The time that has elapsed since the publication of the new textbook reviewed here gave university students and lecturers an opportunity to have registered its advantages and possible shortcomings. The author reviews the contents of the textbook from exactly that point of view. The book discusses the theoretical foundations of historical linguistics, and presents an extensive history of Hungarian: the history of spelling, phonology, word stock and parts of speech, morphology, phrasal and clausal syntax, and - as a novelty - the historical text linguistics of Hungarian are discussed period by period, followed by a chapter on the history of word semantics that concludes the book. The book is up-to-date both in its approach and presentation and with respect to the body of scholarly knowledge it carries. It is a significant achievement not only as a textbook but also as a concise synthesis of the history of Hungarian: it is especially with respect to the more recent periods that a large amount of recent research is first reported on in a coherent manner. The periodization of the history of Hungarian is also revised: Present-Day Hungarian is distinguished from Modern Hungarian, with 1920 as the dividing line between them. As a didactic feature, we have to mention the sets of exercises attached to individual sections of the chapters, serving creative application of the knowledge just acquired by the students.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.