From theoretical to normative Linguistics
This is the written version of a talk given at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on the role of current research in rejuvenating the traditional field of normative linguistics. While there can be several approaches to linguistic phenomena, a more thorough reliance on descriptive, theoretical, sociological, or statistic studies could certainly help eradicate extreme and unsubstantiated claims as to speakers’ linguistic behaviour. It is suggested that the old ways of advising the public on usage should be supplemented by spreading the news of the amazing new achievements of various branches of linguistics in general, and in neurolinguistics and language technology in particular.
The Hungarian language and the European Union
The author first makes four basic claims. (1) The fate of languages is determined by that of the communities of their speakers. (2) The competitiveness of a society includes linguistic competitiveness. (3) Changes in the lives of linguistic communities entail changes first in the status of their language, then in their language use and the individual speakers’ competence, and finally in the system of the language. (4) Knowledge-based societies have better chances for the future than other societies. Consequently, the responsibility of the intelligentsia is great (also) in maintaining the social competitiveness of the linguistic community.
Nép és nyelv
The position and role of dialect and standard language in German-speaking Switzerland, with special reference to schooling
The author sketches the present-day linguistic situation in Switzerland and its historical background; then he discusses the main characteristics of bidialectalism in German-speaking parts of the country. As one of the most conspicuous features he mentions that Swiss German and Standard German coexist with an equal status and in well-differentiated functions. He gives a detailed overview of the place and role of local dialects and Standard German in schooling, and briefly considers the related reform-pedagogical attempts. He also summarises how German schools in Switzerland try to solve the not at all easy task that school-leavers should guard and retain their mother dialect while, at the same time, they should master Standard (literary) German during their studies.
Some issues of the conceptualisation of positive emotions
Feelings are phenomena that cannot be expressed linguistically, i.e., in words. Thoughts have structure that can be reconstructed with the help of words; but feelings, by their very nature, do not have structure, hence they are linguistically inexpressible. Despite the fact that we are unable to literally describe what we feel, we can still speak about emotions making extended use of metaphors that “copy” predefined patterns, conventionalised linguistic forms, units, phraseologisms, etc. In view of the foregoing, the present paper tries to define the fundamental direction of the conceptualisation of positive emotions.
“Without words”. A phonetic analysis of nonverbal vocal communication
What the author calls humming is a vocal phenomenon consisting of nasal voicing, accompanied by an occasional [h]-type noise, and having independent, well identifiable discourse functions. A series of experiments has been designed to study one group of such communicative vocal phenomena. The results demonstrate that the three basic types analysed (‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘question’) differ in their temporal complexity and their melodic pattern. Humming that means ‘yes’ differs from the plain indication of attentiveness mainly in terms of repetitiveness, whereas it differs from interrogative humming in the value of the upstep interval involved. These vocal phenomena have independent meaning that is attached to a (prelingual, monorhemic, and motivated) complex of both segmental and suprasegmental structure, as opposed to verbal signs in which segmental structure carries what is called their basic meaning and suprasegmental structure has a mere shading function.
Semantic opposites of denominal privative adjectives meaning ‘lack’
Antonyms – just like synonyms and homonyms – may affect each other’s meanings, even though opposition does not have as important a role in meaning specification as synonymy or homonymy does. In forming pairs of opposites, both concrete and abstract ones, an important role is played by derivational suffixes of opposite functions. Denominal privative adjectives in -tlAn denoting ‘lacking something’ tend to contrast semantically with adjectives carrying the suffix -(V)s meaning ‘being supplied with something’ and/or with constructions suffixed by -(j)Ú, closely related to the former. Available definitions of the uses of -(V)s and -(j)Ú suggest that the privative forms should only contrast semantically with derivatives involving -(V)s, in view of the fact that it is only a “part – whole” relationship that makes it possible to detach the “part” from the “whole”. Indeed, a prerequisite of the use of a privative suffix is that the “part” should be an alienable part or property of the possessive argument bearing the subject role.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok