Habitive constructions (Hungarian)

HabPossLat: The possessed is the functional and/or grammatical subject; the verb is intransitive, and the possessor appears in a lative or dative form (the form used to answer the question To where? or To whom?).

 +SpecPssd: The possessed appears in a special form. (For example, it may appear with a personal possessive marker.)

(1) a tanár-nak van krétá-ja.

the teacher-dat be.prs.3sg chalk-3sg

‘The teacher has a chalk.’


(2) tihamér-nak van-nak könyv-e-i.

  Tihamér-dat be-prs.3pl book-3sg-pl

‘Tihamér has books.’


(3) tihamér-nak nincs könyv-e.

Tihamér-dat neg.prs.3sg book-3sg

‘Tihamér does not have books.’

In Hungarian habitive sentences, the possessor is marked by the dative case, while the word denoting the possessed entity is in the nominative case. The possessee is marked by a personal possessive suffix referring to the possessor. The affirmative (1–2) and the negative (3) form of the substantive verb agrees with the number of the possessed entity (cf. Kenesei et al. 1998: 65, 67).


Nikolett F. Gulyás