Obviation in Hungarian: What is its scope, and is it due to competition?

Anna Szabolcsi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    According to the classical description of obviation, the subject of a subjunctive is disjoint in reference from the attitude-holder subject of the immediately higher clause. *Je veux que je parte. I want that I leave.SUBJ 'I want for me to leave' Inspired by Ruwet (1984/1991) and Farkas (1988; 1992), I present data from Hungarian where obviation in certain subjunctives is plainly lifted, and data where obviation occurs in indicatives. I argue that obviation is not the result of competition with another construction, and point to promising potential accounts in terms of a clash in semantics or pragmatics. My aim is to contribute desiderata for a theory of obviation and exemptions from obviation in fairly informal terms.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number1421
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Apr 26 2021


    • Competition
    • Hungarian
    • Obviation
    • RESPonsibility
    • Sincerity conditions
    • Subjunctive

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Language and Linguistics


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