Sentence diagramming in Hungary

[The information in this page is based on the draft of a chapter by András Imrényi and Zsuzsa Vladár.]

It is possible that Sámuel Brassai  was the first grammarian to suggest verb-based diagrams. Here is an example of his system applied to a Latin sentence  from 1873, quoted by Imrényi  and Vladár.

They explain the labels in brackets as follows:

uralk(odó) ige means ‘governing verb’, határozó means ‘dependent’, and jelző means ‘attribute’. The modifiers másod and harmad mean ‘secondary, second-level’ and ‘tertiary, third-level’, respectively

This is the Latin sentence represented here in one of its three possible interpretations:

  • Uxor amans flentem flens acrius ipsa tenebat, imbre per indignas usque cadente genas.
  •  wife.nom loving.nom crying.acc crying.nom more bitterly herself.nom was hugging shower.abl on continuously falling.abl cheek. pl.acc
  • ’The wife, herself even more bitterly crying, was hugging the crying one, while a shower [of tears] was falling on her unbecoming cheeks [i.e. cheeks to which tears are unbecoming]’.

The source of the diagram is:

Brassai, Sámuel 1873. Paraleipomena kai diorthoumena. A mit nem mondtak s a mit roszul mondtak a commentatorok Virg. Aeneise II. könyvére. [What the commentators did not say or wrongly said about Book II of Virgil’s Aeneid.] Budapest: MTA.


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