[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8 lamo
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Dec 20 07:24:00 EST 2004
On 19/12/2004 11:00, Vadim Cherny wrote:
> To find out the
>meaning, we need to establish the etymology. ...
No, no, NO!!! Meaning is not established by etymology. Meaning is
established by usage in context. Etyomology can be a very dangerous
guide to meaning because of meaning shifts over centuries. The etymology
of the English word "nice" is from Latin "nescius" which means
"ignorant". But "nice" does not mean "ignorant".
>...As I wrote earlier, your example of lifnei demonstrates well that smihut
>meaning is likely a considerable expansion. We cannot make conclusions as to
>the meaning of lamo from the mere fact that derivative form (basically, a
>preposition) lmo is used few times (only) as emphatic for singular.
Agreed. Even if we agree that etymologically lamo and lmo form an
absolute/construct pair, that is a poor guide to meaning because the
meanings of the absolute and construct could have shifted apart.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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