Appendix:Hungarian low-vowel words

Low-vowel words (Hungarian nyitótő (literally opening stem), see also the article in the Hungarian Wikipedia) take a more open vowel than usual for their linking vowel:

  • back-vowel types take -a- instead of the regular -o-,
  • while rounded front-vowel types take -e- instead of the regular -ö-.

These words use this low linking vowel in the accusative even if it is not justified by the ending consonant, for example (low-vowel) vajat vs. (regular) bajt, from vaj (butter) and baj (trouble).

Apart from the accusative (-t), it affects the plural (-k), the possessive-suffixed forms (first and second person singular, second person plural: -m, -d, -tok/-tek/-tök), the distributive -nként, and the sociative -stul/-stül. As far as derivational suffixes are concerned, the adjective-forming suffix -s, and the ordinal-forming suffix -dik, the diminutive suffix -cska/-cske, and the verb forming suffixes -z/-zik and -l are also affected.

Back-vowel words edit

Word Accusative Meaning Vowel Ending Note
ág ágat branch á
agy agyat brain a yga
ágy ágyat bed á ygá
agyar agyarat fang, tusk zaa rayga
alj aljat lower part; skirt a jla
áll állat chin, jaw á llá Inflection set apart from forms of the verb áll by the vowel.
Homonymy brought about with állam (state).
ár árat price; flood, flow, tide; awl á Homonymy brought about with áram ([electric] current) and árad (to swell/flood); another homonymy with árok (ditch, trench) averted.
arany aranyat gold zaa ynara
árny árnyat shade, shadow á ynrá
báj bájt (bájat) BUT bájak charm, gracefulness á jáb
díj díjat fee; prize, award í jíd
fal falat wall a laf Inflection set apart from forms of the verb fal by the vowel.
Homonymy brought about with falat (bite [of food]).
fog fogat tooth o gof Inflection set apart from forms of the verb fog by the vowel. Homonymy brought about with fogad (to receive) and fogat (team of horses; carriage).
gally gallyat twig [small branch] a yllag
gát gátat dam, dyke, levee á tág
gyár gyárat factory, plant á ráyg
had hadat army, military troops a dah
haj hajat hair [on the head] (only sing.) a jah Homonymy brought about with hajadon (maiden).
háj hájat fat, flab á jáh
hal halat fish a lah Inflection set apart from forms of the verb hal by the vowel.
Homonymy brought about with halad (to proceed).
hamv hamvat ash[es] (mostly in the plural) a vmah
hárs hársat lime, linden á sráh
has hasat abdomen, belly a sah Homonymy brought about with hasad (to crack, burst).
hát hátat back á táh
ház házat house, building á záh
héj héjat peel, shell, rind, [plant's] skin é jéh
hold holdat moon; [approx.] acre o dloh
hossz hosszat length o zssoh
igaz igazat truth; [being] right zia zagi Used in the phrase igaza van (igazam, igazad, igazatok).
íj íjat bow [weapon] í
kád kádat tub, bathtub á dák
láb lábat leg, foot á bál Homonymy brought about with lábad ([of eyes] to fill with tears).
láz lázat fever á zál Homonymy brought about with lázad (to revolt).
lyuk lyukat hole u kuyl Homonymy brought about with lyukad (to get a hole).
máj májat liver á jám
máz mázat glaze, gloss; veneer, varnish á zám
nád nádat reed, cane á dán
nyáj nyájat flock á jáyn
nyak nyakat neck a kayn
nyál nyálat saliva á láyn
nyár nyárat poplar, aspen á ráyn Loses vowel length in the sense “summer”; see below.
nyárs nyársat spit, skewer á sráyn
ól ólat kennel, sty, henhouse ó
olaj olajat oil zoa jalo
oldal oldalt BUT
oldalak
side, flank zoa ladlo Its accusative is oldalt.
sál sálat scarf, cravat; shawl á lás
sarj sarjat sprout, offshoot a jras Homonymy brought about with sarjad (to sprout).
sav savat acid a vas
szád szádat (rare) aperture [of a cave, pot, etc.] á dázs Homonymy existing with szád (your mouth).
száj szájat mouth á jázs
szakáll szakállt
(szakállat) BUT szakállak
beard zaá llákazs
szál szálat thread, yarn, [thin] stick á lázs
szár szárat stalk, stem á rázs Homonymy brought about with szárad (to get dry).
szárny szárnyat wing á ynrázs
szarv szarvat horn a vrazs
szíj szíjat strap, belt, thong í jízs
szomj szomjat thirst o jmozs
táj tájat landscape, scenery á ját
tál tálat bowl, dish, platter á lát
talp talpat sole, (lower) foot a plat
tár tárat store, repository; [rifle] magazine á rát Regular accusative tárt is also possible.
Inflection set apart from forms of the verb tár by the vowel.
tárgy tárgyat object á ygrát
társ társat companion, mate, partner, spouse á srát
toll tollat pen, feather o llot
ujj ujjat finger (or thumb, toe) u jju
vad vadat game [wild animal] a dav Polysemy existing with vad (wild [adjective]).
vád vádat accusation, prosecution á dáv
vágy vágyat desire á ygáv Inflection set apart from forms of the verb vágyik by the vowel.
vaj vajat butter a jav
váll vállat shoulder á lláv
vár várat castle, fortress á ráv Inflection set apart from forms of the verb vár by the vowel.
vas vasat iron [material] a sav
váz vázat frame, framework á záv
vonal vonalat line zoa lanov
zár zárat lock á ráz Inflection set apart from forms of the verb zár by the vowel.

The words kaptár (beehive) (kaptárok~kaptárak) and var (scab, incrustation) (varok~varak) might have this kind of suffix in the plural, although their normal inflection is the regular one.

The nouns lábos and város are exceptional in terms of their linking vowel; the regular (adjectival) derivations would be lábas and váras.

Non-noun elements of this group edit

Most of the adjectives (e.g. gyors (fast, quick), okos (smart, clever), rossz (bad), excluding nationalities like orosz), past participle and verbal participle forms, definite numerals (nyolc (eight), harminc (thirty), -van: hatvan (sixty), nyolcvan (eighty), száz (hundred)), and pronouns (hány (how many)), as well as the indefinite numerals (e.g. sok (many), néhány (some)) can be grouped here, including the numeral sense of pár (a couple of). However, the definite numeral hat (six) is inflected as a regular noun.

Already inflected word forms that take further inflectional suffixes will also take the low-vowel variant (that is, after the past tense -t, the subjunctive -j and its alternative forms in verbs, the plural -k and any possessive suffix in nouns, and the comparative degree -bb and the marking suffix -ik in adjectives and some pronouns).

Overlap with other groups edit

(Rounded) front-vowel words edit

Note that these words do take the vowel -ö- in two forms that have a 3-way distinction, the superessive and the allative (e.g. földön and földhöz), despite having the low-vowel -e- in the accusative, the plural, and in adjective- or adverb-forming suffixed forms (földet, földek, földes, földenként, földestül).

Word Accusative Meaning Vowel Ending Note
csönd csöndet silence ö dnösc alternative form of csend
föld földet ground, earth, soil, land ö dlöf
fül fület ear; handle; tab ü lüf
fürj fürjet quail ü jrüf
fűz füzet willow [tree] ű zűf with alternating vowel length
Inflection set apart from forms of the verb fűz (to lace, to stitch) by the vowel.
hölgy hölgyet lady ö yglöh
könny könnyet tear [from crying] ö ynnök
könyv könyvet book ö vynök
öl ölet [someone's] lap ö Inflection set apart from forms of the verb öl (to kill) by the vowel.
ölyv ölyvet buzzard ö vylö
örv örvet [dog] collar; pretext ö vrö
öv övet belt, waistband ö
őz őzet roe deer ő
rügy rügyet bud ü ygür
rüh rühet scabies, mange ü hür Often inflected with the regular linking vowel.
szög szöget nail [for woodwork] ö gözs
szörny szörnyet monster ö ynrözs
szügy szügyet [animal's] chest or breast ü ygüzs
szűz szüzet virgin ű zűzs with alternating vowel length
tőgy tőgyet udder ő ygőt
tölgy tölgyet oak ö yglöt
törzs törzset trunk, torso, hull; tribe ö szröt
tűz tüzet fire ű zűt with alternating vowel length
Inflection set apart from forms of the verb tűz (to pin) by the vowel.
ügy ügyet matter, case, affair ü ygü
ürügy ürügyet excuse, pretext, pretence ygürü
völgy völgyet valley ö yglöv

The word öröm (joy, pleasure) may also take the low linking vowel in the accusative (and rarely in other forms).

Non-noun elements of this group edit

All front-vowel adjectives (e.g. zöld (green), bölcs (wise), excluding nationalities like görög), past participle forms and any adjectives and/or nouns derived from them (tört, sült, sérült, jelölt, küldött, esküdt etc.), as well as the irregular comparative több (more)), can be grouped here. Some nouns whose meaning have departed far from the participle sense might take the regular suffix, e.g. pörkölt (meat stew)pörköltem ~ pörköltöm, as opposed to pörkölt (roasted, singed), which latter sense only allows for the low vowel.

Overlap with other groups edit

Unrounded front-vowel words edit

Certain unrounded front-vowel words may also be counted in this group, based on the fact that (considering their stem-final consonant[s]) they could take -t for their accusative, and yet they take -et:

  • those ending in j or ly: fej (head), hely (place) and tej (milk) (compare e.g. pej (bay, chestnut) + ‑t, zörej (noise, rustle) + ‑t)
  • those ending in l: jel (sign, symbol) (compare e.g. kel + ‑t)
  • those ending in ll: mell (breast) (compare e.g. modell + ‑t)
  • those ending in ny: meny (daughter-in-law) (compare e.g. köpeny (coat) + ‑t)
  • those ending in z: méz (honey) (compare e.g. géz (gauze) + ‑t) and íz (joint, piece) (compare e.g. íz (taste, flavor) + ‑t, csíz (siskin) + ‑t)

Overlap with other groups edit

Further reading edit