Metaphorical change of Hebrew words and phrases in light of social norms: A linguistic analysis
The article describes a shift in meaning of two verbs of motion, yatsa (“come out”) and hotsi (“take out”), in set phrases in contemporary spoken and written Hebrew. The shift is metaphorical, from physical motion signifying a move from one place to another to a change in social conduct and in emotional and/or mental state. The examples are taken from modern Hebrew dictionaries and Israeli news websites. We first present the original meanings of the two verbs, which belong to the family of concrete verbs of motion. This is followed by a presentation of the shift from physical to metaphorical motion indicative of a change in social conduct, then of the shift indicative of a change in emotional state. The new meanings reflect social and media developments in the Israeli ethos and testify to the vitality and dynamism of contemporary Hebrew. Speakers experience new semantic needs in the wake of social changes, and these require expression at the linguistic level. Changes in social conduct and in emotional and mental states such as those presented in the set phrases are characteristic of new communicative interactions in Israeli society. Furthermore, the variety of new meanings testify to a certain violation of the normative social order in Israeli society. These new meanings have become a dominant element in the everyday media discourse in Israel.
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