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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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