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In this paper I examine the behaviour of Hungarian copular environmental constructions, and I demonstrate that they cannot be treated on a par with weather verbs (as suggested in the literature). While the latter may have a quasi-argumental subject, treating the former along the same lines would also mean to analyse the NP/AP featuring in these constructions as a predicate nominal/adjective. A parallel analysis of sentences involving nominal predication, environmental copular constructions and sentences with undisputable NP-subjects shows that environmental constructions pattern with the latter. I discuss and weigh the subject properties and the predicate properties of the nominal part of the construction, surveying all the evidence that has emerged in the literature, and adding some further arguments. The dual behaviour of the nominal/adjectival part of atmospheric copular constructions is argued to come from their predicative content combined with their status as syntactic subjects. For what appears to be an AP+ VAN ‘be’ type of environmental copular construction, an Adj → N conversion analysis is proposed, and an alternative analysis with the AP being the modifier of an abstract null noun is also mentioned.

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Discourse meets grammar

The case of Hungarian verbal particles

Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Edith Kádár and Márta Peredy

This paper sets forward an information structural account of the position of verbal particles in present-day Standard Hungarian and in Old Hungarian. Diacronically a gradual change in the position of particles can be observed across different construction types, which is claimed to be governed by the discourse status of the culmination of the event expressed by the verbal particle. It is argued that the position of verbal particles is not to be accounted for by assuming an aspectual representation independent of information structure.

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