Some chronological and geolinguistic problems of Slavic borrowings into Hungarian

The paper presents the oldest Slavic borrowings into Hungarian with regard to the reconstruction of the dialectal landscape of Slavic in the Carpathian Basin at the time when the Hungarian tribes arrived there at the end of the 9th century. According to some phonetic criteria, it seems to be the case that the Hungarians found two main Slavic dialects in their new homeland: Pannonian Slavic with mixed Western and Southern Slavic features and Bulgarian Slavic. Dialects of the Bulgarian type may have been located in today’s North-Eastern Hungary and in the neighbouring districts of Slovakia.

Keywords: Slavic substrate in Hungarian, Slavic dialects in the Carpathian Basin before the Hungarian Conquest, Pannonian Slavic vs. Bulgarian Slavic dialects, the reflexes of the Slavic nasal vowels in Hungarian, the adaptation of Slavic y (IPA: ?) in Hungarian.

Zoltán András
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem


The metamorphosis of pasts

Modifications in the semantic and narrative grounding of the Hungarian past tenses after the 18th century

A significant change occurred in the tense system of Hungarian during the 18th and 19th centuries: earlier speakers used four different past tenses while, by the middle of the 19th century, only one past tense remained for construing a scene as taking place prior to the time of discourse. This seemingly simple historical process, however, proves to be a highly complex transformation in the conceptualization of temporality in every respect: the object of modification was the temporal reference frame of clauses and discourses as such. The theoretical framework of the investigation presented here is Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar. The paper discusses two formerly used past tenses: (1) the simple past tense that expressed events completed prior to the processing time, and (2) the imperfective past that expressed past events as ongoing actions or events directly experienced or evoked by the conceptualizer. The imperfective past focused on epistemic immediacy while the simple past expressed non-immediacy, construed in the clausal context. By contrast, the modern way of conceptualizing the past involves deictic past tense; i.e., it is temporal distance that has the basic function, with the aspectual content of the verbs being responsible for everything else.

Keywords: epistemic grounding, immediacy, imperfective past, simple past, temporality, witnessing.

Tolcsvai Nagy Gábor
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Konstantin Filozófus Egyetem, Nyitra


Medical recipe as a genre in 16th–17th-century Hungarian

Genre in a functional cognitive framework

Texts are always representatives of a given genre since they are embedded and function in a particular communicative situation. This paper analyses early Hungarian medical recipes as a genre from a functional cognitive perspective. According to this approach, genres are linguistic manifestations of socially and culturally determined cognitive patterns, linked to particular contexts, and conventionalized as prototypical representations for satisfying specific communicative needs. The goals of the paper are twofold. First, it discusses a range of theoretical assumptions informing the functional cognitive linguistic analysis of genres, also drawing on pragmatically oriented treatments of the topic. Second, the paper demonstrates the viability of viewing genres as complex schemas (scripts) through a detailed analysis of 16th and 17th-century Hungarian medical recipes. The research places special emphasis on the functional units of recipes (initiator, instructive and persuasive parts), and examines their role in the interpretation processes and genre activation of present-day Hungarian speakers.

Keywords: medical recipe, genre, scenario, cognitive linguistics, initiator, instruction, persuasion.

Kuna Ágnes
MTA Támogatott Kutatócsoportok Irodája
Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem
Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem


The typology of marginalia in Old Hungarian codices

The paper examines the marginalia of the 45 surviving codices from the 14–16th centuries written in Old Hungarian, with focus on marginalia left by later users and readers. After a brief overview of the origins and main questions of international research on marginalia the author presents a new typology of the corpus. The six main categories and their subcategories were derived from the contents and functions of the texts. This typology facilitates the exploration of further matters related to marginalia in the Old Hungarian codices, and serves as the basis of an ongoing, broader research.

Keywords: Old Hungarian codices, research of marginalia, marginalia by readers, typology.

P. Kocsis Réka
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem


On the marking of concession during the Middle Hungarian period

The paper investigates variation in syntactic constructions expressing concession in 16–18th-century Hungarian texts, using primarily the Historical Corpus of Private Texts. The expression of concession was rather variegated in Middle Hungarian, but not simply due to the multifariousness of the stock of conjunctions; the overall picture was also made more nuanced by structural and pragmatic variation involving participial clauses, little discussed in the literature so far. A structural shift towards independent, full-fledged clauses characterised both subtypes even as late as in the 18th century. Probably due to its complexity, concessive meaning was reinforced by linking elements expressing contrast or restriction both in the variants involving conjunctions and in the participial ones.

Keywords: concession, syntactic variation, pragmatic variation, Middle Hungarian period, informal language use.

Varga Mónika
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
MTA Nyelvtudományi Intézet