Against binarism, simplicity, neatness and stasis. A theoretical prolegomenon to the reality of verbal grams in Biblical Hebrew: From the complexity of semantic maps to the uncomplicatedness of psychological conceptualizations
Divisions of PAS
Developed within the frame of cognitive linguistics and cognitive science, the present paper argues that the wave-stream model is a more adequate manner of representing verbal grams in Biblical Hebrew than neat models built on discrete, binary and static categories. Taking as examples two Biblical Hebrew verbal grams (WAYYIQTOL and QATAL) and building on the empirical evidence concerning the senses conveyed by these two forms in the book of Genesis, the author demonstrates the following: a) Neat, binary, discrete and static models correspond to “folk” representations of reality; b) A more adequate representation, which preserves the complex nature of language and its components, is provided by the wave-stream model; c) The wave-stream model additionally suggests the psychological reality of the grams or their conceptualizations by speakers. As a result, the wave-stream model has both etic (language centric) and emic (psychological or human centric) dimensions, the latter being derived in a principled manner.