Status of definite articles (Hungarian)

DefArt=W: Definite articles are independent words distinct from demonstratives. In some cases, they may appear alongside demonstratives.

(1) peti film-et néz.

Pete movie-acc watch.prs.3sg

’Pete is watching a movie.’

(2) peti néz-i a film-et.

Pete watch-prs.obj.3sg the movie-acc

‘Pete is watching the movie.’

(3) peti az-t a film-et néz-i, amelyik-et én ajánl-ott-am neki.

Pete det-acc the movie-acc watch-prs.obj.3sg which-acc I recommend-pst-1sg he.dat

‘Pete is watching the movie which I recommended him.’

In Hungarian, the definite article is homonymous with the distal demonstrative az ‘that’ (2)-(3), but the definite article is a distinct grammatical category (cf. Kugler 2000b:  282‒287). The definite article and the demonstrative are easily distinguishable, since in relative clauses the demonstrative pronoun always appears with a definite article (3).


Nikolett F. Gulyás