The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 5/17 - Dóra Kata Takács (MIT)

Speaker: Dóra Kata Takács (MIT)
Title: Similarity-based syncretism in a Hungarian dialect
Time: Monday, May 17th, 5pm – 6:30pm

Abstract: In this talk I take a closer look at the indicative definite and the imperative forms of t-final verbs in Hungarian. In standard Hungarian t-final verbs undergo a special phonological process in the imperative when they are followed by a j-initial suffix (cf. Siptár and Törkenczy 2000). Interestingly, there is a substandard very stigmatized version of Hungarian where this phonological process extends to the entire verbal domain, but crucially not beyond that. I present an analysis for the verb forms in standard Hungarian that not only provides an insight into why t-final verbs are special, but can also successfully capture the changes other verbs undergo. Furthermore, I argue that the dialectal variation is best explained as similarity-based syncretism following Steriade (2016).