[b-hebrew] Contextual Semantic Domains

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Nov 21 23:02:52 EST 2003


Dear Peter:

Earlier I wrote that I thought that lexographers should write definitions as the words are actually used, and not according to our philosophical or theological presuppositions.

This is an example of what I mean. I read some of the verses differently than Reinier de Blois with the result that I disagree with his detailed definitions. I agree with the core definition that XSD means kind actions (often not deserved) but I don’t see “*noun * = attitude of commitment towards fulfilling one's obligations; these may be obligations defined within the context of a covenant or agreement, or moral obligations to do well to someone who did well to you before; ST people, deities” as part of the definition itself, rather I see most of this as theological or philosophical reading back into the term the presuppositions of the lexicographer.

I’m reminded of a poet who, when he heard one of his poems discussed in a literature class, came away surprised at all the insights in the poem that he didn’t know ever existed. Likewise, most of the definition (I looked at the site and checked some of the verses cited) I don’t see how he got it.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 20/11/2003 13:21, furuli at online.no wrote:
> 
> > Dear list-members?
> >
> >
> > It seems to me that it is difficult to abandon terms that have been 
> > cherished for a long time. When I argue in a scholarly context, I 
> > often get the question: "Can you give an example?" It is often easier 
> > to grasp ideas by looking at them from a practical point of view, how 
> > they work.  So allow me to ask a few questions regarding the term 
> > "lexical meaning," which often is used without being adequately 
> > defined, and often  being used in a wrong way, in my view.  In order 
> > to test my claim "that 'lexical meaning' cannot be expressed in 
> > writing or in speech, it must be known (except with very simple 
> > words),' I ask a few questions.
> >
> > First I use the translational setting: Expressed in English, what is 
> > the "lexical meaning"  of the nouns NP$ and XSD and the verb $LM?
> 
> Well, if you want to see how Reinier de Blois has dealt with XSD and are 
> talking about "lexical meaning" as he defined it, see the entry XSD at 
> http://www.ubs-translations.org/sdbh/vocabula/ (which covers het only). 
> Here is an extract, covering the verb, the noun, and the adjective 
> XASIYD with five different lexical meanings:
> 
> > (a ) */Events /*: /Description B1 /
> > *noun * = attitude of commitment towards fulfilling one's obligations; 
> > these may be obligations defined within the context of a covenant or 
> > agreement, or moral obligations to do well to someone who did well to 
> > you before; ST people, deities
> >
> > ...
> >
> > (b ) */Events /*: /Description B2 /
> > *hithp. * = to act in accordance to [a]; AG people, deities
> >
> > *...* 
> > <http://ubs-translations.org/sdbh/cgi-bin/vocabula/ref.pl?10,22,26,2;19,18,26,2;>
> >
> > (c ) */Events > Objects /*: /Description B2 /
> > *adjective * = someone who practices חֶסֶד, who is committed towards 
> > fulfilling his/her obligations; these may be obligations defined 
> > within the context of a covenant or agreement, or moral obligations to 
> > do well to someone who did well to you before; AG people, deities
> >
> > ...
> >
> > (d ) */Events /*: /Description B2 /
> > *noun * = to bring disgrace upon oneself; AG people
> >
> > ...
> >
> > (e ) */Events /*: /Description B3 /
> > *pi. * = to cause someone else to experience a feeling of shame; ST 
> > people; CA people
> >
> > *...* 
> > <http://ubs-translations.org/sdbh/cgi-bin/vocabula/ref.pl?20,25,10,1;>
> 
> I have omitted the intervening parts which describe contextual 
> "meanings" or use.
> 
<snip>
> 
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/
-- 
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