well [see Eilers 1954/59: 32223 n. 3], Adj alim), kaspu silver (cf. kaspu to break in little pieces, Stat kasip), kabattu liver (cf. kabtu (i) heavy), and almu statue, construct state alam (cf. almu (i) black), and perhaps wardu slave, construct state warad (cf. wardu to go /come down, PPartc warid ). See for this phenomenon Eilers, 1954/59: 32223 n. 3. It is difficult to judge the relevance of such forms: they may represent indirect evidence of an earlier past participle pattern PaRaS, but they may also have a quite different background. 81. Fleisch also mentions QaTTaL, but this does not seem to occur in Arabic. It does occur in Old Assyrian arruqum thief < arrqum and in Hebrew (with > ); see Fox 2003: 25760. QaTL occurs in many languages as a rare actant noun according to Fox (2003: 179); QaTTL is pan-Semitic as an agent noun.


The Prehistory of the Stative 7.4.

since QaTiL and QaTL are closely related and even overlapping in function, and likewise QaTuL and QaTL (2003: 157). So the problem is whether we are justified in positing any historical relationship between them.82 It could be argued, however, that already in Proto-Semitic QaTL as an action noun was completely replaced by QaTL. A parallel of such a development can be found in Akkadian PaRRS, which has almost completely replaced PaRRS as an agent noun (see n. 81 above), so that in historical Akkadian the remaining PaRRS forms have a quite different function from PaRRS (they comprise plural and perhaps intensive adjectives; see GAV pp. 4958). It does seem possible, therefore, to posit an active participle *QaTaL for Proto-Semitic transitive verbs, opposed to the well-attested passive/intransitive past participle *QaTiL. *QaTaL was substantivized as an action noun *QaTL (widespread as an infinitive; see 8.2.2, pp. 199200), on the one hand, and as an agent noun, on the other, in which function it was largely replaced by various longer patterns. As productive active participle, it was renewed by *QTiL (< *QTaL?). According to Rundgren (1974: 200), it was this process that left QaTL with the function of an abstract verbal noun (> infinitive). Needless to say, all this is just as speculative as the Akkadian traces of QaTL discussed above. All in all, there are three (de)verbal categories that combine the stem vowel or with an active meaning: the G-stem infinitive PaRS and the agent noun PaRR/S in Akkadian, and the active/transitive perfect qatala in West Semitic.83 Even so, it remains questionable whether this constitutes sufficient evidence for attributing a QaTL participle to Proto-Semitic, which could be pressed into service as the source of qatala. The residual QaTL agent nouns of Arabic might indicate that it developed subsequently in West Semitic, but this remains a matter of speculation as well. So it may be easier to abandon Proto-Semitic QaTL as an active participle and assume that the qatala perfect was split off from the inherited qati/ul(a) perfect at some point in the development of Proto-West Semitic.84 Semantically, the derivation of an active/transitive perfect from an originally passive/intransitive participle is unobjectionable, as the active stative of Akkadian shows. There also is a fair number of active qatila perfects in West Sem