A monosemic view of polysemic prepositions
Yishai Tobin |
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva
Prepositions are notorious for being “polysemic”. One of Zipf ’s laws is that the smaller a form, the more frequently it will be used, and the more meanings and functions it will have attributed to it. The Hebrew preposition l- ‘to’ has at least seventeen dictionary entries and the Hebrew preposition b- ‘in’ has at least fifteen and some of these dictionary meanings overlap. In this paper, I will view both of these prepositions as linguistic signs (in the Saussurean sense) and present a signifié or a single invariant or core meaning for each that will account for all of its messages and uses as well as explain the differences between them.
Cited by 2 other publications
. On the feasibility of general meanings in prepositional semantics
. Acta Linguistica Hafniensia
pp. 16 ff.
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