This paper is devoted to untangling some of the cross-linguistic puzzles that are associated with temporal adverbial clauses in general, and until-clauses in particular. After a brief introduction to the issues raised by the construction in Hungarian, the paper presents an overview of the complexities of until-clauses and prior attempts at analyzing these. Then, an account that was first proposed in MacDonald & Ürögdi (2009a;b; 2011) for English is presented, and it is argued that until-constructions do not require any of the special machinery that has been proposed to explain their behavior. The analysis outlined accounts for the properties of temporal adverbials formed with until and for without reference to auxiliary concepts like “expletive negation” and “stativizing negation”. After this detour into English, we return to Hungarian, where until-clauses present a more complex picture than they do in Germanic, and we see how even these data can be accounted for without special stipulations. Finally, the results are tied into the general picture of temporal and event relativization (cf. Haegeman & Ürögdi 2010a;b), providing support for an analysis of a well-defined class of subordinate clauses involving operator movement.
In this paper I provide a unified analysis of predicate clefts and a large class of secondary predicates in Hungarian. These constructions involve the occurrence of a predicate that is not immediately dominated by tense, which results in a striking similarity: in both, a verbal predicate takes the form of an infinitive, while nominal/adjectival predicates appear as dative. I argue that both the infinitive and the dative surface form indicate that the predicate's head is spelled out in a functional projection (commonly referred to as PredP or AspP) just outside the predicate's lexical projection, which is evidenced, among other facts, by phrase-internal modification patterns. Therefore, the structure of predication, including the position of modifiers, is claimed to be uniform, regardless of the lexical category of the predicate itself (V, A or N). This result is strongly in line with research that views datives as predicates in general, and structural case on nominals as a reflex of a functional projection in the tense-aspect domain.
We present a novel account of phenomena that have been discussed under the labels stativizing negation, expletive negation and the licensing of NPI-(eventive-)until. We argue that these concepts are theoretically undesirable as well as descriptively inadequate because (a) negation does not affect event structure, (b) “eventive” until outscopes negation and can also occur without negation, so it cannot be treated as an NPI, and (c) the properties ascribed to negation and/or until are observed in a wide variety of contexts and should therefore receive a more general, non-lexical analysis. Our account derives the facts from the idea that until- and for-duratives are referential items that scope in the topic field and can receive a contrastive interpretation on analogy with regular topics. This gives us a handle on the socalled “actualization” observed with negated eventives in the scope of a durative, previously handled by lexical duplication of until and by stipulation of idiosyncratic lexical properties.