Inversion in English and Hungarian: Comparison from a cognitive perspective

This paper compares inverting constructions in English and Hungarian, arguing for a unified treatment from a cognitive perspective. Three largely consonant accounts (Goldberg 2006, Langacker 2010, and Imrényi 2009/2010) are presented with the aim of assessing their cross-linguistic appeal. In the final analysis, inversion is seen as a way of signalling departure from a conceptual “baseline”, operating in the “existential core” of the finite clause (both terms are introduced in Langacker 2010). Elements external to the core are said to function as either elaborators or restrictors, depending on whether they respect or override the baseline properties of the core.

Keywords: inversion, existential core, baseline, elaboration, restriction


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