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I think the doubling in verbal /-at/ arises from the addition of a vowel-initial pronominal suffix to an etymologically consonant-final base. The nominal /-at/ is etymologically vowel-final (case endings). Doubling is a common strategy in Mashreqi dialects:

min+hu > minn+uh
katabtil+hu > katabtill+uh
katabat+hu > katabatt+uh


That's an excellent suggestion, I had not really considered that yet!

I still think that development is probably not regular in the sense that you can write a sound law to arrive at this development.

The fact that you have form like ktibāt-uh (so a different strategy) to solve the same 'issue' would seem to suggest that it's an attempt to retain the integrity of the word-shape.

I think this is similar as with *min-uh, which would regularly yield **mn-uh, so to retain the vowel of min > minn-uh.

But there's a couple of ways you can go arguing about that.


One has to wonder whether Classical Arabic /minnī/ and /'annī/ are really the result of suffixation of -nī, rather than just -ī plus doubling. All the pronominal suffixes in Classical Arabic are consonant-initial, with the exception of -ī, and /min/ and /'an/ are really the only prepositions in CA I can think of that end in a consonant.


Also, if I recall correctly, according to Ingham, North Najdi actually has /mn-uh/ and /mn-ī/ without doubling.


North Najdi is weird as fuck when it comes to the pronominal suffixes

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