ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Rüütmaa, Tiina (Tallinn)

nyomtatható változat

Unexpected equivalents in the mood system of Hungarian and Estonian subordinate clause?

The main objective of the paper is to map the mutual relations of the Hungarian and Estonian imperative (in Estonian also jussive, a mood expressing an indirect command) and conditional. The study is based on original Hungarian texts and their Estonian translations: subordinate clauses with either an imperative or conditional predicate, found from Hungarian texts, are compared with their Estonian equivalents.
Comparing the functions of the Hungarian imperative and the Estonian conditional in subordinate clause reveals that the studied moods have some unexpected overlaps. Both can be used to express the functions of conjunctive, the mood that does not have a separate morphological marker in either of the languages.
In Hungarian linguistics there has been a long discussion over a possible conjunctive sharing its morphological marker with the imperative. The recent sources treat the conjunctive imperative already as a separate linguistic category. In Estonian linguistics the discussion over conjunctive has not been as wide, but the question whether the Estonian conditional is rather conjunctive by its functions has been raised by some researchers.
The Estonian equivalents of the Hungarian subordinate clauses with an imperative or conditional predicate reveal that the Hungarian imperative is a complicated mood with many functions, for which Estonian has a number of different ways of expression; whereas the Estonian equivalent of the Hungarian conditional is in most of the cases conditional.
The most frequent Estonian equivalent of the Hungarian imperative form is either a conditional or a construction with the da-infinitive, while an imperative/ jussive is rather rare. This seems to show that one of the main functions of the Hungarian imperative is to act as the conjunctive, while the expression of a command is rather a secondary function. However, definitive conclusions cannot be made for lack of definite criteria to differentiate between the Hungarian imperative proper and conjunctive imperative. Moreover, in Estonian there are more widespread means to express an indirect command than the imperative/ jussive (e.g., a conditional subordinate clause and a construction with the da-infinitive).
The functions of the Hungarian conditional are rather limited being mainly confined to expressing conditionality. This is supported by the Estonian equivalents of Hungarian subordinate predicates in the conditional form: in most cases the Hungarian conditional is translated into Estonian by the same mood. However, in Hungarian subordinate clauses the conditional is more frequent than could be guessed from theoretical sources as the analysed subordinate clauses contained almost as many conditional predicates as imperative ones.
The language of the intended paper is Hungarian.