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- Author or Editor: Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy x
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This paper gives a descriptive overview of the prototypical Hungarian auxiliary+infinitive construction, discussed in the framework of functional cognitive grammar worked out by Ronald Langacker and in the grammaticalization theory for auxiliaries by Bernd Heine. The degree of grammaticalization seems to have a greater role in the construction than suggested in the previous literature, while Langacker’s theory (fit for English) needs some modification. In the construction discussed here, the auxiliary profiles a process, and (future) tense or modality. The infinitive accounts for most of the semantic content of the overall event structure. Both component structures contribute equally to the profile of the construction (the composite structure), in a complementary way, in contrast with a prototypical composite structure. I assume that the Hungarian auxiliary serves the function of imposing temporality on a nontemporal infinitive, and also that of the grounding predication, which marks a departure from Langacker’s English model. The Hungarian grounding predication (the auxiliary) and its head (the infinitive) do not belong to the same grammatical class, only the auxiliary+infinitive composite structure construes a process temporally. Also, degrees of subjectification contribute to types of construal, yielding a dimension of variation that cannot be derived from the deontic/epistemic distinction. Just like the semantic functions of the auxiliaries, subjectification and grounding show gradual characteristics.
The paper discusses the post-1990 historical developments in Central Europe as a specific instantiation of postcolonialism, particularly in the linguistic domain. After the severe communist rule and Soviet military occupation in most countries (which enjoyed a non-typical colonial status), this region was freed, but many socio-cultural features of culture, language policy, language use, and everyday communication activities show that many forms practiced during the colonial period are still maintained. These remnants show a certain postcolonial way of life in the region. The paper first surveys the literature, discussing the validity of the notion of postcolonialism for the given period in Central Europe. In the second part, general postcolonial features pertaining to the Hungarian language community are introduced. These features are detailed first focusing on the developments in Hungary, then on the minority Hungarian communities across the border around Hungary. Factors are presented including communicative systems, language policy, language variants, reflection, and self-reflection on the language community and identification, language rights, and public education, with attention paid to adherence to colonial schemas and the quick transition to postmodern communication forms.