Description of the BH lexeme אֶל: A Cognitive Approach

Lee, Yo-Seob (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: In this investigation, I aimed to account for the semantic potential of the Biblical Hebrew (BH) preposition אֶל as well as for that of other grammatical constructions associated with the lexical item in Genesis and Jeremiah. Research in Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. prototype theory, categorisation, and conceptualisation) has provided insight into ways in which natural language could be investigated in a more justified way. Tyler and Evans (2003), in particular, provide a model called the ‖principled polysemy approach‖, through which the present study laid the groundwork for identifying the primary meaning of the lexical item. This investigation hypothesised that the preposition is highly polysemous and that the range of its semantic potential must be mapped by means of various cognitive mechanisms. Within the CL framework, my research was conducted by investigating all instances of אֶל found in Genesis and Jeremiah. An empirical analysis of the prepositional constructions shed light on the ways in which the preposition is related to different event schemas. In order to describe the semantics of the preposition in finer detail, this study established the proto-scene of אֶל , that is, Orientation. The present study determined that the notion of Orientation gives rise to other distinct categories of the preposition, namely, Literal Goal (to), Movement into Containment (into), Addressee, Transference (or Recipient), Focus of Perception, End-point Focus, Direction (towards), Hostility (against), and Area (about/of). Among these senses, the Literal Goal sense was identified as prototypical. The semantic network proposed in this study showed how these senses are related. While the emphasis of the present study was on the meaning of the preposition, it also took into consideration instances interchangeable with the near synonyms of ףַל . Senses such as End-point Focus, Hostility, and Area were recognised as the most typical categories where אֶל and ףַל are interchangeable.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: In hierdie studie poog ek om rekenskap te gee van die semantiese potensiaal van die Bybels-Hebreeuse (BH) voorsetsel אֶל , asook van die ander grammatikale konstruksies wat daarmee geassosieer word in Genesis and Jeremia. Navorsing in Kognitiewe Taalkunde (bv. prototipe-teorie, kategorisering en konseptualisering) bied insig in die maniere waarop natuurlike taal op ‘n meer verantwoordbare wyse beskryf kan word. Tyler en Evans (2003), in besonder, bied ‘n model wat hulle die "principled polysemy approach" noem. In hierdie studie is hierdie model gebruik om die grondslag te lê vir die identifisering van die primêre betekenis van die leksikale item. Hierdie studie verdedig die hipotese dat die voorsetsel so hoogs polisemies is dat die omvang die semantiese potensiaal daarvan met behulp van verskeie kognitiewe meganismes uitgewerk moet word ("mapped"). Al die gevalle van אֶל in Genesis en Jeremia is in my navorsingsprojek ondersoek in terme van die Kognitiewe Taalkunde raamwerk. ‘n Empiriese analise van die voorstelkonstruksies het lig gewerp op die wyses waarop die voorsetsel gekoppel is aan ‘n verskeidenheid van gebeurtenisskemas. Om die semantiek van die voorsetsel in fyner detail te kon beskryf, is die protoskema van אֶל bepaal. Dit is naamlik, Oriëntasie. Hierdie studie het vasgestel dat die konsep van Oriëntasie aanleiding gegee het tot ander onderskeidende semantiese kategorieë van die voorsetsel se gebruik, naamlik, Letterlike Doel (na), Beweging tot binne-in ‘n houer, Aangesprokene, Oordrag (of Ontvanger), Fokus van Persepsie, Eindpuntfokus, Rigting (in die rigting van), Vyandigheid (teen), en Area (oor/van). Van hierdie betekenisonderskeidings is Letterlike Doel die mees protipiese gebruik. Daar is ook in terme van ‘n semantiese netwerk ‘n voorstel gemaak oor hoe die verskillende betekenisonderskeidings met mekaar verband hou. Alhoewel hierdie studie op אֶל gefokus het, is daar ook in ag geneem dat dit dikwels as ‘n wisselvorm van die naby-sinoniem עַל gebruik word. Die kategorieë Eindpuntfokus, Vyandigheid en Area is geïdentifiseer as die mees tipiese gevalle waar אֶל en עַל as wisselvorme gebruik word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98372
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