A cognitive semantic assessment of עִם and אֵת's semantic potential

Lyle, Kristopher Aaron (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis provides a critical assessment of the semantic potential of two Biblical Hebrew lexemes: עִם and אֵת . Previous lexical inquiries of the target lexemes provide the impetus for the current research; this is because the linguistic frameworks assumed by these studies are outmatched in the amount of explanatory power accompanying more recent theoretical developments, primarily evidenced within Cognitive linguistics (and semantics). As its methodological framework, the current study then appropriates these new advances and demonstrates a semantic potential of the target lexemes that can be determined through criteria offered by Tyler and Evans (2003). This criteria specifically aids in the task of semantic demarcation as well as identifying the primary sense, from which the remaining network of senses are derived. Furthermore, not only is an attempt made at representing the range of עִם and אֵת 's semantic potential, but a proposal for the development of these senses is offered as well. This is done primarily through an implementation of the theory of grammaticalization, as posited by Heine et al. (1991). The identified semantic networks are then analyzed from two different perspectives of lexical inquiry: 1) as a monosemy-polysemy cline, and 2) from both a semasiological and onomasiological point of departure (the latter method of onomasiology represents a unique contribution to the assessment of עִם and אֵת since most Biblical Hebrew lexical inquiries are limited to being a semasiological endeavor). The investigation uses the Pentateuch as its data-set and reveals a representation of (at least) eleven distinct senses in עִם 's semantic network as well as אֵת 's. Even though each lexeme's semantic potential is comprised of primarily the same senses, these eleven distinct senses are not completely synonymous and represent different meanings. Significantly, it is determined that 1) both target lexemes share the same primary sense (i.e., proto-scene), 2) both indicate the same core senses and consequently, 3) the target lexemes may rightly be considered as near synonyms.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING:Hierdie tesis bied 'n kritiese evaluering van die semantiese potensiaal van twee Bybelse Hebreeus lekseme: עִם en אֵת . Gebreke in bestaande navorsing ten opsigte van hierdie twee lekseme het die impuls verskaf vir hierdie projek. Onlangse ontwikkelinge in teoretiese taalkunde, in besonder kognitiewe taalkunde (en semantiek), het aangetoon dat die modelle in terme waarvan die bestaande beskrywing van die lekseme gedoen is, agterhaal is. Hierdie studie gebruik die perspektiewe wat kognitiewe semantiek bied om die semantiese potensiaal van hierdie twee Bybels-Hebreeuse lekseme te beskryf. Kriteria wat deur Tyler en Evans (2003) geformuleer is in hulle beskrywing van ‘n aantal Engelse voorsetsels, word as metodologiese vertrekpunt gebruik. Hierdie kriteria is veral nuttig in die semantiese afbakening, asook die identifisering van die primêre betekenis van die lekseme. Lg. bied die basis in terme waarvan die res van netwerk van betekenisonderskeidings beskryf word. In die studie word nie net die gepoog om die verskillende betekenisse van die lekseme te beskryf nie, maar daar word ook gepoog om aan te dui hoe die verskillende onderskeidings ontwikkel het. Dit word primêr gedoen in terme van die grammatikaliseringsteorie van Heine et al (1991). Die semantiese netwerke wat geïdentifiseer is, word vanuit twee verskillende perspektiewe van leksikale ondersoek gedoen: 1) die mono-polisemiese klien (“cline”) en 2) ‘n semasiologiese en onomasiologiese vertrekpunt. Laasgenoemde benadering tot onomasiologie verteenwoordig ‘n unieke bydrae tot die beskrywing van עִם en אֵת aangesien die meeste bestaande Bybels-Hebreeuse beskrywings van die lekseme semasiologies van aard is. Hierdie ondersoek is beperk tot die gebruik van עִם en אֵת in die Pentateug. Ten minste 11 verskillende betekenisseonderskeidings word vir beide lekseme geïdentifiseer. Alhoewel beide lekseme se semantiese potensiaal in baie opsigte dieselfde is, is dit nie presies identies nie. Wat wel merkwaardig is, is 1) dat beide lekseme dieselfde basiese betekenis (dit is die sg. “proto-scene”) het, 2) dat beide dieselfde kernbetekenisonderskeidings het en dat gevolglik 3) hulle as naby-sinonieme bestempel kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20018
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