Chapter 5. Hungarian verbs of natural phenomena with explicit and implicit subject arguments

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The present chapter has two main aims. First, it attempts to provide a novel account for the occurrence of Hungarian verbs of natural phenomena with subject arguments. The problem which the present chapter wants to resolve is that there is an inconsistency between the previous explanations of the behaviour of verbs of natural phenomena with and without an explicit subject and the data. The previous approaches have considered the Hungarian verbs of natural phenomena subjectless, although data from various direct sources (such as written corpora, intuition, introspection, and spoken discourses) testify to occurrences of verbs of natural phenomena with explicit subjects. To eliminate this inconsistency, the chapter argues for a new, unified approach, according to which Hungarian verbs of natural phenomena have subject arguments in their lexical-semantic representations which can (or even should) be lexically unrealised in some contexts, while in others they can be explicitly expressed and contextual, grammatical as well as lexical-semantic factors together license the implicit or explicit occurrence of subject arguments. Second, applying Kertész & Rákosi’s (this volume, 2012) p-model, the chapter aims to reflect on a metalinguistic level on how the proposed explanation has been reached in the course of the research as well as how the new account can resolve the above mentioned problem.


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