ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Dömötör Adrienne

nyomtatható változat

Dömötör, Adrienne (Budapest)

From quotative to discourse marker: similarities and differences in the history of mondván ‘saying’ and úgymond ‘so to speak’

Mondván ‘saying’ and úgy mond ‘quoth he’ were both common (but not obligatory) elements of reporting main clauses in Late Old Hungarian and Early Middle Hungarian. If the main verb of the sentence was other than mond ‘say’, these elements could be inserted into the sentence in a post-verbal position with a function of integrating the following quotation into the text. (Úgy mond could attend alone, too.) Later the main verb (expressing different kinds of speech acts for example) could integrate a quotation without these quotatives. Therefore, mondván and úgy mond, still being present in the main clauses but losing their original function, started to acquire new ones, though (naturally) these new functions were not unrelated to their earlier quotative function.
After some changes that are typical of the process of grammaticalization, both of these earlier quotatives became discourse markers. In contemporary Hungarian úgymond (the development of which I have already investigated) has got a number of various functions, and some of these do not contain the meaning ‘say something’ at all. On the other hand, mondván (wich has not been investigated yet) has got more limited functions, and has preserved its original meaning related to ‘say something’. In my presentation I will focus on the analysis of mondván, but I will also outline the history of both elements in order to highlight the common features, for instance that both these processes happened spontaneously and the new functions have not totally displaced the old one.

Language of the presentation: Hungarian.