Marking of polar questions (Hungarian)

Q: Polar questions are marked by a question particle, a non­inflectional morpheme that functions specifically to mark this function and that displays a degree of independence (as an affix, clitic, or independent word). Changes in word order are of no significance for the purposes of this parameter.

PhonInt: Polar questions appear in the same word order as their declarative equivalents and are marked exclusively by intonation.

(1a) most indul-unk.

now start-prs.1pl

’We are starting now.’

(1b) most indul-unk?

now start-prs.1pl

’Are we starting now?’

(1c) most indul-unk-e?

now start-prs.1pl-q

’Are we starting now?’

(2a) holnap mozi-ba megy-ünk.

tomorrow cinema-lat go-prs.1pl

’We are going to cinema tomorrow.’

(2a) holnap mozi-ba megy-ünk?

tomorrow cinema-lat go-prs.1pl

’Are we going to cinema tomorrow?’

In Hungarian, there are two ways to indicate polar questions. Usually, polar questions are differentiated from affirmatives by the rising–falling intonation contour. The verbal predicate can be expanded by the -e question particle (1c). The intonation in the latter case is identical to the intonation pattern of affirmative sentences (cf. Kenesei et al. 1998: 1‒15).


Nikolett F. Gulyás