The Hungarian particle majd has both a descriptive and an expressive meaning. Semantically it expresses futurity; at the same time it may also carry various pragmatic meanings, of which the most salient is the delaying function. The referential function of majd is foregrounded if it is the only element in the sentence with temporal meaning. It will be shown that there is also a parasitic use of majd in which case it can be omitted without loss of meaning. In some other cases the particle is used to reinforce the illocutionary meaning of the utterance.
Morphopragmatics is defined as the relationship between morphology and pragmatics, in other words, it investigates pragmatic aspects of patterns created by morphological rules. The paper discusses three morphopragmatic phenomena in Hungarian. The first one concerns the use of the excessive which does not add semantic information to the superlative and carries purely pragmatic information. It is used to express the highest possible degree of some property and it carries the conversational implicature that the speaker wants to draw the listener's attention to the importance of what he is saying. The second problem discussed has to do with the pragmatics of the diminutive suffix. The semantic meaning of the diminutive suffix is `small' or `a little' (the latter occurs with mass nouns), which, however, is often overridden by the pragmatic meaning. In most cases, the use of the diminutive signals a positive emotional attitude, but it may carry a pejorative meaning, too. Finally, the third phenomenon concerns the pragmatics of the possibility suffix -hat/-het. From among the various pragmatic meanings the deontic speech acts are well known from other languages. There are, however, several other uses which seem to be typical of Hungarian. Two of these are particularly interesting: (a) the context may turn possibility into necessity, (b) the verb mond `say, tell' suffixed by the possibility suffix may carry the pragmatic meaning `say/tell in vain'. In addition to these two uses, several others will be discussed.
Traditionally, information structure in Hungarian has always been considered to be identical to topic-comment structure, which has been defined partly in syntactico-semantic and partly in pragmatic terms. The present paper argues in favor of the postulation of two independent levels, one defined in terms of logical subject and logical predicate, the other in terms of topic and comment. The paper is going to show that a number of phenomena which pose problems for the traditional account can easily be explained on the two-level approach.
Gyula Laziczius was a well-known Hungarian structuralist and the first professor in general linguistics at Budapest University. His major contributions concern phonetics and phonology widely discussed in structuralist circles of his time. The paper reviews Laziczius’ most important ideas on linguistics.
The paper sets out with an overview of preverbs and prefixes in the Uralic languages. It will be shown that most Uralic languages have separable preverbs and only a few have verbal prefixes. These verbal prefixes have been borrowed from Slavic. This means that preverbs never get morphologized in Uralic. We will informally call 'cohesion' the various positions of the preverb relative to the verb. The highest degree of cohesion is the case when the preverb is a genuine prefix; the next degree is represented by adverbial-like preverbs, which obligatorily occupy a preverbal position, and which form a kind of compound with the verb; a yet lower degree is shown by preverbs which can occupy both a preverbal and a postverbal position and some other elements can intervene between the preverb and the base verb; cohesion is greater if only clitical elements can occur between the preverb and the verb. The next stage is represented by the language in which in addition to clitics also some complements can occur in this position. Finally, cohesion is least strong in cases when practically any element can occur between the preverb and the verb. Cohesion should not be confounded with grammaticalization which plays an important role in the development of aspectual and aktionsart-meanings. In this case it can be shown for Hungarian that the development goes through the stages 'adverbial meaning ≯ adverbial meaning and aspectual meaning ≯ aspectual meaning ≯ aspectual meaning and aktionsart-meaning' for the old layer of preverbs and through the stages 'adverbial meaning ≯ adverbial meaning and aspectual meaning ≯ aspectual meaning and aktionsart-meaning' for more recent preverbs. In other words, preverbs may end up by having an aspectual and an aktionsart-meaning' but, as Hungarian shows, not all preverbs have reached this stage.