[b-hebrew] Psalm 22:16 - daqar as pierced ?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 04:48:53 EDT 2006


Languages just don't act like that, unless you are through the looking
glass talking with Humpty Dumpty.

People who wish to communicate choose words according to their
commonly understood meanings, or as we say here, according to their
semantic domains. If he wants to communicate, he does not use words in
weird, unique senses. A word cannot have multiple meanings and still

Before you forget what I said in the past, by "word" I do not mean a
compound lexeme where two or more words are combined to make a third
meaning unique to that combination of words. Further, one must take
into account idiomatic phrases.

It is only by being very careful in finding definitions that one can
recognize literary styles such as irony, satire, and so forth. A
sloppy lexicographer will simply assign a meaning that seems to fit
the understanding that he has, so that a term can have a meaning and
its converse, as well as maybe one or more unrelated meanings in his
dictionary, while a careful analysis will turn up that once it is used
in irony, another time as part of a complex lexeme, yet another time
in an idiomatic phrase, and a few times in a straight sense and from
recognizing those factors get an accurate understanding of its
semantic domain.

To give an example of what I call sloppy lexicography, one time, when
I was still new at reading Tanakh, I came across a term that I didn't
recognize. I looked it up in Gesenius and found that he had given it
five different, unique meanings. Not being sure which of the five
meanings I should apply to the verse, I looked up in a concordance and
found that the word was used all of four times in Tanakh. How is it
that a word used only four times can have five unique meanings? That's
being sloppy. I have long ago forgotten which word that was, but not
my disgust.

Translating is a different matter. It is rare that the semantic domain
of a word in one language has the exact semantic domain of a
corresponding word in another language. For example, (WP in Biblical
Hebrew referred to all flying creatures, not limited to birds.
Sometimes a translator will use terms that seem unrelated to the terms
used in the original text in order to get the meaning across in a
fluid, readable manner while a literal translation may not make sense
in the target language. But I'm not talking about translation, but
about finding the meanings of terms in a language.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 9/30/06, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org> wrote:
> On 30/09/2006 17:56, K Randolph wrote:
> > Peter:
> >
> > On 9/30/06, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> ... There are many cases in the Hebrew Bible of words being used in
> >> unique senses.
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Peter Kirk
> >>
> >
> > This is what I call sloppy lexicography, or as Vadim mentioned, sloppy
> > translation.
> >
> >
> Karl and Vadim, you don't know what you are talking about. Go and read
> some real lexicographic scholarship and understand properly what the
> experts do before proclaiming them "sloppy" and setting your untrained
> selves up as their judges.
> --
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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