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Query Details

Query Subject:   Data on lexical items similar to Hebrew 'bixlal'
Author:   Hagit Migron
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics
Subject Language(s):  Hebrew

Query:   Dear linguists, 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 environments) 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 '?berhaupt' (discussed in Koenig, E. (1985). 'Polysemie, Polarit?tskontexte und ?berhaupt'. In: Weydt, H. (ed.), Partikeln und Interaktion. T?bingen: Niemeyer.) 2) Yiddish - uberhoypt 3) Dutch - uberhaupt 4) Finnish -ylip??ns? 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: msaustin@mscc.huji.ac.il.
LL Issue: 16.268
Date posted: 27-Jan-2005


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