The semantic potential of 'al in Genesis, Psalms, and Chronicles

Mena, Andrea K. (2012-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis offers a description of the semantic potential of the Biblical Hebrew lexeme '7l! in Genesis, Psalms, and Chronicles according to a cognitive linguistic perspective. This specific linguistic approach offers a theoretical framework of how humans cognitively organize lexical meaning, which is advantageous for highly polysemous lexemes, such as '7lJ. The need for this study arises because existing Biblical Hebrew resources do not utilize such a framework as is evidenced by their lists of translation equivalents, rather than full descriptions of meanings, and their lack of a clearly defined semantic model underlying their lexical treatment. However, they do provide a starting point that can be built upon with a cognitive linguistic based methodology. Such a methodology is found in Tyler and Evans (2007) case study of over, a frequent English translation of '7lJ. Tyler and Evans (2007) present how to determine the most prototypical semantic sense (i.e., the Proto-Scene) and how to distinguish between other distinct semantic senses, all of which represent the lexeme's semantic potential. This thesis heuristically utilizes this methodology while strongly considering three other factors. First, the syntactic frame surrounding '7l! is evaluated to assess how syntactic information, specifically verbal valency, contributes to the preposition's semantic value. Second, the frequency of each semantic category is assessed to determine possible insight into prototypicality within the defined corpus. Third, a radial structure is proposed to represent the semantic relationships between the prototypical and nonprototypical categories. This type of organization illustrates a clearly defined semantic model underlying the lexical treatment. This study first describes the Proto-Scene, which involves one entity over or upon another. Then, fifteen other distinct semantic categories of '7l! are presented within a radial structure (i.e. The Vertical Cluster: More, Superior, and Control; Contingent Locative; Accompaniment, In, To, Oppositional, For, Frontal, Causal, Norm, Focus of Attention, Instrumental, and Psalms Titles). Finally, the various senses for the morphologically complex lexemes are proposed. These include '7l!1;1 (i.e. From Upon, Away From, Above, and Contingent Locative) and '7l!=? (i.e. As Concerning).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis heskryf die semantiese potensiaal van die Byhelse Hehreeuse lekseem ?~ in Genesis, Psalms en Kronieke vanuit die perspektief van kognitiewe taalkunde. Hierdie taalkundige model hied 'n teoretiese raamwerk van hoe mense leksikale hetekenis kognitief organiseer. So 'n teoretiese raamwerk is haie geskik vir die heskrywing van 'n polisemiese lekseem soos ?~. Die hehoefte aan 'n meer toereikende teoretiese raamwerk hlyk uit die manier waarop hestaande Byhels-Hehreeuse hulphronne die lekseem heskryf, hyvoorheeld, hulle hied weinig meer as lyste van vertalingsekwiwalente. Hulle hied, nietemin, 'n heginpunt waarop voortgehou kan word met hehulp van 'n kognitiewe taalkundige model. So 'n metodologie word gevind in Tyler en Evans (2007) se gevallestudie van "over", 'n gehruiklike Engelse ekwiwalent vir?~. Tyler en Evans dui aan hoe om die mees prototipiese semantiese hetekenis ( d.i. die "proto-toneel" of "proto-scene") vas te stel, asook hoe om tussen die ander semantiese nuanses ("senses") te onderskei. AI hierdie nuanses verteenwoordig die lekseem se semantiese potensiaal. Hierdie tesis maak op 'n heuristiese wyse gehruik van hierdie metodologie. Terselfde tyd neem dit drie ander faktore in aanmerking: Eerstens, word die sintaktiese raamwerk waarin ?~ voorkom, vasgestel ten einde te hepaal hoe sintaktiese informasie, veral werkwoordelike valensie, hydra tot die semantiese potensiaal van die voorsetsel. Tweedens, word die frekwensie van elke semantiese kategorie hepaal om tot moontlike insigte rakende prototipiese gehruike hinne die vasgestelde korpus te kom. Derdens, word 'n sg. "radial structure" voorgestel om die semantiese verhoudings tussen die prototipiese en nie-prototipiese kategoriee te illustreer. Hierdie studie heskryf, eerstens, die proto-toneel, wat een entiteit bo-oor of op 'n ander hehels. Daama word vyftien ander afsonderlike semantiese kategoriee van ?~ hinne 'n "radial structure" voorgestel ( d.i. die Vertikale Groep: Meer, Superior en Beheer; "Contingent" Lokatief; Begeleiding, In, Na, Teenoor, Vir, Voor, Oorsaaklik, Norm, Fokus van Aandag, Instrumenteel, en Psalmopskrifte ). Laastens, word voorstelle gemaak in verhand met die verskeie hetekenisse van die morphologies-komplekse lekseme ?~~ (d.i. Weg van ho-op, Weg van, Bo, en "Contingent" Lokatief) en ?~:p (d.i. Met Betrekking Tot).

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71740
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