Time in Ancient Hebrew Lexicon: The Case of yrḥ and ḥdš
This paper presents the linguistic data concerning two lexemes that belong in the lexical field of time, yrḥ and ḥdš. Coseriu’s methodological principles of structural lexematics are applied to the study of the ancient Hebrew lexicon. The analysis consists of five steps: distributional, classematic, syntagmatic, componential and paradigmatic analyses. Through these steps the meanings of these signifiers are described in detail and three lexical units are identified: ḥdš1 ‘month’, ḥdš2 ‘(day of) New Moon’ and yrḥ ‘month’. ḥdš1 and yrḥ seem to be interchangeable variants. The role of the latter as an archaism could not be proved, given the scarcity of the data and the ‘resurgence’ of the substantive at a later phase (LBH3).
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