Kálmán László (NYTI)


Some analogical phenomena in Hungarian syntax




2015. december 3., 11.00

MTA Nyelvtudományi Intézet, földszinti előadóterem



According to the generativist/Montagovian tradition, sentence structure and meaning originates from maximally general, sometimes even universal, principles. This results in very abstract structures and meanings. The analogist/constructionist tradition, on the other hand, emphasises that particular subpatterns, which correspond to special cases of very abstract structures, may have peculiarities that cannot be derived from very general principles. According to the latter family of theories, regularities arise from empirical generalizations about form and function, and those generalizations need not be maximally abstract.


The predictions of analogy-based theories differ from those of a generativist one. In particular, in addition to accommodating unpredictable sub-regularities and the idiosyncratic properties of certain, otherwise ``regular'' expression types, they predict phenomena based on all kinds of similarities between them, in particular, blending and variation. Both phenomena originate from the simultaneous influence of two competing constructions. I will show that, by virtue of such predictions, an analogy-based description is more appropriate for explaining certain features of Hungarian syntax than generativist accounts.