Synchronic studies in the framework of holistic cognitive linguistics have recently yielded convincing results, and the idea of utilizing that framework for purposes of historical linguistics has also emerged. At the moment, no complete studies of that sort are available, though FAZAKAS (2003) presented a brief account of the theoretical possibilities that arise. The present paper discusses a possible area of using cognitive semantics for historical purposes: the study of the semantic system of certain Hungarian case endings. In particular, the authoress attempted to describe the behavior of inessive -ban/-ben and superessive -n ~ -on/-en/-ön in a cognitive semantic perspective, making use of diachronic aspects, too. In addition to the avails that such a discussion might bring for historical linguistics, a diachronically supported cognitive semantic analysis of case endings may prove significant primarily for the study of argument structure: with the exploration of the exact meanings of these suffixes, it might turn out to be easier to tell why a given verb has the argument structure it has, and how differences across languages with respect to argument structure may be understood, in cognitive semantic terms, as due to variance in conceptualization.
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”.