Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Edited by: Geoffrey Khan
Associate editors: Shmuel Bolozky, Steven Fassberg, Gary A. Rendsburg, Aaron D. Rubin, Ora R. Schwarzwald, Tamar Zewi

The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online features advanced search options, as well as extensive cross-references and full-text search functionality using the Hebrew character set. With over 850 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.

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Idioms: Biblical Hebrew

(1,797 words)

Author(s): Warren-Rothlin, Andy
Idioms are conventionalized phrases with limited compositionality, that is, with meanings which cannot be directly derived from the meanings of their parts. They occur throughout the Hebrew Bible, and a number of Biblical Hebrew idioms also appear…

Idioms: General Overview

(3,100 words)

Author(s): Shivtiel, Avihai
1. Introduction An idiom (Hebrew אידיום ʾidiom, ניב niv, בטוי biṭuy, מטבע לשון maṭbeaʿ lašon) is a fixed combination in which the components do not retain their original meanings, but jointly create a new sense. An idiom differs from a Collocation in that the components of the latter retain their original meanings. The branch of phraseology that deals with the study of idioms is called idiomatics or idiomaticity. For example, combinations such as red herring, to kick the bucket, to poke one’s nose into, once they are used in the sense of deception, die, and interfere, respectively, are considered idioms, because their meanings cannot be deduced from the individual meanings of their components. Moreover, the literal meaning of many idioms is often impossible to explain sensibly and may even sound bizarre, e.g., it is raining cats and dogs, by the skin of one’s teeth (Job 19.20), by hook or by crook. Furthermore, owing to their cohesion, idioms, like collocations, do not normally allow changes in their structure by means of substitution or reversibility of their components. Thus, the idiom to flog a dead horse may not be changed to to whip a demised stallion, nor can the components of the idiom lock, stock, and barrel be interchanged to barrel, lock, an…

Idioms: Modern Hebrew

(1,875 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, Ruvik
Idioms represent a distinct lexical category, typically comprised of several words which bear a new meaning or connotation. To quote Webster’s dictionary, an idiom is “an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, as kick the bucket or hang one’s head”. As with many languages, so also in Hebrew: idioms refer to common situations, human behavior, psychological status, public life, and so on, and they frequently carry a metaphoric characteristic. For example, the idiom יצא מכליו yaṣa mi-kelaw, literally ‘got out of his tools’,…