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When the Construction Is Axla, Everything Is Axla: A Case of Combined Lexical and Structural Borrowing from Arabic to Hebrew

Gafter, Roey J and Horesh, Uri (2015) 'When the Construction Is Axla, Everything Is Axla: A Case of Combined Lexical and Structural Borrowing from Arabic to Hebrew.' Journal of Jewish Languages, 3 (1-2). 337 - 348. ISSN 2213-4638

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Abstract

<jats:p>This article examines a borrowing from Arabic into Hebrew, which is a combination of a lexical borrowing and a structural one. The Arabic superlative<jats:italic>aħla</jats:italic>‘sweetest, most beautiful,’ pronounced by most Modern Hebrew speakers [<jats:italic>axla</jats:italic>], has shifted semantically to mean ‘great, awesome.’ Yet, as our corpus-based study illustrates, it was borrowed into Hebrew—for the most part—with a very particular syntactic structure that, in Arabic, denotes the superlative. In Arabic itself,<jats:italic>aħla</jats:italic>may also denote a comparative adjective, though in different syntactic structures. We discuss the significance of this borrowing and the manner in which it is borrowed both to the specific contact situation between Arabic and Hebrew and to the theory of language contact in general.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic
Depositing User: Uri Horesh
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 14:32
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 08:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17707

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