Hollow and defective verbs

April 6, 2018
Tags: teaching-materials
Length: short

Update 2019-02-06 — Reformulation in text. Fatha added before alif maqṣūra.

This is a followup to a previous post in which I presented a way of representing the ten Arabic verb forms. In the document below I have done the same thing, i.e. a table with the ten verb forms in present, past, etc. and with the roots represented by empty squares, but this time for hollow and defective verbs. This is essentially to separate document, one for hollow and one for defective verbs, conveniently packaged in one pdf.

Hollow verbs are those that have و or ي as their middle rood and defective verbs are those that have و or ي as their final root. Their inflection deviates from that of the strong verb but is reguler, only with different and more complex regularities. These verbs are in some teaching materials presented as irregular verbs and students are encouraged to study them as such, one by one. While there is some merit to this, I believe it is useful, at least for some students, to see the whole system laid out as a whole in one massive table since you can then discover patterns and regularities and develop a feel for how the roots و or ي behave in various morphological contexts.


Please report any typos or other errors.