Derivation of verbs from foreign words (פיקסס etc.)

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by hadronic, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    Moderator note: split from another thread

    Generally, when words are borrowed as-they-are and are felt unanalyzable (meaning, not originating from the traditional root and pattern mold), when a root has to be extracted from it, speakers tend to prefer transparency: they choose a root and a binyan that preserve the consonant clusters and the alternation of consonants and vowels.
    For that reason, almost if not all borrowed verbs are in the PI'EL, HIF'IL and HITPA'EL, since consonant clusters are preserved in all tenses and forms.
    QAL and NIF'AL rearrange consonant clusters throughout their paradigm and are not felt as "transparent" binyans : liQToL / QaTaL, niQTaL / hiQQaTeL.

    For instance, "to fax" :
    - we can't choose to extract the root F-K-S in the QAL since hu fakas / hu fokes / lifkos transforms the original word beyond recognition.
    - we can't choose to extract the root F-K-S in the PI'EL since hu fikkes / hu mefakkes / lefakkes, even though consonant/vowel alternation is stable throughout, since we lose the orignal word's alternation F-vowel-KS, it can't be preferred.
    - we actually choose to extract the root F-KS-S in the PI'EL : hu fikses / hu mefakses / lefakses, which preserves the F-vowel-KS pattern found in the original word.

    Other examples are:
    - flirt : flirtet, with root FL-R-T-T, binayn PI'EL
    - spritz : hishpritz, with root Sh-PR-TZ, binayn HIF'IL

    There's a fair amount of literature on the subject, cf. for instance "Measuring Productivity in Word Formation: The Case of Israeli Hebrew" by Bolozky.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2014
  2. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    And, at that stage of the language, the non-observance of the begadkefet rules is of course not an issue ( hu fikses instead of hu pikses), since transparency is all that matters here.
  3. bazq Senior Member

    Yes, I'm aware of all of this.
    And again, "fikes" was blocked for "fax" because it's already taken by f-k-s that originates from "focus", hence the doubling f-k-s-s to make the differentiation.
  4. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I don't think it's more a question of slot being already occupied, than actually preserving the clusters.
    Would f-k-s have not been taken up by "to focus", I'm sure that "to fax" would still not have yielded lefakes.
  5. bazq Senior Member

    Oh, I was referring to the doubling of the last letter, no doubt pi'el is highly productive and most roots from foreign words fit into him.
  6. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I was saying, I don't think that the doubling here happens to differentiate that word from the already existing lefakes (to focus).
    The doubling happens here as a mean to preseve the "KS" cluster.

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