Distinctions within necessity (Hungarian)

DeonSit~Ep: Situational and epistemic necessity are partially distinguished in terms of verbal modality.

(1) bizonyára es-ni fog.

certainly rain-inf fut.3sg

‘It is going to be raining.’

(2) szilvi-nek még ébren kell len-ni-e.

Szilvi-dat still awake must.prs.3sg be-inf-3sg

’Szilvi must still be awake.’

(3) itt muszáj tanulni.

here necessary study-inf

‘You have to study here.’

In Hungarian, adverbs and sentence adverbs (1) are the markers of epistemic modality (Kiefer 2007: 321‒322). The kell ‘must/have to’ + infinitive construction (2) may express epistemic and situational modality depending on the context (Pelyvás 2013). The constructions created with the adverbs muszáj ‘necessary’, kötelező ‘compulsory’ etc. together with the infinitive of the verb denote situational necessity (3).


Nikolett F. Gulyás