Workshop on prefixes vs suffixes in Afroasiatic, 11-12 March 2022

A hybrid workshop on Afroasiatic morphology, Paris, 11-12 March 2022.lab logo

Venue | Program | Description | Registration | Organizers


Friday, 11 March 2022: CNRS Pouchet

CNRS Site Pouchet
Salle 255 (2ème étage)
59/61 rue Pouchet
75017 Paris

Métro 13 : stations Guy Môquet, Brochant, Porte de Clichy
Métro 14 : station Porte de Clichy
RER C : station Porte de Clichy

Hybrid option: Zoom

Saturday, 12 March 2022: Condorcet Campus

Campus Condorcet
Conference Centre building, Place du Front Populaire
Room 3.01 (3rd floor)

Métro ligne 12, station Aubervillers – Front Populaire

Hybrid option: Avaya


All times CET. The 50-minute slots have 40 minutes for the talk and 10 for discussion.

Friday, 11 March (Pouchet)

12:00-12:15 The organizers Opening remarks
12:15-12:50 Itamar Kastner University of Edinburgh No easy -fix
12:50-13:40 Gioia Cacchioli Université de Genève The Tigrinya zə- prefix: A Morphological Reflex of Successive-Cyclic Movement
14:10-15:00 Noam Faust Université de Paris 8 and CNRS nifʕal: a defective story
15:00-15:50 Iris Kamil University of Vienna t-Forms of the Akkadian Stative
16:20-17:10 Ruth Kramer Georgetown University The Morphosyntax of Imperative Agreement in Ethiosemitic
17:10-18:00 Daniel Harbour QMUL Dispatches from Babel: What the Old Testament teaches of scaffolding

Saturday, 12 March (Condorcet)

12:00-12:50 Alexander Martin Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle, Université de Paris, CNRS Revisiting the prefix/suffix asymmetry: Experimental evidence from Kîîtharaka
12:50-13:40 Sabrina Bendjaballah CNRS The role of templates in the morphology of Taqbaylit Berber stative verbs
14:10-15:00 Mohamed Lahrouchi and Noam Faust Université de Paris 8 and CNRS The locus of gender in Tashlhiyt Berber nouns
15:00-15:50 Matthew Hewett University of Chicago Distributing Semitic verbal affixes across modules
16:20-17:10 Jean Lowenstamm CNRS Confronting the golem
17:10-18:00 Andrew Nevins and Ur Shlonsky UFRJ/UCL & Université de Genève Rescaffolding the bundle: Notes towards a syntactic account of Afroasiatic inflection
18:00-18:30 Laura Kalin (chair) Princeton University General discussion

Workshop description

It is common to divide verbal forms in Semitic and much of Afroasiatic into two paradigms, depending on whether agreement affixes are prefixes or suffixes. In one paradigm, the exponents of person, number and gender are suffixal while the other paradigm has both prefixes and suffixes. For example, Hebrew past tense is typically suffixal (e.g. axal-tem ‘you.PL ate’) while non-past is prefixal as well as suffixal (to-xl-u ‘you.PL will eat’). Crucially, no language in this family has a purely prefixal verbal paradigm.

Halle (1997) assumed that the position of the affixes is an idiosyncratic property of a given item, encoded in its Vocabulary entry. Much of the subsequent research in this domain has found this assumption unsatisfactory; in many cases, for example, the distinction is based on the tense (or aspect) of the verb. Yet this generalization does not apply across all forms, much less all languages. Recent work has attempted to explain or derive the properties and the position(s) of phi features in the Semitic verb from the interplay of morphological, syntactic and phonological rules or constraints, including verb movement or linearizaton-related constraints.

This mini-workshop focuses on the prefix-suffix issue in Afroasiatic and hopes to engage a discussion among researchers concerned with different facets of this issue.


To join the online component, please fill out this registration form:


Mohamed Lahrouchi (CNRS, local contact)
Andrew Nevins (UFRJ/UCL)
Ur Shlonsky (Geneva)
Itamar Kastner (Edinburgh)