Issues in Hungarian historical dialectology

This talk is primarily to draw the audience’s attention to the fact that Hungarian dialect atlases published in the twentieth century are a good place to find data from which one can draw not only synchronic but also diachronic conclusions. Indeed, if we proceed carefully enough, we can even find reliable linguistic facts, relicts, or guidelines with respect to the age of the Hungarian Conquest or to the Old Hungarian period that followed it. Most of these facts and properties, however, were territorially restricted from the earliest times on, and illustrate the multilinearity of linguistic development. The majority of phonological and morphological examples given in the talk are drawn from the south-western fringes of the Hungarian language area where linguistic-dialectal archaisms have survived to an extent well above average. The author even raises the possibility that some groups of Hungarian speakers may have appeared in southern and south-western parts of Transdanubia together with Avar tribes, before the well-known date of entry of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, 896 A.D. A systematic historical comparative geolinguistic analysis of dialect data may help in the reconstruction of how populations moved around following the Hungarian Conquest, too.

Keywords: historical dialectology, synchronic and diachronic geolinguistics, Proto-Hungarian and Old Hungarian relicts in linguistic atlases, conclusions for ancient history from historical dialectology.

Juhász Dezső
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem


The Hungarian language reform and Kazinczy’s second

Orthologue and Neologue

The essay Orthologus és Neologus; nálunk és más Nemzeteknél (Orthologue and Neologue with us and with other nations) is taken to be a major landmark in the history of the Hungarian language reform. This in spite of the fact that Kaziczy had withdrawn it from publication: he wrote a new, extended version instead. This paper investigates (i) why Kazinczy wrote a new essay; (ii) how the two texts differ from one another; and (iii) in what ways the revised version would have influenced the course of the language reform.

Keywords: language reform, 19th century, orthology, neology.

Czifra Mariann
MTA–DE Klasszikus Magyar Irodalmi Textológiai Kutatócsoport