Praise & Disparagement
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Imperfective Structures (continued)
Forms II Through QIV
Now that we have covered the imperfective of regular form I verbs, we shall continue with the rest of the verb forms.
Conjugating verb forms other than form I will require general modifications (common for all forms) and specific modifications (differ among particular groups of forms).
Thus, we do not need here to remove any vowels from within the perfective verb stem like we did with form I.
Let us take the following three verb forms and transform them into the 3rd person masculine singular imperfective:
The first general step is to remove the initial 'alif and the following vowel if existed:
Then we will remove the perfective pronominal suffix and add the 3rd person masculine singular prefix (the "he" prefix). As we know, there is no suffix for the "he" conjugation.
The third step is to add a mood-sign. The indicative mood-sign for the "he" conjugation is a short vowel -u .
By performing these three general modifications, we have done only what is common to all the verb forms, but we are not finished yet.
We will carry on with the specific modifications that differ between particular groups of the verb forms.
The specific modifications affect two elements of the verb structures:
Based on the specific modifications, the verb forms other than form I can be divided into three groups.
Let's continue with our three verb examples. The first specific modification regards the short vowel in the prefix. The imperfective pronominal prefixes have three varieties in Classical Arabic depending on the short vowel in them.
For example, the "he" prefix:
The first version, ya-, is the one used for most of the active-voice imperfective verbs, whereas the yu- version is used for all the passive-voice imperfective verbs. Four verb forms, namely forms II, III, IV, & QI, have the yu- version in both the active and the passive voices. We are going to go through these things in detail soon.
The yi- prefix does not exist in formal Arabic. However, it existed in many of the classical dialects, and was used particularly for the imperfective of fa"il(a) verbs of form I. Today, this prefix is the prevalently used prefix in most of the spoken dialects of Arabic.
As for our three examples, they will become as follows:
Form IV takes the yu- prefix. This is also the case for forms II, III, IV, & QI (all the forms with four letters). The rest of the forms will all have the ya- prefix in the active voice.
Now to the second and final one of the specific modifications. This regards the short vowel between the final two letters of the verb stem. This is similar to what we talked about for form I; there are three possible varieties for this vowel:
However, these vowels here will change among different forms but not among verbs of the same form like with form I. Thus, aside from form I, each verb form will have a specific short green vowel that is permanent and unchanging.
The vowel u appears only in the imperfective of form I, so we are not going to hear about it anymore. The active-voice imperfective verbs can have either a or i. The passive-voice imperfective verbs have only a.
As for our examples, they will become finally:
This is the final conjugation. Each one of these three verbs represents one of the three groups of the verb forms with regard to the imperfective conjugation.
The three groups are:
Represented by form IV in the three examples above, these have the prefix yu- and the green vowel i in the active voice (and the prefix yu- and the green vowel a in the passive voice, which is like all imperfective verbs).
The Yu-i verbs are easy to identify because they are simply all the forms that are composed of four letters, namely forms II, III, IV, & QI.
Apart from changing the vowel of the prefix to u, adding pronominal prefixes and suffixes to these verbs happens regularly, just like form I regular verbs previously covered.
(He) dignified/was generous to
Represented by form V in the three introductory examples, these verbs have the prefix ya- and the green vowel a in the active voice, so they really do not need any specific modification more than the three general steps. In the passive voice, these verbs will have the prefix yu- and the green vowel a, like all imperfective verbs.
Identifying Ya-a verbs is easy; they are simply the forms that begin with a reflexive prefix ta-, namely forms V, VI & QII.
These three verb forms are generally very neat and simple, both in structure and meaning, which is probably because they are more recent and less messed with than other forms like forms VII and VIII.
Examples on conjugation for different subjects:
(He) rolled (intr.)