He can make her help a bit her friend

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Nino83

Senior Member
Italian
Hello everyone.

I read that in Hungarian there are some verbal suffixes, like -hat (potential), -tat (causative) -gat (frequentative).
I want to ask you if it is possible to use all these suffixes in order to form a sentence like "he can make her help a bit her friend".

Forum rules say that I have to give it a try (but the sentence will probably be wrong).

segítethetgeti ővel barátjat.

How many non derivational suffixes can one put into the same verb?

Thank you
 
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  • arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    The number of suffixes is generally not clearly limited, as far as I know. But I must admit, I cannot really interpret the original English sentence.
    I think you mean:
    Segíttetgetheti (ő)vele a barátját :confused:- but even this version does not really make sense, the word "segíttetgetheti" sounds so weird that I doubt a native speaker would say it. : / Furthermore, who helps whom? It's not clear.
    The whole sentence is entirely wrong and bizarre, I'm afraid.

    Segíthet neki a barátjával
    :tick: would be a much better option, even though it's not exactly the same. These additional suffixes do not sound natural with the verb "segít".

    I would not say it's totally incorrect to use all of these suffixes, but it does sound unnatural and wrong in this case.

    [ However, this example sounds a bit better.
    Megízleltetgette velük a tortát. - He/she made them taste the cake a bit. - To me it sounds acceptable, but also unnatural. ]
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you arlett.
    Maybe my example was not so good. I'll make another one.
    "You can make him tell the thruth", or "we could not make him understand the plural s" (from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe).
    Which is the normal order of these suffixes?
    Ma sei dappertutto! :D
    Ciao, Frugnaglio!
    Parli l'ungherese? Complimenti! :D
     

    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    Ma sei dappertutto! :D

    I think what he actually meant is:
    Segítgettetheti a barátjával. :confused: It is basically the same as "segíttetgetheti" - both of them sound awkward and strange, in no circumstances would anyone say that.

    Though I don't know if you really use segítget...
    A better example:
    Beszélgettethetné a barátjával. :cross: (He could make her chat with her friend.) - This example is also really strange. I can't imagine a situation in which I would say "make her chat".
    "You can make him tell the thruth", or "we could not make him understand the plural s" (from Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe).
    Which is the normal order of these suffixes?
    a) You can make him tell the truth would be: Elmondathatod vele az igazat.
    In this case:

    elmond|at|hatod: You can make him tell
    elmond is the verb, "at" is the causative suffix = "make", "hatod" = potential suffix, 2nd person singular ("you can").

    Normal order: verb + causative suffix + potential suffix
    These suffixes are not interchangeable.
    For example: you can make him do the homework = megcsinál|tat|hatod vele a házit :tick: BUT: megcsinál|hatod|tat :cross: would make very little sense.

    b) We could not make him understand the plural s: Nem tudtuk vele megértetni a többes számot / Nem tudtuk megértetni vele a többes számot (the placement of "vele" is flexible).
    In this case:
    megért: he understands
    // megért|et: (anyone) makes him understand -> I don't think this form can be used on its own, we need additional suffixes //
    megért|et|ni: to make him understand

    The sentence is in past tense, so in this case, there is no potential case. "Nem tudtuk" means "We could not".
    ____
    I hope these help a bit. The normal order of these suffixes is fixed.
    verb + causative suffix + potential suffix
    elmond|at|hatod, megcsinál|tat|hatják, lemásol|tat|hatjátok, etc.

    [ If you really want to use the frequentative (gat / get) suffix with the other two at the same time, here are some examples.
    elmond|at|gat|hatod :confused: (causative + frequentative + potential), sounds really weird and awkward
    elmond|gat|tat|hatod :cross: (frequentative + causative + potential) to me this sounds totally wrong.
    However,
    elmond|o|gat|tat|hatod :tick: also really unusual, but sounds OK. There is a little change in the verb, I used an additional "o" to express the frequency.
    - elmond: he tells
    - elmondogat: he tells frequently
    - elmondgat :cross::cross:

    Anyway, if I were you, I wouldn't try to use all of these suffixes at the same time. Actually, "elmond|o|gat|tat|hatod" is the only word that my Word accepts as correct, but even this one sounds extremely artificial. ]
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you very much arlett!
    So if one wants to use frequentative + causative + potential, it's better to omit the frequentative and to use an adverb of frequency, am I right?
     

    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you very much arlett!
    So if one wants to use frequentative + causative + potential, it's better to omit the frequentative and to use an adverb of frequency, am I right?
    Yes, that's what I would probably do. If you use an adverb of frequency, the frequentative suffix is needless.

    For example,

    He made him tell the story frequently.

    a) Gyakran elmondogattatta vele történetet. :confused: (I can't say it's incorrect, but pretty wordy).
    b) Gyakran elmondatta vele a történetet. :tick:

    All in all, we do not really use the frequentative suffix with other suffixes at the same time. You can use it on its own.

    Gyakran énekel|get zuhanyzás közben. :tick: (While having a shower, he/she usually sings "a bit").
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... So if one wants to use frequentative + causative + potential, it's better to omit the frequentative and to use an adverb of frequency, am I right?
    Yes, but not because of the impossibility to put together these affixes, but rather because the frequentative -gat/get does not correspond exactly to gyakran/often. So "elmondogattatta vele a történetet" would mean something like "he made him tell the sory 'a bit' ". Now this 'a bit' suggests if he had to tell the story "from time to time" or "not all the story at once" or "to tell the story repeatedly", etc ... However, I do not exclude a priori a context where this could make sense.

    But "elmond|at|hat|ta vele a történetet", "énekel|get|het zuhanyzás közben", "néze|get|het|i a fényképeit" and even "esténként elmondo|gat|hat|ja a történeteit" are ok in my opinion. I have the feeling that rather the combination of causative+frequentative is not very probable and mostly unusual/unnatural.
     
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    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you very much, Francis!
    I asked it because in Turkish one can add upt to 8-9 consecutive grammatical (non derivational) suffixes to the stem of a verb.
    It seems that Hungarian and Finnish are a bit less agglutinative than Turkish.
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    It is really hard to find real-life examples. Maybe tologattathat (context: all the wheelchairs have been stolen from a hospital department in Hungary and the wicked head nurse feels bad because she cannot bully the young nurses with sending even slightly ill patients to other departments on wheelchairs, but the new wheelchairs have arrived and the young nurse says: Most már tologattathatja velünk a betegeket megint!)
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you very much, Francis!
    I asked it because in Turkish one can add upt to 8-9 consecutive grammatical (non derivational) suffixes to the stem of a verb.
    It seems that Hungarian and Finnish are a bit less agglutinative than Turkish.
    Yes, the Turkish is richer in suffixes. If the tense/personal marker counts as well, then at least 5-6 suffixes are possible in Hungarian, too:

    elal|tat|gat|hat|t|am (I could 'repeatedly/a bit' make him sleep)

    tat - causative
    hat - potential
    gat - frequentative
    t - past tense marker
    (a)m - personal marker

    beir|at|koz|gat|hat|n|ék (too hard to translate :)...)

    at - causative
    koz - a kind of reflexive
    hat - potential
    gat - frequentative
    n(é) - conditional marker
    k - personal marker

    ...The sentence is in past tense, so in this case, there is no potential case ...
    Ezt nem igazán értem ... (I don't really understand this ...)
    Which makes sense, doesn't it? When you make somebody do something, you don't usually want them to do it “a bit”.
    Yes, that's what I wanted to say.
     
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    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    If the tense/personal marker counts as well, then at least 5 suffixes are possible in Hungarian, too:
    elal|tat|gat|hat|t|am (I could 'repeatedly/a bit' make him sleep)
    And what about negation?
    Is it a suffix or is it an independent particle, like in Finnish?
     

    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Hello all,

    I was hoping to find something like a rule about the order of these suffixes and I haven't found any yet.
    In some cases, the order may depend on what we consider the verb form we start from. (Beszélget + tet seems just as possible as beszéltet+get.)

    As for the number of possible endings, I have seen (I think of one of those popular social websites, so not exactly the most scientifically reliable place;)) that Hungarian led the list among all (quoted). I don't remember, however, if Turkish was also included or not.
    (Oh, I've found one but that's a bit of a joke and it refers to nouns. But that is a bit beyond the scope of this forum, in any case.)
     
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    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In some cases, the order may depend on what we consider the verb form we start from. (Beszélget + tet seems just as possible as beszéltet+get.)
    Hello, Zsanna and thank you for your reply.
    (Oh, I've found one but that's a bit of a joke and it refers to nouns. But that is a bit beyond the scope of this forum, in any case.)
    If we include derivational suffixes, a single Italian root can have up to 340 forms (including verb conjugation).
     
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    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Another question about suffixes.
    When you use the double causative in Hungarian, for example in főz-et-tet-ni, can you express all the persons involved in this action?
    For example, "John made Mike make Paul cook a plate of soup".
    Can John, Mike and Paul be expressed in this sentence? Is John marked with the nominative case? And What about Mike and Paul? Are they marked both with the instrumental case?
    If it is so, is there some ambiguity? Is it Mike who made Paul cook or is it Paul who made Mike cook?

    Thank you
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Nino, Hungarian may be complicated but not in terms of wanting to say something nobody else would want to say!:)
    I wouldn't think that your example in English would be a very representative one for using causative (in any language) but if you wanted to express it in Hungarian, it could be like this: János rávette Mihályt, hogy főzessen Pállal egy tál levest. (But it sounds complicated, just like in English...)

    So I don't think we could express such a complicated situation with just "doubling" the causative suffix.
    In any case, *főzetetni doesn't exist, I'm afraid.
    I don't think there is any suffix you could double within the same word to express that the same action is carried out by different people.
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I don't think there is any suffix you could double within the same word to express that the same action is carried out by different people.
    In this paper it is said that Hungarian admits morphological double causatives and also here Hungarian is mentioned, along with Turkish, among those languages that have morphological double causatives.
    Seeing that a similar sentence is possible in Turkish (omitting the intermediate "causee", so only the causer and the second causee are expressed) I thought it was possible also in Hungarian.
    But probably these articles are wrong.
    Thanks for your reply! :D
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... When you use the double causative in Hungarian, for example in főz-et-tet-ni, can you express all the persons involved in this action? For example, "John made Mike make Paul cook a plate of soup".
    In theory, I'd say it this way: "János főzettetett Mihállyal Pál által egy tányér levest".
    Is John marked with the nominative case? And What about Mike and Paul? Are they marked both with the instrumental case?
    John (János in my example) is not marked, i.e. it's implicitly nominative.
    Mike (Mihállyal in my example) is marked with instrumental case.
    Paul (Pál által in my example) is not marked but followed by the postposition által ("by means of"; "tramite" in Italian)

    It's important to say that nowadays this kind of construction is practically not used (finally, the English "John made Mike make Paul cook a plate of soup" sounds also a bit weird to me ...).

    ... So I don't think we could express such a complicated situation with just "doubling" the causative suffix. In any case, *főzetetni doesn't exist, I'm afraid.
    Szia Zsanna. Nino has written főzettetni which is (at least in theory) possible.

    P.S. As far as I understand, Nino's question's are of linguistical character, not about the practical/everyday usage of the causative.
     
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    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    That is an interesting question, I have never thought about "double causative" before.

    Though to be honest, "főzetteti" sounds OK to me. However, the meaning does not change. Here are some examples with "double causative" cases (I find them grammatical, albeit too stilted). Other people’s stance might be different. Perhaps I am wrong, but as for me these sentences are OK.

    a) Főzi az ebédet.

    b) Vele főzeti az ebédet. (He makes him cook the lunch). :tick:

    c) Vele főzetteti az ebédet. (He makes him cook the lunch). :tick: (uncommon)

    Or:

    a) Tavaly csinálta meg a tetőt - (He repaired the roof last year).

    b) Tavaly csináltatta meg a tetőt. – (He had the roof repaired last year). :tick:

    c) Tavaly csináltattatta meg a tetőt. – (He had the roof repaired last year). :tick: (uncommon)

    To me, B + C cases mean the same; without even a modicum of difference.

    If I say: „Annával főzettetem az ebédemet”, I mean: „I make Anna cook my lunch.”, but it does not mean that Anna employs a second person to make food. To me, at least.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    ... If I say: „Annával főzettetem az ebédemet”, I mean: „I make Anna cook my lunch.”, but it does not mean that Anna employs a second person to make food. To me, at least.
    For me yes. I.e. Anna will arrange/organize/ensure ... that the lunch will be cooked, (supposedly) involving other person(s).

    Another example: beiratni and beirattatni are surely not the same.
     
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    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    For me yes. I.e. Anna will arrange/organize/ensure ... that the lunch will be cooked, (most probably) involving other persons.

    Another example: beiratni and beirattatni are surely not the same.
    Our way of thinking might be different, but I use "főzet" and "főzettet" interchangeably. There is no difference for me, and as far as I have realized thus far, people around me use them more or less interchangeably, too.

    The case of beírat and beírattat is a bit different and more complicated, since they both can be used with different meanings.
    Beíratta / beírattatta a jegyét a tanárral. (-> a tanár jegyet rögzít fizikailag);
    Beíratta / beírattatta a gyereket az iskolába (-> a gyerek beiratkozik).

    I'd say all of these four examples in everyday speech.
     
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    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Tavaly csináltattatta meg a tetőt.
    "Normally" I don't use the form csináltattatta, simply because it's practically not relevant/important whether the person (or representant of a company), whom I had "authorized/encharged", repaired the roof personally or he employed other persons as well. Of course, it is not important what I use and what I don't use, however, it's really interesting for me that you admit the usage of csináltattatta in the meaning of csináltatta (I'd rather suppose that csináltattatta is not used at all in the everyday speech).
    ... I use "főzet" and "főzettet" interchangeably.
    To be clear: probably I've never used the form "főzettet" in my life ... But if I had to say "főzettet", I surely wouldn't use it interchangeably with "főzet" ...
    The case of beírat and beírattat is a bit different and more complicated, since they both have two meanings.
    I know, neverthless from the linguistic point of view it is a double causative.

    P.S. My answer is not a criticism, but my personal (subjective) reaction :)
     
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    arlett

    Member
    Hungarian
    "Normally" I don't use the form csináltattatta, simply because it's practically not relevant/important whether the person (or representant of a company), whom I had "authorized/encharged", repaired the roof personally or he employed other persons as well.
    Yes, I agree. I’d use them interchangeably only if there were no further context. In my short sentence it is not relevant who repaired the roof, so both of them are fine with me.
    However, I do not say I actually use "csináltattatta" – but in that context I provided, where circumstances do not matter, both forms sound equally acceptable to me. I really can't see any difference (except for the fact that "csináltattatta" is a bit wordy. They convey the same meaning here, though - that the roof had been repaired).

    I know, neverthless from the linguistic point of view it is a double causative.
    I didn't say it was not a double causative. You said the verbs aforementioned were not the same, and I have tried to provide some context, in which (in my opinion) both verbs work well; with the same meaning. :)
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    "The causative morphology of Hungarian permits two markers on the verb to express double causation" citing Robert Hetzron, an Hungarian linguist.
    There are these two examples:

    a. A tanár dolgozatot írattat a diákokkal
    The teacher composition.ACC write.CS.CS the pupils.with
    ‘The teacher has [someone] have the pupils write a composition.’
    b. A tanár dolgozatot írattat a helyettesit Åvel
    The teacher composition.ACC write.CS.CS the replacer.with
    ‘The teacher has the proctor have a composition written.’

    In the first one the intermediary (first causee) is omitted while in the second one it's the last causee (i.e the agent) who is omitted.
    Do these sentences sound odd to you?

    "To mention both is ‘stylistically objectionable’ (ibid.382) but not ungrammatical, an unexpected result since mentioning both nominals would remove all possible ambiguity (on the assumption that word order would facilitate role interpretation, too)".
    "It is also an unexpected result in that both nominals would take oblique marking and languages do not usually throw up barriers to strings of obliques. Thus, even though there would be the same INST marker on both nominals, ‘doubling’ on this position is not uncommon (Comrie 1976:276ff.)."

    So, is it possible to mark both "causees" with instrumental case?

    János főzettetett Mihállyal Pál által egy tányér levest
    Yes, there is a similar construction in Turkish, if one wants to expresso both causees, "vasvtasiyle" (by means of).

    Annával főzettetem az ebédemet
    For me yes. I.e. Anna will arrange/organize/ensure ... that the lunch will be cooked, (supposedly) involving other person(s).
    So for you, Francis, Anna is the intermediay/first causee, but could in your sentence Anna be the second causee, i.e the actor, who does the action?
    "I had someone make Anna cook my lunch", like it seems to be possible from the paper I linked?
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In the first one the intermediary (first causee) is omitted while in the second one it's the last causee (i.e the agent) who is omitted. Do these sentences sound odd to you?
    No, they don't sound odd to me.
    So, is it possible to mark both "causees" with instrumental case?
    I think yes, because it does not violate any grammatical principle/rule. However, from the practical point of view, two causees in instrumental ( ...Mihállyal Pállal ...) sound "pesante" (nehézkesen) to me, that's why I used the postposition által (post #21). It's a bit similar to "I've met Peter's brother's daughter in" English; one probably prefers to reformulate it, saying "I've met the daughter of Peter's brother".
    ... could in your sentence Anna be the second causee, i.e the actor, who does the action?
    If only one of the two causees is mentioned explicitely, then - depending on the context - yes. (It's is the logical consequence of the before mentioned possibility to use the instrumental for both the causees).

    (In theory, strictly speaking, neither the explicit mentioning of the two causees is a 100% "guarantee" for avoiding ambiguity because of the free word order in Hungarian. I think, that's why the remark "on the assumption that word order would facilitate role interpretation, too" in your citation).

    As it has been already mentioned, nowadays there is an evident tendency to avoid the double causative (see also Zsanna's post #19). In my opinion there are more reasons for it, but this is a question for another thread ....
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    Sorry about my misreading your example, Nino. It looked so bizarre that unconsciously I must have interpreted it as a mistake. (Maybe a useful sign, though!:rolleyes:) Thank you, for your links, I haven't heard about this phenomenon before.

    However... in your wiki link, there is something to consider specially:
    "For morphological causatives, some language do not allow single morpheme to be applied twice on a single verb (...) while others do (...Hungarian...), though sometimes with an idiomatic meaning."
    Apart from the fact, that -at/-et and -tat/-tet are different suffixes (albeit both for the causative), I think (and that would be interesting to look into) that in Hungarian it is likely that the usage is closer to an idiomatic one because I think we can all agree that even if there are perfectly valid examples for verbs having these two causative suffixes (főzettet, írattat stb.), native speakers do not recognize any double causative meaning behind them. (At least at first sight and without a context.) Or even if they do, expressing a third person doesn't seem to be very important. If it is, you wouldn't express it by a double causative but by introducing another structure.

    And just an example to illustrate this:
    Your sentence: "A tanár dolgozatot írattat a helyettesítővel." is ambiguous, although mainly in this present context.
    If I just heard it, I would think that it is the helyettesítő* who has to write a test but even if it wasn't the case, I probably wouldn't look any further to find out who did what to whom exactly.
    The other alternative: the teacher asked the replacement to give a test to the pupils.
    But if you really meant that, you'd probably wouldn't formulate your sentence like that.
    It would be more natural (and clearer) to say e.g.: A tanár megkérte a helyettesítőjét, hogy írasson dolgozatot (a gyerekekkel).
    I think the first variant (A tanár dolgozatot írattat a gyerekekkel) is somewhat different (to start with: sounds more natural) but then the double causative is totally "useless" if it is him who gives the test to the students...**


    *You'll find the special characters among the tools, clicking on the omega sign (last in the row)

    ** Maybe a little bit like in English in a sentence like: The pupils were given a test - by whom is not important. (Because it is either obvious, the teacher, or irrelevant in the moment of speaking.)
     
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    Zsanna

    ModErrata
    Hungarian - Hungary
    However, from the practical point of view, two causees in instrumental ( ...Mihállyal Pállal ...) sound "pesante" (nehézkesen) to me, that's why I used the postposition által (post #21).
    It doesn't only sound awkward but I would think it would even be a mistake. I think a sentence that would include the subject and the two causees should have a structure (like I suggested above) that puts it more clearly who is doing what.
    By the way, I would think által is used realtively rarely. (Confirmed by the Nyelvművelő Kézikönyv.)
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    native speakers do not recognize any double causative meaning behind them
    Thank you for replying, Zsanna.
    After asking some Finnish and Turkish speaker, it seems that there is the same situation. A double suffix doesn't change the meaning of the verb, and often people use it to reinforce the meaning.
    So, some linguists point out that this "causative recursivity" is one of the feature of these agglutinative languages but it seems they don't understand the difference between what is grammatically possible and what it's normally used and how these constructions are understood.

    Thanks everybody
     
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