Silberman, Alfred alfred.silberman at
Tue Sep 7 17:01:41 EDT 1999

Brian Tucker asked:

			4. What is the best way to describe the difference
between a root and a 

I think that a response to this question other than those that have appeared
is possible. 

The issue of root / stem is addressed at the beginning of part II in
Gesenius. The basic observation involved is that a three consonant cluster
is today considered the basic element from which the various conjugations
are derived. It would stand to reason that each three consonant cluster -
called the root by many - would have its own unique lexical meaning. This,
however, is not a true statement. There are many "roots" which have exact
lexical counterparts in other three consonant clusters. In most of these
cases two of the three consonants are common. The suggestion given is that
the basic consonant elements that provide the lexical meaning - which may be
less than three - be called the root while the three consonant element which
is the building block used for the conjugation pattern be called the stem.

Alfred Silberman
alfred.silberman at

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