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HomeNuméros32Why Syntax Matters


Work on Hebrew word formation often emphasizes its morphological and phonological aspects. In this paper I argue that even with regard to processes that seem, prima facie, purely phonological or morphological, syntactic information should be taken into consideration. This claim is illustrated in the context of the discussion of two case studies : Bat El's (1994) treatment of Hebrew denominal verbs (an analysis extended by Bat El to all Hebrew verbs) and Aronoff's (1994) discussion of verbal patterns (binyanim), which grants special status to passive binyan forms. In the first case it is shown that once we look into the syntax of denominal verbs, it becomes clear that they are structurally different from other, root-derived verbs, and therefore their analysis should not be extended to all verbs. In the second case, the special status of passive forms follows immediately from the syntactic structure of passive verbs, and thus does not have to be stipulated arbitrarily.

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Electronic reference

Maya Arad, « Why Syntax Matters », Recherches linguistiques de Vincennes [Online], 32 | 2003, Online since 06 June 2005, connection on 28 November 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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