Questions and answers of a lexicographic kind in the revised edition of the Concise Explanatory Dictionary of Hungarian
The author (as the Editor-in-Chief of CEDH) emphasises the double function of the recent revision: the dictionary had to be adjusted to the current state of the language that has undergone changes since the last edition, and it also had to be made suitable for continuous updating from now on. In order to serve the latter aim, lexicographical innovations were kept at a moderate level. The author lists, among partly answered lexicographic problems, the addition and (rare) omission of entries, the number and criteria of labels (especially with respect to slang, informal, rude, taboo, and vulgar items), the continuous expansion of the data base, the inclusion of samples of varieties of Hungarian as spoken in neighbouring countries, and the addition of information on synonyms and on inflectional patterns as a widening of scope as compared to a traditional explanatory dictionary. With respect to usage (correctness) labels, the author asks two questions: Is there such a thing as an incorrect linguistic form? and Is there (still) something that can be called Standard Hungarian? He answers both questions in the affirmative.
Prescriptivism in the Concise Explanatory Dictionary of Hungarian
The author examines the ways in which the new edition of the Concise Explanatory Dictionary of Hungarian – similarly to its previous edition that first appeared in 1972 and had a number of unchanged re-editions later – stigmatizes non-standard lexical items, with special regard to the varieties of Hungarian outside Hungary. In contrast with the previous edition, the new edition includes words and phrases used in Hungarian in Transylvania (Romania), Sub-Carpathia (The Ukraine), and (Southern) Slovakia. However, some of these become stigmatized in the dictionary because there is no other way to qualify them as being used in informal contexts by less educated speakers and/or by speakers whose dominant language is their second (non-Hungarian) language. The author argues that the system of usage labels should be thoroughly revised in future editions of the dictionary.
Nyelv és stílus
An extraordinary story. Chapter Six of Esti Kornél by Dezső Kosztolányi
This paper is primarily based, theoretically as well as methodologically, on some current results in linguistic pragmatics, and its aims are twofold. First, starting from the problem of participant roles playing a decisive part in determining the context, an attempt is made at sketching the rudiments of an interpretative framework that might contribute to a text typologically adequate approach to narratives. In that respect, an answer is sought to the questions of how much and in what way the narrative character of certain texts influences the creation of the world of the text. On the other hand, the paper also undertakes a text typologically oriented interpretation of a particular text token, Chapter Six of Esti Kornél by Dezső Kosztolányi. The analysis of the text is directed at how narrative discourses and the related participant roles are embedded in one another and at a presentation of the characteristics of those mutually embedded discourses and participant roles, complemented by the investigation of fictionality that determines the interpretation of the text in more ways than one.
Nyelv és iskola
New strategies in mother-tongue education
The aim of this paper is to present a survey of new strategies that are required for the reformation of mother-tongue education both in content and in methodology. The paper lists some strategic tasks related to the variables of the immediate (or larger) environment determining mothertongue education. The objectives of mother-tongue education are formulated on an entirely new basis. The paper discusses, in particular, pedagogical requirements concerning the development of reading comprehension and a process-based teaching of essay writing skills, as well as up-to-date teaching methods and activity types to be introduced in mother-tongue education. Finally, a necessary redefinition of the teacher’s role is discussed on the basis of constructivist pedagogy and cognitive psychology.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Remarks on the notion of information and its scope
What is information, what are its types, and what is the essence of informational processes? These are questions that have engaged the attention of representatives of various branches of science for quite some time now. The lack of a generally accepted definition of ‘information’ does not only encumber scientific communication but it may also become a means of manipulation on a large scale. In both the technical and the popular-science literature, that notion appears in diverse terminological guises; and in certain social or ideological contexts it is often taken advantage of or used in a gratuitous manner. In this paper, the author surveys some interpretations of the notion of information that can be encountered in the various branches of science or in common parlance. The focus of attention is on various information-theoretic approaches based on statistical and nonstatistical (dynamic, combinatorial, topological, algorithmic) principles. In terms of statistical information theory, the definitions formulated by Hartley, Shannon, Weaver, Wiener, and others, are discussed.
Linguistic awareness, norm, and system pressure in the case of H in Hungarian
The phonological analysis of Hungarian /h/, the phonetic quality of its realisations, and the factors determining standard/nonstandard pronunciations involving it are issues with respect to which both earlier and current pieces of the literature exhibit diverse, often radically conflicting views. The present paper studies the characteristics of the consonant [h] on the basis of experimental data, with the aim of surveying diverse cases of variation with respect to nominal stems of the cseh ‘Czech’ type and exploring particulars of its use both in terms of production and of perception. The results show that the linguistic experience of native Hungarian speakers, their diverse strategies of perception, and their stricter or more lenient attitude to linguistic norms all affect the behaviour of the consonant studied here.
The place of appositive constructions among syntactic patterns
This paper tries to find the place of appositive constructions in the overall syntactic structure of present-day Hungarian. Capitalising on the fact that Magyar grammatika [Hungarian Grammar], a recent university textbook first published in 2000, does not define appositions as a kind of attributes (as was usually done beforehand), the author looks at the various types of appositions: qualifying, attributing, and identifying ones, as well as appositive adverbs, and concludes that appositions – due to their inflectional endings – play the same syntactic role in sentences as their host nouns do. On the other hand, appositive constructions cannot be taken to be coordinative constructions since their constituents normally refer to the same entity in two different ways, hence they are in a close-knit relationship with each other, termed an appositive-identifying relation here. They constitute a third kind of syntactic constructions alongside subordinative and coordinative ones.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok
On the interpretation of some words in the Old Hungarian ‘Lamentations of Mary’
The author, obviously relying on earlier relevant results, has published an interpretation of OHLM, with comments in footnotes, in Magyar Nyelvőr 126: 464–9 (2002). In this paper he adds some further data concerning a few words to corroborate the interpretation referred to above. In addition, the author suggests novel ideas concerning the precise explanation of three words. These are: sephed ‘be wounded’, therthetyk (correctly: thettetyk) ‘be seen’, and vylagumtul ?‘from my most precious one’.