Hungarian gyerekestül vs. gyerekkel (‘with [the] kid’)


  • István Fekete Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences



Hungarian language, sociative and comitative constructions, derivational and inflectional suffixes, image schema, pragmatics


The paper analyzes the various uses of the Hungarian -stUl (‘together with’, ‘along with’) sociative (associative) suffix (later in the paper referred to simply as “sociative”), as in the example gyerekestül. As opposed to its comitative-instrumental suffix -vAl (‘with’), the -stUl suffix cannot express instrumentality. The paper aims to demonstrate the difference in use between the comitative-instrumental -vAl and the -stUl suffix in contemporary Hungarian, and to illuminate the historical emergence of the suffix as well as its grammatical status. It is argued on the basis of Antal (1960) and Kiefer (2003) that -stUl cannot be analyzed as an inflectional case suffix (such as the -vAl suffix, or -ed, -ing, or the plural in English), but should rather be categorized as a derivational suffix (such as English dis-, re-, in-, -ance, -able, -ish, -like, etc.). The paper also tries to shed light on the hypothetical cognitive psychological distinction between the comitative and the sociative. It is suggested that the sociative is based on the amalgam image schema which is derived from the LINK schema of the comitative. The ironical reading of the sociative is an implicature in the sense of Grice (1989) and Sperber and Wilson (1987). Psycholinguistic experimentation is proposed to follow up on the mental representation of the sociative.

Author Biography

István Fekete, Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences






Cluster Articles: Teaching and Translating Hungarian Language and Culture