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Zsigmond Simonyi was the most influential Hungarian linguist of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. He acquired wide and deep professional knowledge at various universities in Hungary and abroad. His work was influenced by Neogrammarian ideas but his attitude to them was also critical to the necessary extent. This is demonstrated by the fact that he studied the contacts between Hungarian and the languages spoken in neighbouring countries in the wake of Schuchardt’s ideas. He was a Neogrammarian by education, but his views on historical linguistics were more modern, more akin to those of the younger generation of Neogrammarians. Thus, unlike most representatives of the classical Neogrammarian school, he did not restrict his attention to the phonological aspects of language change. Rather, he also studied larger units like phrases or sentences, as well as semantics. He attached special importance to discussing phenomena of the current spoken language, especially those of the various dialects, to keep track of linguistic facts as evidence for changes that have taken place. The enormous “Historical dictionary of Hungarian” that he co-authored with Gábor Szarvas has retained its value as a source of information to the present day, and continues to be an indispensable tool in research on etymology and historical linguistics.

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As a successor of József Budenz, József Szinnyei was a dominant figure, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, of research on the Finno-Ugric languages in Hungary and of the associated teaching tasks at university level. He was an adherent of the Neogrammarian approach whose attention encompassed, in addition to the study of the other Finno-Ugric languages, Hungarian historical linguistics (especially historical phonology and the history of certain morphological formatives). In his research work as a linguist, historical studies were clearly dominant. His sphere of interest was centred upon the history of Hungarian, its Finno-Ugric background, and its comparison with related languages. In his comparative studies, he professed that language was continually changing but, since etymological studies could detect regular sound correspondences in the words of languages of the same family, sounds did not change randomly but in a systematic manner. He emphasized that sound law type changes could only be established on the basis of words that certainly, or at least highly probably, belonged together.

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This paper represents a long-needed criticism of Miller (2005) which carried over the famous discussion of Turkic böz ‘fabric’ in the micro-‘Altaic’ context even further East to Japan and Korea. I demonstrate that Miller’s arguments fail on historical linguistics and philological grounds for all five putative ‘Altaic’ families due in large extent to the faulty nature of either his argumentation or data, or both.

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. Hozzászólás a "Történeti nyelvtanírásunk helyzete és feladatai" c. előadáshoz [Comments on "The state and tasks of historical linguistics in Hungary"]. In: Samu Imre - István Szatmári - László Szűts (eds): A magyar nyelv grammatikája. A magyar nyelvészek III

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Károly, Sándor 1980. Hozzászólás a "Történeti nyelvtanírásunk helyzete és feladatai" c. előadáshoz [Remarks on the talk on "The state and tasks of historical linguistics in Hungary"]. In: Samu Imre - István

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Maitz, Péter - Anna Molnár 2001. Nyelvtörténetírás és történeti szövegnyelvészet [Historical linguistics and historical text linguistics]. In: Péter Csatár - Péter Maitz - Krisztián Tronka (eds): A nyelvtantól a

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Summary

Despite the numerous studies carried out on Latin inscriptions from different parts of the Empire, up to date a complete quantitative analysis on the vowel alternations occurring in Latin inscriptions from Sardinia has not yet been carried out. However, such an investigation could shed light on the dynamics of the emergence of the Sardinian vowel system, where the ‘common romance' mergers of ĭ, ē and ŭ, ō did not take place. Therefore, we conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the graphemic alternations (o) ∼ (U) and (e)(i) occurring in an epigraphic corpus containing the available Latin inscriptions from Sardinia. The alternations have been examined with reference to four variables: the proportion against standard spellings, the dating of the inscriptions, the position of lexical stress and the amount of other misspellings in the texts examined. The results show a vowel system which seems to foreshadow the Romance development of the Sardinian varieties from early times due to the low number of misspellings. The reconstruction of the sociocultural context of the inscriptions could help us to explain the distribution of the vowel alternations.

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In this paper the author clarifies the so far uncertain etymology of Latin niger, nigra, nigrum, Greek ανιγρός, he offers a more precise etymology for Latin vafer-bafer-vabrum and suggests a working hypothesis for the origin of Latin pulcher. All of these explanations are based on a new rule of suffixation elaborated by the author.

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In Early and Classical Latin, we encounter a rich and complex system in which prefixes are used to render verbs telic and to emphasise the beginning or end of a process or of an activity, and in which the opposition between non-dynamicity and dynamicity or between transitivity and intransitivity is expressed by various suffixes. In the perfect there is an opposition between non-dynamic unprefixed verbs and dynamic prefixed ones. In the later centuries this system breaks down, and there is a blurring of the semantic difference between the prefixed and unprefixed verbs and often also of that between the prefixes themselves. New verbs are formed to replace old verbs that have lost their old functions. These changes pervade the whole verbal system in Latin and affect the semantic relationship between the perfect and imperfect tenses. In Romance, the definite and indefinite articles express the functions previously expressed by the various actional forms.

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A variety of explanations have been offered for the observed cross-linguistic preponderance of suffixes over prefixes. Many are couched in terms of synchronic advantages, such as the cognitive simplicity of cross-category harmony between syntax and morphology, and preferences for processing the lexical meaning in stems before the grammatical material in affixes. But hypotheses about functional advantages cannot constitute explanations in themselves without accounts of the mechanisms by which the advantages are translated into grammatical structure. Here it is shown that the numerous exceptions to such hypotheses can be explained when the individual histories of the affixes are considered, including both their sources and the steps by which they develop.

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