Moving towards a shift of paradigm?
Traditions and recent developments in psycholinguistics

This review article critically surveys each of the 32 chapters organized into six major topic areas of the monumental, two-volume handbook compiled and edited by top-ranked Hungarian psycholinguist Csaba Pléh as well as Ágnes Lukács and their co-workers. It is observed that the studies in the handbook reveal the shaping of a major tendency, a shift in current, empirically grounded investigations of psycholinguistics: the integration of the discipline and its participating subfields into the domain of the macrofield of cognitive science, wherein the mental representation, storage and access of relevant psycholinguistic phenomena and factors, as well as their neurobiological bases, are highlighted and investigated. It is pointed out that this process of the development of the field certainly leads the way towards a major shift in the scope of the paradigm, whereby the subject domains and nature of the discipline require a current, major reconsideration.

Keywords: history of psycholinguistics, understanding and production, mental representation, neurobiology, language acquisition, language and thinking, psychology of language in atypical situations.

Andor József
Pécsi Tudományegyetem


Periods of Hungarian historical dialectology

Dialectology is fundamentally a synchronic area of linguistics, both in Hungary and in an international context: it is concerned with issues pertaining to geographical varieties of spoken language. This determines both its material of investigation and its methodology. Nevertheless, it is open to other areas of linguistics, as well as to other disciplines, especially in the dimension of historicity. In the late nineteenth century and in the twentieth century, it was historical linguistics and historical language geography, while in the second half of the twentieth century, it was sociolinguistics that had a heavy impact on it. Of related disciplines, historiography, ethnography, settlement history and cultural history influenced it the most strongly. This talk investigates the issue of how Hungarian historical dialectology got a new lease of life, what periods and domains characterised its revival, and what new sources, new technologies, and new interdisciplinary contacts it has benefited from.

Keywords: periods of Hungarian historical dialectology, its disciplinary and interdisciplinary embeddedness, its aspects in scientific policy and the sociology of science.

Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem


Accounting for changes in the linguistic landscape: The example of Transcarpathia

Research on the linguistic landscape has become an increasingly popular topic among Hungarian linguists, and one whose scope has been continually widening recently. While the space of public communication is permanently changing, research on the linguistic landscape is typically synchronic in nature: researchers characterise inscriptions of the given symbolic space with respect to a given period. Seizing the process of change, however, is a move that gives us new possibilities in the research on linguistic landscape, too. This paper shows this with examples taken from Transcarpathia. A historically oriented analysis of the linguistic landscape, accounting for variability and changes, may be a research program that helps us understand the social, political, economic and linguistic processes going on in the community under investigation.

Keywords: linguistic landscape, language policy, linguistic change, language ideologies, Transcarpathia.

Csernicskó István
II. Rákóczi Ferenc Kárpátaljai Magyar Főiskola
Pannon Egyetem


Sustainable bilingualism

The paper introduces the concept of sustainable bilingualism (SB), inspired by the results of two empirical sociolinguistic research projects (LongBiLing. and MaBiLing.). The investigations presented here were conducted in the last decade of the past century and the first decade of the present century, and involved the Boyash, German, Roma, Romanian, Serbian and Slovak communities of Hungary. In the course of both projects, SB ordering was performed. In one case, six communities were ordered in terms of SB, and in the other, members of a single community were, on the basis of sociolinguistic data (language choice, proficiency, and attitudes) gleaned from sociolinguistic questionnaires and interviews. As a result of our empirical analyses a model was set up. The Sustainable Bilingualism Model (SBM) is built on the profoundly studied linguistic behaviors such as language choice, proficiency and attitudes, but is also open for additional devices (for example language ideologies, etc. are not studied in the article). In this model languages of bilingual communities must be of equal status in language choice, proficiency, and attitudes. The two projects highlighted the reasons why stable bilingual communities are so rare in general, and they showed how SB can be successfully investigated within unstable bilingualism.

Keywords: sustainable bilingualism, language shift, bilingual communities in Hungary, sociolinguistic research, longitudinal method, the method of group comparisons.

Borbély Anna
MTA Nyelvtudományi Intézet