Second-person prohibition (Hungarian)

Proh=ImpNegSpec: Prohibitive and affirmative imperative verb forms are the same, with negation expressed using a different strategy than in negative declarative sentences.

(1a) te kásá-t főz-öl.

you porridge-acc cook-prs.2sg

‘You are cooking porridge.’

(1b) te nem főz-öl kásá-t.

you neg cook-prs.2sg porridge-acc

‘You are not cooking porridge.’

(2a) főz-z kásá-t!

cook-imp.2sg porridge-acc

‘Make some porridge!’

(2b) ne főz-z kásá-t!

imp.neg cook-imp.2sg porridge-acc

‘Don’t make porridge!’

In Hungarian, negation is expressed by the word nem ‘not’ in declarative sentences (1b), while prohibition is coded by the ne ‘no’ negative particle (2b). Next to ne, the verb is conjugated the same way as in affirmative imperative clauses (2a) – (2b) (cf. É. Kiss 2002: 130‒136, Kenesei et al. 1998: 112‒114, Kugler 2000d).


Nikolett F. Gulyás