Splitting quadriliteral verbs into strong and weak is not universal in the literature. At least Borg and Azzopardi-Alexander make no mention of this, however their treatment of quad verbs feels a little lacking to me. But they do make the following distinctions:
- Repeated bi-radical base, e.g. GEMGEM (G-M-G-M)
- Repeated third radical (C3), e.g. GERBEB (G-R-B-B)
- Repeated first radical (C1) after the second (C2), e.g. ŻERŻAQ (Ż-R-Ż-Q)
- Addition of a fourth radical to a triradical base, e.g. ĦARBAT (Ħ-R-B-T)
They make no reference to weak radicals in quad verbs. They then go on to discuss “strongly-integrated loan verbs”, i.e. verbs of Romance or even possibly English origin which have taken on completely regular Semitic-style morphology. The examples given are KANTA, VINĊA, and SERVA, which correspond to the 3 different verb endings in Italian (cantare, vincere, and servire respectively).
Spagnol agrees with this, but goes farther and actually classifies these verbs as quadriliteral verbs with the weak consonant J as the fourth radical. Here’s a table of some of the most common ones, including ones for which I could find no Romance origin word.
|English||Romance origin||Għerq (Root)||Mamma (Perf P3 Sg Masc)||Imperative P2 Sg||Perfect P1 Sg||Perfect P3 Sg Fem|
Looking at the vowel patterns, we end up with a very neat division:
|Romance ending||Mamma (Perf P3 Sg Masc)||Imperative P2 Sg||Perfect P1 Sg||Perfect P3 Sg Fem|
In other words, the vowel patterns are always the same, except for when the verb derives from a Romance -are verb.