ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Horváth, László (Budapest)

nyomtatható változat

Choice between imperative forms in contemporary Hungarian dramas -
with a historical background

In Hungarian - both in the subjective and in the objective conjugation - two forms are used in imperative Sg/2: a shorter one and a longer one, for example várj : várjál, várd : várjad ’wait’. The choice between these forms is influenced on the one hand by morphological features of the verbs, on the other hand by the nature of the speech act expressed by imperative form. The proportion of occurrence of shorter and longer forms can be different in the subjective and objective conjugations; in the subjective conjugation the use of the so-called -ik vebs can be also different. The nature of the speech act means here in the first place intensity: it is to speak about a „demand type” and about a „command type” of the speech acts. There is also a third type: the use of conjunctive in some subordinated clauses induced by a key word or by contents of the main clause.
The actual paper analyses the choice between imperative forms in eight contemporary Hungarian dramas. It is a new link in the chain of a diachronic investigation. The author’s aim is to reveal the history of choice between shorter and longer forms on the basis of dramatic texts. His method is to prepare synchronic segments and to make a diachronic comparison. He has made five such segments so far from about 1770 until the end of 20th century. The now analysed dramas were published in 2009-2010.
The drama as a genre with dialogues was both earlier and now choiced for analysing, because the language use in it is relatively near to the natural spoken language, so it is favourable to using imperative forms. The paper deals with the role of the idiolects of the playwrighters, too.
At the analysing and investigation the statistics is of course very important.

Language of presentation: Hungarian.