Globalisation, Europe, and language: The French example
The paper first surveys the major internal and external historical, cultural historical, and historical linguistic stages or junctions due to which the French language had won the authority and esteem that gave it (and France) a leading role in the world for centuries. Next, it discusses the issue of how, under globalisation and in the field of magnetism of Global English (Globish), France is trying to keep and/or regain the significance, competitiveness and former appeal of its language, what conscious and expansive state language policies it follows for that purpose, and how it serves as an example for other languages, including Hungarian, in that respect.
Keywords: language and society, language laws, language policy, language planning in France, linguistic competitiveness, globalisation
What endangers the linguistic culture of future generations? (Some remarks)
The progress of technological civilisation has the side effect that contacts between parents and their children are becoming looser, leading to relaxation of both emotional and linguistic interactive cooperation between them. A situation we might label as 'the culture of silence' emerges, in which spoken communication is simply dying out. That unwelcome process is enhanced by language being used in the media in a peculiar manner. In that sphere, language functions in a dialogue-external reality. Computerised language use relates to virtual reality that is external to human psyche, too. That technology is so appealing that children and young people spend most of their time sitting in front of their computers, increasing their own isolation, gradually falling into captivity. Technological innovations suppress children's sense of grammar, increase their inclination to plagiarism, and spoil classes at school. Visual culture, increasingly spreading, does not only change language use but may also ruin it altogether. In children's literature, there are no more canonised texts, everything can be rewritten and sold in a spectacular wrapping, even including the meanest trash. We may end up raising 'barbarians' whose linguistic vapidity is filled in by vulgarised self-expression.
Keywords: child language, technological civilisation and its linguistic consequences, the culture of silence, virtual reality, visual culture, gradual extinction of oral communication, the decay of language and linguistic culture
Variable rules for the spelling of compounds
One of the most problematic aspects of Hungarian orthography is the issue of spelling compounds as one or two words. Part of the reason for that – in addition to the general difficulties of telling compounds and phrases apart – is the relative sketchiness and/or ambiguity of the relevant rules. This problem is especially conspicuous in the field of what are traditionally called 'variable rules', especially the third such rule of the current Rules of Hungarian Orthography. This paper examines that particular rule. After a brief survey of its history, the problems that arise (ambiguous wording, hyphenation) are discussed. In the third section, long multiple compounds are dealt with, for the correct spelling of which several variable rules may have to be used in conjunction. Some suggestions are made with respect to the regulation of the spelling of such compounds.
Keywords: spelling, compounds spelt as one vs. two words, variable rules
Nyelv és stílus
Linguistic figures in Sándor Csoóri's poem Idegszálaival a szél [Straining every nerve, the wind]
This paper gives a description of Sándor Csoóri's 1966 patriotic 'armorial poem' in terms of linguistic figures; in particular, in terms of four transformational operations (adjection, detraction, immutation, and transmutation) and also discusses the iconic properties of the poem. The paper concludes that the various types of figures, although they are categories that readily lend themselves to description in principle, are often hard to tell apart unambiguously: there are wide and transgressible boundary areas between them, and they are also often intertwined and permeate one another. If linguistic figures, figures of thought, and forms of thinking are interrelated, this fact supports the claim that our thinking involves, in addition to modules, also complex networks, and a variety of links and sequences.
Keywords: Sándor Csoóri, figure, figure saturation, adjection, detraction, immutation, transmutation, iconicity
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Memories of old times in the geographical names of Somogy County
Collecting historical legends has a long tradition in ethnography. The 1960s saw the publications of numerous collections of geographical names of counties and districts, which can also be used as sources for research. Based on Somogy megye földrajzi nevei (Geographic names of Somogy County), a volume rich in legend-like folklore texts, this paper assembles the legends of important events and outstanding personalities of Hungarian history from the end of the 10th century to the middle of the 19th century.
Keywords: legends, Árpád dynasty, Tartar invasion, King Matthias, Turkish rule, the age of the Kuruc, 1848/49 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence.
What does the language and orthography of Song of Pannonia reveal?
The paper is a contribution to a deeper understanding of the Song of Pannonia, a poem relating to the White Horse legend and the Conquest of Hungary. The eight extant copies of that poem are submitted to an investigation in terms of historical linguistics (including phonology, morphology, and syntax) as well as history of orthography. In conclusion, the author states that Demeter Csáti cannot have been the writer of the Song of Pannonia; indeed, the piece cannot have been composed in the Szilágyság Region and in the period around the Battle of Mohács, as suggested by the three stanzas that were later added to the original text. The state of Hungarian reflected in the poem points towards Western Transdanubia and partly also towards Transylvania, and suggests that the time when it may have been composed was the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century.
Keywords: Song of Pannonia, history of the Hungarian language, history of Hungarian orthography, Demeter Csáti, 14th–15th centuries, 16th century
BODY – SPACE – MEANING
This paper begins by reviewing Tolman's experimental psycholinguistic research from the 1920s. Tolman's concept of 'internal model' was to become one of the most significant sources of Chomsky's theory of language. This paper discusses the traditional approach of both generative and cognitive linguistics to the nature of linguistic competence (whether it is wired-in knowledge and/or arises as a result of categorisation and schematisation in terms of the prototype principle) as well as to the issue of whether language is related to other cognitive systems (attention, memory, conceptual system) and to the human body (embodiment); furthermore, as long as there is such a relationship, to the possible nature of that relationship (cause-and-effect or interactive). The author argues that alongside Chomsky's revolutionary reductionist theory of language that underlies the first cognitive turn, Lakoff's and Langacker's functional holistic cognitive linguistics can deal with certain issues of linguistics and psychology more flexibly and more dynamically from the point of view of the everyday language user. Finally, a critical review of conceptual metaphor theory is provided with special emphasis on orientation metaphors. The latter are focussed on towards the end of the paper as a theoretical introduction to a review of a large empirical study. The original American investigation (Meier & Robinson 2004a,b) that has been replicated on Hungarian material is reviewed in the concluding section of the paper.
Keywords: internal model, idealised cognitive model, prototype principle, functional linguistics, intersubjectivity, modularisation, shared attention behaviour, conceptual metaphor, orientation metaphor
A pragmatic study of misunderstanding
In this paper, the author re-examines the concept 'misunderstanding' in mixed-gender conversation and, on the basis of the dominance feminist linguistic model, she argues that it is not misunderstanding that occurs between women and men in communication: it is rather clashes of interest. The author examines some short dialogues in context in which the male participant of the conversation addresses the female. The participants of the conversations are a couple by their social role. The author analyses the dialogues in the framework of the main principles of some leading pragmatic trends. It is shown that the female partner's reaction does not derive from misunderstanding but is the verbal representation of the enforcement of her interest.
Keywords: gender, misunderstanding, feminist linguistic models, clash of interest, pragmatic analysis
Remarks on a synchronic atlas of Hungarian family names
The first part of this paper reports on preliminary work on a synchronic atlas of Hungarian family names. On the basis of electronic databases, it tries to give a quantitative account of the stock of family names of the inhabitants of present-day Hungary. In the second part of the paper, the reader is informed about the linguistic geography of the family names Geci ~ Géci and Mizser, and their formal variants. Relying on maps of the forthcoming atlas, linguistic and extralinguistic issues related to the origin and history of these family names as well as to the history of population are also raised.
Keywords: variants, atlas of family names, etymology of family names, frequency of family names, electronic database, euphemism, sound change, estimating the size of name stock, migration, name geography, names of peoples, synchronic stock of Hungarian family names, map
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok