Irregularity Within the "ikes ragozás"

Discussion in 'Magyar (Hungarian)' started by 123xyz, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    I'm curious as to why certain verbs which end in "-ik" (in the third person singular present indicative indefinite) form have special conjugations, such as a separate first person singular indicative present indefinite form ("-(V)m" instead of "-(V)k"), whereas others (which appear to be called "alikes igék") behave exactly like other verbs except that they have an "-ik" suffix in the third person singular present indicative indefinite instead of a null suffix. For example, why is it "hazudok" but not "hazudom", whereas there is "eszem" only and no "eszek"?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Olivier0 Senior Member

    français - France
    Historical reasons:
    - all -ik verbs used to behave like "eszem",
    - there is a tendency, at least in spoken language, that more and more verbs tend to behave like "hazudok",
    - one day perhaps all verbs will behave like "hazudok".
    I agree that this only brings unwarranted complication in an otherwise very regular language.
    -- Olivier
  3. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for the reply,

    I did think that all verbs might have used to behave like "eszik" originally, but I wasn't sure.
  4. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    123xyz, there is a reason for the difference but even if I can't tell you offhand (and at such late hours) I've answered so that you see that even a fairly conscious user of Hungarian wouldn't know it "like that", even if she has learnt about it. (The only thing I remember about it is that it seemed really far fetched.)
    But I'll come back with the answer.
  5. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    OK. I still don't know. I haven't found anything to explain it clearly.
    My hunch is a logical one: the real verbs in -ik have this particularity of the conjugation (to mark their difference) meanwhile the false verbs in -ik (= álikes igék) don't need distinguishing themselves from "normal" verbs because they are normal - at least not real verbs in -ik.

    A little reminder about the original role of the verbs in -ik: in order to express causative, to differentiate between transitive and intransitive verbs.

    Example given in the link (here):
    tör (break)
    tr.- eltöri az ágat
    intr. - az ág eltörik

    With the gradual disappearance of causative verbs, the function of -ik conjugation has come to an end.

    For more details about the verbs in -ik, see wikipedia.
    For testing one's knowledge about it and the discussion of the results (including some general info again), see Papiruszportál.
  6. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Hi Zsanna,

    I know that there are real -ik verbs which follow a special conjugation paradigm and false -ik verbs which follow the regular paradigm, but my question was why such a division exists, i.e. why do false -ik verbs exist.

    What about the explanation that Olivier0 provided? Don't you think that it explains the current situation fully?

    You mention that the original function of the -ik suffix was to express intransitivity (and from what I gather, the mediopassive and passive voice as well as states of being and changes thereof, though I can't see what it has to do with the causative :confused:, which is, as far as I know built with the -(t)at/-(t)et ending with no -ik suffix, although the old passive was build by adding the -ik suffix to these form). Do you suggest that the verbs which ended in an -ik suffix and expressed one of these grammatical meanings adhered to a special conjugation paradigm while those that had the suffx without having anything to do with these meanings conjugated regularly? If so, why did they even get the "-ik" suffix?
    Wikipedia suggests that sometime after the -ik conjugation was innovated, a mess was made of it as people started applying the -ik suffix to regular verbs and removing the -ik suffix from previous -ik verbs, in an apparently arbitrary fashion. I guess this could be another explanation for the current state (in conjunction with the -ik conjugation's gradual fading due a tendency toward greater simplicity)?
    The links you provided all in all suggest that the situation of -ik verbs today is more complicated than a division between true and false -ik verbs, since there are many intermediate categories, which I suppose could have been created by the -ik conjugation fading to different extents in different verbs, as well as arbitrary initially erroneous usages which later became standard and/or created new paradigms alltogether.
  7. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    It is a bit more complicated than that (there are a lot more groups both from historical and descriptive points of view)... but I am afraid I still haven't found a reason you are asking about in (my favourite) Nyelvművelő Kézikönyv about it (vol.1 pp.1008-11014). Even more mysterious is the reason why some verbs have taken the -ik and why others have dropped it. (Let alone those who keep it in one meaning and drop it in another.) Maybe examining them in detail could give you an idea? I don't know. The example I can see immediately does not explain anything:
    Arany (in the 19th C) wrote this: "Avagy felettünk nem hazud az ég" but now we would say hazudik.
    I couldn't tell why - maybe it just sounds nicer to our ears at the moment.

    Sorry, I made a mistake in translating the Hungarian word szenvedő. I meant the passive - the expression which was the original role of -ik (together with that of the reflexive). It was only later on that the -ik marked only the intransitive nature of a verb. (Today it means simply a variation in conjugation.)

    Well..., it wasn't only "people"... Linguists tried to "put things in order" (like e.g. Révai) but even when they managed it linguistically (not always!), usage didn't follow their nicely created order or suggestions.
    Now we can see that you can hardly expect such a thing. But, at the time, our language was still "forming" (see nyelvújítás in the 18th C), so linguists were more optimistic.:)
    The tendency is surely for greater simplicity in terms of conjugation (Olivier was right) but there is still enough confusion even about the use of -m or -k in Pres., 1st pers. Sing. (let alone the imperative and conditional and involving other persons). But I don't think that the present situation is only due to one thing as the situation from the very beginning was complex enough.

    When Olivier wrote "all -ik verbs used to behave like "eszem" - I cannot confirm that on the basis of what I found in Nyelvművelő Kézikönyv (it doesn't give a description what forms were used exactly) but it is very likely. (There must have been some difference somewhere in the conjugation.)
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  8. trickybilly New Member

    To make it easy:
    the "m" ending is usually associated with an object "eszem a tortát" I eat ...what?...the cake. The "k" ending does not require an object. Example: "Mit csinálsz?" (What are you doing?) "Eszek" (I eat...but it's not important WHAT I eat). Or with "hazudik": "Azt hazudom majd..." (I will lie...WHAT?...that).

    Sometimes Hungarians are not so strict with this rule. So to the question "What are you doing?/Mit csinálsz?" the majority will answer (9/10 people at least) "eszek" (I eat) or "alszok" (I sleep), but few might answer "eszem" or "alszom" not following the rule strictly. "Eszem" would be more frequent in older texts like 100 years old or so, or today in some rural areas, and sometimes in everyday speech, or in literature...etc. To understand the logic why one answers "eszem" or "alszom" to "Mit csinálsz?" think that the answerer thinks about the object, but he does not say it out loud. To make it easy, imagine that you ask an old man who is very tired from lots of hard work the question "Mit csinálsz?"
    Q "Mit csinálsz?"
    A "Eszem az ebédem" (I eat my lunch)
    When people were tired or lazy, etc... they were lazy to say the whole thing: "Eszem az ebédem" and they just said the first word of the sentence "eszem" instead. It was pointless to ask in real life "What are you eating?" since the one asking was in the room and could see what the other is eating with his own eyes. The old man would respond "Az ebédem, nem látod?!" - "My lunch, can't you see?!"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  9. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia

    Thank you for the thorough replies; they are very informative and enlightening. I hope we will also come to a more definite solution soon.


    I doubt that the definite conjugation has anything to do with the "ikes ragozás". While the "-k" suffix in the first person singular present indicative indicates no definite object and the "-m" suffix in the same form indicates a definite object, in the "ikes ragozás", both forms are supposed to end with "-m". According to some of the sources I've read, the "ikes ragozás" developed at a time when the definite conjugation did not yet exist, which could account for the overlapping forms (although I am not sure, and that is yet another curious point - why some forms of the "ikes ragozás" overlap with different forms from the regular conjugation).
    Furthermore, you say that some Hungarians are not strict to follow the rule because they say "eszem" and "alszom" instead of "eszek" and "alszok" and that these are a minority. Wouldn't these people be the ones that are in fact right because the forms "eszek" and "alszok" are erroneous and not yet accepted as standard, though they have as of recently begun to crop up in the spoken language? I would rather say that it is those who say "eszek" and "alszok" are those who do not follow the rule strictly.
    As for the explanation that the forms of "-ik" verbs ending in "-m" actually imply some sort of object after them which is not actually mentioned, I doubt that that has anything to do with the "-m", since as I proposed earlier, the definite conjugation doesn't have to much do with the "ikes ragozás" and also, there are many intransitive "-ik" verbs to which it would make little sense to assign an object. While "eszik" is transitive, "alszik" is, I gather, not, so what object would be implied when one says "alszom"? Perhaps something could be used as an object, but there are other verbs, such as "tetszik", for which I think it very unlikely that a direct object could be used.
    Supposing that this explanation about the direct objects is correct, it doesn't account for the special forms in the third person singular conditional and subjunctive. I don't suppose that the difference between "ő egyék" and "ő egyen" could be explained as having to do something with definite direct object (the same goes for the difference between "ő ennék" and "ő enne"; while these forms may be archaic, that doesn't affect the reason why they are different).

    Either way, I don't see how all of this is directly related to the original question, which was not why "-ik" verbs exist or why they behave differently (although that is something I am curious about too), but why there are discrepancies within the group of "-ik" verbs itself, i.e. why do "álikes igék" deviate from the paradigm of true "-ik" verbs.
  10. trickybilly New Member

    I wanted to post that as an another example after the old man allegory, but omitted it since I did not want to make my answer too long. "Alszom" actually has (I think more precisely had...once) an object inside the fibers of the language. Although some linguists may dispute that, but Hungarian is my mother tongue and I have won numerous grammar contests (held among native speakers like me), but I just "feel" an object inside, although I might be wrong. The object of "alszom" is implied in the popular sayings "Ki mit veti ágyát, úgy alussza álmát" - The way one makes his bed (determines) the way he will sleep...WHAT?...his dream (dream as the object, Hungarians "sleep their dreams"), "Az igazak álmát alussza" - He sleeps ...WHAT?... the dreams of the true (this saying is a literal translation to show it more directly, it could be translated diffently). "Alszom" is in a way short for "alszom az álmom" (I sleep my dream) which is not used in this form in Hungarian, but it is used in the form said in the above quotations. Basically all this should go into grammatical disputes on university level among Hungarian don't worry much about it. Btw. your scientific approach to Hungarian is very nice (99% of native Hungarians do not have a clue what is an "alikes ige", max. they know what an "ikes ige" is). Maybe I misinterpreted your question somewhere - I am in a hurry. I'd love to help you in every day conversation and provide practical explanations to my best of ability. Sok szerencsét a nyelvtanuláshoz. Szívesen segítek amiben tudok :)
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  11. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    Thank you for your replies and contribution to the discussion, trickybilly, and for your compliments about my approach to the language :)

    So "alszik" can indeed take them object "álom". I thought that was possible, but I wasn't sure. What about "tetszem" - what is the object there?
  12. trickybilly New Member

    Hmm I am not sure. I do not know. There are two forms of the verb "tetszek" and "tetszem" with "tetszem" is being nicer and better. It is better to use "tetszem" and it is most used, while "tetszek" can be heard in everyday less formal speech too. The common use of "tetszem/tetszek" is "tetszeni valakinek" (being attractive to someone). I really do not know the origin of the "m" ending. I've made up a faint theory that the inherent nature of "tetszeni" is reflexive in many languages, so it's reflexive logical content appears in Hungarian with the "m" ending...similar to "mosom magam", "mosakodom", etc. I could be totally wrong though.

    Fogalmam sincs, miért van így. Az igazat megvallva nem vagyok magyartanár csak magyar az anyanyelvem és szeretem a nyelvtant. Gondolkodom még rajta. Üdvözlet
  13. francisgranada Senior Member

    "Mosom magamat" is not a good example because here "magam" is the definite object, while "tetszem magam" has no sense (tetszeni is an intransitive verb). Originally tetszik could be a medipassive form (like törik). I think that the form tetszem instead of tetszek is simply the consequence of the fact that "tetszeni" is an ikes ige and as such, today it takes the ending -m in the 1st pers. sg., whatever be it's etymological or historical reason.

    As to "alszom", I think the same, i.e. the -m does not espress a suppressed or supposed object (e.g. álom, even if in Hungarian aludni can be transitive) but it is simply the consequence of the ikes conjugation of this verb. In the today's Hungarian there are ikes verbs that originally were not ikes and vice versa, so there is a bit of confusion around it ... The spontaneous tendency is surely to "deikeshize" :))) the ikes verbs because this cathegory has lost it's original function.

    P.S. In the Slavic languages "tetszeni" is reflexive, but it is far not a common concept. E.g. in Spanish, Italian, French, German, English ... the corresponding verbs are not reflexive.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  14. Akitlosz Senior Member

    It's a grammatical terror.

    Someone (the state) to enforce the so-called ik conjugation.

    The correct forms are in my Hungarian language:

    Eszem a kenyeret. = I eat the bread.
    Eszek egy kenyeret. = I eat a bread.

    The ik conjugation form is:

    Eszem egy kenyeret. = I eat a bread.

    I would never say like this. The definitive and the indefinitive conjugation is much more important feature in the Hungarian Grammar than the ik conjugation IMHO.

    The forms: eszem and eszek indicate the noun is definite or indefinite. Even if we do not say a noun.

    This information is lost in the ik conjugation, which does not give any extra meaning.

    Lehazudom a Napot az égről. = I lie the Sun down from the sky.
  15. gorilla Member

    Hungarian - Hungary
    It is not the "state" who enforces it by "terror". It is an older form of conjugation and traditional language use has some prestige in most countries.
    Today in everyday speech most of us don't use any ik conjugation endings with the exception of the -ik suffix itself. Some people use it also in first person singular because they have been told in school that it is the "right" way. But almost nobody uses the other endings (egyék, enném egy...).

    This is not because it is more logical or consistent this way, this is simply a change (since more than a hundred years, but written language tends to preserve for a long time). Definite and indefinite are not always differentiated: ennénk egy kenyeret, ennénk a kenyeret, ennétek egy kenyeret, ennétek a kenyeret. Still we manage to communicate.
  16. franknagy

    franknagy Senior Member

    The conjugation -ik ["ikes" verbs] had been once almost disappeared from the Hungarian language before some crazy linguists forced its usage again.
    Is is dieing out from the language again.
    The 3rd person singular -ik is keeping survive in Indicative mode.
    The polished style "ikes" suffix "egyék" is squeezed by the "iktelen" suffix "egyen".
    The -m, -d in 1st and 2nd person is more or less demanded in elegant speech.


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