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The Biblical Hebrew Particle

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image of Vetus Testamentum

It may be argued that current lexica provide "translation values" for most of the nuances that can be expressed by. However, these resources provide very little or no criteria for establishing when a translation value x, y or z should be opted for. Descriptions of the most typical use of or the difference between and in other linguistic works are also not substantiated by means of empirical evidence. In this study the syntax and semantics of each instance of is investigated, and the most prototypical patterns of use are described and compared with those of. It is established that, although the two lexemes are sometimes near-synonyms, the former is prototypically a conjunctive adverb and the latter a focus particle. As far as the semantic potential of is concerned, five semantic-pragmatic polysemically-related categories (the most typical which are labelled as "noteworthy addition" and "affirmation) are distinguished, as well as the syntactic constructions and translation values that could be associated with each category of use.

Affiliations: 1: University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


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