Whenever I look up how Semitic created its triconsonantal template system, one tidbit I see frequently mentioned is that the older roots seem to have originally been biconsonantal, and were only later lengthened into the triconsonantal roots by the suffixation of "verb extenders".

Is there a list of such extenders out there - I've been looking but I can't find one? Can we give them definite meanings, with the same extender applied to different roots yielding a similar semantic change to each?

  • I very much doubt there's anything definitive. Whilst it is generally agreed that Proto-Afro-Asiatic was primarily biconsonantal and Proto-Semitic primarily triconsonantal there is very little agreement on any of the details (I guess other than the fact hollow roots frequently have almost identical semantics to II=III roots, presumably both corresponding fairly directly to the old biliteral)
    – Tristan
    Commented Jun 6 at 18:29


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