[b-hebrew] XSD

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Tue Aug 23 17:06:29 EDT 2005


See comments below

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Dave Washburn
Sent: Tue 8/23/2005 5:18 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] XSD
 
On Tuesday 23 August 2005 10:01, Karl Randolph wrote:

[snip]
> As for lexemes having diverse meanings, while I don't rule
> that out, after studying a few foreign languages I have
> found that lexemes having diverse meanings are quite rare.
> That is not the same as recognizing that a lexeme may have
> such a broad meaning that it can be translated by several
> lexemes in another language, nor is it a claim that all
> lexemes have narrowly defined boundaries in meaning,
> rather a recognition that it is rare for a lexeme to have
> both one meaning and its near opposite, or even a
> completely unrelated one. Biblical Hebrew is no exception.
> (This is one area where I, as a lexicographer, disagree
> with Reinier de Blois and his lexicon according to
> semantic domains.)
Dave Washburn wrote:
I'm not sure what languages you have studied, but English apparently isn't one 
of them.  Consider the word "strike": it can mean to hit (strike the rock and 
water will come out), to miss (in baseball), to begin something (strike up a 
conversation), to stop something (go on strike), a positive event (strike a 
bargain), a negative event (strike that from the record), to name just a few.  
As I have said before, words mean what they mean because a language group or 
subgroup chooses to use them that way.  Words have no "inherent" or "root" 
meaning and it is not unusual at all for a word (or lexeme, to use your term) 
to have as many meanings as the users agree upon.  So I'm afraid your basic 
premise about lexemes is built on a fallacy, unfortunately.
END QUOTE

JCR: Yes. And that's why I so adamantly claim that small phrases and not words are the 
bsic unit of translation. All the examples you gave above of the use of the word 'strike'
have completely different meanings but when they exist in their little phrases such as 
'strike up a conversation' 'go on strike' 'strike 3! you're out!' it is very difficult to 
imagine situations where they could have a different meaning.

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