The Cognitive Motivation Behind the Semantics of Hungarian Co-Verbial Constructions with Össze and Szét

Abstract

The use of an elaborate system of co-verbial constructions is the hallmark of the Hungarian language and one of the biggest challenges a translator or a learner of this language has to face. Co-verbial constructions consist of verbs, or their derivates, accompanied by a limited number of prefixes or particles that modify their meanings. They not only perform numerous syntactic and lexical functions, which is important in terms of language production, but also are able to change the meaning of the verb completely. The aim of this study is to trace the cognitive motivation behind the use of Hungarian co-verbial constructions with össze/szét and to show that the meanings developed by these constructions can be organized with reference to prototypical scenes structured in the form of a radial category.

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