Why should the linguist get out of bed in the morning?
Or: Chomsky’s ’revolutions’ and the historiography of generative linguistics

The paper tackles the following problem: With what basic concept, central hypothesis and historiographic framework can the history of generative linguistics be accounted for? As a first step it presents a systematic overview of 19 different solutions to this problem which have been reconstructed from the historiographic literature on generative linguistics. Second, it evaluates these solutions from a metahistoriographic point of view. Thereby it shows that all of them have serious deficiencies and leave basic questions open. Finally, a series of principles are suggested which may pave the way for the development of more adequate historiographies of generative linguistics.

Keywords: Chomsky’s revolution, generative linguistics, historiography of linguistics, philosophy of linguistics, structuralism.

András Kertész


Some issues in the history of Hungarian parts of speech

This paper gives an overview, with ample illustration, of the set of criteria in terms of which changes in the history of Hungarian parts of speech can be investigated. (a) We can ask which present-day parts of speech have an ancient origin and which were created during the independent life of this language. (b) We can also ask which of the present-day parts of speech are forging ahead and which are receding, as well as what exactly it means for a category to forge ahead or to recede. (c) The issue can also be investigated at the level of the individual word: whenever a word shifts categories, it means a change in its part of speech value. (d) In general, we can study the main directions of part-of-speech shift: what source categories tend to supply new items for which target categories. It is instructive to study the role that multiple part-of-speech affiliation plays in that process; and also the respective roles of syntactic functions that a given word can occur in and of the morphological make-up it exhibits.

Keywords: part-of-speech affiliation, multiple affiliation, part-of-speech shift, polysemy, homonymy, grammaticalisation.

Mária Mátai


Beyond (and this side of) the Seven Seas
Tracing place names with a Hungarian connection

Starting from data of historical sources from the Merovingian and Carolingian periods, this paper seeks answers to the question of whether it is possible to support the likelihood of the presence of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin prior to the well-known date of the Hungarian Conquest (895–896). To that end, the relevant name types and names are studied, as well as their incidence in the Western part of historical Hungary. The investigations are then extended to territories beyond the Hungarian borders where, on the one hand, names of settlements and fields with Hungarian etymologies can be found according to the literature and, on the other hand, place names in Unger- ~ Ungar- occur in substantial numbers, from the Moravian border down to Bavaria. On the basis of the data, the presence of Hungarians in Pannonia prior to 896 cannot be excluded. If this conclusion could be supported by further data coming from the domains of archaeology and/or local history, the findings would be of high significance for Hungarian history, cultural history, and linguistics alike.

Keywords: Castellum Guntionis, Hungarus, place names in Austria in Ungar-, Unger-, early types of place names, Hungarian Conquest, the Székely.

Erzsébet Zelliger


A preliminary sample from The Atlas of Hungarian Family Names

The first part of the paper gives an account of the process leading from the point at which the idea of a synchronic atlas of Hungarian family names first arose to acquiring, on magnetic tapes, a large corpus of relevant data stored in the National Record Office. The second section tells about thematic precursors of the atlas. The third section characterizes the corpus on which the atlas is to be based. In the fourth part of the paper, the author attempts to give the reader a glimpse of the possibilities that the electronic data base offers, and takes stock of the major linguistic and extralinguistic areas

in which the atlas, once completed, can be put to use. Eighteen maps are provided to allow some insight into the linguistic geography of certain lexical, morphological, orthographic and semantic types of items from the inventory of family names occurring in Hungary at the turn of the millennium.

Keywords: geography of family names, atlas of family names, spatial informatics, electronically stored corpus, onomatodialectology.

Ferenc Vörös


Shifts of lexical repetition in Hungarian–English translation
Repetition in the light of the universals of translation

This study focuses on the discoursal role of repetition, exploring the relationship between shifts of lexical repetition and shifts of coherence, i.e., the way shifts in repetition patterns in text trigger coherence shifts, altering the meaning potential of translations. As repetition in translation has been hypothesized to be affected by certain universal norms of translation, the paper also offers initial data for the validation of the universals of explicitation and avoiding repetition. Lexical repetitions and their combinations among sentences are investigated using Hoey’s (1991) theory, in a corpus of Hungarian news texts and their English translations. Quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal considerable shifts in repetition in translations both in terms of the frequency and the types of lexical repetitions; however, these differences are not statistically significant. Regarding the relationship between shifts of cohesion and coherence in translation, the corpus provides evidence for repetition shifts affecting the macropropositional structure of target texts, leading to so-called macropropositional shifts, as a result of which the global meaning of translations is altered compared to sources.

Keywords: repetition, cohesion, coherence, text meaning, shift, translation universals.

Krisztina Károly