LINGUIST List 16.268
Thu Jan 27 2005
Qs: Data on lexical items similar to Hebrew 'bixlal'
Editor for this issue: Steven Moran <stevelinguistlist.org>
We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was
instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.
In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
Data on lexical items similar to Hebrew 'bixlal'
Message 1: Data on lexical items similar to Hebrew 'bixlal'
From: Hagit Migron <msaustinmscc.huji.ac.il>
Subject: Data on lexical items similar to Hebrew 'bixlal'
I am currently studying a lexical item in spoken Modern Hebrew - the
adverb 'bixlal' which has several uses appearing in environments of
different polarity. I am looking for lexical items in other languages which
display two or more of the same uses. The examples below illustrate the
various meanings of 'bixlal':
A) In negative sentences, 'bixlal' often means 'at all':
1. hu lo medaber ita bixlal
'He is not speaking to her at all'
B) In positive sentences, it can mean 'in general' or 'totally/utterly':
2. dani mityaxes yafe el axoto. hu bixlal baxur nexmad
'Danny treats his sister well. He is a nice boy in general'
C) 'Bixlal' can also be similar in meaning to the expression 'even', as
exemplified in 3B. (This use normally occurs in various downward entailing
3. Speaker A: dani asuy lehibaxer leyoshev rosh hamoadon
'Danny may be elected chairman of the club'
Speaker B: aval hu bixlal lo xaver bamoadon /
hu bixlal xaver bamoadon?
'But he is not even a member of the club' /
'is he even a member of the club?'
D) In questions, 'bixlal' can be similar to English 'anyway':
4. ma ata ose po bixlal? - 'What are you doing here, anyway?'
E) Lastly, 'bixlal' can convey contradiction, similarly to English 'actually':
5. hi lo gara becorfat. hi bixlal angliya.
'She doesn't live in France. She is actually English.'
I know that the following languages have lexical items which display at least
some of these uses:
1) German - the particle 'überhaupt'
(discussed in Koenig, E. (1985). 'Polysemie, Polaritätskontexte und
Überhaupt'. In: Weydt, H. (ed.), Partikeln und Interaktion. Tübingen:
2) Yiddish - uberhoypt
3) Dutch - uberhaupt
4) Finnish -ylipäänsä
5) Some Irish and Scottish dialects of English apparently use the
expression 'at all' not only in negative sentences, but also in positive
sentences, where it means 'totally'.
I would be grateful if native or fluent speakers of these languages/dialects
could send me information and data on the uses of these lexical items.
I would also be grateful for information on additional lexical items, in any
language, which display two or more of the uses exemplified above, and for
references to any literature on such lexical items.
A summary will be posted it I receive sufficient responses.
Please send responses directly to: msaustinmscc.huji.ac.il.
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Hebrew (HBR)
Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue