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On the (Un)Bearable Lightness of Being an LFG Style Copula in Hungarian

Tibor Laczkó


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This paper develops the first comprehensive LFG analysis of the five most important types of copula constructions in Hungarian. I basically adopt Dalrymple et al.'s (2004) programmatic view, which admits diversity both in c-structure and in f-structure across and within languages, and which postulates that the "postcopular" constituent can be the functional cohead of the copula, in which case the copula itself is only a formative, it can have the open XCOMP function and it can also have the closed PREDLINK function. (This contrasts with Butt et al.'s (1999) and Attia's (2008) uniform PREDLINK approach at the f-structure level.) On the basis of the behavior of the construction types in question, I employ the functional cohead device, the PREDLINK tool (but not as the only uniform tool); however, (contrary to Dalrymple et al. (2004)) I claim that there is no need for the XCOMP treatment. At the same time, I also argue that in the case of some construction types, it is most appropriate to assume that the postcopular constituent has an OBL function.

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