Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


A specific type of intensification in the domain of love/desire/adoration is conveyed in Hebrew through the use of the idiomatic construction [X PRD al Y] [‘X die/crazy/ill/devastated on Y’] which deviates from the basic patterns of the grammar at both the morphosyntactic and the semantic levels. The present paper examines both the process of emergence and the accessibility of the construction: it explains how pragmatic needs drive a metonymy-based metaphorical mapping between dissociative conceptual domains, and how the mechanisms of negativity bias and embodiment are involved in this mapping. Subsequently the present paper shows how these pragmatic-driven processes are realised within a grammatical construction with a fixed, accessible idiomatic meaning. The paper additionally argues that emotive intensification is not limited to (adverbial) modification, but instead can be expressed by more complex constructions.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Afek, E. , & Cahanman, I
    (1982)  Al in its function in Israeli Hebrew. The David Gross Book: A collection of essays, studies, and literature dedicated to Dr. David Gross for his 70th birthday (pp.231–245). Tel Aviv: Hamatmid. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  2. (1985) New trends in the function of al in Israeli Hebrew. Leshoneinu la-am, 36(2), 41–61; (3–4), 84–98; (8–10), 205–215. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Ameka, F.K
    (2008) He died old dying to be dead right: Transitivity and semantic shifts of ‘die’ in Ewe in crosslinguistic perspective. In M. Bowerman & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure (pp. 231–253). New York/London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Barcelona, A
    (2002) Clarifying and applying the notions of metaphor and metonymy within cognitive linguistics: An update. In R. Dirven & R. Pörings (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast (pp. 207–278). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219197.207
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219197.207 [Google Scholar]
  5. Baumeister, R.F. , Bratslavlavsky, E. , Finkenauer, C. , & Vohs, K.D
    (2001) Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology,5(4), 323–370. doi: 10.1037/1089‑2680.5.4.323
    https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.5.4.323 [Google Scholar]
  6. Blenki, I
    (2003) “Locative” al and “directional” al. Master’s thesis. Tel Aviv
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2006) Comparative grammar: The prepositions in Hebrew and in Russian. Hed ha-ulpan ha-xadash, 89, 114–128. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Bolinger, D
    (1972) Degree words. The Hague/Paris: Mouton. doi: 10.1515/9783110877786
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110877786 [Google Scholar]
  9. Borochovsky Bar-Aba, E. , & Sovran, T
    (2003) Hebrew Construction Grammar. In R. Ben-Shaxar & G. Turi (Eds.), Hebrew – A living language III (pp.31–50). Tel Aviv: The Porter institute and Hakibuts ha-meuxad. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Boroditsky, L
    (2001) Does language shape thought?: Mandarin and English speakers’ conception of time. Cognitive Psychology, 43, 1–22. doi: 10.1006/cogp.2001.0748
    https://doi.org/10.1006/cogp.2001.0748 [Google Scholar]
  11. Cacchiani, S
    (2005) Local vehicles for intensification and involvement: the case of English intensifiers. In P. Cap (Ed.), Pragmatics today (pp. 401–419). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Croft, W
    (2002) The role of domains in the interpretation of metaphors and metonymies. In R. Dirven & R. Pörings (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast (pp. 161–206). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219197.161
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219197.161 [Google Scholar]
  13. de Swart, P
    (2007) Cross-linguistic variation in object marking. PhD dissertation. Radboud University.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Evans, V. , & Green, M
    (2006) Cognitive grammar: An introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Fillmore, C.J. , Kay, P. , & O’Connor, M.C
    (1988) Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions: The case of let alone. Language, 64(3), 501–538. doi: 10.2307/414531
    https://doi.org/10.2307/414531 [Google Scholar]
  16. Foolen, A
    (2012) The relevance of emotion language for language and linguistics. In A. Foolen , U.M. Lüdtke , T.P. Racine , & Z. Jordan (Eds.), Moving ourselves, moving others: Motion and emotion in intersubjectivity, consciousness, and language (pp. 349–368). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/ceb.6
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ceb.6 [Google Scholar]
  17. Gafni, I
    (2009) Semantic processes of power and violence terms in Hebrew. A seminarian paper. Tel Aviv University. [Hebrew]
  18. Geeraerts, D
    (2002) The interaction of metaphor and metonymy in composite expressions. In R. Dirven & R. Pörings (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast (pp. 435–465). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219197.435
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219197.435 [Google Scholar]
  19. Gibbs, R.W. Jr
    (2005) Embodiment and cognitive science. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511805844
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805844 [Google Scholar]
  20. Givón, T
    (2001) Syntax (volume I). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1017/s0022226700015322
    https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022226700015322 [Google Scholar]
  21. Goldberg, A
    (1995) Constructions: A construction grammar approach to argument structure. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Goldberg, A.E
    (2006) Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Goossens, L
    (1990) Metaphtonymy: The interaction of metaphor and metonymy in expressions for linguistic action. Cognitive Linguistics, 1, 323–340. doi: 10.1515/cogl.1990.1.3.323
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.1990.1.3.323 [Google Scholar]
  24. Halevi, R
    (2007) Transitive verbs with non-accusative alternation in Hebrew: Cross-language comparison with English, German, and Spanish. In N. Delbecque & B. Cornillie (Eds.), On interpreting construction schema: From action and motion to transitivity and causality (pp. 61–101). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Hampe, B. , & Schönefeld, D
    (2006) Syntactic leaps or lexical variation?: More on “creative syntax”. In S.T. Gries & A. Stefanowitsch (Eds.), Corpora in cognitive linguistics: Corpus-based approaches to syntax and lexis (pp. 127–157). Berlin/NewYork: Mouton De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Hoeksema, J. , & Napoli, D.J
    (2008) Just for the hell of it: A comparison of two taboo-term constructions. Linguistics, 44, 347–378.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Hopper, P.J. , & Thompson, S.A
    (1980) Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language, 56(2), 251–299. doi: 10.1353/lan.1980.0017
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1980.0017 [Google Scholar]
  28. Jing-Schmidt, Z
    (2007) Negativity bias in language: A cognitive-affective model of emotive intensifiers. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(3), 417–423. doi: 10.1515/COG.2007.023
    https://doi.org/10.1515/COG.2007.023 [Google Scholar]
  29. Johnson, M
    (1987) The body in the mind. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kay, P. , & Fillmore, C.J
    (1999) Grammatical constructions and linguistic generalizations: The What’s X Doing Y? construction. Language, 75(1), 1–33. doi: 10.2307/417472
    https://doi.org/10.2307/417472 [Google Scholar]
  31. Kövecses, Z
    (2000) Metaphor and emotion: Language, culture, and body in human feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. (2005) Metaphor in Culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511614408
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614408 [Google Scholar]
  33. Kurzon, D
    (2002) ‘Preposition’ as functor: The case of long in Bislama. In S. Feigenbaum & D. Kurzon (Eds.), Prepositions in their syntactic, semantic and pragmatic context (pp. 1231–248). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.50.12kur
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.50.12kur [Google Scholar]
  34. Labov, W
    (1984) Intensity. In D. Schiffrin (Ed.), Meaning, form, and use in context: Linguistic applications (pp.43–70). Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Lakoff, G. , & Johnson, M
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. (1999) Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic books.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Langacker, R.W
    (1987) Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume I: Theoretical prerequisite.Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. (1991) Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume II: Descriptive application.Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Lorentz, G
    (2002) Really worthwhile or not really significant?: A corpus-based approach to the delexicalization and grammaticalization of intensifiers in Modern English. In I. Wischer & G. Diewald (Eds.), New reflections on grammaticalization (pp. 143–162). Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.49.11lor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.49.11lor [Google Scholar]
  40. Majid, A
    (2014) Current emotion research in the language sciences. Emotion Review, 4(4), 432–443. doi: 10.1177/1754073912445827
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073912445827 [Google Scholar]
  41. Malchukov, A.L
    (2005) Case pattern splits, verb types and construction competition. In M. Amberber & H. de Hoop, H . (Eds.), Competition and variation in natural languages: The case for case (pp. 73–118). Amsterdam: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978‑008044651‑6/50006‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-008044651-6/50006-9 [Google Scholar]
  42. McNabb, Y
    (2012) The syntax and semantics of degree modification. PhD dissertation. The University of Chicago.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Napoli, D.J. , & Hoeksema, J
    (2009) The grammatical versatility of taboo terms. Studies in language, 33(3), 612–643. doi: 10.1075/sl.33.3.04nap
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.33.3.04nap [Google Scholar]
  44. Radden, G
    (1998) The conceptualisation of emotional causality by means of prepositional phrases. In A. Athanasiadou & E. Tabakowska (Eds.), Speaking of emotions: Conceptualisation and expression (pp. 273–294). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110806007.273
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110806007.273 [Google Scholar]
  45. (2002) How metonymic are metaphors. In R. Dirven & R. Pörings (Eds.), Metaphor and metonymy in comparison and contrast (pp. 407–434). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110219197.407
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110219197.407 [Google Scholar]
  46. Radden, G. , & Dirven, R
    (2007) Cognitive English grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/clip.2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/clip.2 [Google Scholar]
  47. Rosenblum, A. , & Triger, Z
    (2007) Speechless: How contemporary Israeli culture isreflected in language. Or Yehuda: Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Rozin, P. , & Royzman, E.B
    (2001) Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion. Personality and Social Psychology Review,5(4), 296–320. doi: 10.1207/S15327957PSPR0504_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327957PSPR0504_2 [Google Scholar]
  49. Shatil, N
    (2001) The preposition al as a meaning extender in the spoken language. The Hebrew and Her Sisters: A magazine for the study of the Hebrew language, its relation to the Semitic languages and to the languages of the Jews, 1, 141–148. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Smith, W
    (1996) Spoken narrative and preferred clause structure: Evidence from Modern Hebrew discourse. Studies in Language, 20(1), 163–189. doi: 10.1075/sl.20.1.07sut
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.20.1.07sut [Google Scholar]
  51. Taylor, J.R
    (1989) Linguistic categorization: Prototypes in linguistic theory (second edition). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Taylor, S.E
    (1991) Asymmetrical effects of positive and negative events: The mobilization-minimization hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 110(1), 67–85. doi: 10.1037/0033‑2909.110.1.67
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.110.1.67 [Google Scholar]
  53. Tsunoda, T
    (1981) Split case-marking patterns in verb-types and tense/aspect/mood. Linguistics, 19, 389–438.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. (1985) Remarks on transitivity. Journal of Linguistics, 21, 385–396. doi: 10.1017/S0022226700010318
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700010318 [Google Scholar]
  55. Amichai, Y
    (1977) ‘Poems 1948–1962’. Jerusalem/Tel Aviv: Schocken Publishing House. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Tanach (the Jewish bible). [Biblical Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error