A thousand years of statehood, culture, and language in Hungary
The speaker began his address by stating that the audience had gathered to commemorate and to celebrate. Then he defined what he meant by the irreplaceable role of statehood, culture (in particular, Christian culture), and language, or rather one’s mother tongue. He went into details about what Saint Stephen had done for the establishment of the Hungarian state, as well as what the various ecclesiastical centres, and the schools, libraries and learned communities based on them, had done for literacy and Hungarian literature. Then he pointed out that, during its history, Hungarian language and culture had been afflicted by three particular traumas: from the middle of the sixteenth century onwards, the 150 years of Turkish rule; in 1849, the suppression of the War of Independence, and in 1920, the most severe trauma: the Trianon Peace Treaty. On the other hand, he added that the Hungarian nation had been able to recover from all three. Finally, he spoke of the three “wonders” of the Hungarian language as the major vehicle of Hungarian culture: first, that it had been able to retain its basic Finno-Ugric character even though it was enriched by loanwords taken over from other languages. Second, the way Literary Hungarian was taking shape. And third, the fact that it gave rise to an almost unparalleled literature, especially poetry. He closed his speech by emphasising that “it is work, order, morals, and due adaptation that have preserved the Hungarian nation so far, and only the same things are able to go on preserving it in the future”.
The recognisability of homonyms on the basis of their suffixed forms
A number of pairs of words whose lexical (unsuffixed) forms are identical are furthermore of the same part of speech, especially (both) nouns or (both) verbs. In the Concise Explanatory Dictionary of Hungarian there are three noun pairs that only differ in a single case form each, and three pairs of adjectives where only one can be turned into an adverb. There are more such pairs (exhibiting an opposition of surplus vs. lack) if gradability is also taken into account. Among nominal homonyms, there are five pairs where one of them cannot be pluralised. Some other deficiency as opposed to full paradigm is found in seven other pairs. There are seventeen pairs whose total paradigms are distinct. In the case of verbs, it is sometimes the case that only the causative forms are different. – In homonyms where the two lexemes belong to non-identical (but related) parts of speech, the most numerous group is that of noun/adjectives. Lacking forms or forms with different suffix shapes differentiate forty-two such pairs. – Peculiar combinations are found with pairs of homonyms where one or both members are of multiple part-of-speech affiliation. It is sometimes the case that all three or four paradigms differ; but quite frequently it is only the suffixation of the individual homonymous items that differs while that of the different part-of-speech versions is the same, or the other way round: the different parts of speech are suffixed non-identically but the homonyms of the same word class are suffixed in the same way.
Regularity or irregularity? On the spelling of Serbian proper nouns
The author draws the reader’s attention to the extensive indeterminacy observable in the spelling (and often the pronunciation) of Serbian names in Hungarian. Scientific publications and encyclopedias opt for the original spelling (in Roman letters). On the other hand, daily and weekly papers and illustrated magazines published in Hungary almost all choose the Hungarianised transcriptions of these names, and so do all television channels, in spite of the fact that Serbian uses both Cyrillic and Roman script and that the Appendix to The Hungarian spelling of names from Slavic languages with a Cyrillic script clearly states: “…Serbo-Croatian, using both the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets, counts as a Roman letter language with respect to Hungarian orthography; therefore Serbo-Croatian words and names are to be written in their official Roman (i. e., Croatian) forms”.
Nyelv és iskola
Comments on the skeleton curriculum of Hungarian language
The staff of the Present-day Hungarian Language Department of the Institute of Hungarian Linguistics and Finno-Ugristics of Eötvös Loránd University have prepared a detailed analysis of the April 2000 draft of the Hungarian Language Skeleton Curriculum. In their helpful criticism, the authors express their worries concerning the fact that in this draft skeleton curriculum mother-tongue education is pushed into the background more than it was in any previous curricular reform, and the number of mother-tongue classes is diminished to an unprecedented extent. Among other things, they protest against the proposed but not sufficiently elaborated integration of Hungarian language and literature for fifth and sixth forms, and against the discontinuation of grammar teaching in secondary schools. The analysis contains professional, methodological, and ethical remarks on, and mainly objections to, some of the general aims of the curriculum, as well as the system of requirements for particular age groups and school types.
A Nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
The VOT of Hungarian voiceless posives
This paper aims at a systematic investigation of the Hungarian voiceless stop consonants in terms of a feature that has not been thoroughly explored so far. Both the acoustic properties and perceptual behaviour of voice onset times of the three Hungarian voiceless stops were analysed, both in isolated words and when occurring in spontaneous speech. Our hypothesis was that VOT values should exhibit significant differences depending both on the place of articulation and on the style of speaking. The results show that the VOTs of bilabials and velars are significantly shorter in continuous speech (than in isolated words) while dentals seem to be unchanged across styles. Therefore, the actual duration of VOT is characteristic of the place of ariculation of stops in spontaneous speech while the VOTs of bilabials and dentals do not differ from each other in careful speech. Voice onset time is one of the primary cues for the correct identification of voiceless stops.
Death as a cultural concept in Hungarian and in Polish
The linguistic image of the world of a given language community reflects all cultural phenomena that are important for that community. Such cultural phenomena are mainly expressed in phraseological units, folksongs, legends, proverbs, popular maxims, etc. In this paper, the author demonstrates that the extension, dimensions, and cognitive structure of ‘death’ as a cultural concept in Hungarian vs. Polish exhibit certain differences, along with the obvious similarities. The phraseological units analysed here fall into two main groups: (1) ones containing the lexemes meghal ‘die’, halál ‘death’ (Polish umrzeć, ¶mierć) or various synonyms of mainly expressive character, closely related to these items, and (2) ones not containing the above lexemes, defining death in a metonymical or metaphorical manner.
The sceptical dilemma of cognitive linguistics
The paper presents a case study which shows that current trends in cognitive linguistics result in a sceptical dilemma. The attempt to resolve the dilemma yields the following theses concerning the relationship between cognitive linguistics and metascientific reflection: (a) cognitive linguistics and Quine’s naturalised epistemology are compatible with each other; (b) naturalised epistemology may contribute directly to the solution of object-scientific problems of cognitive linguistics; (c) however, this contribution is only partial because metascientific reflection cannot carry out the tasks of object-scientific theories.
The linguistic markedness of narrative ‘ego’. An experimental textological approach to personal narration
This paper, both thematically and methodologically related to research on text types, is based on an investigation of the organisation of personal deixis and attempts to outline a framework of interpretation that makes it possible to better understand the way narrative linguistic communication works. The paper relies on some results of literary narratology and shows their generalisability to text linguistics by emphasising aspects that can be translated into the conceptual categories of linguistic pragmatics. With reference to the categories ‘personal’ vs. ‘impersonal’, the author argues that, starting from a functional approach to the organisation of deictic linguistic forms referring to the participants of the communicative situation, it is possible to create a (text linguistically adequate) interpretation of the typology of procedures of narration characteristic of narrative texts that gives a satisfactory account of various prototypical possibilities of narration, as well as their linguistic characteristics.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok
A Nyelvőr hírei
A Nyelvőr postájából