Person marking of the recipient on the verb (Hungarian)

NoRecM: Ditransitive verbs do not morphologically mark the person of the recipient.

RecMnotN: Ditransitive verbs only show agreement with the recipient in terms of person if the recipient does not appear as a noun.

(1) én ad-ok neked egy könyv-et.

I give-prs.1sg you.dat a book-acc

‘I’m giving you a book.’

(2) én ad-ok neki egy könyv-et.

I give-prs.1sg (s)he.dat a book-acc

‘I’m giving him/her a book.’

(3)    én meg-ajándékoz-lak téged egy könyv-vel.

I pref-give_present-prs.2obj.1sg you.acc a book-ins

   ‘I’m giving you a book as a present.’

In Hungarian, the verb of a typical ditransitive construction (1) does not mark the person of the recipient. Though, some ditransitive verbs (e.g. meglep ‘to surprise somebody’, megajándékoz ‘to give a present’) require their recipients to be in the accusative form, which calls forth verbal congruence with them. With this type of ditransitive verbs, second person objects (both singular and plural), next to first person singular subjects are also specified by the verb form; meaning that those verb are agreed with their recipients (3).


Nikolett F. Gulyás