Abstract

The Aramaic preposition lwāt has two distinct meanings: kinetic (‘towards’) and stative (‘with’). In this paper, I discuss the origin and etymology of this preposition, previous attempts to account for its form and other examples of similar polysemy in Semitic. I suggest that it is a derivation from two separate roots that have fallen together in Northwest Semitic: √lwy1 ‘to be with, accompany’ and √lwy2 ‘to encircle’.

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