alexa Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

About the university
By unifying excellence in research, authenticity in science and a commitment to society, the institute network of the Academy is set to produce scientific results of value to Hungary and the rest of the world. As part of the only full-time research institute network in Hungary, with nationally well-established research traditions, our primary aim is to play a fundamental role in promoting the good of the general public and in building the foundation for our future through valuable scientific achievements based on highly promising and innovative research. The primary tasks of the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences include theoretical and applied research in general linguistic issues, as well as in Hungarian linguistics, Uralic studies, and phonetics. We also undertake the on-going compilation of the comprehensive dictionary of Hungarian. Other projects investigate different variants of Hungarian and minority languages in Hungary, as well as issues in language policy. Further tasks include the assembly of linguistic corpora and databases. The Institute operates a public counselling service and prepares expert reports on relevant affairs on demand. The Institute also runs the Theoretical Linguistics Programme jointly with Eötvös Loránd University.
At the Research Group for Historical Linguistics, the third volume of A Historical Grammar of the Hungarian Language is under preparation, which describes the grammar of Middle Hungarian. The period under investigation lasts from the rout at Mohács (1526) until the beginning of the age of enlightenment (1772). This research is based on the results presented inA Grammar of Ancient and Old Hungarian, published earlier as three volumes in the same series. The aim of this grammar is to capture the changes in the language system in a novel way, by projecting different descriptions of the system of the given period (the so-called synchronic cross-sections) onto each other. These historical synchronic cross-sections also enable one to register, provided the corpus is large enough, the microscopic changes always present in synchrony. The cross-section of Middle Hungarian is prepared in a structural-functional linguistic framework, which allows for the study of individual linguistic phenomena from both a formal-structural and a semantic-functional point of view. In the closed corpus under investigation, the texts are distributed according to genre as follows: 15% historical prose, 5% lyric poetry, 10% epic poetry, 15% Bible, 10% drama, 15% other prose, 15% personal letters, 15% legal texts. From each century, a corpus of texts consisting of at least two hundred thousand characters is subjected to a statistical analysis, but the corpus the research is based on consists of at least three million characters. The Middle Hungarian period, with the increase in the number of genres and text types (e.g., descriptive, argumentative, narrative, etc.) as compared to the Old Hungarian period, offers new opportunities for investigation. Besides grammatical description, we pay attention to phenomena which could not have been analyzed with respect to the earlier periods, like the relation between grammatical changes and genres, the impact of printing on the standardization of the language, characteristics of the spoken language, and the relation between language use and social stratification. The chapters on syntax treat the following problems: sentence types (questions of modality); affirmative and negative sentences; the micro- and macrostructure of the sentence; word order and information structure; subject-predicate structure; the (finite and non-finite) verb phrase, the participial phrase, the noun phrase, the adjective phrase, the numeral phrase, and the adverbial phrase; coordinate structures; sentential subordination and coordination.
Department of Finno-Ugric and Historical Linguistics
Department of Language Technology and Applied Llinguistics
Department of Lexicology and Lexicography
Department of Phonetics
Department of Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics and Sociolinguistics
Department of Theoretical Linguistics