Strategies and word order of modal possibility (Hungarian)

SuffPsbl: Possibility is expressed through the use of suffixes attaching to the verb stem.

PsblV: Possibility is expressed through the use of an independent word that appears (indirectly or directly) before the verb.

(1) itt alud-hat-nak.

here sleep-pot-prs.3pl

‘They can sleep here.’

(2) itt lehet / szabad alud-ni.

here possible.3sg / allowed_to sleep-inf

‘You can/allowed to sleep here.’

In Hungarian, situational possibility can be expressed with the -hat/-het derivational suffix or the modal verbs szabad ‘allowed’, lehet ‘possible’, tud ‘can’, which precedes the infinitive of the main verb (Kugler 2000c: 386‒7, Kugler 2012: 34‒58, Kiefer 2007: 316‒319, Kiefer‒Gyuris 2006: 214‒219).


Nikolett F. Gulyás