Root extraction (Determining the root of a word)

Fredsie

Member
British English
Hi

I believe there is a step-by-step way to identify the root letters from any arabic word - could anyone point me towards an appropriate resource please?

fred
 
  • Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Root Extraction? :eek: That sounds painful.

    Humor aside, I'm not sure about a step-by-step way to learn it, but as Arabic is a language of patterns when you learn those patterns you will be able to derive the roots with ease. Unfortunately there are many patterns (for nouns anyway, there are only a handful of verb patterns). However, most noun patterns occur with frequency, so it should not be hard to learn the most common ones and be able to recognize the root immediately.

    The Arab grammarians use the Arabic letters ف , ع , and ل to represent the various patterns. But for simplicity sake, just to show how it works in English, we can use C1, C2, C3 respectively, where C stands for consonant.

    So, for example C1aC2iiC3 is a common pattern. When you have words, then, such kabiir (big) and Tawiil (long) you will know that roots is k-b-r and T-w-l, respectively, because you know the pattern.

    As for a resource, I am not aware of any that specifically teach patterns, but I would suggest a good grammar, and a good dictionary in which you will become familiar with the many patterns.
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    Josh:Root Extraction? :eek: That sounds painful.:)
    To add to what Josh said.
    The system of trilitteral roots:
    The consonants used as roots are:أنتَ مُسي .
    ة final,ا, ى are never part of a root.As for the ا, with ء the ء is the root consonant.
    The Hans Wehr dictionary lists words according to their roots.
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    Root Extraction? :eek: That sounds painful.
    I must admit, when I saw the title of this thread, I got a little excited because I thought it was going to include dentistry terms or translations related to a visit to the dentist. Anyway, I agree with Josh's simplified version of understand the root patterns. Of course, they are not just limited to trilaterals, but also quads, and quints which you'll discover as you go deeper into your studies.
     

    Fredsie

    Member
    British English
    Thanks all!

    MarcB, your reply comes close to what I mean. I understand the concept of the root system, it's just that when faced with a given word I'm not sure which letters within it count as the root. For example, words that start with م often don't seem to include this in the root. As you say, dictionaries tend to use the root system, so if you don't know how to do this (simple!?) task you can't look the word up.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    The consonants used as roots are:أنتَ مُسي .
    Are you sure you didn't mean "generally not part of the root"?

    You can add to that alif ا, the problem is, of course, that sometimes they are part of the root!!!

    Example: استثناء, the ا، س، ت، are not part of the root, but the نون and last همزة are; the root is ثنى and the pattern is استفعال, where ث=ف، ن=ع and همزة=ل in place of الف مقصورة.

    I agree with Josh, you will have to get used to the patterns تفعيلات before you can be sure. Even then, if you have a long vowel, even ligusits may disagree on which one to use since you can replace one long vowel with the other.
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    To Mahaodeh, It means those letters in general are root letters it is a way to remember them, not the root letters of those two words.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Marc, this means you're taking the Arabic alphabet down from 28 to 6 letters :eek: Even if you mean that they're only "general" and not exclusive, that would still be a too big generalisation.

    Fredsie, until you get used to "feeling" or detecting the patterns, you can use the dictionaries that are not ordered according to the roots. For example المورد is a good Arabic-English dictionary that lists words alphabetically as they're written, not accordting to their roots.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Perhaps Marc meant that those are the letters that can be added to a root to create different forms?
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    You mean حروف الزيادة ? In that case I agree. These are the letters that we can -generally- leave out while looking for the root of the word, with exception of course, like what Maha said.
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    MarcB, your reply comes close to what I mean. I understand the concept of the root system, it's just that when faced with a given word I'm not sure which letters within it count as the root. For example, words that start with م often don't seem to include this in the root. As you say, dictionaries tend to use the root system, so if you don't know how to do this (simple!?) task you can't look the word up.
    OK, I understand what you want. Going back to what I said in my first post there are many common patterns and those patterns that include the extra letters are among those common patterns. Using my English pattern scheme:

    istaC1C2aC3a (استفعل ) is a common pattern. When you learn to recognize this pattern you will know automatically that 'ista' (است ) is just the prefix and you will know that the root of a word,such as ista3mala (استعمل ), is 3-m-l (عمل ). This is a verb pattern and the participles thereof are also common patterns:

    active -- mustaC1C2iC3
    ---- musta3mil = user.
    passive -- mustaC1C2aC3
    ---- mustamal = used.

    When you learn this pattern you will recognize the prefix ('musta') and the root.

    In fact, all of the prefixes that use the letter miim (م ) are related to verb forms, and as I said there are not many of those -- only nine in common usage.

    Now there are certain cases in which deriving the root may be a little harder; many of these involve the weak consonants -- و and ي and ء (I know hamza is not classified as a weak letter, but in many respects it acts like one). But this is just a matter of elimination -- look up what you think it might be, and if that is not then look up the other. For example, you have the word yanaama ( ينام ) -- he sleep -- but you don't know if the root is n-i-m (ن-ي-م ) or ( ن-و-م ), so you look the former and realize that is not it, and so you look up the latter and realize that is it. Oftentimes, though, the root will be apparent in the verbal noun (المصدر ). For this verb it is نوم and from that the root becomes apparent.

    Another example is the one that Mahaodeh gave:
    Example: استثناء, the ا، س، ت، are not part of the root, but the نون and last همزة are; the root is ثنى and the pattern is استفعال, where ث=ف، ن=ع and همزة=ل in place of الف مقصورة.
    A word like استثناء in which the last letter is hamza would only occur when the last root letter is one of the weak letters. So it's just a matter of eliminating the ones that it is not.
     

    Nikola

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Fredsie,
    You need to know the prefixes and suffixes added to verbs and other roots, once you remove them you will have the roots.The perfective tense of verbs is closer to the roots.
    This is from a logorithm to find roots:The first step is to remove the longest possible prefix. Then we look at the remainder. The three letters of the root must lie somewhere in the first four or five characters of the remainder. What is more, the first letter of the remainder is the first letter of the root since we have removed the longest possible prefix.
    We check all possible trigrams within the first five letters of the remainder. That is, we check the following six possible trigrams:
    first, second, and third letters
    first, second, and fourth
    first, second, and fifth
    first, third, and fourth
    first, third, and fifth
    Quadriliteral and biliteal roots are usually formed as extensions of triliteral roots by reduplicating the final consonant. Of course any comment is an oversimplification of a complex issue.
     

    Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi all

    I would like just to make two points:

    (1) your additional letters (i.e. non-root letters) are all contained in the following mnemonic: سَأَلْتُمُوْنِيْهَا
    (س - أ - ل - ت - م - و - ن - ي - ه - ا ) (sa'altumuuniihaa) which are 10 in number. In addition to these 10 letters, the only other instance of an additional letter is when you double an existing root letter. So it is these 10 letters plus a doubled root letter. In other words, apart from these 10 letters no other letter can occur as an additional letter unless it is doubled. Hence, the following letters can never be additional letters unless they are doubled (duplicated): ب ث ج ح خ د ذ ر ز ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ك unless they are doubled. There are very rare instances in which an additional ت might change into a ط or د or ذ , in which case these would also be additional letters. Obviously some of the 10 letters occur more frequently as additional letters than others.

    (2) the best way to understand root vs. additional letters imho is to take the following words all derived from the same root letters and then see which letters appear in all of the words and which do not. The first group would be your root letters and your second group your additional letters. So here we go:

    فهم
    يفهم
    نفهم
    تفهم
    أفهم
    فاهم
    مفهوم
    مفاهمة
    فهمان
    تفاهم
    استفهم
    استفهام
    مفهم
    أفهام
    إفهام
    تفهيم
    يستفهم
    يتفهم
    etc.

    The letters marked in red (namely: ف هـ م ) are your root letters because they occur in all the words while the rest are additional letters, and they are all from the 10 letters mentioned above. Should your root letters be weak letters then you will find that they are sometimes dropped, but if they are strong letters they are almost never dropped if at all.

    I hope this was useful.
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    To be quite honest, when I started learning Arabic I didn't really bother paying attention to roots so much. I just learned words, and learned basics of grammar. After more time and practice, I learned more about roots and then they just started being apparent to me. I think if you are at an early language stage, you don't really need to stress about this too much and just focus on acquiring vocabulary.

    That said, many dictionaries list entries based on root - but there are also many simpler dictionaries that list alphabetically.
     

    Spectre scolaire

    Senior Member
    Maltese and Russian
    clevermizo said:
    To be quite honest, when I started learning Arabic I didn't really bother paying attention to roots so much. I just learned words, and learned basics of grammar. After more time and practice, I learned more about roots and then they just started being apparent to me
    According to my own experience with Arabic, the better you know the morphological build-up of the verb and (especially) its nominal derivations, the better you’ll come to grips with the idiosyncratic way most Arabic dictionaries are organized.

    Obviously, clevermizo started rather early studying Arabic, and his language learning methodology is probably influenced by that. I think age is a crucial factor in choosing how to learn a language – if not outright how it is possible to learn a language! You would tend to learn written Chinese in a radically different way when you are 40 from when you are 20. I don’t think Arabic is basically different in that respect.

    My point is that when you are 20 you learn the drudgery part of a language (like vocabulary!) without asking too many questions. ;) When you are 40 – not to mention when you are 56! – you’ll tend to view things in a mirror of already acquired knowledge :cool:: You use logics, you apply your deduction skills, you compare with other languages – you desperately want to see a system. This search for structure pays off when you discover that Chinese characters can be analyzed and Arabic words can be ...“root extracted” and then rebuilt according to a particularly subtle system. You don’t need to “just learn words”, as clevermizo advocates. Nothing wrong with the latter approach – you’d better learn a lot of them! – but having reached a certain age, you just can’t expect your brain to digest the first 500 words without any notions of structure.

    I am not a young man either, and I do have some experience in language learning. The surprisingly positive thing is that age basically is of very little importance provided you find a methodology which suits you. I started myself with Arabic when I was very young, but subsequently left it for more than 10 years. Already at the point when I eventually resumed it, I had a craving for structure. But I was lucky. In the meantime I had built up a reference which proved infallibly useful: Turkish. For some time Ottoman Turkish and Classical Arabic nourished each other – two “dead languages” competing for favour in terms of endless comparisons between loanwords and words of origin. :D

    Back to the ...root of the problem.

    With Arabic roots comprising “week letters” you’ll have a serious problem unless you are not familiar with the general theory of Arabic nominal morphology. Surveys (and mnemonics) like those of Abu Bishr are very useful indeed, but I think every good grammar of Classical Arabic – I have got three myself – all contain such information. Only, you can never get enough of it! –like with all good things. ;)

    Still I may “extract” a wrong root when trying to find a word in my main dictionary of Arabic, the English version of Wehr, probably the best on the market. But mind you, even an educated Arab might experience the same problem – exactly like an educated Chinese whom you ask for the radical of a “non-analyzable” character. And the reason for their bewilderment concerning their own language is, of course, that natives don’t need to “extract” roots or radicals; they already know the word! We need a method to proceed to the dictionary – even if we are advanced students. ;)

    Good luck, Fredsie!
    :) :)
     

    Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi everybody

    If your problem is one of searching for particular words in a dictionary and esp. Hans Wehr, then there are interesting resources for using the Hans Wehr in particular. It is possible to offer a module on a step-by-step way of finding words in the Hans Wehr. A friend of mine back in South Africa wrote an excellent introduction on using the Hans Wehr. I remember having seen a document on the net describing how to go about using the Hans Wehr and what some of the prerequisites are for using the Hans Wehr. For one I'd say it is incumbent on the student to master the 10 forms of the verb together with its perfect, imperfect (both in the active and passive voices), imperstive, verbal noun, active participle, passive participle forms. This is knowledge which is presupposed in using Hans Wehr since he only refers to the additional / augmented forms of the verb by way of Roman numerals, that is, he takes it that you are already familiar with the forms that these numerals symbolise.

    Once the student has been taken trough the whole process of how to use Hans Wehr and provided with all the prerequisite and necessary background knowledge, he / she should then be given an exercise where he / she is given a number of words to find the meanings of in Hans Wehr. This "hands-on" approach, I believe, is the best way to go about mastering the root and derivation system in Arabic.

    I just did a quick search for the internet article on how to use Hans Wehr, and I found it via this link. I hope you find it useful.
     

    Spectre scolaire

    Senior Member
    Maltese and Russian
    Abu Bishr said:
    For one I'd say it is incumbent on the student to master the 10 forms of the verb together with its perfect, imperfect (both in the active and passive voices), imperstive, verbal noun, active participle, passive participle forms. This is knowledge which is presupposed in using Hans Wehr [and most other dictionaries of Arabic!] since he only refers to the additional / augmented forms of the verb by way of Roman numerals, that is, he takes it that you are already familiar with the forms that these numerals symbolise.
    This is exactly my point. ;) Whether you learn this through the web or through a book – you have to learn it! :p It can be seen as a prerequisite - like getting used to the 182 plus radicals of Chinese.
    :)
     

    aljmet

    New Member
    english
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    This is not the first time I've had trouble finding a word in the dictionary but I was unable to find any useful information about hamza especially where to find it in the dictionary?

    The word أداة is hard(for me) for a couple reasons:

    1. It is full of "sick" letters
    2. It is full of letters that are not always, but sometimes part of the root miim, taa, laam, faa, kaaf, yaa, wow, etc.
    3. It starts with hamza

    Often in the past the only way I've been able to find words with many sick letters or non-root letters is by trial and error (looking up all kinds of different (combinations) an example that comes to mind is ملاية What a nightmare, not a single letter that is either sick or not guaranteed to be part of the root!

    However, my latest concern is where to find hamza? Is hamza considered a letter? In the Hans Wehr dictionary (4th ed. international edition) I cannot find the word أداة nor any section specifically for hamza. It goes اخر, اد, ادب no أداة

    To end this long post, here are my main questions:

    What is the root of أداة and how did you arrive at that?
    Is there a better way to find such wacky words in the dictionary than just trial and error?
    How did poor hamza come to deserve such little recognition?
    Do you know of any magic website where you put in a word and it tells you the root, like a reverse conjugator?

    Shukran 3likum

    p.s. أداة means "tool" according to googletranslate but what fun is that?
     

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    Hi aljmet

    Yes hamza is considered a letter, consonant, radical. It can sometimes be a waw or yaa turned into a hamza in some patterns.
    The root of أداة is أدو. You would usually be able to find it under أدو or أدا, depends on the dictionary you're using.
    Unfortunately I don't have Hans Wehr, so I can't tell you for sure where you'd find it there.
    You can try this website http://lexicons.ajeeb.com/default.aspx
    It searches in some classical and modern Arabic dictionaries. If you don't get a result, try the singular masculine form of the word you're searching for, hopefully you'll find it. However, it's unfortunately in Arabic.

    As for ملاية, it's the colloquial pronunciation, turning the yaa into a hamza would've helped.

    Then again, you have this forum :)
     

    AndyRoo

    Senior Member
    English
    What is the root of أداة and how did you arrive at that?
    The root is أ د و , but I'm not sure how I knew that. I think it could also have been أ د ى or أ د ي .
    Is there a better way to find such wacky words in the dictionary than just trial and error?
    I don't think so! I think it is trial an error, unfortunately. But it does get easier eventually as you get a feel for the patterns.
    How did poor hamza come to deserve such little recognition?
    If the hamza is part of the root, it comes first alphabetically in Hans Wehr, as if it were an alif.
    Do you know of any magic website where you put in a word and it tells you the root, like a reverse conjugator?
    I'm afraid not. :(
     

    shafaq

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Do you know of any magic website where you put in a word and it tells you the root, like a reverse conjugator?
    At that point; I recommend you commercial Verbace Pro Arabic-English-Arabic software dictionary due to its affordability and ability to comply -if not all- at least some of your needs. They are distributing one year working limited free versions too; just at the early times of all new years. I hope they will distribute their 2011 free version also after 2 or 3 months.- Still I am using 2008 free version along with 2010 free version. Although; it is not a "Lisan- al-Arab" nor Hans Wehr, even limited free versions are very comprehensive and useful. I could find your word by transcrip it as أداة and اداة even as ادات as well as its conjugated and suffixed form as تاديها . Even أدوات gave me أداة .
    They have a free on-line version also here but not as successful as the software version.
    . Is this post sounds like a commercial ?
     

    Serafín33

    Senior Member
    Root أ د و, or "ادو" in the Hans Wehr. You'll find it in the 12th page in the 4th edition:
    (ادو)‎ اداة adāh pl. ادوات adawāt tool; instrument; utensil, implement, device, appliance; apparatus; (gram.) particle | اداة الحكم a. al-ḥukm machinery of government [...]
    however without the hamza on the alif.
    Yes. Unfortunately, the Hans-Wehr doesn't distinguish between the همزة القطع and همزة الوصل.
     

    lukebeadgcf

    Senior Member
    English – US
    Is there a better way to find such wacky words in the dictionary than just trial and error?
    Using an Arabic, root-based dictionary requires a terrific understanding of the derivation system of Arabic, and as you continue to learn more patterns, your dictionary skills will improve.

    In order to look up any word quickly and efficiently, you need to know the measures for trilateral and quadrilateral verbs (there are 15 for trilateral verbs and 4 for quadrilateral verbs):

    فعّل ، يفعّل ، التفعيل

    فاعل ، يفاعل ، المفاعلة / الفعال

    إلخ. (etc.)

    You also need to know their conjugations and their active and passive participles. You need to know how to form the "noun of place" مَفْعَل / مَفْعِل the "noun of instrument" مِفْعَل / مِفْعَلة / مِفْعَال . You should know how to form the "noun of similarity" فَعِيْل occasionally you will see فَعُوْل . You should know at least five or six but preferably 25 or 26 verbal noun patterns for measure-one verbs. You should know at least 20 broken plural patterns and which singular pattern they are usually derived from. You should be familiar also with the diminutive and exaggeration patterns.

    But more important than all of that, you need to observe what happens to irregular roots when they are projected onto these patterns. For example, initial-hamza, medial-hamza, final-hamza, initial-waw, etc., doubled consonants, combinations of these irregularities. As for أداة , the root is (according to Hans Wehr 4th Edition) أ د و . My guess is that the pattern is فَعَلَة . When a vowel preceded by a fatHa is followed by a تاء مربوطة , it manifests as اة , just like the verbal noun pattern مُفاعَلَة , when projected onto verbs with weak tertiary radicals becomes, for example, مساواة ، مغالاة ، مباراة ، مبالاة . It also happens when passive participles of weak-third-letter verbs are made feminine as in مُعَانًى > معاناة . My point is that you can be absolutely certain that if you see اة at the end of a word, the last letter of the root is a و or an ي .

    Anyway, if you want to get better at using the dictionary, make sure you recognize the pattern and root of every word you work with, and if you don't know, ask here (also read the introduction to the dictionary). I promise most of them will be easier than أداة :).
     
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    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hello guys,

    I just realized that I have problem to use a dictionary (book) for the translations.
    I tend to use google but I realized that it doesn't help when you have to use a real dictionary.

    Reading on the internet I saw that in order to find a word in the dictionnary we need to get the 3 root letters. A tip for doing that is remembering this sentence: انت موسى which letters should be remove from the words you're searching.

    If I do a such thing in this word مستحيل removing م ت ي it obtain سحل
    Is it really the root of مستحيل ? I don't think so...
    Also in another example if you do this thing on كاتب you will remain only with كب ... :(

    Could anyone tell me where I am mistaking please?

    Aurélien
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Removing all letters in انت موسى is a bit simplistic. Perhaps, it is better to say that one or more of the letters in انت موسى can normally be removed to get close to the root.

    In this case of مستحيل the letters to remove are م س ت. You are left with ح ي ل (the actual root is ح و ل). But how do you know that you are not to remove ي ? For this you would need to have a working knowledge of Arabic morphology.

    Here is a tool which gives all possible options for the root for a given word. It has helped me immensely in the past:
    https://open.xerox.com/Services/arabic-morphology

    You need to create an account to use it.
    ------
    In rare cases انت موسى does not help very much. For example the word ادكر. The root is actually ذكر and the original form is اذتكر but the ذ and ت have assimilated to دّ.
     

    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi Abu Talha,

    thank you for replying. I did register on that website, it is very helpful unfortunately it doesn't give indications on the way we can understand a root of word.
    As far as I understand a good knowledge of all the existing patterns is a good strategy.

    Aurélien
     

    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi @Abu Talha

    since using "انت موسى" tip is as you said a "too simplistic technique" for now I am trying to learn the groups of words where which have a common pattern and I hope it will help me to identify better its morphology.
    By doing this I find this interesting article which talks about of the origin of ح و ل (i.e the root of the word I was studying مستحيل) which means change, alteration, transformation, movement
    Analogously I presume that مستحيل is something that can not change, something that has no possibility to change, something that can not be altered = something "impossible"

    Is my reasoning correct?

    Aurélien
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I think you should avoid getting too excited about the meanings of roots per se. Although folk etymologies are very popular and you often get people coming up with these complicated explanations for why words from the same root often have such different meanings - شَعر and شِعر for example - these are usually nonsense when you look at them in the light of actual linguistic evidence. Roots get a lot of love in English-language teaching materials, and they're certainly useful and morphologically real. But they don't generally have any real 'meaning' outside of individual words; it's usually much more useful to know other words from the same root when working out the meaning of a new word than it is to know the usually very vague Platonic meaning of a 'root'.

    The only way, really, to be able to work out the root of a word is by recognising the pattern. Most patterns involve the addition of a prefix, suffix, or infix, the most common of which are the infixes -ā- and -ū-, the prefixes (each with various meanings) ma- mi- mu-, the prefix ʾa-, the prefix in-, the prefix ista-, the prefix ta- or the infix -t- (with various different realisations), and the suffixes -ā and -ān. As you can see, انت موسى covers almost all of these various affixes, which is why it is sort-of useful - but all of these letters could also be part of the root, and the importance of short vowels, consonant length changes and so on can't be ignored. So you can really only tell what the root of a word is if you know all the patterns.

    That said, in actual practical Arabic use knowing the root of something is not actually all that important. It's important to be able to recognise the root of a new word just so you can look it up in the dictionary, and it's also useful to recognise the fact that a new word is related to another word you already know. But even then - and, in my experience, sometimes to native speakers - the root of a given word is not 100% clear and could be one, two, or three different possibilities. I've never really understood the value of those exercises that make you derive form VIII verbs from roots or whatever because you will never, practically, have to do this in real life; all you need to be able to do is produce all the forms of that specific word (conjugating ادخر does not require you to know its root, for example).
     

    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    Thanks for sharing this Analeeh :thumbsup:
    Please see below my comments.
    I think you should avoid getting too excited about the meanings of roots per se.
    No no I am not don't worry :cool:
    So you can really only tell what the root of a word is if you know all the patterns.
    I totally agree with you, I am actually learning it so to be able to easily identify words roots when reading Arabic texts.
    It's important to be able to recognise the root of a new word just so you can look it up in the dictionary, and it's also useful to recognise the fact that a new word is related to another word you already know.
    This is exactly my intent. If I don't know the meaning of a word I would like to be able to find its translation in the dictionary by searching its root.

    Aurélien
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    thank you for replying. I did register on that website, it is very helpful unfortunately it doesn't give indications on the way we can understand a root of word.
    As far as I understand a good knowledge of all the existing patterns is a good strategy.
    Yes, the website doesn't explain the morphological analysis process. Nevertheless it's helpful to obtain the root so one can look up the word in a dictionary.
    In any case, I agree with what analeeh has written.
    Thank you a lot. It's very interesting !
    You're most welcome. aratools.com also seems very helpful.
     

    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi Abu Talha,

    I have searched تؤثّر in both your site and Ibn Nacer's one.
    Your site (xeros) claims the root is ء ث ر while Ibn Nacer's one اثر

    Do you know which one is correct please?
    Is it possible to have a ء as the root of a noun?

    I tried to searched a similar word but root is completely differente
    رؤية =>(xerox) ر ء ي and رأى (aratools)

    Aurélien
     

    WannaBFluent

    Senior Member
    Français
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    It can be tricky to find the root of a weak verb, so I'm looking for some keys to easily get them.

    الفعل المثال - Assimilated verbs (starting with ي or و)
    The root letters are found in the past tense of the verb.

    الفعل الأجوف - Hollow verbs (middle radical is ي or و)
    The root letters are found in the present tense of the verb. (are there exceptions?)

    الفعل الناقص - Defective verbs (ending in ي or و)
    How do you find them?

    edit: by the way, is there another method to find the middle radical of hollow verbs?
    Because if they are inflected in, let's say, form VII, even using the present stems, you can't find the radical...
     
    Last edited:

    Saley

    Senior Member
    Russian, Ukrainian
    الفعل الأجوف - Hollow verbs (middle radical is ي or و)
    The root letters are found in the present tense of the verb. (are there exceptions?)
    The middle radical of a hollow verb cannot be inferred on the basis of Form I if the verb has past stem-vowel i and present stem-vowel a (in the active voice).
    For example,
    • root: nwm ‘sleep’ (VN nawm); past: nāma, nimtu; present: yanāmu, yanamna
    • root: nyl ‘obtain’ (VN nayl); past: nāla, niltu; present: yanāla, yanalna
    There’s no phonetic difference between these two verbs apart from the third radical.

    Derived Forms of hollow verbs as well give no hint about the underlying second radical (apart from those Forms which exhibit no phonetic changes copmared to the strong verbs: II, III, V, VI).

    الفعل الناقص - Defective verbs (ending in ي or و)
    How do you find them?
    Simiarly, the final radical of a defective verb cannot be determined on the basis of Form I if the verb has past stem-vowel i and present stem-vowel a (in the active voice).
    For example,
    • root: rḍw ‘be satisfied’ (VN riḍwān); past: raḍiya, raḍū, raḍīna; present: yarḍā
    • root: lqy ‘encounter’ (VN luqya); past: laqiya, laqū, laqīna; present: yalqā
    The sounds after the second radical are the same for these two verbs.

    The verbs with other stem-vowels in Form I active differ both in the past and the present tense (at least in some persons) according to their underlying third radical, so the radical is easily deducible. Compare the conjugaton of ramā (y), daʕā (w), ḥaluwa (w) in the Form I (past and present).

    All the derived Forms of defective verbs don’t show any difference between w and y, so you cannot guess the underlying radical.
     
    Last edited:

    Saley

    Senior Member
    Russian, Ukrainian
    So using the verbal noun, I can identify the roots? No exceptions?
    Firstly, not all verbs have a verbal noun that exhibits the weak radical explicitly (e.g. VN baqā’). As far as I can judge, there’s no reason to ascribe a particular value (w or y) to the third radical in verbs like baqiya, since whether it were the one or the other, the verb would have the same surface form (in all grammatical forms).

    Secondly, some verbs have parallel verbal nouns with both w and y (e.g. VN ḥanw or ḥany).
     

    Aliph

    Senior Member
    Italian (North)
    I use the website aratools.com to find the roots of a word. I cannot judge if it is 100% accurate since my Arabic needs to be improved. Surely it is helpful. It allows me to look up a word in the searchable Hans Wehr (English-Arabic probably 1972 edition) that one can consult online or download for free on his phone.
     
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