On the oeuvre of Dezső Pais

Dezső Pais (1886—1973), former Professor of Hungarian Linguistics at Budapest University, was awarded a posthumous Hungarian Heritage Prize on 21 June 2003. The laudation published here was delivered at the meeting of the committee that awarded the prize to him. The short paper evaluates the work of the prize winner, Member of the Hungarian Academy, legendary former editor of The Hungarian Language, both in linguistics and in cultural history, and refers to the most important literature on him.

Jenő Kiss

Processes of lexicalization and grammaticalization in phraseological units

The aim of this paper is to summarize the most important ways in which phraseological units are created. The author pays special attention to idioms with verbal heads. Most phraseological units are formed from free lexical units through the process of phraseologization. This process can be manifold; however, two main types can be established: change in meaning and change in form. The results of these two types of changes will distinguish phraseological units from free lexical units. Change in meaning — mainly via metaphorization — is attestable in a change in the argument structure of a word. This can mean a change in its semantic argument structure (i.e., in thematic roles) but, on a higher level of lexicalization, free and set phrases might have different arguments both in terms of number and form. Another type of lexicalization is discernible in phraseological units created by formal stabilization. That stabilization can be the result of various changes: either the synonymous variants of earlier phrase components disappear, or a change occurs in the use of articles or possessive markers. A rare type of phraseological units is the group of so called alogisms. These are statements referring to an impossible state of affairs, therefore they cannot be interpreted literally. On the other hand, as far as form is concerned, phraseological units that contain unique components cannot be mistaken for free lexical units as the former contain elements that — apart from set phrases — never occur in the language.

Tamás Forgács

Stem doublets and figura etymologica
in István Gyöngyösi’s and Miklós Zrínyi’s poetry

This paper has a twofold aim. First, the author wishes to highlight the variegated nature of figura etymologica, a type of rhetorical figures based on repetition. The investigation of the linguistic material chosen confirms the applicability of a research strategy combining syntactic, part-of-speech-related, morphological, and stylistic aspects. Second, the author wishes to support her claim that the richness and versatility of Gyöngyösi’s and Zrínyi’s linguistic invention provides telling examples at this level of analysis, too. The organising principle of Baroque style that they both represent is voluminousness. This form creating principle shows up in linguistic units of all sizes, from text structure through syntactic structure down to phrase structure. Figura etymologica represents the intricacy and agitation of Baroque style at the last-mentioned level, that of phrases. Gyöngyösi and Zrínyi often employ formal devices like repetition, cumulation, and the use of complex branching or interlocking constructions (gradation, reduplication, anadiplosis, epanodos, chiasmus), all of which serve emotional or intellectual effectiveness.

Andrea N. Varga

Appositive phrases

The new university textbook Magyar grammatika [Hungarian grammar] (2000) departs from grammatical tradition in treating appositives as a type of subordinative constructions rather than as a type of attributes. This paper argues that appositive phrases are special constructions of identification that exhibit features that make it similar to subordination as well as ones that make it similar to coordination. Their function is explication, elucidation, identification. In them, the appositive can only occur attached to the head word. Both members play the same role in the sentence, but that role can be any major constituent. Hence, appositives as a class cannot be subsumed under any of the usual sentence constituents. The appositive relation can be expressed by a conjunction or go unmarked. Given that the appositive invariably has the same function in the sentence as its head, in a graphic display of sentence structure both members of the appositive phrase have to appear on the same level. In practical syntactic analysis, the individual appositives are best identified via their roles as sentence constituents (predicate, subject, object, adverb, or attribute).

Judit Balogh

Interrogative pronouns and particles in rhetorical questions

Pseudo-questions that do not serve for actual inquiry are subclassified in classical rhetorics and stylistics as ‘interrogation’, ‘subjection’, ‘dubitation’, and ‘communication’. The present study covers the first of these, interrogation or rhetorical question. On the basis of some dictionaries, among them slang dictionaries, this paper explores which interrogative pronouns and particles are grammatical/lexical markers of rhetorical questions and in what relational meaning, with what stylistic value and in what types of speech situations they are used in rhetorical questions in Standard Hungarian, respectively in slang. It is also explored what functional groups they can be classified into: whether they are rhetoricity markers, rhetoricity enhancers or rhetoricity producers. Quotations from works of fiction are used to find out whether interrogative elements characterising rhetorical questions carry the same connotations in texts of fiction as they do in standard or in slang utterances.

Irma Szikszainé Nagy

Comments on nouns governing case-marked nouns

The literature of Hungarian descriptive grammar contains references to nouns governing case-marked nouns. The university textbook Magyar grammatika [Hungarian grammar] (2000) lists adverbial phrases of place, time, and state whose head is a noun. Historically, it can be shown that utterances containing structures of this type are elliptic. In general, the adverb now following the noun used to be governed by a verb or an adverbial participle; after that verb or participle underwent ellipsis, the adverb moved from its original position to the position following the noun. E.g.: Szívesen emlékezem a tengerparton való nyaralásra ® Szívesen emlékezem a nyaralásra a tengerparton ‘I have pleasant memories of the holiday by the sea’. This elliptic structure can also occur analogically where only a vague reconstruction of the underlying sentence is possible: A puszta télen ‘The prairie in winter’.

Judit Uzonyi Kiss