The polysemic nature of the preposition [min] (min) in Biblical Hebrew : a study in the book of Judges
This study investigates the polysemy of the preposition מִן (min) in Biblical Hebrew. The complexity relating to the senses of this preposition has long been recognised, but existing sources differ about the primary sense of מִן (min), as well as the delimitation of the derived senses. In order to provide a more systematic account of the senses of מִן (min) the principled polysemy approach, which was developed by Tyler and Evans (2003), was employed. This methodology is grounded in the theoretical framework of cognitive semantics. The criteria provided for determining the primary sense point to a sense in which מִן (min) indicates both locational source and separation. These two elements are both present in the primary sense. By applying criteria for determining distinct senses, ten additional usages of מִן (min) were identified, namely, material source, partitive, cause, agent, origin, position, exception, comparison, negative consequence, and time. It was shown that all these senses are related to the primary sense in a substantiated way. A semantic network for the preposition מִן (min) was proposed in which it was shown that half of the senses are more related to the source element in the primary sense and the other half to the separation element of the primary sense.
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