Un caso atipico di evoluzione semantica: il lessema ebraico “gĕwiyyâ”

Giancarlo Toloni

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The term “gĕwiyyâ” appears in 13 passages of Hebrew Bible with 2 basic meanings: “dead body, corpse”, “live body, person”. In the LXX there is an almost univocal understanding of its sense, as in 9 passages it is translated by σῶμα, with the meaning of “live body”. In the remaining 4 passages, where the meaning of “gĕwiyyâ” is “dead body,” in the LXX are used στόμα, ἕξις, πτῶμα, ἔθνος, which either have already this meaning, or take on from their context. The texts, in which “gĕwiyyâ” designates the corpse, are the most ancient, while the second meaning appears in later texts, probably to underline the person in his totality, the corporeity like capacity of relation. This singular semantic evolution of “gĕwiyyâ” is happened for σῶμα too, since the Homer’s epics; in the LXX, however, this word, prevalently, is used to indicate the corporeity, the person. So, the semantic development, defined already in the Greek, has influenced perhaps the Greek translators, who put in correspondence the 2 words only in the passages in which also the Hebrew had clearly the same meaning.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] An atypical case of semantic evolution: the Hebrew lexeme "gĕwiyyâ"
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)553-571
Numero di pagine19
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1996
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, Homer’s epics, corpse, person, semantic development, “gĕwiyyâ”, σῶμα


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