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The logic of addition: Changes in the meaning of the Hebrew preposition <i>im</i> ("with").

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Abstract

The paper discusses recent changes in the meaning and use of ‘<i>im </i>(with) in written Israeli Hebrew. It traces such changes mostly in less formal written registers, and argues that they reflect some aspects of the multilingual situation in Israel and the fragile equilibrium between the spoken and written modes. Additional motivations for such changes are shown to be rooted in cognitive processes and in the logic of adding and connecting. Such changes require sometimes syntactical reorganization of sentence patterns. Prepositions, collocations etc. are ‘identity markers’ of languages, registers and styles, hence tracing such changes is a step towards a typological description of various styles in Israeli Hebrew.

References

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