Word Order in Hungarian

The syntax of Ā-positions

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Hungarian word-order is characterized by large scale preposing of constituents to sentence-initial positions. This study examines systematically the elements which occur in the left periphery. Focal, <i>wh-</i> and negative operators which have scope over the whole sentence must appear in the left periphery overtly; topicalized elements precede the scope operators and appear in an organized system as well. The author proposes that the structure of the Hungarian sentence comprises a rich set of left-peripheral functional projections, organized into sub-systems, like the <i>Scope field</i> and the <i>Topic field</i>. On the basis of the structure of Hungarian, the study proposes to consider these sub-systems as being in turn split, that is hierarchically organized into specific functional projections.<br />The study also examines the well-formedness conditions linked to multiple preposing. It is shown that the various well-formedness criteria apply overtly in Hungarian. This enables to make a direct link between the scope properties of affective operators and the articulated structure of the left periphery.

Subjects: Generative linguistics; Uralic languages; Syntax

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Geneva

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