Zsigmond Simonyi and Hungarian Orthography
The speaker first expressed his appreciation of the past ten years of Zsigmond Simonyi spelling contests. Next, he pointed out the appropriacy of the choice of Simonyi's name for that series of contests. The feature that he said both Simonyi's oeuvre and the history of Hungarian orthography shared was 'reality'. He pointed out that Simonyi's greatest achievement had been that he had raised the standards of the study of Hungarian to match those of the Finno-Ugric studies of his day. Also, Simonyi had been a versatile scholar, working in almost every subdiscipline of linguistics.
With respect to orthography, he had proposed some streamlining that was subsequently adopted by Hungarian schools in 1903 but was not accepted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences until 1922. The speaker then went on to characterise the current spelling system of Hungarian as alphabetic, Latin-based, phonemic, sense-reflecting and observant of actual usage. He mentioned the latest spelling manuals and expanded on the expected future of Hungarian orthography, too.
The Hungarian Terminology of Music and Music Lexicography
Music lexicography has been attracting linguists' attention for a few decades now. The area has seen a lot of activity at an international level, especially in the past ten to fifteen years. There are a large number of works on music lexicography, even though the study of lexicographic works and musical terms is a relatively new discipline. In this paper, the authors survey the preliminaries concerning Hungarian music terminology and music lexicography; they select and analyse some of the Hungarian dictionaries of musical terms, and conclude by describing ongoing large-scale international lexicographic projects on music lexicography.
Greetings Used by Answering Machines
A survey made by the author in 2003 has shown that it is merely one-third of people possessing either a line phone or a cell phone who do not use an answering machine. More than 50 per cent of the recorded text of answering machines can be studied from a linguistic point of view. Conventional forms of greeting are mainly used by people of an advanced age. Under-eighteens use a considerably larger number of individual forms. The rate of formal ('vous') greetings is 79%. It is interesting that singing often replaces forms of greeting. Another frequent feature is the use of funny or playful greeting substitutes. There are several examples of artful recordings in which fake sound effects of family life may serve as playful substitutes. Provocative recordings occur mainly among people with less schooling. In general, conventional greetings tend to introduce answering machine texts that also contain additional pieces of information. The relative prevalence of various forms of greetings used in answering machines is also influenced by the media. Szia 'Hi!' is a widespread form of greeting, used by men and women alike. Among farewell formulae, substitutes are also frequently found.
Nyelv és stílus
Attila József: Rejtelmek [Enigmas]
The analysis shows how various key motifs of Attila József's love poetry are represented in this poem of 1937, including transparency, the contrast between 'up' and 'down', 'the outside' and 'the inside' (or, 'eye' vs. 'heart': the external vs. the internal world) and, in general, macro-world and micro-world, as well as reference to music (here: singing, reverberation) and counterpoint. The paper discusses the form and regularity of parallel reference to first vs. second person (the poet and his love), intertextual references to fairy tales and folk poetry, the plane of associations and the parallel structures of the sentences, as well as the palatovelar orchestration and rhythm of the poem.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Hereditary Phonetic Parameters of the Human Voice
Voice recognition or speaker identification has been studied from several points of view. The close similarity of the voices of consanguineous persons has suggested that there must exist some hereditary phonetic parameters. To test this hypothesis, a method for characterizing the similarity or dissimilarity of voices of sisters and identical twins in numerical terms was developed. If some parameters of human voice are genetically determined, monozygotic twins must have a higher intra-pair similarity of voice than dizygotic like-sexed twins or brothers/sisters. If agreement within monozygotic twins significantly exceeds that observed in dizygotic twins of the same gender, it may be anticipated that the condition is more under genetic than environmental control. In the present work, the voices of both members of three female 21–22-year-old pairs of monozygotic twins and three female 20–24-year-old pairs of sisters speaking about the same picture for a duration of about 2 minutes were recorded by the computer program Wave Studio. The material was analyzed by the Praat 4.2 voice analyzing program: average pitch, first three formants and formant bandwidths of nine vowels, the duration of words, vowels and alveolar fricatives, word intensity, FFT spectra of vowels, broad band and narrow band spectrograms of words, and broad band spectrograms of alveolar fricatives were analyzed and numerically characterized. The results, in accordance with our expectations, show that intra-pair differences between monozygotic twins were lower than those between sisters. It may be concluded that a single parameter is not capable of complete discrimination; there is no definite answer as to which parameter is the single most characteristic one of the heritability of human voice.
Are There Gender-Based Differences in Disfluency Phenomena?
Gender-related differences have long been a matter of interest for various disciplines, including linguistics, and specifically psycholinguistics, too. Verbal discrepancies observed in early infancy can also be attested in adults, with respect to language use, and to temporal and other characteristics of speech. The present paper seeks to find an answer to the question of whether differences between male and female speech, revealing hidden strategies of speech planning, can be detected in the disfluencies of spontaneous utterances. Our hypothesis was that men and women apply diverse strategies, of course not consciously, in order to resolve disharmonies based on the paradox of speech planning and implementation, revealed at the surface by preferences towards dissimilar types of disfluencies. In order to support that hypothesis, we have recorded the spontaneous speech of 18 adult speakers with the help of task-oriented dialogues. The results have born out our hypothesis: we have found differences both in the number of disfluencies (roughly twice as many were observed in the speech of male subjects than in that of female ones) and in their preferred types, a fact that was also corroborated by statistical analysis.
Lexical Fillers Initiating Self-Repair Sequences in Hungarian
The use of the lexical item izé 'um' is sometimes thought of as revealing sloppiness of speech and therefore to be avoided. The present paper aims at clarifying the status of izé and of two similar items, hogyhívják 'whatchamacallit' and hogymondjam 'how shall I say', with the help of methods of dicourse analysis. The results are accounted for in the framework of Levelt's (1989) model of speech production, due to the fact that such lexical fillers are used for initiating various repairs of speech production errors that are hard-to-avoid concomitants of spontaneous (informal) discourse. The study shows that izé is available for overcoming a number of various types of speech planning errors and that hogyhívják (whose functions overlap with those of izé) and hogymondjam are used for quite different types of errors, hence they are far from being as similar as they are often thought to be.
What are the Referents of 'Here' and 'There'?
In his famous paper Demostratives (1989), David Kaplan distinguished three components in the meaning of indexicals. The first component shows what is said in using a given indexical. This is the propositional contribution or content. The second component is identical with the referent of the indexical. The third component constrains the content in various possible contexts. He called this kind of meaning 'character'. According to Kaplan, there are two kinds of context sensitive expressions: pure indexicals and true demonstratives. Pure indexicals refer automatically, whereas true demonstratives select their referent with the help of demonstrations. Contrary to Kaplan, I argue in this paper that the expression types 'here' and 'now' belong to the group of true demonstratives. I provide arguments supporting the view that their character must contain demonstrative elements.
A Nyelvőr hírei