This book offers an account of the role of gemination as a grammatical and lexical feature of Akkadian and a comprehensive treatment of the nominal and verbal categories that are characterized by it. It argues that gemination is basically an iconic phenomenon: its presence correlates with an extension in the meaning of the word vis-à-vis that of the corresponding word without gemination. This semantic extension is often realized as plurality; in other cases gemination has been subject to a process of grammaticalization, through which it has acquired a more abstract function, mostly that of underlining a high degree of salience or transitivity. Particular attention is paid to the D-stem, which is discussed exhaustively for the first time here. It is the most important and the most controversial of the verbal stems not only in Akkadian, but also in Semitic as a whole.
It is shown that the use of the D-stems of transitive verbs is mainly determined by various kinds of verbal plurality. With regard to the "factitive" D-sems of intransitive verbs a new and more nuanced definition is given of the concepts of factitivity as opposed to causativity; this allows a more satisfactory account of the relationship between the D-stem and the causative S-stem. The book includes detailed discussions of many individual verbs and passages from Akkadian texts. Lists of words with gemination and extensive indexes provide valuable reference material.