Chapter published in:Approaches to Hungarian: Volume 15: Papers from the 2015 Leiden Conference
Edited by Harry van der Hulst and Anikó Lipták
[Approaches to Hungarian 15] 2017
► pp. 157–181
Measure constructions in Hungarian and the semantics of the -nyi suffix
This paper examines the distribution and meaning of the -nyi suffix. -nyi naturally attaches to container classifiers and induces a measure interpretation of the container noun. I show that -nyi is not restricted to the dimension of volume but applies generally to count nouns. -nyi combines with N to create a measure head, analogous to expressions such as kilo. I maintain that being a measure head, N-nyi combines with a numeral to form a complex phrasal modifier. I then examine the semantics of -nyi itself. I show that it has two interpretations: it induces a measure reading of the N pohár in két pohár-nyi bor, and it forces an approximative interpretation when suffixed to an explicit measure expression as in kiló-nyi.
Keywords: classifier constructions, measuring, word formation
Published online: 24 August 2017
Kiefer, Ferenc and Mária, Ladányi
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