Kinship terms as forms of address in Biblical Hebrew: Fictive and literal use

Article in journal
AION 69 (2012), pp. 127-140, ISSN: 0393-3180

Tags: Biblical studies | Hebrew language | Linguistics | Semantics | Sociolinguistics


Kinship terms are used as forms of address both literally and fictively, i.e. addressing people whom the speaker is not related to neither by blood nor by marriage. A thorough analysis of the occurrences of kinship terms in the Hebrew Bible, with some remarks concerning contemporary Israeli Hebrew, demonstrates that fictive use prevails over literal use, playing a primary role in the definition of social relationships. The subject is approached from a discourse analysis perspective in the theoretical framework of the conceptual metaphor, exploring the relations between discourse and cognition as well as between discourse and power.

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