Person marking on verbs (Hungarian)

SpecPPM: The verb displays person agreement with A and, under certain circumstances, with P.

(1) én lát-ok egy nyul-at.

I see-prs.1sg a rabbit-acc

‘I can see a rabbit.’

(2) én lát-om a nyul-at / ő-t.

I see-prs.obj.1sg the rabbit-acc / it-acc

‘I can see the rabbit/him (her, it).’

(3) én lát-lak téged.

I see-prs.2obj.1sg you.acc

‘I can see you.’

(4) én lát-lak titeket.

I see-prs.2obj.1sg you(pl.).acc

‘I can see you.’

In Hungarian, there are two verb conjugations: one of them is used to refer to indefinite/generic objects (1), while the other indicates the presence of a definite object (2)–(4). In both conjugations, the verb always agrees with the person of the agent. Additionally, the singular and the plural objects in the second person can be marked on the verb with the -lak/-lek suffix. In this case, the verbal suffix refers to the person of the agent and the patient at the same time (cf. Kugler 2000a: 104‒123).


Nikolett F. Gulyás