Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Donald Ringe


In this dissertation, we will propose a concatenative, non-templatic origin for the various templatic morphological phenomena attested across Afro-Asiatic. We will demonstrate that, starting with a concatenative morphological system (in the sense of a system consisting of simple affixation), we can generate the non-concatenative forms seen across the Afro-Asiatic daughters using an analysis based on syncope. We will demonstrate how this syncope gives rise to many of the characteristic alternations in root shape attested in both nominal and verbal morphology. In addition, we will use this syncope analysis to explain the distribution of templatic grammars within the Afro-Asiatic world, explaining why apparently templatic non-concatenation (particularly within the verbal system) is significantly weaker or has been lost altogether in Chadic, Cushitic (outside of Beha, Afar-Saho and a few other conservative holdouts), and Omotic.

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