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Introduction to Linguistics

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Juh�sz Bernadett Introduction to Linguistics Essay: The role of word order in English and in Hungarian Wednesday 1150-1330 Eger, 2004. �prilis 23. Contents: > Chapter 1. Inroduction: The role of word order in English and in Hungarian Types of word order Types of word order parameters > Chapter 2. English word order The word order in English Types of word order parameters in English The function of many syntactic transformations: fonting, dislocation The sentence types: simple, compound, complex > Chapter 3. Hungarian word order The notion of topic and focus The role of stress Differences between Hungarian and English interrogatives order Chapter 4. Conclusion Chapter 1 This essay aims at detecting the word order alternation in different languages especially in English and in Hungarian. Before setting out to describe the latter, one has to pinpoint which structural relations characterise, as a free word order language. Then another part deals with the role of word order in English. As Comrie said [(1)-81p] "this paper examines the various major word order parameters that have been used in typological literature, in particular the word order of the major constituents of the clause (subject, object, verb) and of the noun phrase, besides other constructions are introduced where relevant". In many instances, the assignment of a given basic word order to a language in unproblematical, but there are also several examples where it is more complex or even, impossible. The word order fill in an important role languages, because in certain languages the sentence may have different meaning if it is not in the correct order. ...read more.


Figure 1.: Sentences and their structure [(3)-135p] S NP VP DET ADJ N V NP PP DET N PREP NP DET N The tall runner won a prize in the race "Speakers can generate an unlimited number of sentence from relatively few rules for combining words and morphemes."- Finegan said.[(3)-148p] There are languages which have passive construction " the choice between an active sentence and its passive equivalent can be exploited in English to mark information structure" as Finegan mentioned[(3)-213p]. The following is an incomplete list of alternative sentences that mean the same thing. These examples from Finegan's Pragmatics Chapter:198p(3) The firefighter discovered a leak in the basement. A leak was discovered by the firefighter in the basement. A leak in the basement was discovered by the firefighter. It was the firefighter who ddiscovered a leak in the basement. What the firefighter discovered in the basement was a leak. What the firefighter discovered was a leak in the basement. It was a leak that the firefighter discovered in the basement. What was discovered by the firefighter was a leak in the basement. These examples show that the basic English wor order can invert in passive. Clearly, the relationship between active and passive sentences depends not on counting words, but on knowledge about constituent structure. Active: Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. Passive: Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare. These show that in passive sentence the direct object NP of the active sentence appears in the position of subject NP, and this appears in the object NP position. Chapter 3 First in Hungarian word order we should mention the notion of topic and comment. ...read more.


It is a fact, that English word order is bound ( SVO ), on the contrary Hungarian is a free word order language. Speakers of English and other European languages commonly assume that the normal way of constructing a sentence is to place the subject of sentence first, then the verb and the direct object. The word order plays an important role in languages, because in certain languages the sentence may have different meaning if it is not in the correct order. There are six logically possible types in the word order, namely SOV, SVO, VSO, VOS, OVS, OSV. We should mention the word order within the noun phrase, there are two possibilities for basic word order, namely AN and NA. In this paper we can see cleary, that there are a lot of difference between these two languages word order. The main divergence is in the interrogatives order. In English we ask questions with auxiliary verb or use inversion. In Hungarian we lay stress on the part of the sentence to get new information. There is an another example which everyone knows, in Hungarian the personal name order is the surname then the first name, while in English it is reversed. If we stay in names there is another difference which use only in English: there is differences between a Mr Smith and Mr Smith. A Mr Smith means ' a man called Smith' and implies that he is a stranger to the speaker. Mr Smith, without a, implies that the speaker knows Mr Smith. Languages play an important role in our lives, because "as many languages you speak, as many people you are". There is nothing to do, we should learn many languages with their difficulties as well. ...read more.

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