Gréte Dalmi
Inclusory plural constructions in Hungarian. A comparative syntactic approach

2020. szeptember 8. (kedd) 11 óra


Inclusory plural pronominal constructions in Hungarian (such as mi a nővéremmel  ‘we with my sister’) are compared with similar constructions in Finnish (see Holmberg & Kurki 2019) and the corresponding Pro[NP] construction in Icelandic (see Sigurðsson & Wood 2020). It is shown in the paper that the criteria used in these two languages are only partly applicable in Hungarian.

Inclusory plural pronominal constructions are special in that the 1PL pronoun WE is accompanied by a comitative phrase (postpositional phrase in Finnish, case-marked DP in Hungarian and bare NP in Icelandic). In this construction WE is neither inclusive nor exclusive (see Cysouw 2008). In the above three languages, WE can only refer to the 1SG pronoun (i.e. the speaker) and the referent(s) of the comitative phrase and nobody else (see also Cable (2017). This is explained by the indexical approach put forward by Vassilieva & Larson (2005).

Syntactically, in inclusory plural constructions, the comitative phrase is the complement of the pronominal head. In Finnish and Hungarian, the pronominal head can be split from its complement, while in Icelandic they are glued together. It is proposed in the paper that the pronominal head performs N-to-D head movement, leaving a trace behind. This prevents the insertion of any lexical item between the pronominal head and the complement. The displacement of the pronominal head is derived via remnant movement in Finnish. The paper suggests that in Hungarian, the pronominal head and the complement can move to the left periphery of the clause independently (see also Dékány 2009, Moravcsik 2003 and M. Korcsmáros 1995 on these constructions in Hungarian).