Non-typical cases of linguistic categorization
The present paper pinpoints some objects that, because of their non-typicality, are not directly assignable to any category that the given language user is familiar with. Relating non-typical objects to certain categories is done via the use of various linguistic means. This phenomenon is illustrated here by Hungarian material. Extralinguistic reality includes fragments that are reflected in the system of linguistic/cognitive categories based on the principle of typicality. On the other hand, there are linguistic mechanisms that make it possible for non-typical objects to be related to such categories. This is how information concerning non-typical objects can be shared among speakers. Otherwise, such objects and phenomena would have to remain in the realm of transcendent silence.
The survival of naming traditions of a community in the age group of teenagers
Is there a collective means of self-defence in name-giving among Hungarians living in Slovakia? Are young generations aware of the need for self-defence at all? Are collective self-defence techniques handed down to them, and if they are, to what extent does this fact influence young parents in giving names to their children? These are the questions that the author tried to answer in his onomatological research carried out in Western Slovakia. In the present paper, he contrasts major results found in two villages, Diósförgepatony and Nagycétény, with name-giving attitudes of secondary school pupils in Révkomárom (Komarno). Briefly, what he found is this: by the time young generations reach the age of having children, most of them acquire special name-giving techniques based on traditions and determined by their minority situation.
Patterns of language behaviour in Hungarian television programmes
This paper discusses forms of polite language as they appear in television programmes. The sampling for content analysis has been made after a careful selection from completely different types of television channels and of programmes that are broadcast nationwide. The analysis shows, by means of characteristic examples, the way forms of greeting and addressing, as well as T/V-relationships reflect problems of everyday usage, and also to what extent these utterances can be considered as guiding or directing patterns for spoken language in general.
Nyelv és stílus
Figures of speech as ‘irregularity’
The author tries to find an answer to a very old puzzle of semantics and stylistics: the question of whether figurativity, especially the use of metaphors, is to be seen as ‘irregularity’ in language use or, just the other way round, this is the regular and natural way of speaking. In the present paper, the first of a series of three, he surveys the arguments that have been adduced from ancient rhetorics to generative grammar in support of the ‘irregularity’ view.
On the study of stylistic figures – launching a new project
The author sketches a four-year research proposal of the Stylistics Research Group of the Department of Hungarian Linguistics of Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest. The project focusses on the study of stylistic figures. The paper discusses recent developments in stylistics, in particular, Hungarian stylistics, becoming a well-established and independent area of research. It also describes the three volumes this group has published so far, as well as the preliminary steps they have taken in this new project of figure research. Then the history of the study of figures is briefly summarised. The author points out that, even though figures of speech pervade communication as a whole, their definition and classification are still a matter of debate, and no coherent description of the field is available to date. He gives the purposes of the proposed project, including a possible way in which the results will be presented. Finally, he remarks that the results are planned to be published in thematic booklets (three or four per year, circumstances permitting) and possibly also in a volume containing the whole material, at the end of the research period.
Nép és nyelv
The traces of Hungarian–Slovakian cultural and linguistic contacts in Slovakian folk tales
Slovakian folk tales exhibit a number of features reminiscent of Hungarian folk tales. In the present comparative study, the author seeks to answer the question of whether this is due to accidental similarity, shared use of international motifs, or else a specific instance of Hungarian–Slovakian cultural and linguistic contacts. Along with features suggesting Hungarian influence, including Proppean morphological similarities and shared elements of plots, linguistic correspondences were also found. Names of characters of a corresponding status appear as Hungarianisms or as loan translations of Hungarian names in Slovakian tales. Slovakian folk tales exhibiting similarities and parallels with Hungarian ones also contain a large number of loanwords taken form Hungarian. The Slovakian storyteller does not only preserve the plot of the tale and names of its characters, but also borrows and uses linguistic features of Hungarian tales, their set phrases and idiomatic introductory elements.
In addition to morphological and linguistic similarities, ancient mythological traces of a Ural-Altaic origin appearing in Hungarian, as well as Slovakian, folk tales also suggest that Hungarian folklore is the model, the source of borrowing, and not the other way round. Slovakian folk tales showing correspondences with Hungarian ones were created and recorded in collections of tales exactly in the areas where Hungarian–Slovakian contacts are the most intensive, a fact that further corroborates the role of direct cultural and linguistic contacts in the development of such similarities.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Metalinguisitics as a research programme
The aim of the paper is to summarize the main tenets and current results of a new approach to the metascience of linguistics. The approach is, first of all, naturalistic in the sense of Quine (1969); secondly, reflexive insofar as it may use the means of linguistics itself to capture the nature of linguistic inquiry; and, finally, heuristic in that it does not attempt to develop a particular metatheory of linguistic research but, rather, a heuristics capable of generating a series of alternative metatheories. The way ‘reflexive-heuristic naturalism’ thus characterized works is illustrated by three examples.
Imre Szalay’s “Compendium of Hungarian linguistics”
Imre Szalay’s grammar entitled A magyar nyelvtudomány rövid foglalatja is based partly on the Vienna grammar entitled Verbesserte Anleitung zur deutschen Sprachlehre, and partly on the Latin adaptation of Gottsched’s grammar entitled Kern der deutschen Sprachkunst. Szalay’s grammar has been translated into Serbian completed with commentaries by János Bérics.
General issues concerning subordination
The paper is part of a chapter of the forthcoming university textbook „Hungarian Grammar” (Borbála Keszler ed., Magyar grammatika. Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, to be published in 1999), discussing general issues concerning main and subordinate clauses as part of the overall topic of complex (and compound) sentences. It gives a summary treatment of categories involved in the grammatical organization of complex sentences: main-clause heads, both nominal and pronominal, as well as complementizers (conjunctions), and of the order of clauses, analysing the characteristics of complex sentences that are related to these categories. On the basis of recent research, the author surveys the various views concerning semantic relationships within complex sentences, views that were obviously not represented in earlier textbooks. Finally, she proposes a novel classification of complex sentences that is, nevertheless, compatible with the traditional classification.
In between passive and medial…
The paper tries to answer the question of how it is possible that the suffix -ódik/-ődik, considered to be a reflexive suffix since the end of the 19th century, came to be activated in a role replacing the obsolete passive suffix -tatik/-tetik in present-day Hungarian.
The basic idea of the paper is that one possible explanation, in terms of the research on passives carried out in the past few decades, involves the largely identical syntactic behaviour of the two suffixes. Passive constructions involving verbs suffixed by -ódik/-ődik can be created by way of the Chomskyan steps of passivization: their assumed deep-structure direct objects are transposed into a surface subject position, whereas their subjects are downgraded into the role of a complement.
The non-passive-like features of the use of this suffix, ones that relate it to that of medial verbs, such as its agentlessness, as well as the meaning component ‘by itself’, are likewise discussed in terms of the syntactic derivation of the constructions involved, looking for degrees of semantic depletion and actual deletion of causative subjects. This latter process results in special transitional forms that blur the divisions of types of verbs and increase the difficulties of classifying -ódik/-ődik.
On auxiliaries again. Reply to Klára Lengyel
The paper continues an ongoing debate on Hungarian auxiliaries. It is an answer to Klára Lengyel’s essay (see Magyar Nyelvőr 123 , pp. 116–128) which includes a chapter from the forthcoming university textbook „Hungarian Grammar” (Borbála Keszler ed., Magyar grammatika. Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, to be published in 1999) and the second part of which is a reply to the authors’ previous paper on Hungarian auxiliaries (see Magyar Nyelvőr 123 , pp. 108–116).
The authors maintain their original view and argue that the verbs in question are not auxiliaries either in syntactic or indeed in semantic terms. The syntactic argumentation is based on the four types of transformations that the infinitival complements of the verbs concerned may undergo.
A Nyelvőr hírei
A Nyelvőr postájából