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Implicit Subject and Direct Object Arguments in Hungarian Language Use

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This book studies how Hungarian verbs can occur with implicit subject and direct object arguments in a complex approach. On the basis of the critical evaluations of the previous literature on implicit arguments, analyses of a wide spectrum of data from various direct sources, and theoretical explanations, all of which were supported by systematic metatheoretical considerations, it concludes that in Hungarian, verbs do not vary as to whether they can be used with implicit arguments or not, but they vary as to the manner in which they can occur with such arguments. In other words, they vary in terms of the lexical and grammatical constraints which are placed on them, and in what contexts they can be used with lexically unrealised arguments. Although the cognitive principle of relevance guides the licensing and interpretation processes of implicit arguments, the variety of their occurrences does not rest solely on the presumption of relevance but on the different lexical, grammatical, and pragmatic properties of Hungarian and its use, as well as on their various interactions. So, it is only by operating together that a grammar and an adequate pragmatic theory can account for the occurrences and identification mechanisms of implicit arguments.

Published: Jan 2, 2019


Section Chapter Authors
Acknowledgments Enikő Németh T.
Abbreviations Enikő Németh T.
Chapter 1
Introduction Enikő Németh T
Chapter 2
Explanations of the Occurrence of Verbs with Implicit Arguments Enikő Németh T
Chapter 3
Occurrences of Implicit Arguments in Hungarian Enikő Németh T
Chapter 4
First (A) Manner: The Role of the Lexical-semantic Representation of Verbs Enikő Németh T
Chapter 5
Second (B) and Third (C) Manners: Grammatical Constraints and the Role of the Immediate Utterance Context and the Extended Context Enikő Németh T
Chapter 6
Summary and Conclusions Enikő Németh T
End Matter
Endnotes Enikő Németh T.
References Enikő Németh T.
Author Index Enikő Németh T.
Subject Index Enikő Németh T.


The book is a splendid resource for anyone interested in implicit arguments in Hungarian and beyond. By providing rich empirical material exemplifying a variety of implicit arguments rather than focusing narrowly on a chosen type, it offers a refreshing bird’s eye view on the mechanisms governing their interpretation through considering the interaction of different components of linguistic knowledge as applied in actual language use. As the discussion is structured around the very clear division into three manners of implicit argument interpretation, it will be useful not only to researchers, but also to advanced students just setting out on the quest in search of missing arguments.
Intercultural Pragmatics

A könyv mintegy 200 nyelvi példán elemzi, hogy milyen szűkített értelemben sajátos csak itt a magyar nyelv, s hogy ezek az elhagyások mennyire tükröznek egyetemes vonásokat a nyelvi építkezésben és a nyelvfeldolgozásban.

The book analyses through 200 Hungarian language examples in what sense Hungarian language is specific regarding the omission of verbal arguments and how these omissions mirror universal features in language construction and language processing.

Csaba Pléh, Department of Cognitive Science, CEU, Budapest, Hungary
Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle, 76 (2021) 3–4, 569–570
DOI: 10.1556/0016.2021.00043

Németh T. következetesen érvel amellett, hogy bármilyen igetípusról is legyen szó, az implicit igei argumentumok viselkedését csak úgy írhatjuk le kimerítően, ha képesek vagyunk a különböző nyelvészeti részdiszciplínák nézőpontjait és adatkezelési módszereit integrálni.

Németh T. consistently argues that regardless of the type of verbs the behaviour of implicit verbal arguments can be described exhaustively if we are able to integrate the perspectives and data collecting and analysing methods of various linguistic disciplines.
Zoltán Vecsey, MTA-DE-SZTE Research Group for Theoretical Linguistics, Eötvös Loránd Research Network
Magyar Tudomány 182(2021)9, 1272–1274
DOI: 10.1556/2065.182.2021.9.14