Spiritual relationships of Eastern Central European languages
Spiritual relationships across languages are witnessed by words and expressions of those languages that reveal a similar conceptual background or world view. The most reliable way of reconstructing a particular world view is based on the origin of individual words; hence this study assigns a definitive role to etymology. It is worth studying linguistic expressions of certain objects, activities, notions or attributes in parallel in several languages of a larger linguistic area: results of such a “contrastive etymology” may highlight spiritual relationships across languages. Loanwords and calques carry along the world view of the donor language to a certain extent as this is the way they can be adopted by the borrowing language at all.
Keywords: Eastern Central European languages, linguistic world view, etymology, calques, linguistic system
The imperative seen from a pragmatic angle (part one)
This paper uses a large sample of linguistic material to establish the range of speech acts that can be performed in Hungarian by using verb forms involving the mood marker -j, and to explore formal and usage-based characteristics related to their functions. Furthermore, the author intends to contribute to resolving a problem often raised with respect to the syntax of the imperative: whether there is a subjunctive mood in Hungarian, and what its scope is if any. In order to reach those goals, the author clarifies a number of issues pertaining to speech act theory, including the relationship between speech act verbs and performatives and presents specific methods of analysing the individual speech acts. The types of acts she defines as being expressed by the mood marker -j, that is, directive acts, acts midway between directive and expressive ones, impressive-expressive acts, and assertive acts, show that the author relies on Searle’s classification but rejects its strict principles of separation of illocutionary classes, claiming instead that there are also transitional classes unifying features of two or more basic types. By using a pragmatic approach and employing a tripartite set of criteria for telling imperatives and subjunctives apart, the author claims that, in addition to syntactic structures analysed as involving the subjunctive, there are also two-faced structures uniting features of directives (traditionally seen as involving verbs in the imperative) and conjunctives.
Keywords: speech acts, performatives, imperative, subjunctive
Nyelv és stílus
About the Context of ’holiday’ – Based on 14–20th Century Literary Language
In Hungarian literary discourse there are various objects and attributes associated with the concept of holiday. The source of the data comprises the Jókai-Codex, Bécsi Codex, and works authored by Bálint Balassi, Miklós Zrínyi, József Katona, Sándor Petőfi, Kálmán Mikszáth, Gyula Juhász and Milán Füst. The method of analysis is a form of content analysis. The mention of non-religious objects shows a steady decline in the context of ‘holiday’ over the particular period, giving way to the increase of references to social and personal occasions of joy. There is a similar tendency recorded in the A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (Dictionary of the Hungarian Language), serving as the point of comparison for the current research.
Keywords: content analysis, poetic language, poetic text, medieaval holiday, Milán Füst
A corpus-based investigation into characteristics of the genre of blogs
This paper uses a cognitive-linguistics model of human cognition to analyse 500 discourse units of 100 Hungarian blogs both qualitatively and quantitatively and define the genre of blogs in terms of 42 features, based on characteristics that are observable with all tokens, and ones that involve family resemblances, taking the multifariousness of the individual tokens into consideration, with the eventual aim of indirectly modelling the shared knowledge of the Hungarian blogosphere concerning itself, its own genre.
Keywords: blog, cognitive linguistics, token, genre characteristics
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
The relationship of the Society of Hungarian Linguistics with the Society of Hungarian Literary History and with literary scholarship
The author starts from the premise that linguistics and literary scholarship are closely related. Then he enumerates Hungarian literary scholars who started their careers from the direction of linguistics as well as linguists who started theirs within literary criticism. Next, he refers to the fact that among the founding fathers of the Society of Hungarian Linguistics we find a number of representatives of literary scholarship who participated in the early activities of the Society (as founding members, elected board members, authors of scholarly papers, etc.) together with writers and poets. After that he presents a list of common meetings of the two societies, including lectures, debates, itinerary congresses and memorial meetings. Finally, the author mentions linguists who worked on topics that belong to both realms of knowledge: the study of standard literary Hungarian, stylistics, metrics, as well as the study of the usage and style of individual poets, playwrights, or novelists.
Keywords: literary scholarship, linguistics, Society of Hungarian Linguistics, Society of Hungarian Literary History, literary scholars and linguists, standard language, stylistics, metrics, writers’ usage/style
The use of personal names and regime changes in 20th-century Subcarpathia
This paper centres on changes of the official use of personal names in Subcarpathia due to changes of regime in the twentieth century. In particular, it discusses the following issues: 1. What were the linguistic consequences of the fact that, after 20th-century regime changes, writing systems used by Czechoslovak, Russian, or Ukrainian authorities in Subcarpathia (Transcarpathia) were introduced in state registries and certificates? 2. What problems do we encounter when we try to represent family names and personal names, perhaps multiply distorted over the past century, in a writing system using Latin letters? 3. How can official names and use of names be reconciled if we are also to take state language influences adopted by the Hungarian speakers’ communities in the relevant countries into consideration? The last section of the paper deals with the transliteration of Cyrillic names and the establishment of linguistic equivalence of married women’s names in Subcarpathia.
Keywords: official use of personal names, name policy, name restitution, transliteration of Cyrillic names, the use of married women’s names in Subcarpathia
Lexical items with defective paradigms in Hungarian: pluralia tantum
In this paper, the author discusses Hungarian nouns whose paradigms are defective, especially in terms of the number feature; in particular, she discusses nouns that only have plural forms, known as pluralia tantum. Comparing the sets of such items in some Indo-European languages and in Hungarian, it is conspicuous that the latter has a vanishingly small number of plural-only nouns. Looking for an explanation of that significant and systematic difference, the author compiles a list of cases in which singular reference to several objects is typical of Hungarian (e.g. after numerals/quantifiers, with reference to paired body parts, or with mass nouns), and then she attempts a classification of pluralia tantum in terms of their forms and meanings. Formally, she distinguishes lexemes whose singular forms are grammatically impossible to derive and those that are plural-only due to their lexical meaning since their existing singulars carry meanings that are different from those of the plural forms under study.
Keywords: defective paradigm, plurale tantum, logic of communication, redundancy, narrow and broad interpretation of pluralia tantum, semantic groups of pluralia tantum
Meta-operators like például ‘for instance’, többek között ‘among others’, először ‘first of all’, és így tovább ‘and so on’, highlighting some elements of a set
The meta-operators in the title of this paper make the structure of a statement clearer and more transparent, thereby facilitating its comprehension by the addressee. They primarily occur in positions immediately preceding the item/list they refer to, or else they signal the end of an enhanced portion of text. They suggest for the addressee that the speaker could say more (or sometimes say it differently) than what s/he actually says in the given moment, thus strengthening the speaker’s position within the conversation. In long and not always quite clear stretches of discourse, they represent signposts for the language user that signal either the beginning or the end of an enumeration process.
Keywords: meta-operators, highlighting, elements of a set, enumeration, speaker’s position