Guessing plural form from dictionary entry codes

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by Psi-Lord, May 12, 2012.

  1. Psi-Lord

    Psi-Lord Member

    Cândido Mota, São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    My (somewhat layered) question comes from trying to see what kind of grammatical information I may get from a certain dictionary. I recently got myself a copy of MoBiMouse Plus, and it comes with the ‘Akadémiai’ Comprehensive Dictionary (Országh Al.). It’s great, but I couldn’t for the sake of me find any sort of help towards figuring out all the grammar the Hungarian-English dictionary provides for each entry, and so I’m moving on my own with guesses as educated as possible. :p Anyway…

    I was doing some exercises on the plural of nouns and adjectives the other night, and wasn’t sure whether olcsó took a linking vowel or not (now I know it doesn’t: olcsók, although I’m told even some native speakers might say/write olcsóak these days). Since none of the online resources I know gave any clues about it, I turned to MoBiMouse, which read:

    I know mn stands for melléknév and -t for the accusative (olcsót), and I believe -n stands for an adverbial form (olcsón). Anyway, the point is that neither suffix presented requires a linking vowel, and that’s where I get to the key point of my question – since the dictionary doesn’t mention -k explicitely, does that mean it should be obvious olcsó takes no linking vowel in the plural, or could the lack of such vowel for -t and -n have also indicated -k doesn’t take it either?
  2. Puppancs

    Puppancs New Member

    Magyar - Hungarian
    Hi Psi-Lord,

    Just in nutshell:

    olcsók - plural, noun

    olcsóak - plural, adjective

    olcsókat - plural, noun, acc.

    olcsóakat - plural, adjective, acc.

    Anyway, people tend to replace them with each other so there is no big difference whether you say eladók (people who sell) or eladóak (goods for sale).
    Hope this help.

    Have a nice day,
  3. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    Yes, exceptions for -t are usually the same for -k: shortening of vowel kéz>kezet, shortening and adding a "v" ló>lovat, loss of vowel terem>termet, also with moving around an "h" teher>terhet, etc. The main case of a different behaviour would be város>várost/városok when -t is directly linked to a final consonant of the kind of r, l, s, j etc., so if your dictionary also mentions plurals in these cases, that should be enough for you.
    -- Olivier
  4. Puppancs

    Puppancs New Member

    Magyar - Hungarian
    That's not really true; beside eladóak, for 'goods for sale', eladók is also acceptable but for 'sellers', eladóak would be weird. More than weird. (incorrect)
  5. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    In other words: all grammar cannot figure in a dictionary especially when it is such a delicate matter as the adding of suffixes...:(
    I suppose there are cases when dictionaries just cannot provide all information and you'll have to rely on grammatical rules picked up on the way.

    Don't forget, it may look chaotic at the beginning but it'll clear up once you've seen enough examples (and rules...) :)
  6. Psi-Lord

    Psi-Lord Member

    Cândido Mota, São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Yay, it seems it does! :D

    There’s some hope after all! :)

    I really miss some sort of tool or software that made could help with both breaking down the structures in detailed pieces and pointing out ‘irregularities’ and peculiarities of vocabulary itens as you learn them. I’ve never been able to find even a simple morphological analyser for Hungarian, though.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that! :) It’s somewhat tempting to go around trying to swallow everything in one bite, but I’m trying to go as slowly as possible, hoping to build a good base on which everything will stand more firmly later on.

    Now this particular bit confused me a little… I mean, in the lessons I’ve been through this far, they discussed the ‘regular’ nominative plural for both nouns and adjectives, so I’m okay with that. However, when it comes to olcsó, they’d pointed out that, among adjectives ending in -ó, some (derived from verbs) can always take a linking vowel, while others may or may not on a word-by-word basis, and olcsó would be an adjective that never does (at least normatively). The way you put it, though, means that this just depends on olcsó being used as a noun or as adjective, is that so? :confused:
  7. Puppancs

    Puppancs New Member

    Magyar - Hungarian
    Sorry about that, I didn't want to confuse you at all.
    Hungarian adjectives can replace nouns in the sentences, in this case they demand as nouns and get suffixes as they were nouns. Furthermore, there are several adjectives which had permanenty become nouns.
    Those buildings are reds. - Azok az épuletek vörösek.
    The reds (players in red) attack. - Támadnak a vörösök.
    These cars are for sale. - Ezek az autók eladóak.
    These people are the sellers. - Ezek az emberek az eladók.
    My friends are tall. - A barátaim magasak.
    The high-pitched voices (treble on the equalizer) sound good. - A magasok jól szólnak.

    Most of the adjectives are not affected by this effect.
  8. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
  9. Psi-Lord

    Psi-Lord Member

    Cândido Mota, São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Köszönöm a segítségetek! :)

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