Normativity as a value criterion in language care and linguistic counselling
This paper deals with various theoretical and practical issues from a language educator's and researcher's point of view centred on normativity as a value criterion. The philosophical background is provided by functional and cognitive approaches to language that interpret language use as a body of knowledge and practice handed down from generation to generation in a linguistic community. Relying on such approaches, the author discusses the phenomena of normativity and norm changes, as well as standard language norms as a basis of, and a system of conventions for, usual linguistic behaviour still functioning as a pattern of guiding principles. It is against the backdrop of that system of norms that she presents current changes and neologisms at a lexicalsemantic level as they occur in the practice of linguistic counselling. Combining theory and practice, she also tries to find out how much her conception of language is appropriate to resolve current issues of language use; and how well that theoretical framework can be exploited in her daily work as a linguistic counsellor.
Nyelv és stílus
The role of 'Nyugat' in the accomplishment of modern Hungarian literary style
The most influential Hungarian literary review, entitled Nyugat 'The West', was founded a hundred years ago. This paper tries to find out whether there was a more or less unitary style that periodical pursued, whether there is such a thing as 'the style of Nyugat'. The author approaches this issue by taking the most important trends of stylistic development in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries into account. He discusses symbolism, impressionism, and art nouveau, with an eye on how much these trends came across in the style of Nyugat, and how much they are thereby suitable for characterising it. The upshot of the inquiry is that the most appropriate historical category in terms of which the style of Nyugat can be described is 'modernity' or 'classical modernity'. The author highlights six main properties of that style in the areas of versification, word stock, collocations, syntax, stylistic devices, and imagery. In conclusion, the author points out that Nyugat had established a stylistic norm that determined literary discourse in this country for almost a century; what is more, it also determined the forms of thinking and communication within Hungarian intellectual life as a whole. However, that stylistic ideal seems to be disintegrating today and to be replaced by the post-modern approach to language. Therefore, the current celebration of the anniversary of Nyugat involves a gesture of farewell, too, in the present author's view.
Orientation metaphors in the imagery of Hungarian folk songs
This paper deals with a characteristic structural feature of a group of Hungarian folk songs: their initial image or point of departure (known as 'sill') involving some phenomenon of nature. In the framework of the theory of cognitive metaphors and taking principles of linguistic pragmatics into consideration, the author intends to support the claim that the metaphoric expressions of those initial images can be traced back to certain cognitive metaphors. She discusses the most frequent forms of spatial metaphors (a subtype of orientation metaphors that are in turn a type of cognitive metaphors), as well as their ranges of meanings, primarily in terms of binary oppositions like NEAR vs. FAR, UP vs. DOWN, UPWARD MOVEMENT vs. DOWNWARD MOVEMENT, CENTRE vs. PERIPHERY, TELICITY vs. ATELICITY, as well as conceptual domains like WIDE vs. NARROW PERSPECTIVE and DEGREE OF SPATIAL SATURATION. The paper concludes with raising a number of issues for future research in both text linguistics and folklore studies.
Nyelv és iskola
Attributive constructions in schoolchildren's spontaneous utterances
The attribution of some specific quality is most often expressed by adjectives; but the same semantic content may also be expressed by various constructions like coordinate or subordinate phrases and various types of phraseological units. In this paper, the author discusses the way this semantic category is represented in 15- and 18-year-old secondary school students' spontaneous speech: what nominal and verbal phrases, set phrases, and idioms are used, how often and in what functions. The analysis is based on 'guided spontaneous speech'; in the resulting five-minute samples, constructions that related to the speaker's opinion on movies were analysed both in qualitative and quantitative terms. The results yielded further data on the mental lexicon, as well as on age-specific features of teenagers' spontaneous speech.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Halotti beszéd and Ómagyar Mária-siralom. Remarks and suggestions
After commemorating two non-Hungarian scholars who studied the first linguistic document of the Hungarian language, Halotti beszéd (= HB.), the author discusses some as yet unresolved passages of that text and of the Ómagyar Mária-siralom (= ÓMS.). The first issue he considers is the meaning of HB. eleve (line 3). The author reappraises the hypothesis first advanced by János Sajnovics (1771), who thought that the meaning of that word was él. 'the living', i.e. 'God'. For this suggestion, some passages of the Vulgata, in which God is called vivens/vivus, are relevant. With respect to HB. terumteve (line 7) the author proposes, on the basis of some arguments advanced by Loránd Benk., to explain it as teremtet. 'he who is created', i.e., 'Adam', so that the term becomes the subject of the sentence. Moving on to ÓMS., after analysing the four prevailing interpretations of Strophe 7 – lines 17–20 (Syrolmom fuha || zatum …) –, the author explains the en in the phrase en iumhumnok bel bua as Balassi's en, i.e., íme (Lat. 'ecce') or ez 'this', rather than én 'I' - 'my', intensifier of the possessive suffix -m.
Toponyms in an anthropological linguistic perspective
The paper investigates names of settlements, of parts of settlements, and in some cases names of institutions, exploring some aspects of the anatomy of place-names (i.e., the process of their coming into being and the changes they undergo). These aspects are as follows: (1) collective toponyms (common names for groups of places), (2) abbreviated place-names (name distortions), (3) form variants (name distortions), (4) giving new names, (5) folk-etymology (e.g., pejorativisation), and (6) coining variants for place-names (the poetry of toponymy). Recently collected data involve a growing number of new collective toponyms in the wake of regional cooperation; abbreviations and variants of existing place-names keep turning up, and new placenames and variants are generated for various administrative or individual reasons. Furthermore, there are examples of the pejorativisation of place-names (i.e., mockery), but toponyms also provide ground for poetry (poetic competitions or individual resourcefulness).
Redundant phenomena in Hungarian grammar
From an information theoretical point of view, redundancy is the use of more signs for conveying some amount of information than would be absolutely necessary. Natural language codes are also characterised by extensive redundancy. In this paper, the author attempts to describe redundant grammatical phenomena at the syntactic level, from among the various structural representations containing linguistic information. In systematizing her collected data, she intends to find out how redundancy affects the reception of a text: whether 'superfluous signs' facilitate comprehension or, quite on the contrary, they pose difficulties for the decoding process. With respect to grammatically redundant phenomena, the author confronts 'official' statements by specialists of language care with actual empirical data. She elicited grammaticality judgements on 30 pairs of sentences in a questionnaire from 30 university students studying in Budapest, in order to get acquainted with their individual views on usage in connection with the phenomenon at hand.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok