Periphrastic causatives (Hungarian)

IntPfrCC: Causatives are expressed through the use of a nonfinite verb form, special verbal mood, and either a verbal case affix or a special particle in the clause expressing the caused event. This type is known as an intentional causative construction.

(1) a fiú könyv-et olvas.

the boy book-acc read.prs.3sg

‘The boy is reading a book.’

(2) a tanár meg-parancsol-ja a fiú-nak, hogy olvassa el a könyv-et.

the teacher pref-order-prs.obj.3sg the boy-dat that read-imp.obj.3sg pref the book-acc

‘The teacher orders the boy to read the book.’

(3) a tanár könyv-et olvas-ni utatsít-ja a fiú-t.

the teacher book-acc read-inf order-prs.obj.3sg the boy-acc

‘The teacher instructed the boy to read the book.’

In Hungarian, periphrastic causation is coded by hogy conjunction subordination. The verbs parancsol ‘order’, and kér ‘ask’ express the causative meaning in the main clause and the object of the causation is specified in the subordinate clause, where the second predicate is a finite verb bearing the imperative marker (2). In some cases, the second predicate can be expressed by an infinitive (3) Depending on the argument structure of the main verb, the causee can take the dative (2) or the accusative case (3). The causer is always in the nominative case. The imperative verb form in the subordinate clause is influenced by other circumstances than the fact of causation.


Nikolett F. Gulyás