Cognitive unity and functional change in the history of the Hungarian language
The paper discusses a long-term socio-cultural and semantic factor in the history of the Hungarian language. The relationship between the vernacular (the system of traditional dialects) and the standard has been interpreted by influential theoretical and historical works as a tragic opposition. According to these theories, on the one hand, one finds the vernacular as the ancient and pure source of the language without the achievements of modernization; on the other hand, there is the standard, the result of reflexive codification for the high intellectual demands of modernization, but losing the purity of the vernacular. In the paper the author argues for the cognitive unity of these (and other) variants of the Hungarian language. These variants have common semantic and cognitive bases. After analyzing the relevant theoretical frameworks, the paper demonstrates in the last section through empirical data that the diverse ways of conceptual construal, and the semantic use of the construals are not linked sociolinguistic variants, above all those of the vernacular–standard distinction, but function according to the same cognitive principles.
Keywords: vernacular (system of dialects), standard, cognitive semantics, construal, linguistic history, the Hungarian language.
Was the Monastery in the Veszprém Valley founded during the reign of Dux Géza or during that of King Stephen?
The diploma on the foundation of the Monastery in the Veszprém Valley is considered by Imre Szentpétery to be the earliest known charter issued in Hungary; he claims that the emission took place before 1002. The text is an exceptional document of Hungarian history, not only because of its early date, but also due to the fact that it is the only authentic royal charter of all times written in Greek. The extant copy of the text has survived as a supplement to the Latin charter listing the properties and privileges of the same Monastery issued by King Coloman in 1109. According to Albin Balogh’s view, published in 1947, the original Greek charter was issued by Dux Géza, father of Saint Stephen, at the end of the 10th century. In spite of his convincing arguments, Hungarian historians ignored his view. In 1992 the Diplomata Hungariae Antiquissima accepted Gyula Moravcsik and György Györffy’s reasoning and dated the charter to the years around/after 1018. In this study the author shows that the arguments supporting this late date of issue are definitely wrong. On the other hand, Albin Balogh’s view offers a consistent explanation of several problems in connection to this charter. The author’s reasoning leads to the conclusion that the charter must has been issued between 975 and 985, most probably around the year 980, during Géza’s reign, being in fact the earliest known text surviving from the Carpathian Basin written during the Hungarian rule here. This charter is a document of the strong influence of the Byzantine Church in Hungary at the time.
Keywords: charter of the Monastery in the Veszprém Valley, date of foundation of the Monastery in the Veszprém Valley, earliest charter issued in Hungary, Dux Géza, Byzantine Church in Hungary, Albin Balogh.
Linguistic recursion in aphasia
This study investigates how aphasic impairment impinges on the syntactic and/or semantic recursivity of human language. A series of tests has been conducted with the participation of five Hungarian speaking aphasic subjects and ten control subjects. Photographs representing simple situations were presented to subjects and questions were asked about them. The responses were supposed to involve formal structural recursion but they contained semantic-pragmatic operations instead, with ‘theory of mind’ type embeddings. Aphasics tend to exploit the parallel between theory-of-mind embeddings and syntactic-structural embeddings in order to avoid formal structural recursion. In Broca’s aphasia, formal structural recursion may be more impaired while semantic recursivity may remain selectively unimpaired
Keywords: aphasia, embedding, recursion, syntax, theory of mind.
On the role of preverbs in Hungarian
This paper comments on a recent analysis of Hungarian preverbs (É. KISS 2006); in particular, it argues against the claim that these morphemes constitute secondary predicates. Comparing preverbs with noun phrases/adjectives in the sublative case, we show that the claim has to be reconsidered. The results of this investigation suggest that preverbs are items playing a delimitative role, rather than secondary predicates. Furthermore, it becomes obvious that resultative expressions cannot be seen as phrase-level correspondents of preverbs.
Keywords: preverb, resultative expression, secondary predicate, delimitative item.
The conceptualisation of forest in Hungarian folk songs
This paper, set in the framework of cognitive linguistics, explores the semantic structure of forest, a conceptual entity characteristic of typical introductory metaphors of Hungarian folk songs. The main purpose of the investigation is to survey incidentally foregrounded semantic features (profiles) and conceptualisation domains, as well as their interaction, with special reference to incidental and conventional attributes. Associative domains related to the notion of 'forest' include domicile, lodgings; shelter; scene of lovers' rendezvous; scene of sexual act; place of death, cemetery; insurmountable obstacle; unexplored area; a piece of nature; a unity of distinct elements; open country as a metaphor of life/the world (by spatial extension). In adjectival attributes of the notion, the marking of spatial formation dominates, in connection with the heterogeneous notion of 'forest' in folk conceptualisation. The method sketched here raises the necessity of other types of investigation, including operational ones, and makes it possible for us to come close to a fuller understanding of the special conceptual world of Hungarian folk songs.
Keywords: cognitive linguistics, introductory metaphor (in folk songs), conceptualisation, profiling, conceptual domain.
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