“Turn all walls into SMS-walls”
The SMS-wall is an invention of Hungarian engineers, a device erected in public places (festivals, restaurants, squares) that serves for receiving and displaying SMS messages. The present paper analyses a total of 254 SMS texts that were sent to an SMS-wall erected by Westel Co. at the Ninth Youth Press Festival at Gödöll$, Hungary, on 26 April 2002. It is concluded that a fundamental feature of those texts is the personal and mass communicational, as well as folkloristic, situation that they are embedded in. A salient role is played by getting in touch (provocation), playing with the code (language games), and providings news items as a task (often coupled with texts of advertisements, a sign of the connection in young people’s minds between news items and advertisements). The SMS-wall has also been found to play a folkloristic role (e.g. Easter rhymes), an evidence of the connection between folklore and mass communication. The SMS-wall, even though it is a public medium, nevertheless displays characteristic features of secondary uses of writing as well.
The principles of an up-to-date technical thesaurus
In recent years, the social importance of technical translations has been growing exponentially, and this increase raises new issues in the fields of language use, language planning, and lexicography. We keep experiencing the signs of linguistic interference: some of the traditional grammatical, stylistic and orthographical features of the Hungarian language as a target language undergo changes, in line with the features of the source languages, and new features tend to be transported from the source languages to Hungarian. The formulation of a generally acceptable Hungarian terminology that corresponds to the meaning and function of the source text as well as to the traditions and norms of the target language is of great urgency. The paper aims at summarizing recent studies and attempts at identifying new principles and methods of creating an up-to-date technical dictionary. In analysing the need for such a dictionary, the paper also intends to describe and classify some of the novel phenomena in the field of terminology.
What is the name of a neighbouring country?
Yugoslavia has recently changed its constitution, form of government, and name. It is our task to find the Hungarian equivalent of the official name of the country, as formulated and put into force in Serbian; to translate it authentically, yet in a way that fits into Hungarian traditions of name giving and is, in addition, easy to translate back into Serbian in everyday life (especially in the public life of Hungarians living in that country). The name is Državna Zajednica Srbije i Crne Gore ‘Confederation of Serbia and Montenegro’, and its short version is Srbija i Crna Gora. Translated into Hungarian: Szerbia és Montenegró Államközösség, in short, Szerbia és Montenegró. At present, five such names of countries involving és ‘and’ serve as precedents, five names whose authentic and official Hungarian equivalent mirrors the contents and structure of the original. For instance, Nagy-Britannia és Észak-Írország Egyesült Királysága ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’, Trinidad és Tobago Köztársaság ‘Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’, etc.
Nép és nyelv
The genus buttercup
The Concise Hungarian Defining Dictionary (Magyar értelmez+ kéziszótár) contains a number of words for various species of buttercup like boglárka ‘water-weed with white, resp. terrestrial plant with yellow, flowers and lobed leaves; Ranunculus’ [buttercup] (p. 142), víziboglárka ‘water-weed with white flowers and lobed leaves living in natron lakes; Batrachium’ [hunger-weed] (p. 1515), and salátaboglárka ‘bulbous forest plant with yellow flowers whose leaves are consumed as a salad; Ficara verna’ [pilewort] (p. 1191). This is a very widespread genus of plants; a large number of named (co-terms) are known for its various species. The earlier, more comprehensive term boglárka (Ranunculus) is now further subclassified with víziboglárka (Batrachium) and salátaboglárka (Ficaria) recognised as separate genera. This paper gives a detailed account of co-terms for buttercup like Isten búzája ‘God’s wheat’, mennyei árpa ‘heaven’s barley’, békaboglárka ‘lesser spearwort’, hollóláb ‘crowfoot’, tyúklábvirág ‘henfoot’, libavirág ‘goose-foot’, aranysaláta ‘goldcup’, etc.
Nyelv és iskola
Structural grammar and mother-tongue education in the Czech Republic and in Hungary
The author wishes to contribute to the debate that has been going on for several decades now within Hungarian linguistics between adherents of the “traditional, taxonomic” and of the “modern”, structuralist/generative description of language. She does not join in to the main branch of the debate but rather she comments (using Czech mother-tongue education as an example) on the sub-issue, now emerging more and more often, of whether it is justified or realistic to expect that general education should concentrate on generative/structural grammar (as the only valid model today) rather than traditional grammar (the one exclusively taught today).
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
The historical background and characteristic features of present-day linguistics
This paper consists of five parts: 1. The beginnings of linguistics (ancient times). 2. The subjectmatter of linguistics (expansion, interdisciplinarity, reduction). 3. Theories and methods in linguistics: (a) functionalism, anthropocentrism (speaker-based, reality-based, hearer-based categories), explanation, theories of the linguistic sign (bilateral P unilateral, trilateral, tetralateral, pentalateral), the structure and system of language, principles of scientific categorisation; (b) methods in vitro and in vivo. 4. A typology of linguistic categories. 5. Pluralism in linguistics.
A grammatical study of infinitival figura etymologica
The aim of this paper is to conduct a detailed syntactic (part-of-speech-related) investigation of infinitival instances of figura etymologica (stem doublets, i.e., constructions of the látni láttam ‘see, I did’ [literally: to see, I saw] type). The basic principle of the author’s method is that this investigation can only yield reliable results for descriptive grammar if it abstracts away from stylistic and rhetorical aspects. First, she analyses points of contact between stem doublets and syntactic roles; in that respect, she introduces a new method of classification based on the presence vs. absence of referential identity of the constituents. Alongside constructions of the látni láttam type, she also draws the reader’s attention to independent infinitival adverbs of regard (Mesélni, danolászni nem volt párja ‘She had no rival in telling tales or singing songs’), more or less unknown in the relevant literature so far. She demonstrates the extent to which the infinitive in the constructions at hand meets general expectations of that part of speech, as well as the respects in which it departs from them.
Wanted: a Hungarian Cicero The approach of Hungarian romanticism to rhetorics as reflected in rhetorics treatises written in the first half of the 19th century
The paper explores rhetorics treatises written in Hungvarian in the first half of the nineteenth century. Alongside the morfe widespread rhetorics books written in Latin, English, or German, the demand for a Hungarian rhetorics was increasingly felt fro the beginning of the nineteenth century. Rhetorics books published up to 1850 kept referring to that demand, almost without exception. That permanent sdense of lack already suggests the answer to the question implied in the title: in the first half of the century, no complete, satisfactory Hungarian rhetorics of a Ciceronian quality was produced. However, in rhetorics treatises that were written and published in the period, a long process startged whereby, along with the adaptation of Latin-based rhetorics to the requirements of Hungarian, the theoretical and practic al foundations of a Hungarian rhetorics were gradually laid.