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I have been trying to figure this out by comparing Hebrew binyanim to Arabic and Akkadian conjuations. But I cannot figure it out.

Is Nif'al a natural part of the G-stem (like pa'al) or has it "wandered" there over the millenia when the original passive and reflexive G-stem conjugations died out? Where did it come from?

Nif'al just doesn't seem very equivalent to Hitpa'el even though as a reflexive of pa'al it should be.

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  • An interesting (if unpopular) hypothesis is advanced in this paper regarding passive-counterpart-בנין drift and what the proto-system should have looked like. jstor.org/pss/1515901 I would summarize it as an answer but I haven't read it since back when I studied "Bible" and read German.
    – WAF
    May 13 '11 at 20:48
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    Bah. They want US$34 for a four-page article... May 14 '11 at 13:45
  • Sorry about that. You could try your local univesity library. . . or email me separately.
    – WAF
    May 15 '11 at 15:55
  • Can't find a way to email you. May 17 '11 at 14:45
  • Bummer. I think this is off topic.
    – Seth J
    Mar 6 '13 at 3:07

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