The Intonation of Topic and Comment in the Hungarian Declarative Sentence

László Varga


This paper is primarily meant to be a descriptive overview of how intonation contributes to the realisation of simple declarative sentences in Hungarian. The first aim of the paper is to offer a description of those aspects of Hungarian intonation that may have grammatical and informational functions in Hungarian sentences. The second aim is to provide a notational system whereby the intonational facts of Hungarian declarative sentences can be transcribed. The third aim is to give a detailed analysis of the grammatically and informationally relevant intonational facts of simple Hungarian declarative sentences, concentrating on attitudinally neutral intonational solutions. We do this in three steps: first we examine the intonation of the Comment, and then the intonation of the Topic(s) in these sentences, and finally we suggest ways in which certain intonational rules we have established separately for the Comment and the Topic(s) can be conflated.

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