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Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by 123xyz, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I have encountered the verb "jön" in an alternative form "jő" and I was wondering where the "n" came from, since the second form is archaic and therefore older. I suppose in the "jő" form, it would be analogous to "lő", but the conjugation patterns are different - was there something in the past that set these verbs apart that resulted in different conjugations?
  2. francisgranada Senior Member

    It is a quite difficult question ... I try to say some remarks rather than to give an exact answer:

    1. There exists also an older infinitive ni, so seems to be a regular form (3rd pers.sg.) of this, while jön is spontaneousely considered the 3rd pers.sg. of jönni

    2. Etymologically, the "original" Hungarian stem was probably *jöv. This explains the words/forms like jövő, jövés, jövetel, jövök ... But due to later phonetical changes in Hungarian, the form *jövni became "unusual" (or "unprounceable") so it split into two forms, jőni and jönni (once probably different dialectal variants) and further on, the form jön replaced the older as a certain kind of hypercorrection (jönni > jön).

    3. The different evolution of lőni and jőni could be explained by different Proto-Hungarian (Prae-Hungarian) stems for the two verbs that, as consenquence of the phonetical shifts in Hungarian, partially coincide, but not in all the cases. Examples from some other Finno-Ugric languages: *lii-, *lüö- but *juv-, *jod-.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  3. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    Another explanation I read (Sauvageot perhaps): this -n in jön is an old verbal mark of singular 3rd person, like in vagyon (-> van) and nincsen (=nincs), and the pattern -C/jöv-V (before consonant/vowel, like -C/löv-V) changed to the pattern-CC/jöv-V (like CC-al/V-val "with") of the present tense forms: jöv-ök, jö-ssz, jön, jöv-ünk, jö-ttök, jö-nnek/jön-nek, instead of jő-sz, jő, jő-tök, jő-nek.
  4. francisgranada Senior Member

    Yes, I've been thinking also about this possibility. But:

    1. seems to be older, and this -n (3.pers.) is no more active for a very long time (and it's proper appearence/function in some verbs is not very clear, at least to me :)).
    2. In such case I should expect jőn and not jön. See e.g. tőn and lőn (arch. past tenses from tenni and lenni, 3rd pers.sg.)
    4. The presence of a final "v" and it's further evolution (jöv > jöu > jöü > jő) is quite typical in Hungarian. See e.g. lov > lou> ló, jav > jau > jó etc ...
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  5. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for your answers
    The hypercorrection theory and the third person -n suffix seem plausible, as well as the way the postvocalic "v" developed in Hungarian leading to the two different forms of jön (and the convergence with lő in many forms). As for francisgranada's point 2, are the archaic past forms ending in -n such because of a third person -n suffix? I thought they were just a root form. I haven't found the full conjugation of these verbs in that archaic tense so I couldn't compare - are the other forms without an "n"? Also, is the -n in the indefinite subjunctive third person suffix (for example, adjon) the same third person suffix?
  6. francisgranada Senior Member

    There is a suffix -n, which appears in the third pers. sg. subjunctive, as in adjon, but sporadically also in the archaic forms of indicative in some verbs. They are rather exceptions, so it's not clear (at least for me) what was the original/etymological function of this -n. Examples (all that comes to my mind): van, (arch. vagyon) megyen, teszen and tőn, lőn (past). Interestingly, it appears also in the Finnish verb on (Hung. van, he/she/it is) while the stem of the verb is ol- (Hungarian vol-, e.g. volt, volna ...)

    (I'm not sure about the exact forms of this "régies múlt" of lenni, but I guess they could be: levék/lők, levél/lél, leve/lőn, levénk, levétek, levének. The second form is more archaic, while first is regular).
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012

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