Root Formation and Polysemic Organization in Arabic Lexicon: A Probabilistic Model
Alhawary, Mohammad T. and Benmamoun, Elabbas (eds.), 2005, Perspectives On Arabic Linguistics XVII-XVIII, Papers From The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Annual Symposia On Arabic Linguistics, 85-116.
33 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2013
Date Written: October 20, 2005
In this paper, we address the notion of polysemy in Classical Arabic lexicon. We argue that the rules governing Arabic root formation generate polysemy in an unavoidable way. Assuming a root organization and generation stance divergent from the proposed in earlier models, such as the Extentionist Model, the Epenthesis Model, and the Combinatorial Model, we present the Probabilistic Model as an alternative model that can better account for the phenomenon of polysemy: root formation is probabilistic. The triconsonantal roots cross at any given root resulting in a polysemic form (bearing, at least, three meanings) and comprising three identical consonantal copies each of which bears its own meaning inherited from its own listeme, making polysemy unavoidable.
Keywords: Arabic, Lexicon, Polysemy, Probabilistic model, Reduplication, Archiroot
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