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The Pronouns "engemet" and "tégedet"

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by 123xyz, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    In a previous thread, it was mentioned that the forms "engemet" and "tégedet" are incorrect because they are double accusatives. I saw some similar explanations on some Hungarian websites. I was wondering what the reasoning behind this is, because although "engem" and "téged" are used as the direct object forms of "én" and "te", they do not appear to be accusative forms, but rather possessive forms (since the "-em" and "-ed" suffix indicate first and second person singular possession respectively), i.e. they are semantically accusative but not etymologically (I hope that "semantically" and "etymologically" are the appropriate words to convey the distinction I am speaking of). Therefore, wouldn't it make more sense to say that they are not double accusatives, but rather obsolete/dialectal/archaic/uncommon accusative forms of possessives which have now taken on an accusative function?

    I think that considering the plural counterparts, "minket" and "titeket", my suggestion makes more sense. It appears that "minket" is formed with an accusative suffix added to a possessive form, "mink-", meaning something like "our we". The same would go for "titeket", apparently formed with an accusative suffix added to a possessive form, "titek-", meaning "your you". So, if "minket" and "titeket" are not double accusatives, "engemet" and "tégedet", as forms having accusative suffixes added to the possessive forms "engem" and "téged", meaning something like "my I" and "your you", wouldn't be double accusatives either.

    I am wrong to analyze the personal pronouns this way, and if so, could someone explain to me the other reasoning?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    You are right in a historical sense, but within the modern language you are wrong. Modern Hungarian only uses "engem" and "téged", so the "-et" forms look like the typical "double suffix" uneducated speech that says "aztat" instead of "azt", "tiedé" instead of "tied", "honnantól" instead of "honnan", etc. But historically, "engemet" and "tégedet" were certainly formed in a way parallel to "minket" and "titeket", then the absence of the "-t" object mark after any personal suffix can already be found in old texts and has evolved into the present situation where "-t" is optionally dropped only after a suffix for 1st or 2nd person singular: "add ide a kezed!" (give me your hand) rather than "kezedet", and always dropped in educated speech in "engem" and "téged".
    -- Olivier
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  3. gorilla Junior Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Exactly, they are dialectal/archaic and not a double accusative. People can be quite hateful when it comes to non-standard language use, so those that speak these dialects are often said to "not know proper Hungarian". Therefore the "educated" people tend to abandon these dialects.
    Earlier it was more common: Some famous poems (Petőfi: Egy gondolat bánt engemet) and folk songs (Tavaszi szél: ... én tégedet, te engemet) use these forms.

    Sidenote: in some dialects "mink" actually means "we" in nominative (instead of the standard "mi"), which may or may not be a back-formation from "minket".

    Sidenote 2: Double accusatives (aztat) or double possessives (tiedé) do appear in dialects. But a double marker is not a sign of an "inferior dialect" or stupid people. In these dialects these are the 100% correct forms, and it doesn't mean that those people wouldn't comprehend how standard Hungarian expresses it.
    Compare with the Spanish "conmigo" (with me), which comes from Vulgar Latin "cum mecum", where "cum" (with) appears twice. Languages change in weird ways...
  4. NagyKiss Senior Member

    Is there any literature available online on the dialects matter in general?
  5. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    I would just like to point out that the forms "engemet" or "tégedet" as such/in themselves are not incorrect.
    They may be archaic or dialectal (or simply a bit strange to hear/read) in general but whether they are used incorrectly depends on the sentence they appear.

    The Nyelművelő Kézikönyv (vol.2. p.556) writes this about it (under "ragtalan tárgy"):
    A személyes névmás tárgyesete az egyes szám 1. és 2. személyben: engem, téged; ritkábban, de nem helytelenül: engemet, tégedet.
  6. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    Yes, there are but it is a really large topic, so you would have to restrict your search in one way or another. (Apart from the fact that the majority is in Hungarian...:()
  7. francisgranada Senior Member

    It seems to be a bit more complicated ...

    It is supposed, that the -n in some personal pronouns is an archaic Uralic pronominal suffix, e.g. én, ten(magad), ön; minä, sinä, hän [I, thou, he/she/it in Finnish]; mon, ton [I, thou in Udmurt] etc ... The exact function of this suffix is not clear (at least to me).

    It is also supposed that the general marker of the 1st pers. sg. in the Uralic languages was -m- e.g. házam, eszem, enyém, nekem...; minä [I in Finnish], mon, ešme [I, my friend acc. in Udmurt], me [I in Komi] etc ...

    From this point of view, mink (we) could be interpreted as the plural of *min (a possible predecessor of én) and minket is a regular accusative of mink (as in case of ő>ők>őket or ön>önök>önöket).

    (It is interesting that the corresponding pronouns for we and you [plural] in nominative case generally do not contain this -n: Hung. mi, ti; Finnish me, te; Udmurt mi, ti, Komi mi, ti ...)
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  8. 123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    That seems interesting, but if that is so, does it mean that "titeket" is the accusative form of "titek-", the plural of "tit-", rather than the second person plural possessive of "ti"?
  9. francisgranada Senior Member

    Yes, in theory, but I do not know the exact etymology of titeket. At the first glanse, it seems to me that here we have a double accusative: tit itself could be an accusative (without the presence of the morpheme -n). Maybe this tit was later "reinforced" by the plural endig -k to avoid possible ambiguities or by analogy with mink (see the dialectal form tik instead of ti) and then the accusative marker -t was added once more.

    P.S. For better understanding: -nk is not the original form of the possessive suffix of the 1st pers. plural, it's rather the result of a later contraction. See e.g. "isemüküt" (= ősünket) in a manuscript from the 12th century. This isemüküt can be clearely decomposed: ise (ős) + m (possessive 1.pers.sg.) + k (plural marker) + t (accusative marker). I.e. as if we had today: ősöm (my ancestor), *ősömök (our ancestor), *ősömöket (accusative of our ancestor).
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  10. Akitlosz Senior Member

    No! It's not true. Engemet and tégedet are fully correct.

    It's not true too. The sign of the accusative is -t in the Hungarian language. Engem is in an accusative, but does not have the sign of the object. It's never incorrect to use the sign of the object.

    The "doubling" makes the message stronger only. Much stronger. Always.

    Szeretlek = I love you
    Én szeretlek tégedet = I love you (but I love you (and not he) and I love you (and not her)).

    Semmim sincsen. = "I don't have nothing too" = I don't have anything.
  11. Akitlosz Senior Member

    Egészen elképesztő, hogy léteznek olyan magyar anyanyelvűek, akik hibásnak gondolják az engemet/tégedet alakok használatát. És még ráadásul ők tartanak másokat tanulatlannak! :(

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