n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - Functional schizophrenia of biblical Hebrew יךבּ and its cognitive modelling : part 1

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


The following investigation is the first of a two-part series dedicated to elucidating the functional (and semantic) potential of the Biblical Hebrew lexeme יךבּ from a detailed and comprehensive study of its occurrences in the Hebrew Bible. In the current article we will assess the functional capacity (or heterosemy) of this grammatical entity,demonstrating that traditional lexicographical treatments have underestimated its spectrum of syntactic usages. Likewise, we will introduce the notion that these functions are not haphazard instantiations of grammatical categories but are rather contextually motivated adaptations of the form from anterior synchronic vestiges.(This is a notion that will be developed much more fully in part 2). In conclusion, we note that, independently, יךבּ may function as a noun, preposition, semi-conjunction, (genuine) conjunction, negative affix and verbal negator; and that as a compound, יךבּmay function as both a preposition and conjunction.

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