- Identifiability and verbal cross-referencing markers in Hungarian
- Volume | Issue number
- 47 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Many languages employ articles as an expression device to mark identifiability. There are, however, other means to mark identifiability in languages. In this paper I show that one of the two sets of cross-referencing markers on the transitive verb in Hungarian serves this purpose, i.e., it represents the instruction from the speaker that he considers the referent of the object argument to be identifiable to the hearer. Next, attention is paid to four sets of Hungarian data which are seemingly at odds with this claim. These sets relate to the use of particular person distinctions, indefinite noun phrases which contain either a possessive restrictor or the interrogative pronoun melyik ‘which’, and to relative clauses. Apart from a descriptive account of the relevant data, the paper also offers a theoretical account within the framework of functional discourse grammar, where the speaker assessment of identifiability of referents is formally represented by operators which apply to the referential act, represented by the variable R at the interpersonal level. Distinctions made at the interpersonal level thus affect the choice of verbal forms in Hungarian.
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