A preview of sociolinguistic lessons to be drawn from the New Hungarian Dialect Atlas
The author surveys data collected in reply to certain sociolinguistic questions raised in the questionnaires on which the forthcoming New Hungarian Dialect Atlas will be based. In particular, he analyses the forms of greeting that the subjects used and the attitudes towards their own dialects that they revealed. The corpus is made up by data collected in 2009 from Hungarian speakers of a data collection site in Hungary, two in Slovakia, one in the Ukraine, and two in Romania. The statistical presentation is followed by a general discussion.
Keywords: dialect atlas, forms of greeting, metalanguage skills, interdialectal investigation
Strategies of avoiding a straight answer in politicians' interviews and how to protect ourselves against them
In interviews broadcast by the media, we can frequently observe conflicts between the participants: the interviewer asks a question of public interest but his partner is unwilling to give a straight answer. In this paper, typical answer-avoiding strategies are presented from politicians' interviews in various Hungarian television programs. These strategies differ in the degree of politeness to the interviewer, as well as with respect to the image of the politician they suggest. The interviewers employ various counter-strategies against the politicians who try to avoid answering: those counter-strategies can also be classified in terms of politeness. The combat of the two opposite strategies strengthens the 'infotainment' character of political interviews.
Keywords: discourse analysis, Gricean maxims, nonverbal communication, question/answer sequences
Nyelv és iskola
Laws of contracting attributive constructions
Language in general is characterised by an effort to maximise economy. One of the ways in which such an effort is revealed is that attributive constructions may be contracted to single words. The conditions of such contraction include the requirement that the head of such constructions can only be omitted if its meaning can be recovered either from the speech situation or from the context. If this requirement is met, the meaning of the head can be implicitly contained in that of the former attribute and hence suffixes can be directly attached to it as in piros almát ettem 'I ate a red apple' - pirosat ettem 'I ate a red one'. Such contraction can also occur in complex sentences: Olyan embertől kérek segítséget, aki… 'I want the help of a person who…' - Olyantól kérek segítséget, aki… 'I want the help of someone who…' – The author discussed the contraction of Hungarian attributive constructions in an earlier paper; but given that the analysis of such contractions still causes problems in mother-tongue education, he presents an abridged form of his earlier paper here so that both teachers and students of Hungarian grammar can have easier access to it.
Keywords: contraction, elision of head constituent, attributive construction, Hungarian grammar as a school subject
A nyelvtudomány műhelyéből
What Hungarian terminology did Mikós Révai propose for figures of speech?
The author intends to give a detailed answer to the question in the title. He begins with numerical data: Adelung introduced 63 figures of speech, while Révai discussed 81. He also tries to find reasons for the difference. As is commonly known, Révai was the first to propose, in his 'The Hungarian fair pen', a coherent system of the terminology of Hungarian stylistics, including terms for the various figures of speech. Révai adopted 17 terms from Pál Szenthe's 'Hungarian school' (1892), as well as terms for the parts and types of extremely long and complex sentences known as 'periods'. Next, the author investigates the morphological grounding of Révai's earlier terminological proposals. He also traces the further progress of Hungarian names of figures of speech in major works on rhetoric and stylistics of the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, the emergence and embedment of the major terms for figures of speech is given a coherent and comprehensive treatment.
Keywords: Johann Christoph Adelung, Miklós Révai, Pál Szenthe, rhetoric, stylistics, figures of speech, name giving, special vocabulary
An etymological statistics of the earliest Hungarian chess manual
After similar analyses of twentieth-century short stories and Old Hungarian minor documents, the author has now compiled an etymological statistics of a whole book, the earliest Hungarian chess manual, published in 1758. He not only explores the directly occurring word forms in terms of their categories of origin; he establishes those proportions after lemmatisation, too. Furthermore, he also produces an etymological statistics of the stems that the words of the text can be traced back to. He compares the results, by compiling a diachronic statistics, with those obtained in his earlier studies. He makes a separate statistics of the chess terms occurring in the book and compares it to the statistics of the full stock of lemmas in the same book. – The aim of the analysis was to find out the etymological make-up of a non-fiction text coming from the mid-eighteenth century, right before the beginning of the language reform. The study will also have contributed to a more detailed and up-to-date description of the history of Hungarian chess terminology.
Keywords: etymological statistics, word statistics, lemma statistics, stem statistics, diachronic statistics, chess terminology
The role of deixis in marking perspective
Deictic elements play a crucial role in expressing various combinations of perspectives both in spontaneous and stage dialogues. The main characteristics of dialogues with respect to perspective and deixis can be summarised as follows: (1) In both spontaneous and stage dialogues, endophora is relatively rare, due to genre-related and text typological features. Instead, exophoric deixis dominates and is expressed by demonstratives and adverbials. Instances of exophora contribute to the spontaneous effect of stage dialogues. (2) In spontaneous conversations, the speaker often coincides with the subject of consciousness, whereas in embedded discourse within dramatic pieces, the subject of consciousness is typically shifted. (3) Spontaneous conversation is characterised by subjectification, whereas stage dialogues are characterised by perspectivisation. (4) In spontaneous conversations, verbal person/number suffixes are mainly used to signal possible variations of perspective, and personal pronouns occur in a deictic function far less frequently than in stage dialogues. (5) Spoken language is characterised by direct speech and free indirect speech, whereas in narratives a combination of direct and indirect speech occurs; in the language of drama, on the other hand, indirect speech is more often encountered.
Keywords: context, deictic centre, representation, subjectification, perspectivisation
BODY – SPACE – MEANING
This paper presents an empirical experiment designed in a functional linguistic framework and focusing on conceptual metaphors and schemata of orientation. The methodology of an original American research project is compared to the methods elaborated specifically for the Hungarian corpus. The results partly confirm the original assumption that the conceptual schema of orientation is a coherent framework of elaboration in which directions in physical space are associated, in information processing, to concepts of positive or negative meaning.
Keywords: functional linguistics, conceptual metaphor, spatial linguistic orientation, prototype principle, empirical research
An attributive clause with a person-marked nominal element: A case study in present-day Hungarian
The aim of this paper is to analyse an attributive construction of very restricted occurrence in Hungarian as in the following example:
(1) a vér-e hull-ott Vászka
the blood-poss.sg.3. fall-tt-suff proper noun
'Vászka whose blood has fallen'
The main peculiarity of this construction is that it contains a nominal element in Nominative Case with a possessive suffix (vér-e) and a mostly unaccusative, intransitive verbal element with the -tt suffix (hull-ott). This construction modifies a head noun (Vászka) construed as the possessor of the argument of the verbal element (vére). While descriptive grammars consider such phrases as compounds in Modern Hungarian, this paper argues that this highly constrained attributive construction, to which at most verbal prefixes and negative markers can link, does not behave as a frozen adjectival compound but as a productive syntactic structure. In order to prove the main claims, this paper presents a survey of the acceptance of these constructions in present-day Hungarian among 100 native Hungarian speakers, and it describes the characteristics of this construction for the first time, concluding that the construction is an attributive (embedded) clause which contains a person marker (the possessive suffix -e) that makes a syntactic link between the subject of this clause (vér-e) and the head noun (Vászka).
Keywords: attributive clause, person marker, nominal element, verbal element, adjectival compound, syntactic structure, modified noun, intransitive verb, antecedent
Pronouns and pronominal functions
The author describes, in the wake of László Hadrovics' work, selected cases of the abstraction of concrete conceptual meaning, and of the process whereby pronominal function (primarily that of general and indefinite pronouns) comes into being. She proposes that (just like in German and other languages) the word ember 'human being', when used as a general subject, is in fact a general pronoun. In various types of (full or partial) reduplication, she proves the claim that reduplication may have the function of turning an item into a (general or indefinite) pronoun. The paper does not present a satisfactory solution either concerning the role of reduplication in giving an item general/indefinite meaning and in changing part-of-speech affiliation, or indeed concerning a definition or definitive list of pronouns. Rather, it only wishes to represent a modest contribution on the flexibility of an exact categorization of word classes.
Keywords: pronouns, pronominal function, general/indefinite meaning, reduplication
Szó- és szólásmagyarázatok