Is philology necessary?
The present paper throws a new light upon the notion of philology: this notion is defined in a wider sense. Besides the traditional interpretation of philology it is shown by the author that the philological view of language has been playing a specific role in linguistic description – versus the logical view of language. Philology has lost its previous position in linguistic description. This fact can be explained by the growing importance of the description of the state versus the history of language. The philological view of the language carries on a constant struggle with the logical view. The relative position of philology depends on the status of the logical view in a given period of linguistics. The absolute position of philology can be deduced from the continuity of the tradition of linguistic description.
Some remarks on the interpretation of the notion ‘natural language’
In terms of the author’s position expounded in this paper, human language is (1) a species-specific characteristic of human beings, one that is a common property of all humans; (2) a certain genetic potential, i. e. the ‘linguistic endowment’ of each concrete individual; (3) a concretized property of the given individual that results form the development (via socialization) of his/her inherited (natural) language potential; and (4) a property that is characteristic of a given group or community of people. It appears that (quite apart from its size and quality) the language of each human community can be interpreted in two different manners: (1) as a logical section, i. e. the shared (invariant) part of all individual languages involved, or (2) as a logical union, i. e. the total of the languages of all living members of the community. Given that interpretation (1) entails a certain operation of abstraction (or generalization), this is the only coherent way in which language as an abstract entity can be construed, on the level of a theoretical construct created by the linguist.
Nép és nyelv
Popular plant names in Hungarian
The Hungarian terminology of botanics includes a large number of compound terms involving names of animals. Some of these terms are of a respectable age; others are based on popular names that are still in use in certain dialects. In this paper, the author discusses compound plant names that include the animal name farkas ‘wolf’. He gives their word histories from their first occurrence in written documents, as well as their word geographies on the basis of dialect dictionaries and ethnographic and botanic sources. In addition, he discusses the name giving habits and motivations that underlie them. Where appropriate, ancient and/or foreign-language parallels and correspondences are also given in a source-true form, accompanied by binominal meaning specifications.
Nyelv és stílus
A contrastive analysis of style values attributed to two short pieces of daily news
The paper elaborates the results of a test designed to explicate the naive style attributions made by 38 adult urban intellectuals after reading two versions of an event reported in the form of short pieces of daily news in two different Hungarian daily papers. The questions that the subjects were asked mainly concerned the socio-cultural factors (attitude, situation, value) of the stylistic structures of the two texts, partly separately, and partly in comparison, in a functional-cognitive framework. The results demonstrate the fact that style attributions exhibit firm tendencies that are independent of the age or ideological stance of the subjects: the first version of the news item was considered neutral (at some points formal) in terms of style and one that summarises the event objectively, whereas the second one was characterised as an informal text that sounds more like gossip or sensational storytelling than a usual piece of news.
Krúdy, the “secessionist”
This paper attempts to present the secessionist (Art Nouveau) character of Gyula Krúdy’s style on the basis of an analysis of a single sentence (of 225 words) of a short story of his, first published in March 1914 (Egy Aranykéz utcai éj emléke [Memories of a night at Aranykéz Street]). The author investigates three levels of the text: (1) sentence structure; (2) figurativity, linguistic figures; (3) the “background” of the text (historical and cultural allusions, period motives, etc.).
In conclusion, the author claims that this short story by Krúdy can be subsumed under the category of secessionist style, but only between inverted commas as it were. This is because (1) the “secessionist” traits observable in the text can be found in almost all works and periods of the writer; (2) the same linguistic properties could refer the short story and its writer to a number of other trends of style (impressionism, symbolism, or even surrealism) as well.
It appears that the linguistic criteria of “secessionist style” are too general for a satisfactory identification of that trend and its representatives.
A Nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Free word associations: An analysis of the mental lexicon
There are numerous hypotheses concerning the structure, size, and strategies of the mental lexicon, including its language-specific operations. The present study analyses the characteristics of 12-year-old and 13-year-old pupils’ mental vocabularies using the technique of free word associations. The first part of the paper discusses the acquisition processes whereby children acquire the words of their first language. The word corpus obtained consists of more than 50,000 ‘mental words’ and more than 7,000 lexemes. The analysis focuses on both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the data like types of associations, lexical representations, distribution of word categories or semantic analysis of the words. Comparisons are also made with a very similar material found in the literature. That material resulted from an association experiment carried out 60 years ago with Hungarian-speaking children. The discussion concerns (i) the patterns of the tested children’s mental lexicon and (ii) vocabulary changes seen as a multifactorial consequence of the progress of time.
Microdiachrony and the investigation of linguistic changes
On the basis of the material of the volumes of A magyar nyelv történeti nyelvtana [A historical grammar of Hungarian], the author analyses the major processes that directed the emergence and development of Hungarian complex and compound sentences up to the end of the Old Hungarian period. In particular, she discusses grammaticalization processes in detail, but she also mentions changes caused by ellipsis, analogy, and structural synonymy.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok
A Nyelvőr hírei