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2004 | 101 | 137-151

Article title

Myths about the origin of the Hungarian language


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Ever since the Hungarian language has been written, its genetic affiliation has been a recurring question. The evidence accumulating from the eighteenth century onwards proves that Hungarian belongs to the Uralic family. For the past fifty years, ideas of a more aristocratic and romantic ancestry have flooded bookshops and all forms of media. These ideas are promulgated by people who (1) entirely lack scientific training or (2) are professionals in some branch of science other than linguistics or (3) have received training in linguistics and actively work on one of its subdisciplines. Consequently there are large differences in argumentation and the content of these 'theories'. Those in groups (1) and (2) tend to make pronouncements on historical and comparative linguistics that show total incompetence, whereas those in (3) tend to be incompetent in specific questions they address and often produce large quantities of pompous misinformation that only serves to deceive the unsuspecting reader. The present paper describes the major characteristics of such works but does not mention the names of their authors because those who are totally untrained do not deserve to be named in a linguistic forum, whereas those who are perhaps justly respected specialists of other fields deserve to be tactfully left unidentified.


  • L. Honti, no address givrn, contact the journal editor


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Publication order reference


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