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An Introductory Note to Noam Agmon's “Materials and Language” with Special Attention to the Issue of Biliteral Roots

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Biliteral roots have been, and still are controversial. Because Noam Agmon's paper, to which this note is an introduction, assumes the reality of biliteral roots, the issue is revisited. Several important arguments in support of the biliterality of C1C2C2 and C1C1C2 verbs were put forth in the course of the past thirty years. They are reviewed here, along with the criticisms they have triggered. It is concluded that the evidence weighs in favor of recognizing synchronically active biliteral roots subjected to templatic pressure. It is further suggested that a by-product of Agmon's study and findings is a time frame for the emergence of templatic morphology in the Middle East.


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