Genitive (smixut) constructions in Modern Hebrew

Ruth A. Berman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter concerns the morpho-syntactic structure and usage-based properties of MH constructions involving two nominal constituents, an initial head and following modifier. Focus is on the three smixut 'adjacency' or 'dependency' constructions: (i) "construct-state" compounds in the form N^ N(P), where a caret indicates the relation between an initial bound head N and its free-form modifier; (ii) free, analytic N(P) šel (N)P constructions with the genitive marker šel 'of '; and (iii) doubly marked N1pro2 šel N2 genitives. Usage-based analyses of alternations between these three options for expressing possession and other genitive relations reveal conflicting results, leading to the conclusion that text-type (genre, medium of expression, level of usage, and communicative setting) plays a major role in choice of construction. The chapter also considers two other binominal constructions - construct-state Adj^ Noun and Noun + Denominal Adjective phrases - and concludes by noting more general properties of Modern Hebrew reflected in current use of these constructions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
EditorsRuth A. Berman
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262066
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Language Companion Series
ISSN (Print)0165-7763


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