Publication details [#15309]

Vardi, Ruti. 2015. ‘I’m dying on you’: Constructions of intensification in Hebrew expression of love/desire/adoration. Review of Cognitive Linguistics 13 (1) : 28–58.
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Article in journal
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A specific type of intensification in the domain of love/desire/adoration is conveyed in Hebrew through the use of the idiomatic construction [X PRD al Y] [‘X die/crazy/ill/devastated on Y’] which deviates from the basic patterns of the grammar at both the morphosyntactic and the semantic levels. The present paper examines both the process of emergence and the accessibility of the construction: it explains how pragmatic needs drive a metonymy-based metaphorical mapping between dissociative conceptual domains, and how the mechanisms of negativity bias and embodiment are involved in this mapping. Subsequently the present paper shows how these pragmatic-driven processes are realised within a grammatical construction with a fixed, accessible idiomatic meaning. The paper additionally argues that emotive intensification is not limited to (adverbial) modification, but instead can be expressed by more complex constructions.