Dialects and the teaching of dialectology as students of Hungarian from the Carpathian Basin see them
The author reports on a questionnaire study that was conducted in 2001 with the participation of 1000 university or college students majoring in Hungarian language and literature and coming from all over the Carpathian Basin. Most items of the questionnaire inquired into the subjects' knowledge concerning Hungarian dialects. Students who had already completed their dialectology courses were also asked about the education in dialectology they had received and the extent to which it influenced their thinking. The results revealed some deficiencies in the subjects' knowledge on the one hand, and directed the author's attention to certain shortcomings of the teaching of dialectology that tend to occur alongside its obvious advantages, on the other.
On Kosztolányi's views on language
The paper characterises the intellectual trends fertilizing Dezs. Kosztolányi's linguistic thinking via five recurrent ideas found in his writings: (1) language is a manifestation of the soul of a community; (2) all languages are equally beautiful – diversity is an asset; (3) linguistic beauty is relative; (4) one's mother tongue is the first among equals; and (5) language is a game, language is action. With respect to the first thesis, the paper enlarges on the opinion held in the literature and claims that although the poet's strong belief in the unity of language and soul can be traced back to Humboldt's tenets, it is more closely attributable to the irrational philosophy and psychological trends of the early twentieth century. His thoughts with respect to the equal beauty of languages and to linguistic relativity are akin to the major claims of Franz Boas, the founder of modern cultural anthropology, and Edward Sapir, the pioneer of linguistic relativism. His ideas on the role of language can be associated with Wittgenstein's late works but they also show the poet as a forerunner of present-day pragmatics, exhibiting as they do a number of components of its view of language.
Nyelv és stílus
Debates on language and style in Nyugat
The study deals with controversies on language and style published in Nyugat and related to its style, highlighting arguments that can be regarded as characteristic, prototypical of certain periods of the journal.
The dispute between János Horváth and Ignotus from the first period represents the situation that was typical at the start of Nyugat; it demonstrates the then-new linguistic views and their reception. Schöpflin and Kosztolányi's debate from the second period is discussed as a typical conflict between the views on language of a philosopher and those of a writer, paying special attention to the popular genre of the polemics: the essay. From the following period (until 1941), the survey highlights Babits's intention and activity of style criticism, emphasizing the heading 'From Book to Book' (Könyvr.l Könyvre) and indicating the continuity of language cultivation and the necessity of style criticism. Finally, the summary covers Gyula Illyés's philosophical approach and discusses the connections of language, style, and behaviour.
Through these debates of philosophers and writers, the review wishes to show the role that the periodical (100 years old this year) and the intellectual movement formed around it played in the development of modern literary language and style, and in the process of standardization of Hungarian in the 20th century. It also highlights the debate culture that Nyugat represented.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
The concept of communicative space and its role in language use
The concept of communicative space is rather complex and consists of a number of diverse components. For instance, it includes the topic of a linguistic message, its objective content and genre, together with the common intellectual sphere that the content pertains to. It further involves the innumerable components either directly contained in, or indirectly associated with, the communicative situation, from which the participants form a general map of the situation for themselves. Another important component of the communicative space is the speaker's idea of her actual or potential partner in communication: her idea of the partner's interests, aims, intentions, attitudes, and personal or linguistic links with the speaker. In defining communicative space, and in establishing its actual size, the speaker's self-awareness and self-evaluation also have to be taken into consideration, as well as her idea of what impression her person and message would create in others. The map of communicative space is created in the speaker's mind out of a huge set of reminiscences that are interacting and blending into one another, activated by the given concrete situation. The listener's case is similar in that she is trying to interpret (reconstruct) the content of the message she receives and to shape her own linguistic behaviour appropriately to the given communicative situation.
Disfluencies in writing in a historical-psycholinguistic perspective
During copying, the mode of text multiplication before the age of the printing press, scribes often made various mistakes that were then emended either immediately or upon a subsequent reading of what they had written. Such slips of the pen can be seen as the written-language equivalents of disfluency phenomena that, however, raise specific problems due to their historical nature. In the same way as psycholinguistic research uses spoken patterns of disfluency to draw conclusions pertaining to mental processes of the speech production mechanism, errors and corrections from the Old Hungarian period reveal the grammatical and linguistic awareness of the scribes, including its less obvious aspects or layers, in a historical perspective. The particular emendations, of course, primarily characterize the individual's linguistic awareness; however, all scribes' disfluencies added up tell us something about the historical period, too.
This paper analyses this particular problem area of historical-scribal disfluency phenomena, trying to approach them – on the basis of the author's experiences with the publication of old manuscripts – from two directions: by presenting the errors committed by a 16th-century scribe (Márta Sövényházi) and by discussing some typical phenomena occurring in emendations found in the codices she had copied.
Appositions in spoken language
The paper deals with actual occurrences of appositions and appositional constructions on the basis of a spoken corpus. Its most important result is that appositions tend to occur infrequently in speech and even when they do, their behaviour is not quite what the textbooks suggest.
Appositions of qualification and of attribution hardly ever occur; the use of appositions of identification is a lot more widespread. Since appositions of this kind are not transposed attributes in any sense, the author claims that it would be advisable to redefine the syntactic role of appositions as a kind of structural position. This is supported, among other considerations, by the existence of adverbial appositions, as well as by a peculiar relationship of identification between verbal predicates or between attributes in spoken language contexts. On the basis of spontaneous speech data, the author claims that appositional constructions should not be rigidly differentiated from identification with the help of coordinating conjunctions, given that cooccurrence with a conjunction is not alien from appositions appearing in spontaneous utterances. The author would furthermore add the word mint 'as' to the range of conjunctions potentially involved and introduce 'apposition with mint' as an additional type of appositions.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok
A Nyelvőr hírei
A Nyelvőr postájából