Mother tongue education, dialects, and schoolchildren of a dialectal background
The author discusses matters in applied dialectology and educational methodology. On the basis of an empirical investigation, he claims that 34% of spelling mistakes occurring in compositions written by schoolchildren coming from families speaking the local dialect in a village in Hungary are dialect-dependent. Summarising relevant insights of German dialectology, too, he states that schoolchildren socialised in a local dialect can be taught to use the standard language more easily and in a shorter time if their dialectal setting is taken into consideration. Mother tongue teachers badly need a certain amount of knowledge in dialectology. A teacher training institution that does not provide such knowledge misses an evident professional requirement. Negligence of dialects or dialectal usage in general education is a token of professional irresponsibility.
Current problems of international linguistic communication
This paper discusses the following issues: linguistic diversity and international communication; world-wide integration and globalisation; the corresponding demand for a universal means of international linguistic communication; current principles of language policy.
Function verb phrases in legal texts
In legal texts, ‘function verb phrases’, i. e. constructions made up by a verb of very general meaning followed by a nominal in the accusative or some other oblique case, occur rather frequently. This paper considers both linguistic and legal angles of this phenomenon in trying to find out under what conditions it is possible for such constructions to be replaced by a single (synonymous) verb. The author concludes that such replacement is possible if the relevant arguments of the verb and the construction involved are identical and the legal contents are not thereby impaired. However, non-identical argument structure and/or the effort to give adequate expression to some complex legal idea may prevent function verb phrases from being replaced by a synonymous verb in many cases. In a legal sense, what makes the text of a law objectionable is not the fact that it is not impeccable linguistically but rather if its wording is vague or ambiguous, and allows multiple interpretations.
Nyelv és stílus
Figures of speech as ‘regularity’
This paper is a continuation of a sketch in the history of stylistics whose purpose is to survey the facts and arguments supporting the ‘regularity’ vs. ‘irregularity’ of figurative speech (see Magyar Nyelvőr 123 , pp. 292–302). This time, the author gives an overview of the opinions in which figurativity is not irregular but rather a fundamental feature of human thinking and natural language. The survey starts off with Aristotle and finishes with representatives of the cognitive theory of metaphors.
Nyelv és iskola
Telltale personal suffixes: addressees and/or listeners of a text spoken during a school class
The paper seeks explanation for position switches in a warm-up text produced in a special pedagogical situation.
In her analysis of an actually uttered text, the author uses Hymes’ model for delimiting the constituents of speech events. In terms of that model, each speech event has seven constituents. Changing any one of those constituents may/will result in altering the construction, hence the message, of the communicative end result (the sequence of utterances).
Among the constituents defined in Hymes’ model, the analysis gives special emphasis to participants of the speech event, with a situation-specific interpretation of their various denominations [sender (speaker) and receiver (addressee/listener)] and of the systems of their hierarchical, asymmetrical and mutual relationships.
With these in mind and with the help of the personal suffixes found in the text, the author finds out (a) which participants are denotata of (potential) pronouns, (b) what is their system of (multi-level hierarchical) relationships, (c) what speech act the speaker performs by producing each utterance, (d) who are the addressees or listeners of the sequence of utterances, and (e) in what way the presence of others may modify the speaker’s intention and his/her linguistic production.
The author’s hypothesis is that the foregoing can be found out and justified in terms of the text under analysis, and supported by other verbal and nonverbal events of the school class (that cannot be adequately explained by any other rational interpretation). Granted that that hypothesis is correct, she feels entitled to ask the very timely question of whether teachers do in fact make it clear for themselves what they tell their pupils during classes and why.
In conclusion, the author claims that the linguistic means characterising the set of interpersonal relationships in the part of class inverstigated actually serve the purposes of performing the role of a spokesman, with overt and covert position switches, in order to build a ‘facework’ for the teacher’s ego.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Phonetic aspects of voice quality and speaker recognition
The paper starts with the definition of voice quality as one of those acoustic-phonetic properties of speech that are characteristic of the speaker. The author discusses various experimental and practical data concerning the theoretical, acoustic-phonetic and perceptual aspects of speaker recognition. The results of an experiment involving the imitation of another person’s speech, and the role of harmonics and related parameters are also discussed.
The history of pronouns up to the end of the Middle Hungarian period
This paper is the preliminary version of a section of a new textbook of Hungarian historical linguistics being prepared at the Department of Hungarian Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Dialectology of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. The section on pronouns presented here is part of a chapter discussing the overall history of parts of speech.
Following a few brief introductory remarks, the pronominal inventories of Ancient Hungarian, Old Hungarian, and Middle Hungarian, as well as the changes this part of speech underwent during those periods, are investigated up to 1772. (The Modern Hungarian period and the summary of the history of pronouns, two subsections that will be included in the textbook, are omitted here for lack of space.) Language is fundamentally characterised by permanence or continuity; yet in this paper the author is more concerned with modifications and changes, primarily ones that are relevant with respect to the system of pronouns, and with their interrelations and system building effects.
Directions and topics in Hungarian text linguistics
This paper is the last chapter of a longer study on the history of text linguistics in Hungary. On the basis of some theoretical and methodological considerations, the author attempts to define certain trends in textology, and the major topics they are concerned with. The criteria of delimitation are as follows: views on the nature of texts; the type of text investigated (aesthetic vs. non-aesthetic); the phenomena covered (organization, function, types of texts); the methods employed (going from constituents towards whole texts or the other way round); specialized or global interpretation of text research. In terms of the above criteria, the author concludes that both major trends of textology as known in the international literature are found in Hungary, too: the attempt to coordinate special investigations of all kinds of disciplines concerned with texts as parts of a single overall area of study on the one hand, and the definite requirement that text linguistics retains its specific and specialised line of inquiry on the other.
Late medieval prebendal registers
One of the most outstanding sources from the end of the Middle Ages in Hungary, the accounts book of the Veszprém Chapter written between 1495 and 1534 is a valuable document for social history, economic history and ecclesiastical history alike.
Researchers of historical onomatology can gain ample information from the personal names occurring in that accounts book concerning the earliest period of Hungarian surnames, as well as concerning the use of unsuffixed geographical names (i. e. ones without the Hungarian adjectivalising suffix -i) as designations of individual prebends.
Morphological and derivational analysis of words in Hungarian
The author makes a distinction between synchronic morphological and derivational analysis of words. He groups morphemes into various types according to frequency of occurrence, roles in words, usage, origin, position in the word, and meaning. He stresses the importance of distributional analysis and the necessity of taking the facts of antisymmetry into consideration.
A nyelvőr hírei
A nyelvőr postájából