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  • Author or Editor: Anikó Lipták x
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This article takes a close look at correlatives in Hungarian and shows that they occupy a particular space in the typology of correlatives: Hungarian correlativization is solely used as a left-peripheral discourse strategy, which will be evidenced by the fact that correlatives display properties of topics, both when it comes to syntax and discourse. Concerning their discourse interpretation it will be argued that correlatives in Hungarian are aboutness topics, and take part in a discourse structure akin to simplifying left dislocation. Concerning their syntax, unlike Hindi correlatives in the analysis of Bhatt (2003), correlatives in Hungarian are not merged to their demonstrative associate in a local manner; nevertheless, their relationship to their associate is subject to locality considerations. Hungarian correlatives are merged at the edge of the CP that contains the base-generated DP and may undergo topic movement to the left, into higher clauses. The demonstrative associate on the other hand minimally raises to the left periphery of its CP, and alternatively into higher clauses, via topicalization or focusing. This means that Hungarian correlativization involves two mobile elements: both the correlative clause and the demonstrative are able to undergo movement.

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This article revisits the (non)configurationality debate of the 80s and early 90s concerning Hungarian, a `free word order' language, which was shown during that period to be characterized by an articulate and, crucially, hierarchical preverbal domain, with A-bar positions dedicated to discourse functions such as topic and focus. What this debate did not conclusively settle, however, is the question whether or not the structure of A-positions in Hungarian is also configurational. The most prevalent, and indeed empirically most well-argued and elaborated analysis that has emerged is that of É. Kiss's (1987a, b; 1991, 1994a, 2002, 2003), according to which the answer is negative: arguments are base-generated in the verb phrase in a free order in a flat structure. The present paper challenges this view by demonstrating systematically that the arguments put forward to back it up are inconclusive, and in fact it fails descriptively as well. The alternative proposed here is based on a hierarchical verb phrase (vacated by the raised verb) and a Japanese-type local scrambling movement that operates in the post-verbal domain of the clause. The scrambling movement analysis, besides being theoretically more desirable than the nonconfigurational verb phrase approach, makes available a superior descriptive coverage by accounting for a varied set of structural symmetries and asymmetries holding between subject and object. Modulo scrambling, Hungarian is configurational all the way down.

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This paper gives a syntactic overview and analysis of exclamative constructions in Hungarian. Its main purpose is to describe word order variation in exclamative clauses, in comparison with other sentence types. The formal properties of exclamatives that will be discussed here have important consequences for the theories of exclamatives and exclamativity in general. The empirical findings will force one to reconsider the syntactic theory of exclamatives put forward by Portner and Zanuttini (2003). The key modification affects the role focus plays in exclamatives: it will be shown that languages can use available syntactic means of focusing in the expression of exclamatives.

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In this paper we will argue that contrary to the received view passive potential affixation in Hungarian primarily derives complex syntactic objects rather than adjectives. By means of a number of tests we show the differences between the two classes of items bearing the homophonous affix -ható/hető : one a nonfinite verb form, the other a lexicalized adjective. In addition to a syntactic analysis of this composite affix, a typology is provided for languages that have similar constructions.

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This paper provides a morphosyntactic account of particle reduplication in Hungarian, a case of reduplication whose function is to express repetition of events. The most conspicuous property of this process is that it can only apply when the particle is strictly left adjacent to an overt verb. We develop an analysis in terms of a syntactic process that yields a string of doubled particles that do not form a constituent, following the insight of Piñon (1991), and we propose that reduplication targets subwords and derives the facts via a local doubling process.

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