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2004 | 101 | 160-172

Article title

Event structure and topic-comment articulation in the Hungarian sentence


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Predicates describing different event types have different arguments designated to constitute the main news together with the verb. In the case of verbs expressing a change of state, this argument is the theme undergoing the change of state; in the case of verbs expressing a terminated change of location, this argument is the terminus, denoting the end-location of the moving theme, whereas in stative sentences expressing existence or spatial configuration in a given location, this argument is the locative argument. In sentences expressing a mental or physical state, either the theme or the experiencer can function as the default carrier of main news. If the designated carrier of main news conveys known information, and as such, it is extracted into topic position, another constituent has to be promoted to the role of 'the carrier of main news'. An argument can take over the role of 'carrier of main news' if it introduces a new discourse referent (i.e., essentially if it is indefinite), or if it identifies a referent from among a set of alternatives (i.e., if it occupies the position of identificational focus). A verb can assume the role of 'carrier of main news' in an indirect way, by the contrastive topicalization of an argument (which also implies the contrasting of the verb with its negated counterpart).


  • K. E-Kiss, no address given, contact the journal editor


Document Type

Publication order reference


CEJSH db identifier

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