Possible and impossible variation in Hungarian

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The paper discusses variation in the occurrence and quality of ‘linking vowels’ in Hungarian. While linking vowels are discussed in the traditional and/or generative literature, implicitly or explicitly, this variation is considered or predicted to be accidental by these analyses. In a detailed analysis of the behavior of linking vowels (focusing on the accusative of sibilant-final nouns, loan adjectives, nouns lexicalized as adjectives and linking vowels in hiatus), the paper shows that variation related to linking vowels is systematic and the traditional view is untenable. The authors argue that (a) such a view follows from the theoretical stance these approaches have on variation in general and (b) an analogical approach which sees variation as the conflict of incompatible (surface) generalizations whose strength is determined by token frequency can reveal/explain the systematic nature of variation in the presence and quality of linking vowels.


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