The paper examines one of the most important narrative poems by János Arany, Toldi estéje (Toldi’s Night) from a stylistic point of view, with a theoretical background provided by functional cognitive stylistics and cognitive metaphor theory. The analysis is primarily aimed at the semantic stylistics of figurativity, with special focus on the role of metaphors and similes. The conclusion can be drawn that figures of speech have an outstanding role in the stylistic structure of Toldi’s Night. They are not merely rhetorical embellishments but form a system and greatly contribute to text meaning, and the poetic and lyric nature of the text.
figurativity, functional cognitive stylistics, metaphor, simile, narrativity and lyricism, poetic nature
The first period of the oeuvre of János Arany (1817–1882), before 1850, is characterized by a certain kind of representational poetry, with sympathy felt for the rural people. The main linguistic component of the outstanding epic works was the synthesis of the classic rhetorical tradition and folk-speech (a summary of Hungarian rural dialects), elaborated in an exceptional way in Toldi. This poetry is featured basically by objectification (the construed world is described objectively), while the poetic perspective is subjectified (the construed world is viewed from the representational, emphatic vantage point, implicitly). In the second period, during the 1850s, Arany’s lyrical poetry became similar to the standard variety of Hungarian, just being codified during the previous decades, and also at the moment. On the other hand, with this approach, Arany produced an autonomous, individual language variety, fitting to European lyrical modernity. By this time, the rural folk-speech basis disappeared or had no significant role, and the classic rhetorical tradition lost its function. Instead, Arany created a synthesized poetics, an authentic, autopoietic language variety, where lyrical oration dominates, focusing on the subiectum, with the overt subjectification form of first-person epistemic grounding, and, at the same time, the objectifying perspective of near-standard language, in compliance with the double nature of self-reference.
classicism, dialect, folk poetry, representational poetry, lyrical poetry, modernism, standard
The study tries to redefine the notion of elegy through analysing some poems by János Arany. Another aim of the investigation is to harmonize functional cognitive pragmatics with cognitive poetics on a theoretical level. According to our central presupposition, the generic schema of elegy does not merely consist of typical recurrent motifs (e.g. expressions of sadness and resignation, figurative structures of time and motion, contrast between the past and the present); rather, elegiac composition can be considered primarily a discursive schema, the instantiation of which offers the reader a reconceptualization of the present through the involvement and the interaction of diverse epistemic perspectives. From this it follows that the mental contextualization of the lyric speaker’s cognitive and verbal activity plays an important role in reading elegies. The process of apostrophe contributes to a figurative elaboration of the mental context; hence it gains its significance in the intersubjective construal of the present, as well as in the presentification of the speaker as subject. The so-called elegiac motifs or devices occur in the cognitive and meaning-creating process of poeticization, in which the reader can not only dispense with her/his limits in social cognition, but s/he can also reflect on the construed nature of the present. This reflection results in epistemic vagueness which is the basic experience of an elegy. The paper demonstrates the details and the explanatory potential of the proposed model through analysing a prototypical elegy (A lejtőn – On the Slope), a non-prototypical one (Balzsamcsepp – Drop of the Balm), and a classical ode (Magányban – In Solitude).
apostrophe, discourse, elegy, mental context, poeticization
The paper discusses four poems of János Arany, translated into German by four translators, published in 1983. The analysis focuses on the new German versions, and asks what is transmitted (and how) by the adaptation within the domain of the other language (and the culture and tradition surrounding it), and also what questions are raised by the co-reading of the two versions from the perspective of their reception and comprehension. The author adopts Gadamer’s basic hermeneutic principle in choosing the method of continuously renewing reading concentrating on the text, examining the translations of the poems Letészem a lantot (I hung up my lyre), Szondi két apródja (The two pages of Szondi), Mindvégig (All the way), and Sejtelem (Inkling).
Bostroem, Markus Bieler, Géza Engl, hermeneutics, Martin Remané, translation
Nyelv és stílus
Following a brief characterization of Reformation, the author discusses the various means by which it had practically unprecedented effects on the Hungarian language. These means are as follows: the introduction of Hungarian as a language of religious practice, the expansion of schooling, the spread of book printing, the initiation of new literary genres, and the role of seventeenth-century Transylvania. The author also discusses early grammars of Hungarian, as well as a new perspective on the interpretation and study of ‘literary language’ in the framework of cognitive linguistics. Then he raises an important issue: To what extent did Reformation foster linguistic consolidation, linguistic uniformity, and the normalization of linguistic phenomena; in sum: the birth of Literary Hungarian? To demonstrate this, he analyses the language and style of the emblematic achievement of Reformation in Hungary, Gáspár Károli’s translation of the Bible. He also attempts to find out who were affected by that text and in what ways. By way of a summary he states that Reformation, and specifically Károli’s Bible, permeated the lives of Hungarians, spread Hungarian literacy, and, by bolstering linguistic uniformity and standardization, greatly contributed to the emergence of a Hungarian literary language that was balanced, free of regional excesses, and capable of further development.
Reformation, early grammars of Hungarian, literary (standard) language, book printing, literary genres, Gábor Bethlen, history of literary Hungarian, Gáspár Károli, Károli’s Bible, Albert Szenczi Molnár, Bálint Csűry, László Németh
This paper analyses a funeral essay poem by the greatest Hungarian poet of the period (János Arany) commemorating “the greatest Hungarian” (István Széchenyi). The poem was commissioned by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the poet had a hard time finding both the adequate contents and the adequate form. The poem is a lyrical adaptation of the classical rhetorical pattern (thesis, argumentation, conclusion). The poet makes us see István Széchenyi in the dual light of the biblical Jewish/Christian and the antique Greek/Roman paradigms. In the detailed part, he grasps Széchenyi’s fate and deeds in the Reform Age by intertextual parables. The conclusion is a worthy assessment, Széchenyi’s apotheosis. The dominant linguistic figure of the essay poem is adjection, a cluster of figures covering repetition, figura etymologica, reddition, variation, parallelism, tripartite enumerations, iconic attraction, opposition, archaism, and networks of synonyms. Széchenyi emlékezete (Széchenyi’s Memory) is János Arany’s most significant poem on what it means to be Hungarian, a number of lines of which survive as set phrases to the present day.
essay poem, funeral ode, lyrical adaptation of rhetorical structure, parable, intertextuality, adjection (cluster of figures), magic triplicity, set phrase
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
The paper reviews the notions of sequence, chain, and bundle in the tradition of Hungarian descriptive linguistics and argues that that triplet of notions is incapable of accounting for patterns of nodes in the dependency structure of core sentences in terms of form and function. Without taking their symbolic nature into account, the three traditional patterns of phrasal organization are a mere triplet of graphical representations. Thus, the terms can be set free; a redefinition of ‘chain’ and ‘sequence’ may make them capable of denoting parts of networks heretofore not categorized in the Hungarian literature on dependency grammar.
sequence, chain, bundle, phrase, dependency, core sentence
The paper applies the concept of nestedness to a dependency grammatical analysis of Hungarian clauses. Nestedness is understood as the phenomenon whereby a basic element of a network itself turns out to have network structure when viewed from up close. In syntax, the corresponding situation obtains when a multiword unit functions as a module while at the same time possessing internal network structure. It is argued that the dependency grammatical notions of catenae and bubbles are both necessary for an understanding of nestedness in the sentence. Catenae, i.e. connected subgraphs, may develop into bubbles over time, and multiword catenae of one dimension may function as basic units in another dimension. The analysis builds on the author’s multi-dimensional analysis of Hungarian clauses, and proposes an extension of the traditional notion of chains in descriptive grammar.
dependency grammar, catena, bubble, dimension, Hungarian