Marking of the agent (Hungarian)

NPPnonobl: The agent may optionally be marked with an explicit pronoun or noun.

Agr: Morphosyntactic agreement on the verb is used to mark the agent.

(1a) én könyv-et ír-ok.

I book-acc write-prs.1sg

‘I’m writing a book.’

(1b) könyv-et ír-ok.

book-acc write-prs.1sg

‘I’m writing a book.’

(2) találkoz-t-am egy író-val. ad-ott nekem egy könyv-et.

meet-pst-1sg a writer-com give-pst.3sg I.dat a book-acc

‘I have met a writer. She gave me a book.’

In Hungarian, the agent can be expressed by pronouns (1a)–(1b) and nouns. The verbal suffix always reflects the person and number of the agent. 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