Abstract

The Biblical Hebrew idiomatic construction [X find favor in Y’s eyes] conveys positive attitude of the deity toward humans as well as of one human toward another. Whereas X is the syntactic subject, in the schematic meaning of the construction, [Y favor X], it is a passive recipient of favor that bears the semantic role of theme; Y is the constituent part with the semantic role of experiencer. A linguistic-cognitive examination of the construction in its biblical contexts reveals hierarchical relations between X and Y based on their sociocultural identities and, in a small number of occurrences, on contextual dependency relation between them. The presence of the construction in these contexts seems to reflect an ancient cultural conception of favor as associated with the deity and humans of high social status. It is assumed that the cognitive mechanism of embodiment underlies this conception as well as the construction’s emergence in the language. The findings of the paper form a basis for further investigation of emotions in Biblical Hebrew and their specific relation to social structures.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 49-69
Launched on MUSE
2015-12-11
Open Access
No
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