Demonstratives Research Group - Introduction

Demonstratives form a unique, and potentially universal category of linguistic expressions, speakers primarily use demonstratives to enable a recipient to “pick out” something in the world in everyday conversations. They have been in the focus of investigation in several disciplines, including ethnography of speech, philosophy, psycholinguistics, semantics and pragmatics.
Our research project aims at developing a comprehensive and theoretically informed description of the Hungarian demonstrative system. The primary focus is on the use of nominal demonstratives (ez, az, emez, amaz, eme, ama, which are versions of 'this/that'), but the analysis will be extended to other demonstrative forms as well (such as ilyen 'like this', olyan 'like that', ekkora 'this size', akkora 'that size', ide 'here', oda 'there').
More specifically, the basic aims of the project are the following:
  • to identify and describe the pragmatic functions fulfilled by Hungarian demonstratives in a comparative framework,
  • to investigate the basic factors that influence demonstrative practice and test their potential interaction,
  • to analyse, re-evaluate and integrate data collected by different methodologies to get a comprehensive account of Hungarian demonstratives.

The outcome of the project will enrich our understanding of the Hungarian demonstrative system in general, and demonstrative reference in particular. On the one hand, the emerging data and the findings can be incorporated in ongoing comparative cross-linguistic research, on the other hand, the results will also contribute to current international discussions on demonstrative use.

This research is supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH), grant no. K22_143417.

Last update: 2023. 11. 10. 10:13