House and home: A semantic stroll through metaphors and symbols

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Cognitive linguistics has paid much attention to the role of metaphorical patterns in language and thought. Accordingly, this article offers a diachronical view of the role of the house and home metaphors in Jewish and Israeli literary and nonliterary texts. It offers a semantic as well as a sociocultural perspective on the emergence of, and shifts in, the extended symbolic and metaphorical notion of homeland (moledet) as home. Examining this theme in the poetry of Hayim Nahman Bialik, Avraham Shlonsky, Natan Alterman, and Lea Goldberg, the article points to the process of the fading of the collective home symbol and the emergence of the normal expectation for just a home in Israeli popular songs today, while showing how the dormant metaphor can be awakened and exploited in times of threat, as well as for commercial purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Alterman
  • Bialik
  • Goldberg
  • Shlonsky
  • homeland
  • metaphor
  • poetry
  • popular songs
  • semantics
  • symbols


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