Agent marking on the verb (Hungarian)

PM: Person marking of the agent is marked on the verb (through verbal agreement) regardless of whether the agent is, or could be, expressed by a full noun or a pronoun.

(1) zsófi könyv-et ír

Zsófi book-acc write-prs.3sg

‘Zsófi is writing a book.’

(2) ő könyv-et ír

(s)he book-acc write-prs.3sg

‘(S)he is writing a book’

(3) én könyv-et ír-ok

I book-acc write-prs.1sg

‘I’m writing a book.’

(4) te könyv-et ír-sz

you book-acc write-prs.2sg

‘You are writing a book.’

In Hungarian, the verbal suffix always reflects the person and number of the agent, irrespective of whether it is expressed by a noun (1) or a pronoun (2)–(4). Hungarian is a pro-drop language, thus pronominal agents can be omitted. Nominal agents are also optional, if they are identifiable from textual or pragmatic clues (cf. É. Kiss 2002: 27‒35, Tolcsvai Nagy 2013: 278‒312, Kugler 2000a: 104‒123, Kiefer 2003: 212‒222).


Nikolett F. Gulyás