Hebrew Idioms: The Organization of the Lexical Component

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper argues that the empirical domain of idioms can shed light on the architecture of the mental lexicon and the nature of its building blocks whether roots or words. A corpus-based study of the distribution of various diatheses in verb phrase idioms in Hebrew was conducted. Its results reveal an intriguing discrepancy between the behavior of unaccusatives, transitives and adjectival passives on the one hand and verbal passives one the other. Th e fi ndings are straightforwardly accounted for if the lexicon includes actual verbs-words not merely roots-under which verb phrase idioms are stored as sub-entries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-310
Number of pages28
JournalBrill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Idiom storage
  • adjectival passives
  • mental lexicon
  • phrasal idioms
  • root
  • unaccusatives
  • verbal passives


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