Language ideologies in the research on Hungarian linguistic variables

The range of linguistic variables investigated by Hungarian sociolinguistic research is rather limited; a number of studies deal with the analysis of the distribution of a single variable, while various salient phenomena have not yet been studied in sociolinguistic terms at all. Trying to find the reasons for that state of affairs, the author demonstrates that research tends to focus on linguistic variables one of whose values belongs to Standard Hungarian. This peculiarity of Hungarian linguistic research can be understood if one finds out what kinds of language ideology it is backed up by. The author points out that Hungarian sociolinguistic research interprets the variability of language use within the social context of a single institutionally selected variety that is assumed to be homogeneous, that is, in terms of ”standard language ideology” (Milroy 2001). Although researchers often have a critical attitude towards that ideology, this state of affairs makes certain forms of linguistic variability, ones that are independent of the standard, quite invisible. The study of these non-standard processes may result in cultural representations of language varieties that might contribute to the questioning of the universality of the ”hegemonic standard” (Silverstein 1996) and to a general acceptance of such discourse more effectively than the critique of standard language ideology as it has been practised so far.

Keywords: standard language ideology, language change, Moldavia (Romania), Budapest, ethnicity.

Bodó Csanád

Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem



The applicability of formal criteria in the investigation of Hungarian historical family names

The question of when family names emerged in Hungary is a controversial topic in Hungarian name studies. One factor usually considered is the structure of personal name data (i.e. the language, order, and number of elements). In this paper, I demonstrate that it cannot be used as evidence because the structure of names depends not only on the period under investigation but also on the name-bearers’ social status and on the types of the sources. For this reason, I introduce first the structures of name data in 14th-century deeds and secondly three contemporaneous sources of different types from the first third of the 16th century: conscriptions, collections of fiscal accounts and deeds on estate issues. I show that the structures of names in these 16th-century source types are dissimilar due to their different purposes: while one element of the names of the first group seems to be full-fledged family names, they can merely be considered antecedents of family names in the third group, judging only by the structure of the names.

Keywords: Hungarian historical family names, methodology, sources, formal criteria.

Slíz Mariann

Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem



Evaluation of evaluative morphology: a cross-linguistic analysis

While theoretical problems of evaluative morphology (its existence vs. non-existence; its place and scope, its semantics, etc.) have been paid some attention before (cf. Scalise 1984, Stump 1993, Bauer 1993, etc.), related cross-linguistic research is missing. The paper aims to make the first step in this direction. It focuses on evaluative morphology in four language families – Austronesian, Indo-European, Niger-Congo, and Uralic. The sample covers 72 languages. For the sake of data evaluation the concept of saturation of evaluative morphology is introduced. It reflects the degree of utilization of word-formation processes, semantic categories and word classes in the evaluative morphology of a language. The data analysis suggests that evaluative morphology appears to be language family and language territory dependent.

Keywords: evaluative morphology, diminutives, augmentatives.

Körtvélyessy Lívia

P. J. Šafárik University in Košice



On the dating of the Königsbergi Töredék és Szalagjai (and some other early Hungarian texts)

The paper deals mainly with the dating of the Königsbergi Töredék és Szalagjai (Königsberg Fragment and Bands, KFB), one of the earliest Hungarian texts, which remained extant as a copy. On the dating and sources of KFB new aspects have arisen lately. The author considers these aspects, too, and compares KFB with the other earliest Hungarian texts (Halotti Beszéd – Funeral Sermon, Ómagyar Mária-siaralom – Lamentation of Mary, Gyulafehérvári Sorok – Lines of Gyulafehérvár). The historical linguistic analysis dates the original text of KFB to the middle or the end of the 13th century.

Keywords: Königsbergi Töredék és Szalagjai (Königsberg Fragment and Bands), dating of

the earliest Hungarian texts.

A. Molnár Ferenc

Miskolci Egyetem


Addenda on the origin of two Hungarian idioms: szerencsétlen flótás and megtanítja kesztyube dudálni

ThisThis paper explores the origin of the two idioms mentioned in the title. In agreement with the standard view, it points out that szerencsétlen flótás (lit. ’unlucky flute player’) may have been of German origin but it is argued that its source is not unglückseliges Flötenspiel from Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe but it is more likely to originate from set phrases containing Pfeifer such as armer Pfeifer referring to a method of law enforcement, punishing musicians in the pillory by chaining a flute-like instrument to their necks. – The second part of the paper argues against O. Nagy (1979)’s opinion that megtanítja kesztyube dudálni (lit. ’teach somebody play the pipe in gloves’) is of unknown origin and in agreement with Bíró (1956) it adds further convincing arguments that this idiom is also of German origin, traced not to a tale but to devices used in the pillory, Schandgeige or rather Schandflöte.

Keywords: phraseology, origin of idioms, cultural history, law enforcement, szerencsétlen

flótás, megtanít valakit kesztyube dudálni.

Forgács Tamás

Szegedi Tudományegyetem