The pragmatics of replies to compliments Data on the manifestation of the principle of modesty in Hungarian
This paper, sociopragmatic in nature, undertakes three tasks by the help of a linguistic corpus elicited from 170 subjects with a discourse completion test. First, it defines the strategies of replying to compliments of the Hungarian linguistic community. Then, it broadens its theoretical perspective and investigates the individual strategies in the light of Leech’s maxims of politeness. The conclusions the author draws serve as a starting point to her third objective of exploring the cultural properties of replies to compliments. In particular, she wishes to find out if the norms directing the execution of speech acts of that kind in the community of Hungarian speakers rely on the principle of mutual understanding as in Western cultures or rather on the principle of modesty as preferred in Oriental cultures.
The relationship between writing and speech in interactions via internet
In the communicative genres used on the web, the nature of written communication changes: this is where efforts at a multimedia quality that characterise texts in general are at their best. Written communication plays a decreasing role here: what are mainly produced are complex items of writing-image-sound communication; in addition, hypermedia tools make it possible to link such complex items to each other. As opposed to traditional written texts, the recorded written form of computer-mediated communication is less characterised by a high level of being regular, normative, and well-constructed. It is best observable in high-interactivity chat forums and electronic mail texts that the lack of prosodic and paralinguistic tools is made up for by piled-up letters, piled-up punctuation marks, as well as the use of peculiar symbols or characters. Computer-mediated dialogues offer the possibility of immediate response: this is a characteristic feature of direct human communication – except that it goes on in writing here.
An SMS survey
This paper reports on the results of a large-scale questionnaire survey, conducted in 2003, of message sending habits of Hungarian SMS writers and the linguistic peculiarities of SMSes themselves. The paper reveals that short text-containing messages constitute a favourite genre of communication mainly for young people, and especially for teenagers. The author discusses general (language-independent) characteristics of SMSes that are due to the technology of sending messages and to the function of SMSes. Thus, the writers strive for brevity and compactness, often use emoticons, and not infrequently ignore the rules of orthography. This genre of written communication exhibits creative linguistic solutions and patterns normally characteristic of spoken utterances. The function of abbreviations, the two main types of their origin, and the subjects’ use of punctuation marks and other symbols is discussed in detail.
The orthography of vernacular names of animal species
The large number of new vernacular names of animal species that have come to life in the past few years and are also expected to be generated in the future calls for a revision of certain articles of The orthographical rules of Hungarian names of animal species, compiled by László Gozmány, published in 1994. In this study, the author examines how certain words of dual word class, names of nations, and constituents of geographical names that have come into general use under the influence of English fulfil their function as species attributes in Hungarian names of animals and what orthographical problems arise from them. The names of species given as examples were mainly taken from two manuscripts; one of these contains the names of the Earth’s primates, and the other lists the Hungarian designations of all the world’s species of birds. In the case of newly coined names of species it seems to be reasonable to set it as a goal to make the vernacular names reflect the logic of the binominal scientific nomenclature.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Metainformational pointers to meaning in texts
Metainformational operators may play various roles in linguistic texts: they participate in the organisation of the processes of conveying and receiving information, they characterise certain parts of verbal communication from various aspects, and serve as a source of linguistic, pragmatic, and extralinguistic information. In this paper operators of the following types are discussed: a szó szoros értelmében ‘in a strict sense’, a szó átvitt értelmében ‘figuratively speaking’, jogi nyelven fogalmazva ‘to use legal parlance’, ne tessék engem rosszul érteni ‘do not get me wrong’, mint tudjuk ‘as we know’, mint ismeretes ‘as is well known’, röviden szólva ‘briefly’, ahogy azt XY értette (határozta meg, definiálta, etc.) ‘as used (determined, defined, etc.) by XY’; tudományos (logikai, funkcionális, strukturális, pragmatikai, bibliai, etc.) szempontból ‘from a scientific (logical, functional, structural, pragmatic, Biblical, etc.) point of view’; valaminek a fényében ‘in the light of’, valaminek megfelelően ‘in terms of’, valaki (valami) szerint ‘according to’; betű szerinti jelentése ‘its literal meaning’; a szó mai (mindennapi, eredeti, negatív, etc.) jelentésében ‘in the current (everyday, original, negative, etc.) sense’, etc.
Zeros and non-zeros, little pro and big PRO in Hungarian
Most linguists agree on the view of language as a system of linguistic signs involving two sides: ‘signifier’ (sound or graphic forms) and ‘signified’ (various types of meaning). The relations between signifier and signified can be symmetrical (having exactly the same numbers on either side of linguistic signs) and asymmetrical. There are two main types of asymmetrical relations: 1) The correspondence is not one-to-one: a) a signifier has more than one meaning (homonymy, polysemy), b) a signified has more than one form (variants, synonyms). 2) One of the two sides of a linguistic sign is empty: a) a signifier has no lexical or grammatical meaning: interjections, expletive words (Where’s that bloody cat?), dummy words (It’s raining. There’s a wasp on your back. You ought to go [compare You must go]), swear words; unifix ‘an empty morph occurring between a stem and a meaningful affix’ (child-r-en, Hung. könyv-e-m ‘my book’), interfix ‘an empty morph between the roots or stems in a compound word’ (galvan-o-meter); b) a signified has no sound form. For example, many linguists would argue that the plural form sheep consists of two morphemes, the stem sheep and a null plural suffix 0.
Verbs involving the suffix -kod(ik)/-ked(ik)/-köd(ik); -lkod(ik)/-lked(ik)/-lköd(ik); -skod(ik)/-sked(ik)/-sköd(ik)
The author classifies verbs involving the suffix -kod(ik)/-ked(ik)/-köd(ik); -lkod(ik)/-lked(ik)/ -lköd(ik); -skod(ik)/-sked(ik)/-sköd(ik) into four semantic groups and determines the voice of the verbs belonging to each group. The four groups are as follows: 1. verbs expressing an activity, often referring to forms of behaviour, like rendetlenkedik ‘be mischievous’ (active voice); 2. verbs expressing an emotional state like idegeskedik ‘be nervous’ (middle voice); 3. verbs that express being in some state like betegeskedik ‘be ill’ (middle voice); and 4. verbs that express having a profession or function like szakácskodik ‘be a cook’ (middle voice).
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok