There are two conjugations; the passive formation, now wanting inmost Indo-European languages, has been retained, as in Greek; thus kerko-iy, " I seek," forms kerko-n -em, " I am sought."
There are three regular conjugations, distinguished (as in Latin) according to the termination of the present infinitive in a, e or i; e.g.
In order to avoid the uncertainty arising from the lack of vowels to distinguish forms consisting of the same consonants (for the vowel-points were not yet invented), the aramaising use of the reflexive conjugations (Hithpa`el, Nithpa`el) for the internal passives (Pu'al, Hoph`al) became common; particles were used to express the genitive and other relations, and in general there was an endeavour to avoid the obscurities of a purely consonantal writing.
The latter acquired the Semitic language imperfectly from their conquerors; they expressed the verbal conjugations by periphrases, mispronounced the consonants, and so changed greatly, the appearance of the vocabulary, which also would certainly contain a large proportion of native nonSemitic roots.
Much of this must have taken place, according to the theory, in the prehistoric period; but the loss of weak consonants, of y, and of one of two repeated consonants, and the development of periphrastic conjugations continued to the end.