Chapter published in:Chapters of Dependency Grammar: A historical survey from Antiquity to Tesnière
Edited by András Imrényi and Nicolas Mazziotta
[Studies in Language Companion Series 212] 2020
► pp. 163–188
Chapter 5Sámuel Brassai in the history of dependency grammar
The paper presents the syntactic work of Sámuel Brassai with special regard to his dependency-based theory of the sentence. Brassai is already relatively well-known as a pioneer in the study of information structure, where his discoveries predate Gabelentz by several years. The present work aims to show that Brassai also developed a consistently dependency-based theory of syntax long before Tesnière. The paper first discusses the motivations and influences underpinning Brassai’s work. Secondly, it presents Brassai’s verb-centred theory, expressed both metaphorically and by sentence diagrams. The latter appeared as early as 1873, thus Brassai may well have been the first to produce verb-centred dependency diagrams of clause structure. Finally, we show that Brassai’s discovery of a bipartite (information structural) division of the sentence does not amount to an early adoption of constituency; rather, it is seamlessly integrated into his dependency-oriented approach.
- 2.Motivations and influences behind Brassai’s work
- 2.1Motivations, general agenda
- 2.2Influences behind Brassai’s verb-centred theory of the sentence
- 2.3From techne to episteme
- 3.Brassai’s verb-centred theory of the sentence
- 3.2Sentence diagrams
- 3.3Dependency notions in Brassai’s description of Hungarian
- 3.3.1 Határzó ‘dependent’
- 3.3.2 Jelző ‘attribute’ and egészítvény ‘post-dependent’
- 4.Inchoative and bulk. Does duality require constituency?
- 4.1Brassai’s interpretation by É. Kiss in constituency terms
- 4.2A consistently dependency-based explication of Brassai’s ideas
- 5.Summary and conclusions
Published online: 06 February 2020
A. Primary sources
Arnauld, A., & Lancelot, C.
Gabelentz, Georg von der
Götzinger, M. W.
B. Critical sources
Ágel, V., & Fischer, K.
Atherton, C., & Blank, D.
Halliday, M. A. K.
Kelly, L. G.
Li, C. N., & Thompson, S. A.
Mayer, R. E.
Osborne, T., & Groß, T.
Cited by 2 other publications
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