The Pragmatics of Politeness
Pragmatics deviates from traditional interpretations of politeness both in its conception and terminology and in the way it delineates the range of phenomena to be explored. This paper discusses these differences in terms of two dominant theories of politeness: Leech's Conversational Maxims, and Brown and Levinson's notion of face-work. The author puts both theories into wider perspectives and compares them, noting their virtues and shortcomings. Being less well-known of the two, Brown and Levinson's theory is given a more detailed treatment, going through the changes that the concept of 'face' has undergone, and discussing each type of face-threatening acts that those two scholars have defined. The aim of the author is to encourage, by her analytical review, an increase in the number and scope of pragmatic studies in this country.
The Linguistic Work of János Földi
János Földi (1755–1801), a doctor by profession, was a prominent member of a great generation of Hungarian writers, poets and grammarians in the age of enlightenment, fighting for the use of Hungarian in science and education. His main goal was to establish the Hungarian terminology of natural sciences. Preparing for that task, he wrote the first comprehensive grammar of Hungarian in Hungarian, thereby also creating the Hungarian terminology of linguistics. The paper summarizes the results and deficiencies of Földi's grammar (including a study on Hungarian versification).
Földi was also the first to publish a Hungarian zoology, and a book on the principles of compiling the Hungarian terminology of botany. His terminological proposals are also discussed and evaluated.
Mi 'we' As a Pronoun of Power and Solidarity
Results of pragmatic research, including the distinction between semantic and referential meaning, the exploration of deictic phenomena and pronominal reference, as well as the elaboration of general communicative principles governing the process of communication, have created a theoretical basis for an objective linguistic analysis of texts the interpretation of which is debatable.
Given that pronominalization is a prominent method of exophoric and endophoric reference, playing an important role in staking out the circumstances of an utterance and in organising the sense of a text, its study offers a fertile approach for the interpretation of various politically motivated types of text. Exploring the reference fields of pronouns helps us define the political groups participating in the discourse, whereas studying the organization of pronouns facilitates the determination of the relative distance of discourse participants. In functionalist examinations of pronominalization, the Hungarian literature has been concentrating on the anaphoric text-forming role of third person singular pronouns. The present paper tries to contribute to the issue of pronominal deixis by a pragmatically-based study of the anaphoric use of first person plural pronouns, in harmony with the face-forming role of those pronouns in political discourse.
SMS Folklore – the Linguistic Iimage of Minimalistic Folklore
The author previously published three papers in this journal concerning the world of SMS: on election SMSs (2003), on SMS as electronic graffiti (2004), and on SMS news (2005). In the present, concluding paper of the series, the folklore-type characteristics of SMS messages are investigated, using methods of folkloristics, textology, and anthropological linguistics. The theoretical point of departure is that folklore phenomena do exist irrespective of historical period or social layer. This is the basis of present-day folklore (also known as post-folklore) or, as it is also referred to in this paper: e-folklore, minimalistic folklore, computer folklore, or SMS folklore. Folklore- type characteristics of the techno-cultural world are described in terms of the paradigms of tradition vs. innovation, spoken vs. written communication (mediality), international vs. national aspects, etc. Within e-folklore, the author's special interest lies in SMS folklore. The most typical text types of SMS folklore are discussed in the following thematic order: festive messages, courtship/ love, chain letters (forwarded letters), funny/tricky/misleading texts, maxims.
After a folkloristic/linguistic analysis of the corpus, the author states that SMS as a means of social communication offers human relationships, in particular, those formed by folklore messages, not only a novel medium but also a novel quality. It is not simply the case that traditional Christmas, Easter etc. postcards undergo a shift of medium and can be sent as SMS messages from now on. Three features of that novel quality are as follows: (a) extension of the human brain, of folklore memory (SMS storage, internet data bases), (b) automation of contacts: mobile phones and SMS make keeping in touch easy, (c) the psychology of contacts: SMS psychologically alleviates a number of types of inhibition; in other words, messages can be sent by SMS practically uninhibited.
It is to be emphasized that although SMS folklore does exhibit anthropological, 'eternally human' characteristics in may ways, it also shows particular features of what is known as postfolklore rather than traditional folklore, due to changes in the general circumstances.
Nyelv és stílus
Permanence and Change. On the Style of Krúdy's Last Creative Period
This paper consists of two parts: the first discusses problems of periodisation in Krúdy's oeuvre, whereas the second part attempts to present a sketch of the style of his last period on the basis of its characteristic stylistic properties. As the author points out, the main features of that period are as follows: (a) a distinguished role of figurative language: similes, metaphors, a correlation of recurring images and topics; (b) cumulation (the use of coordinated constituents) as a decisive strategy of sentence construction; (c) combination of present and past within the same stretch of text; and (d) irony.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
National Stereotypes in Hungarian and Polish Proverbs and Phraseologisms
Due to the integration and globalization processes currently taking place in the world, the problem of intercultural communication commands interest to an increasing extent today. The perspective of a united Europe and the related requirement of a possibly conflict-free establishment of tolerance-based relationships among people make it necessary for us to learn more about the complex issues of the functioning of cultural systems, including the reasons of the emergence and spread of stereotypes, pre- and postjudices. The author gives a brief survey of cognitive and psychological/social functions of stereotypes and points out that they are in a close relationship with the categorization and conceptualization of extralinguistic pieces of information. Those two processes are based on a natural ambition of cultural communities, as well as social and ethnic groups, the aim of which is to keep and assert their own values, habits, world view, mentality, cultural specificity, and national identity. Among other ways, these aims tend to be achieved by seeing other nations in a xenophobic perspective. This issue is discussed by the author through the material of Hungarian and Polish proverbs and phraseological units. Stereotypes are an integral part of one's linguistic world view, a special way of seeing the world through a linguistic and cultural prism.
The History of Representing Ellipsis and Interruption
This paper presents a history of the function of ellipsis and interruption, and of the way they are represented by punctuation marks, between the mid-seventeenth and the late nineteenth centuries, with special regard to pragmatic and text typological aspects of the issue. From the middle of the seventeenth century onwards, the omission of words or larger chunks of text, as well as the interruption of sentences, were represented in Hungarian printed documents by an ellipsis mark, a dash, or three or more dots. This paper discusses the functional and formal relationship of those three punctuation marks, and touches upon the interfering role of printing houses in their use.
Subject–Predicate Agreement in Middle Hungarian
This paper discusses person/number agreement between subject and predicate in the Middle Hungarian period. In view of the fact that in most of these constructions formal agreement is the only possibility, the author gives detailed consideration only to cases in which the speaker can choose between two – or in some cases, from three – different types of agreement (formal and semantic agreement, as well as redundant formal agreement). The possibility of choice among these types of agreement is peculiar to the period under investigation in some cases, but in others it is a quite general feature that is present in today's Hungarian, too; the regularities of person agreement are in general identical with those of earlier as well as later periods, whereas number agreement exhibits certain differences of proportion. With respect to the latter topic, two main groups of cases can be distinguished: first, cases in which the sentence has a single subject but its meaning or that of some other part of the sentence may elicit plural agreement (e.g., a collective noun, a noun of quantity, a quantified noun, or a noun with a possessive suffix in the role of subject, or else a subject accompanied by an adverbial of companion); and second, cases in which coordinated subjects open the possibility of choice between formal and semantic agreement. It is a special feature of Middle Hungarian that the predicate can be an adverbial participle; in these cases, the form of the participle exhibits number agreement or lack of agreement between the subject and the predicate.
With Regard to an Adverbial – In Present-Day Hungarian
The aim of this paper is not simply to review the literature on the syntactic category traditionally called "adverbial of regard" but also to point out certain vagueness or indecision in the part-of-speech assignment of some of its exponents (adverb vs. modifier; case-marked nominal vs. postposition). The author refrains from taking sides with any of the existing classifications of adverbials, given that each has its own assets over the others, hence all have to be taken into consideration. Rather, she points out that the type of adverbial at hand is an example of the general fact that a different perspective yields a different classification, even though the definition of that syntactic category has remained unchanged for the past few decades. Of the possible exponents of adverbials of regard, those involving postpositions have recently been on the spread, especially by way of a process whereby other types of adverbials (e.g., ones that are primarily those of manner) come to be used as adverbials of regard. As a consequence of that popularity, it is also conceivable that suffixed forms will soon become more loaded in that role (the suffixes -lag/-leg 'as', -ban/- ben 'in' are among the prime candidates). On the other hand, speakers' circumstantiality or prolixity may become annoying: for instance, in the case of multiple postpositional constructions (e.g., a minýség szempontjából nézve 'seen from the point of view of quality', az áremelkedés viszonylatában nézve 'seen in relation to price rise').
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok