Language Play and Linguistic Hybridity as Current Trends in Hungarian Word-Formation


  • Réka Benczes Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Budapest
  • Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, Budapest



Hungarian derivational morphology, word-formation, linguistic creativity, neologism, analogy, compounding, verbal prefix


Hungarian literature on word-formation typically focuses on rule-governed descriptions of regular and typologically relevant patterns. However, there are plenty of other word-formation trends that usually go unnoticed in mainstream morphological research. The present paper will focus on two such trends: 1) rhyming and alliterating compounds such as pannon puma ‘Pannonian puma’ (a euphemism for Hungary’s economic performance, on the analogy of Asian tiger); and 2) creative prefixations such as meggugliz (‘to google’) and felhájpol (‘to hype’). Although these are seemingly two quite different patterns, in fact they share two significant traits. On the one hand, they are demonstrations of the fact that language users make full use of the creative possibilities in language and routinely play with sounds and meanings. On the other hand, they are also indications of the influential role of English in present-day Hungarian word-formation. It seems that language users are not only aware of the possibilities that this interference can result in but are also able to exploit these consciously. This crossing of language boundaries is becoming increasingly inevitable with the global spread of English.






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