The N-stem in Ugaritic: Formal, Semantic, and Historical Considerations

  • Tania Notarius Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Keywords: Akkadian, linguistics, middle voice, N‑stem, Ugaritic


The present paper maps out the formal and functional properties of the Ugaritic N-stem in relation to other Ugaritic non-active constructions, specifically the G stative, Gpass, and Gt. The N-stem operates as a middle voice, promoting the semantic Patient to the syntactic position of subject and deriving “inchoative” verbs from stative roots, unaccusatives from dynamic roots of motion and change, and anticausatives, reciprocals, and (medio)-passives from dynamic transitive roots. In prose N-verbs are in general more frequent, and the forms of the SC are in particular more numerous, than in poetry. An explicitly “prosaic” usage of the N-stem is a (medio-)passive; on the contrary, the reciprocal usage is characteristically “poetic.” The latter phenomenon is explained in terms of the contact with Akkadian.

Author Biography

Tania Notarius, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Tania Notarius, PhD is a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an affiliated researcher at the University of Free State (Bloemfontein), and a lecturer and the head of the MA Program “Near Eastern Languages” at the Polis – The Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities. She is the author of the monograph The Verb in Archaic Biblical Poetry and dozens of articles on Hebrew and Northwest Semitic languages.

How to Cite
Notarius, T. (2019). The N-stem in Ugaritic: Formal, Semantic, and Historical Considerations. Archiv orientální, 87(3), 385–413. Retrieved from
Research Article