Research Group in Stylistics 
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Founded in 1970, re-organized in 2008, the Research Group in Stylistics is based at the Institute of Hungarian Linguistics and Finno-Ugric Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. It includes select doctoral and MA students as well as faculty members. The group’s main goal is to contribute to the functional cognitive description of style by adopting the following general assumptions of linguistic theory:

  • The emergence of linguistic structure reflects domain-independent features of cognition with prototype effects. Linguistic structures are schemas which categorize instantiations.
  • Conceptual meaning forms the basis of grammatical structures. Differences in grammatical structure encode conceptual differences in content and/or construal, including the perspectival nature of language.
  • Style is an aspect of discursive meaning derived from particular modes of construal and symbolization.
  • Frequency has a central role to play, affecting degree of routinization at the individual, and degree of conventionalization at the social level.
  • Production and comprehension (more generally, language use) are integral aspects of the functioning of the linguistic system.
  • Experience and data-driven learning are fundamental to language acquisition.
  • Linguistic representations are emergent rather than fixed and stable through time.
  • Intersubjective relations, interactive situations, cultural and social patterns have a decisive role in the stylistic construal of linguistic production.


The group’s activity covers the following general domains.

  • The usage-based theory and methodology of cognitive stylistics, in both descriptive and historical dimensions.
  • Language and culture specific factors in style, concentrating on Hungarian
  • The stylistic potential of the language system, the socio-cultural factors in style, and the stylistic structure of discourse and their relations


More specifically, the research group is engaged in the complex functional cognitive description of the socio-cultural factors in style with special regard to the following:

  • The features, the stylistic potential and discreteness of socio-cultural factors.
  • Types of socio-cultural factors in relation to the communicative intention of the speaker and the communicative expectations of the recipient
  • The typical co-occurrences of socio-cultural factors in stylistic schemas
  • The relation between socio-cultural factors and genres (text types)
  • The relation between socio-cultural factors and typical speech situations
  • Methodology and data (descriptive generalizations based on data from written and oral corpora)


The socio-cultural factors of style investigated by the project include the domains of attitude, situation, value (value saturation vs. deprivation), time (archaism vs. neologism), and language varieties.
Stylistic phenomena to be investigated: foregrounding, adaptation and negotiation, attitude, stylistic unit, stylistic value, stylistic attribution, stylistic patterns and schemas, archaism, neologism, politeness.
Domains of investigation: spontaneous spoken discourse, planned monologue texts, instructions, institution specific everyday discourses, media and internet texts, scientific discourse, modern and postmodern prose.

The research is supported by OTKA (Hungarian Scientific Research Fund), Project K 81315.

Members of the group:

Dóra Boronkai, Ibolya Czetter, Ágnes Domonkosi, Ágnes Hámori, Péter Horváth, András Imrényi, Erzsébet Cs. Jónás, Ágnes Kuna, Andrea Pap, János L. Nagy, József Pethő, Márton Petykó, Gábor Simon, Réka Sólyom, Szilárd Tátrai, Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy, Agnieszka Veres-Guspiel.

The head of the group is Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy with co-leader Szilárd Tátrai.

Our recent publications include:

Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor 1996. A magyar nyelv stilisztikája. [The stylistics of the Hungarian language] Budapest: Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó. 281 p.
Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor 2005. A Cognitive Theory of Style. Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang. 162 p.
Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor (ed.) 2008. Function and Genres. Studies on the Linguistic Features of Discourse Types. Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang. 270 p.
Tátrai, Szilárd 2011. Bevezetés a pragmatikába. Funkcionális kognitív megközelítés. [Introduction to pragmatics. A functional cognitive approach] Budapest: Tinta Kiadó. 234 p.
Tátrai, Szilárd – Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor 2012. A stílus szociokulturális tényezői. Kognitív stilisztikai tanulmányok. [Socio-cultural factors in style. Papers in cognitive stylistics] Budapest: ELTE. 382 p.
Simon, Gábor 2012. Egy kognitív poétikai rímelmélet megalapozása. [Foundations of a cognitive rhyme theory] PhD dissertation. Budapest: Eötvös Loránd University.

Forthcoming publications in Studia Linguistica Hungarica (former Annales Sectio Linguistica, Eötvös Loránd University):

Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor: The cognitive linguistic foundations of the socio-cultural factors in style
Tátrai, Szilárd: Attitude, comparison, and relation. Remarks on the study of the socio-cultural factors in style
Pethő, József: The figure–ground relation and the style
Simon, Gábor: On linguistic potential of archaic language use from a functional cognitive perspective
Domonkosi, Ágnes: Self-stylization, style strategy, stylistic patterns re-evaluated: The main stylistic features of a personal blog
Pap, Andrea: „Thanks for the Compliment.” Appreciative utterances and responses in Hungarian and Italian conversations (a possible cognitive stylistic analysis)
Sólyom, Réka: A study of forum texts: semantic and stylistic analyses of Hungarian neologisms
Kuna, Ágnes: Stylistic patterns in 16th and 17th c. medical recipes. Historical stylistic analysis from a cognitive linguistic perspective
Nagy, L. János: On the influences of vernacular variety in lyric texts

The Research Group in Stylistics maintains close relations with the “DiAGram” research group in functional linguistics, headed by Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy. More information can be found about the scientific results of “DiAGram” group in the special issues of Acta Linguistica Hungarica:
Acta Linguistica Hungarica 2009 (56) 3. 337–480. Guest editor Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor, Ladányi, Mária
Guest editors’ note
Imrényi, András: Toward a unified functional account of structural focus and negation in Hungarian. 341–373.
Ladányi, Mária: Loan affixes in Hungarian word formation: regularity, productivity, rivalry. 375–404.
Modrián-Horváth, Bernadett: Gesichtspunkte zu einer funktionalen Typologie der ungarischen Infinitiv regierenden Hilfsverben. 405–440.
Tátrai, Szilárd – Csontos, Nóra: Perspectivization and modes of quoting in Hungarian. 441–467.

Acta Linguistica Hungarica 2010 (57) 1. 1–164. Guest editor Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor, Ladányi, Mária.
Dér, Csilla Ilona: On the status of discourse markers. 3–28.
Domonkosi, Ágnes: Variability in Hungarian address forms. 29–52.
Hámori, Ágnes: Illocutionary force, salience and attention management: A social cognitive pragmatic perspective. 53–73.
Kugler, Nóra: Modal adverbs in Hungarian (The case of talán ‘perhaps’). 75–98.
Laczkó, Krisztina: Space deixis, discourse deixis and anaphora. 99–117.
Papp, Kornélia: A conceptual integration approach to the property word nagy ‘big’. 119–142.
Tolcsvai Nagy, Gábor: The auxiliary + infinitive construction in Hungarian. 143–164.