n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - Componential analysis of meaning and cognitive linguistics : some prospects for Biblical Hebrew lexicology

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


In this article the author develops a theoretical framework for the application of componential analysis of meaning (CA). After a brief overview of the "classic" version of CA, a broader theoretical approach based on cognitive linguistics is proposed in which CA functions as a heuristic tool for the lexicographic description of specific Hebrew lexical items that belong to the domain of negative moral behaviour. The tool of CA can play a crucial role in cross-cultural communication, describing and analyzing the features that have a bearing on our understanding of reality. It can serve for both linguistic as well as psychological and anthropological input. This makes CA relevant beyond its traditional structuralist linguistic constraints. The paper provides the theoretical background to underpin this last statement and draws mainly on insights from cognitive linguistics in this discussion, particularly in the fields of categorization and the concepts of "schema" and "frame".

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