Metatextemes (i.e., metaoperators introducing text-internal reformulation)
The present paper discusses reformulation, a linguistic operation that the information sender performs with the communicative intention of facilitating the reception of information and by paraphrasing pieces of information that s/he offered earlier in a different form.
The focus of the paper is the use of metatextemes, that is, of items that introduce the reformulated/paraphrased pieces of information. That linguistic operation may concern certain fragments of the preceding text, or sometimes all of it. The paraphrase may be semantically identical or near-identical to the source expression, may be more general, more accurate, or more specific, and it may also occur as an explanation or interpretation of the expression paraphrased.
Keywords: reformulation, paraphrase, metatexteme, metatext operators
A cognitive semantic approach to neologisms
This paper discusses new words and phrases that have first occurred in Standard Hungarian in the past few years. The author examines the semantic structure of neologisms in a cognitive framework. Metaphorical, metonymical meanings of new Hungarian words and phrases are examined as well as the phenomenon of the construction of mental phrases called blends. Examples from the corpus illustrate these semantic structures – it is shown how new words and phrases can be understood in terms of these semantic relations and it is examined what makes language users construct such structures. A further aim is to understand (on the basis of results of tests and questionnaire studies conducted in recent years) why some of these phenomena survive and others do not.
Keywords: neologism, metaphoricity, blending, metonymy, semantic analysis
Nyelv és stílus
The meaning and stylistics of proper names in a cognitive approach, with regard to Sinka's personal names
The first part of the study summarizes, albeit not exhaustively, some recent statements in the literature of onomastics, concentrating on the cognitive approach to the meaning of proper names, based mainly on studies by Katalin Horváth (2008) and Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy (2008).
Then it examines literary but existing personal names within the semantic and stylistic frameworks outlined. It deals with the text of István Sinka's ballads: it presents the function of names that identifies and creates types; the metaphorization that characterizes names; the meaning specification of proper names starting from the point that Sinka's personal names are simultaneously interpreted in the concreteness of vernacular conceptualization and the wider dimension of fiction.
The metaphorization and meaning specification of personal names uniquely specifies and generalizes names (and more complete texts containing names) stylistically raising them into the dimension of fiction. The meaning and stylistics of Sinka's personal names involve the duality and unity of the concrete world created by language and the symbolic universality realized in fiction. Its key concepts are: faithful objective description, concreteness, and metaphorical extension of meaning at the same time.
The functional-cognitive semantic and stylistic background takes us somewhat closer to a reliable textual interpretation of both the reality content of Sinka's personal names and the fictitious metaphoric components of meaning.
Keywords: literary naming, meaning of proper names, meaning specification, metaphorical extension of meaning
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Style in sociolinguistics, style in discourse: Linguistic variability and the construction of social meaning in the "third wave" of sociolinguistics
This paper interprets the notion of style in an interactional sociolinguistic/stylistic framework and includes two major parts, a theoretical survey and an analysis. The theoretical survey discusses constructivist approaches to style that constitute the "third wave" of sociolinguistics, their main representatives and their works. It also enumerates the main principles of interactional and constructivist approaches to style: the initiative notion of style, its interpretation as a tool of construing social reality, and its relationship with the practices of creating social meaning. The second part of the paper is an interactional stylistic analysis: the corpus of the Budapest Sociolinguistic Interview is used for investigating the relationship between intra-speaker stylistic variability and social meanings. In addition to an investigation of phonological, morphosyntactic, lexical and pragmatic facts, the analysis also emphatically takes discourse-related or conversational phenomena into consideration.
The study shows that style is closely connected with the speaker's strategy of self-representation that underlies her identity and relation to the speech partner. The most important components of that strategy include the linguistic elaboration of distancing and uncertainty having a face-saving function, as well as emphasizing the speaker's stance-taking and face, her definitive positioning; also, the speaker's emotional involvement and the elaboration of the interpersonal distance between speaker and addressee: its increase or decrease, as the case may be. Style has also proved to be a means of evoking specific speech genres and thereby regulating participants' roles. Finally, it has been shown that style may be an important tool of the individual's specific presentation or self-characterization: it may represent an outspoken, straightforward character, power and independence; in other cases, stately composure, elegance, or leisure; or indeed the features of a mythical hero. In addition, the authors emphasize the relation of style with (interactional or emotional) involvement, the degree of interactivity or focusing on the speech partner, spontaneity/ elaboration, and genres of speech.
Keywords: style, style shift, spoken language, interactional sociolinguistics, construal of meaning, variability
Chess terms in recent Hungarian dictionaries
One and a half centuries ago, in 1860, important events took place in the Hungarian chess literature and with respect to the Hungarian chess terminology. This is when the first Hungarian chess column was started (in the paper Vasárnapi Újság) and the second book on chess (then believed to be the first) was published in Hungarian. Both the column and the book played a key role in the conscious establishment of the Hungarian terminology of chess.
This paper commemorates that anniversary – but not with historical retrospection; rather, with a discussion of present-day chess terms. It surveys the place chess terms have in the revised Concise Hungarian Dictionary (2003) and in the recently published first volume of Comprehensive Hungarian Dictionary, containing entries for headwords starting with a, á (2006). The analysis concerns the principles of selecting headwords, the missing chess-related meanings and the degree of accuracy of those present, and lexicographic labels. It also covers the way items of chess terminology have acquired generalized meanings pertaining to other areas of life and language use.
Keywords: chess terms, missing headword, superfluous headword, chess terms with a generalized meaning
Speech planning processes, speech style, and speakers' age
Many properties of speech change as speakers grow older: speech production is influenced by the natural aging of the organism – including that of the speech organs – on the one hand, and by the decreasing speed of mental operations on the other. The present paper studies the working of speech planning processes in later years of life, in two different speech styles: in spontaneous narratives and in sentence repetition tasks.
Our results show that there are significant differences across age groups both in articulation rate and in speech rate; in the frequency and duration of pauses, on the other hand, no significant difference has been found. On the basis of an analysis of disfluency phenomena it has been established that some types of disfluency are more frequent in older speakers' speech production while others are more characteristic of younger speakers. Speech style influences speech planning processes differentially in the two age groups, although in a task involving increased difficulty of mental computation, speech gets slower, the ratio of pauses grows, and disfluency phenomena occur more frequently in both age groups.
Keywords: spontaneous speech, disfluencies, old-age speech, speech style, speech rate
On the productivity of the derivational suffix -(V)s
In present-day Hungarian, two productive derivational suffixes, both going back to ancient times, can express the meaning 'having the property of being provided with X': -(V)s and -(j)Ú. With these two suffixes, new derivatives were continually formed throughout the history of Hungarian. The use of these two morphemes must have exhibited the difference that they show today ever since the Proto-Hungarian period: -(j)Ú can only be attached to the head of an adjective–noun combination (i.e., a noun modified by an adjective of quality or quantity), whereas adjectives formed by -(V)s may stand alone, they do not require an adjectival modifier. Hence, the rules of the use of the two suffixes differ fundamentally: this is what accounts for the fact that two productive morphemes of the same function coexist permanently, without either of them receding.
The productivity of -(V)s is beyond reasonable doubt, as it is capable of creating new expressions even today. However, whether that productivity is completely unbounded or one exhibiting certain morphological and semantic limitations is an issue that is not easy to resolve. One of the aims of the present paper, therefore, is the examination of the (degree of) productivity of -(V)s, as well as the presentation of its manifold meanings and shades of meaning, a semantic classification of derivatives involving -(V)s. The theoretical background is provided by current functional linguistic theories, especially Natural Morphology that has given plenty of attention to the issue of morphological productivity.
Keywords: meaning of derivational suffix, productivity in word formation, degrees of productivity, frequency, natural morphology, lexicalization
On how to understand SMS abbreviations
As is widely known, communication via Internet is an extremely widespread form of communication today, resulting in the spread of what is often called 'SMS language'. The most important feature of SMS language is its compactness, achieved by writers in several ways. One of the most often employed means of achieving compactness is the use of various types of abbreviations (e.g., "Kivi vok, mien 5let muxik" for Kíváncsi vagyok, milyen ötlet m.ködik 'I wonder what idea will work').
In this paper, we try to find out how well these types of abbreviations are known or can be interpreted out of context by students of various ages and by adults, also of various ages. The material consisted of a test sheet of abbreviations that the participants had to complete by offering interpretations. We tried to define the role of the age of participants, frequency of messages, and whether the given subject habitually sends SMS messages, in the exact interpretation of abbreviations. We also looked at the extent to which the characteristics of SMS abbreviations may influence their interpretation.
The results show that the most important factors facilitating an exact interpretation of abbreviations are age, frequency of using SMS in general and the given abbreviation in particular, as well as the unambiguousness of the abbreviation. Teenagers of the youngest age group scored highest, but students in general scored better than adults (some of whom reached especially low scores). In that respect, we refer to possible consequences of the use of SMS language in a pedagogical perspective.
Keywords: types of SMS abbreviations, frequency of SMS messages, interpretation of abbreviations, unambiguous vs. ambiguous abbreviations, comprehension cline (the order of understanding SMS texts)