The culture of speaking in public
Egalitarianism in communication (suggested in Hungarian by using familiar second-person forms in addressing all kinds of people), and especially a generally roughened style of speaking, are not the products, carriers, and enhancers of equal proximity but rather those of equal alienation or equal distance. This point must be clearly made. But adherents of mother-tongue cultivation, those who care for the culture of language use, might perhaps do more than that. Indeed, for many people, the carelessness, rudeness, and indecency of their speech are a matter of mere habituation. But as such, they are not only the external reflection of not caring about the other person, the speech partner: they also tend to boost such speaker’s behaviour, from within. If somebody learns how to ‘zip his lip’, that is, to look around to see who he is talking to or in the presence of, and curb the spontaneous and unstrained outburst of his emotions, he will perhaps come to check the feeling itself. The ‘glaze of civilisation’ thus assumed, once it solidifies, might lead him to internal refinement and a reshaping of his habits; eventually it may lead him from himself to the other person, the other people. Since it is only in that way that he can find his way back to himself.
On meta-textual operators containing the component ‘say’
At the meta-textual level, a primary role among linguistic signals is played by operators that contain the semantic component ‘say’. That component is taken by a number of linguists to be a fundamental unit of “the language of semantics”. As part of the semantic structure of several meta-textual formulae, it conveys statements about the dialogue or about a component of the dialogue such as its topic. The component ‘say’, at the meta-textual level, is organically associated with the informational field of replies in the first place. The meta-informational items concerned can be classified as follows: (1) ones that appear explicitly in the surface structure of the utterance, and (2) ones that are hidden, in an implicit manner, in the deep structure of the utterance.
Semantic changes of the preverb be ‘in’
This paper undertakes tracing down the semantic changes of the Hungarian preverb be ‘in’ in the theoretical framework and with the methods the author set up during a similar discussion of the preverb ki ‘out’. This means, practically speaking, that she amalgamates the relevant syntactic and semantic aspects with a cognitively-based classification of arguments of the ‘where to’ type that can be considered a primary argument type of verbs combined with be, as well as with a description of conceptualisation processes involving those arguments. As is revealed by Table 1 summarising the results of this investigation, the semantic bleaching of the preverb be is due to processes at two levels that are interrelated and follow from one another.
T/V forms of address, greeting and addressing people within the family
The author of this paper investigates three interrelated phenomena of language use with respect to the family as a scene of linguistic encounters. Her questionnaire survey gives the reader a glimpse of the language use of four generations in three types of settlements. With respect to the topics indicated in the title, the analysis reveals the characteristics of the language use of the individual generations and presents the differences between them. The study is sociolinguistically-based, the author does not refer to language cultivation issues related to these topics; but she does cover phenomena that seem to contradict the existence of tendencies that are a matter of popular belief and are often commented on in the language cultivation literature.
Nyelv és iskola
Question figures in teachers’ speech
The subject-matter of this paper is a stylistic/rhetorical analysis of teachers’ speech. The material investigated consists of acoustic and visual recordings of 50 videotaped school classes and their transcriptions. The main topic of the present paper is the set of teachers’ utterances that have an interrogative form but are not real questions: neither questions that ask for information nor elicitation questions that are asked for pedagogical reasons. The author’s aim is to find out what speech acts are embodied in such formally interrogative utterances and what grammatical forms are characteristic of them. She also discusses basic problems like what general features characterise in-class discourse or to what extent it is possible to delimit figures of speech in live text recordings, within context, at the discourse level. She also points out, on the basis of cognitive linguistic research and results in conversation analysis, the extent to which a reinterpretation of the classical stylistic/rhetoric tradition is called for. Her claims are also supported by results of other empirical investigations based on recorded school classes.
Nép és nyelv
Ló ‘horse’ in compound plant names
Except for some fodder-plants, most compound plant names in ló- have nothing to do with ‘equus caballus’; the anterior constituent ló- normally refers to size. Either to the size of the whole plant, or to that of its fruit, stone, or blossom. The attribute ló modifies names of plant species that are larger than others of their kind. Just like with some animal names beginning in ló, where the referent is larger than the breed referred to by the posterior constituent on its own. That is, ló means ‘large’ in such names. Examples include lótetű ‘mole-cricket’ (cf. tetű ‘louse’), lódarázs ‘hornet’ (cf. darázs ‘wasp’), and a few others. Large-bodied horses were taken as a measure. (Today, the same idea is more often expressed by ‘mammoth’ or ‘elephant’.) Among botanic terms, compounds in ló- occur even more frequently. Another function of the anterior constituent at hand is discrimination: it expresses that the plant or part of plant concerned is not fit for human consumption.
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
Functional grammar: theory and practice
The article is a Forschungsbericht, an overview of functional linguistics. The reader’s attention is directed towards two highly elaborated and widely known schools of functional linguistics. One is the systemic-functional grammar of M. A. K. Halliday, the other one is the functionaltypological grammar of Talmy Givón. The paper concentrates on the basic ideas and methods, and also on the structuring of grammar, for a better understanding of these linguistic theories and descriptive methodologies, in Hungarian linguistics.
Additional arguments for the possessor role of the infinitival complement of ideje ‘it is time’
The construction Ideje indulni! ‘It is time to leave’ is a sentence of possession containing a deleted copula. The deletion involved is probably due to analogy: the verbal part (copula) of a third person singular present indicative complex predicate is deleted, except for emphatic utterances. This parallel has an effect on other types of sentences, too (e.g., Itt a postás ‘The postman’s here’). The above sentence is a sentence of possession because it contains a possessive construction interrupted by the (null) copula. The presence of a possessor is required by the possessive suffix of ideje ‘its time’ as an obligatory argument. There are two possibilities: this role is either fulfilled by the other word in the sentence (indulni ‘to leave’), or else it is present in a deleted (but suppliable) form, just like the copula. If we insert a non-null possessor in the sentence (the pronoun neki ‘for him’), we end up with another construction, one with a different argument structure ‘somebody has time for something / to do something’. Our original sentence has a meaning that is incompatible with this, and a different argument structure: ‘it is the time of something / time to do something’. Hence, the possessor role is fulfilled by the infinitive itself.
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok
A Nyelvőr hírei