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Language in Time of Revolution$
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Benjamin Harshav

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520079588

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520079588.001.0001

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The Force of Negation

The Force of Negation

(p.17) Five The Force of Negation
Language in Time of Revolution

Benjamin Harshav

University of California Press

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

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