The Force of Negation

Benjamin Harshav

in Language in Time of Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1993 | ISBN: 9780520079588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912960 | DOI:
The Force of Negation

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Every movement of change in this period was borne by two powerful impulses: negative and positive. The negative impulse was shared by all the trends, although it assumed different forms. It can be described in semiotic concepts as the negation of the three deictic axes of the old Jewish existence. Deictics are tools in linguistics that have no lexical meaning of their own but relate the meanings of words and sentences to the coordinates of a specific act of communication. The three basic deictics are here and now, relating the discourse to the speaker, and the place and time of speech. All other deictics are derived from those. For example, “here” and “now” attach the content of the words to the place and time in which they are uttered; but also “then,” “yesterday,” “next year,” or “in the past” relate the content to a point relative to the time of the specific speech act.

Keywords: change; impulses; negative; positive; negation; deictics; linguistics; words; sentences; communication

Chapter.  3382 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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