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Dr. László Marácz

Professor of Linguistics

Amsterdam University


The Untenability of the Finno-Ugric Theory

from a Linguistic Point of View.


I. The turning point of research in the field of Hungarian language relationships.


My book entitled Magyar fordulat - Politikai vélemények közép-Európáról (Hungarian Turning Point – Political opinions concerning Central Europe) was published in Dutch in November 1995. The goal of the Hungarian Turning Point was to break through several rings of taboos created by news black-outs, to reveal the oppression against the Hungarians and their culture in the Carpathian Basin and to speak the truth about the injustice of the Dictated Peace Treaty of Trianon.  As a linguist, I raised the question of the Finno-Ugric relationship of the Hungarian language. I came to the conclusion that this theory was untenable from a linguistic point of view. In the Hungarian Turning Point, I presented ten points summarizing my criticism of the Finno-Ugric/ Magyar language relationship.


1. Efforts to prove the Finno-Ugric theory were experiments based upon words only. Linguistic research started to develop only in the 20th century, after the Second World War. When we talk about the Finno-Ugric language relationship, we generally mean lexical parallels.


2. The Finno-Ugric theory underdetermines. One cannot isolate lexical parallels that are valid only for Finno-Ugric languages and not for other Eurasian languages, like the Altaic languages, Turkish, Mongolian, etc.


3. The deduction of phonetic laws does not stand on a solid base. Indo-Germanic linguistic science, where the concept of „phonetic laws” originated, has already given up linguistic activities as far as phonetic laws are concerned.


4. The reconstruction of the so-called Finno-Ugric basic language is arbitrary.  Linguists theorize that the Vogul word-roots reflect the original Uralic/ Finno-Ugric basic vocabulary. No linguistic arguments support this.


5. Björn Collinder, a Swedish linguist, defines about 400 basic word-roots in the Uralic/ Finno-Ugric basic languages. The suggestion of 1000 Finno-Ugric word-roots of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, MTA) is an unrestrained exaggeration. Besides this, not all word roots of the basic languages occur in all Finno-Ugric languages. Today’s Finnish linguistic science strongly revises the Finno-Ugric language theory. Finnish linguists research the Finnish-Old Germanic relationship, or are the followers of the theory of Finnish continuity, rather than the Finno-Ugric language relationship.


6. There are absolutely no written sources in the Finno-Ugric language.  Thus, the basic Finno-Ugric vocabulary cannot be documented, nor can the so-called phonetic rules, or the so-called, later presupposed language communities, like the Ugor, Volga-Finn, etc. For this reason, the entire Finno-Ugric basic language is mere supposition. This is also acknowledged by the Finno-Ugric linguists themselves.


7. It is well known that, in the Historical Etymological Dictionary (TESZ) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences there are a great number of words of “unknown origin”. The question arises: Why does the TESZ not make any attempt to search for the connections of these words in the languages of old cultures, like the Sumerian or Sanskrit, or simply ascribe them to Magyar origin, if one really wishes to validate their Magyar origin?


8. There are basic grammatical differences between the Hungarian and Finno-Ugric languages.  For example, among all the Finno-Ugric languages, only Hungarian has the system of verbal prefixes. The Finno-Ugric theorist, Gyula Décsy, remarked this too but, in his opinion, this can be ascribed to the wanderings of the Magyars.  The co-authors, Hajdú and Domokos, do not even mention this. Even though they examined 20 grammatical forms in the Finno-Ugric languages, not one of them appears among the Uralic/ Finno-Ugric languages they enumerated (Samoyed, Obi-Ugor, Magyar, Permi, Mordvin, Cheremiss, Finnish and Lapp). They do not realize that such tables provide strong counter-arguments against the Finno-Ugric language relationship. This clearly manifests the double-standard used by the Finno-Ugric linguists.

9. In his study, published in 1851, in the Akadémia Értesítő, Pál Hunfalvy argued that the Magyar word-roots cannot be discovered with etymology. (He did all this when researchers were hard at work preparing an immense volume of words in a dictionary, to show the system of the inner connections of the Hungarian language. This Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary is still unique and an irreplaceable cultural treasure.) Magyar etymology can be accomplished only with the help of related languages. However, we cannot read anywhere how the language-relationships can be established.  Lacking a better solution, we may suppose that Hunfalvy thinks that this can be done through word-parallels. If so, then this is a classical model of a circular argument. According to Hunfalvy, a certain lexical element in Hungarian is a root-word only if it occurs in related languages; related languages, on the other hand, can be established only if they have word-roots common to Hungarian.  Modern linguistic science rejects Hunfalvy’s method of word analysis, because he believes the inner reconstruction of the lexical elements to be decisive. From the Hungarian linguistic system, one can deduce which element can be counted as a word-root, and which not. For this reason, the Hunfalvy-paradigm is rejected by modern linguistics on the grounds of logic, or a scientific base. This paradigm (method) forms the basic paradigm of Finno-Ugric linguistics, and therefore the entire paradigm is on the wrong track. This is also the basic theory of the Historical Etymological Dictionary. The Hunfalvy theory comes to the bizarre conclusion that, in Hungarian, there may be word-roots only when they are present in related languages.  He then states that they are of Finno-Ugric origin.  Any words that cannot be found in other Finno-Ugric languages, he considers to be loan-words.

10. Obviously Hungarian lexical roots have to be looked up in Hungarian dictionaries and no other place. According to Gergely Czuczor and János Fogarasi, the Hungarian word-roots are monosyllabic lexical elements, without suffixes or any other signs. The Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary is built upon this clear-cut linguistic base. It also states that the Magyar word-roots do not stand alone, by themselves, but can be connected with other roots which are similar in form and meaning. These masses of word-roots form “word clusters”, so the Hungarian word-roots can be recognized as members of word clusters.

For example, there is the word cluster of the K-R consonantal group, composed of monosyllabic word-roots and their derivatives, which Czuczor-Fogarasi presents with different vowel formations, or additional affixes, as in the following (the word-roots are marked in bold-type):

       (1) kar (Magyar word-root), kar-ika (Hungarian derivative), kar-ima (Hungarian derivative), kar-ám (Hungarian derivative); ker (Magyar word-root), ker-ek (Hungarian derivative), ker-ül (Hungarian derivative), ker-ít (Hungarian derivative), ker-ing (Hungarian derivative), kér-eg (Hungarian derivative); kor (Magyar word-root), kor-ong (Hungarian derivative), kor-c (Hungarian derivative), kor-lát (Hungarian derivative); kör (Magyar word-root), kör-ös (Hungarian derivative), kör-öz (Hungarian derivative), kör-ny (Hungarian derivative), kör-nyez (Hungarian derivative), kör-ül (Hungarian derivative); kur (Magyar word-root), kur-itol (Hungarian derivative), kur-kál (Hungarian derivative). 

The Historical Etymological Dictionary breaks up the K-R consonantal word-roots, which have common elements of meaning, derived from the form kör (circle), in such a manner that no connections remain:

   (2) kar (Ancient-Turkish), karika (possibly Magyar), karima (Northern Slav), karám (origin unknown), karing (not mentioned), ker (not mentioned), kerek (derivative of ker), kerül (Finno-Ugric), kerít (Finno-Ugric) kering (derivative of ker), kéreg (derivative of ker), kor (Turkish origin), korong (Slavic origin), korc (Ancient French), korlát (origin unknown), kör (derived by analogy), körös (Hungarian derivative), köröz (derivative), körny (neologism), környez (neologism), körül (Finno-Ugric), kur (not mentioned), kuritol (origin unknown), kurkál (origin uncertain).


   II. About the methods in the Finno-Ugric witches’ kitchen.


  László Honti, the Finno-Ugric Professor of the University of Groningen protested against the word root analysis of Czuczor-Fogarasi in three places: in a Dutch newspaper article (a reader’s letter), in the NRC Handelsblad, in an interview given on February 15, 1996 and in a lecture in Amsterdam held on February 25, 1996 which was organized by the Hungarian Mikes Kelemen group of Holland.

1. To his credit, in Amsterdam, he did not really react to any of the counter-arguments I presented in the Magyar fordulat (Hungarian Turning Point). He did not refer to the scientific researches which had already refuted the basic Finno-Ugric tenets. There is no reference to non-Finno-Ugric Hungarian language research, like for example László Götz’s excellent two volume work.

2. Honti began his Amsterdam lecture by stating that my professional knowledge was on the level of an  article in the Hungarian tabloid, Hócipő, entitled „Do the extraterrestrials speak Hungarian?”, and he distributed the copy of this article to the audience. He stated to the Amsterdam audience, that I was really not a linguist, that the publication of my book the (Magyar fordulat (Hungarian Turning Point) should not have been allowed, etc.

3. According to Honti, I stated that there is no connection between the Hungarian and Finno-Ugric languages (NRC Handelsblad), and that I am an advocate of the Hungarian-Turkish language relationship (NRC Handelsblad, UK, Amsterdam lecture). I put on record, that I did not state this in the Magyar fordulat (Hungarian Turning Point). There are really some parallels between the Hungarian language and the Finno-Ugric languages, but they are not at all as exclusive, as the Finno-Ugric theorists state. I also affirm that I have never made any statements concerning the Magyar-Turkish language relationships. I only state that there are some parallels between the Hungarian language and the Turkish languages. Honti’s tactical goal was clear: to put into my mouth things I never said. On the other hand, according to the Finno-Ugric theorists the Finno-Ugric superiority is already proven.

  4. In science there are no eternal truths or dogmas. There are theories in science, and old theories have to be reconsidered as new facts surface. According to Honti, this is not necessary because, according to him „The Finno-Ugric origin of the Hungarian language has been considered to be an accepted fact, from the 18th century on.” (NRC Handelsblad). First of all the age of a scientific thesis cannot be considered as an argument supporting the thesis.  Moreover, in today’s view, one cannot take the validation of 18th century linguistics seriously, since the European linguists of the 18th century had hardly any grammatical theories; their research was based primarily upon word-lists. Even Honti himself feels that this is not enough because the language relationship does not appear solely in common lexical elements. If this last statement is true, then what did János Sajnovics prove in his book entitled "Demonstratio Idioma ungarorum et lapponum idem esse"  which was published in Copenhagen, in 1770, concerning the Hungarian-Lapp language relationship? According to modern linguistics, nothing. Maybe just that the Hungarian and Lapp languages have some word-parallels. This is also acknowledged by the Finno-Ugric theorists. Here is a quotation from György Lakó’s  book about János Sajnovics: „Sajnovics saw the proof of common origin in certain Hungarian and Lapp words, which sound alike but in meaning they are completely. . . On the other hand, comparative linguistics did not accept as proof of etymological identity words with similar sound-values for about 150 years”. It follows that Honti’s statement, -- that the Finno-Ugric language relationship was proven in the 18th century – is completely unfounded.  In addition, if the Finno-Ugric theory was already proven at that time, then why did Sándor Körösi Csoma begin his research into the origin of the Magyar language in India, in the first half of the 19th century? As a student at Göttingen University, the past and present German center of the Finno-Ugric hypothesis, he was not convinced by the 18th century arguments promoting the Finno-Ugric hypothesis. It is also documented that he spoke several languages.

5.  In his Amsterdam lecture, Honti affirmed that one cannot state that languages are not related, one can only state that there might be a relationship between them. If this is so, then on what base does Honti state that the Magyar and Turkish languages are not related languages?  Do we have to cast away all relationships and only the Magyar and Finn language relationship is correct?

6. According to Honti, my statement that: „the Hungarian experts in this field do not agree about the common origin of many Hungarian words” is incorrect.(NRC Handelsblad). This statement of mine – regrettably – is true, because the official Hungarian Linguistic Science disregards the basic tenets of the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary. For this reason, Hungarian linguists do not write about the fact that the following word-roots belong together, (the word-roots are in bold type) like:

(3) öv, év, ív, av-ul 

(4) nap, nap-a, nép, nem, nem-z, nem-zet 

(5) megy, mász-ik, moz-og, moc-orog, mocc-an 

(6) lity-eg, löty-ög, lotty-an, lötty-en, , litty-lotty 

(7) kolomp, kolonc 

(8) láng, lámp-a 

(9) ro-hadt, ro-ggyant, ro-kkant, ro-ppant, ro-zzant, ro-zoga, ro-skad, ro-ssz, ro-zsda 

(10) gyül-öl, gyal-áz, gyil-kol 

(11) tip-eg, top-og, tip-ereg, top-orog, tap-os, tep-er, tip-or, tapp-ancs, top-ánka, tap-sol, táp-ászkodik, be-top-pan, toty-og, töty-ög, toty-orog, töty-örög, töty-örészik 

(12) csepp, csepp-en, csep-eg, csap, csap-lár, csap-zott, csap-adék, csobb-an, csob-og, cseb-er, csup-or, csob-olyó, csib-or. 

I shall discuss later the organization of the Hungarian Dictionary according to the so-called word-clusters.  In my opinion, today the most important activity of the official Hungarian Linguistic Science is to establish a program for these lexical connections. The first job is to complete the inner reconstruction of dictionaries. Honti is incorrect when he states that the basic tenets of etymological research can not be challenged, „because the etymological research of Finno-Ugric linguistics goes far back in history”. (NRC Handelsblad). The antiquity of a paradigm does not present an argument to prove the correctness of a theory. One has to state strongly that the Historical Etymological Dictionary proceeds to a dead end.

7. According to Honti I should not have mentioned Hunsdorfer, the German name of Hunfalvy, who was the founder of the Finno-Ugric theory. I presented in my book, Magyar fordulat, the cultural and political background of the Finno-Ugric theory. This theory gained ground when Hungary was not an independent nation, in the Bach era of the Hapsburg rule, or under Communism, in other words, when she was exposed to extreme physical and psychological terror. Hunfalvy and Budenz placed the linguistic studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the service of the Austro-German power-politics. My book’s character (in other words, it reflects my political view) fully justifies the mentioning of Hunfalvy’s (original) German name. But let us call as crown-witness Count István Széchenyi, the founder of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, who wrote the following in 1851: „And shall this probably last truly Magyar institution be rocked on its foundation?  Regrettably, yes! For the changing of the basic rules of the Academy which took place recently, is --  at least in the eyes of my spirit -- none other than a stab-wound which leads easily to death.” 

  I have judged Hunfalvy and the Finno-Ugric linguists harshly because, as I have shown above, they do not satisfy the requirements of scientific studies. The paradigm-method is incorrect from a linguistic point of view. It was the same in its own time. The Alfa and Omega of the Finno-Ugric linguists was to reject the basic tenets of the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary, the correctness of which anyone can witness, since one can work with it even in the present. According to Honti, by criticizing Hunfalvy, I „waged an attack against all the Hungarian and Finno-Ugric linguists.” (UK). 


(13) The pseudo-scientific status of the Finno-Ugric theory is based on the following statements:

1. We shall not mention anything that does not validate the Finno-Ugric theory.

2. Anyone, who criticizes the Finno-Ugric theory, can be denigrated and should be denigrated.

3. We should put words, that he did not say, into the mouth of the person who judges us, and then we should contradict this.

4. The Finno-Ugric theory is the eternal truth.

5. Double standards are permitted for Finno-Ugric linguists

6. Stating the truth is not permitted.

7. The cultural-political background of this theory is taboo.


  Let us now take a look at why the Finno-Ugric reasoning falls apart. Let us state first:

(14) Honti’s lecture in Amsterdam did not prove, in any way, the Finno-Ugric relationship to the Hungarian language.

In his lecture in Amsterdam, Honti wanted to prove the Finno-Ugric origin of the Hungarian language, once and for all. To do this, he passed out a „hand-out”, a brochure, which contains „fascinating” arguments. The title of his lecture (Is our mother-tongue Finno-Ugric?) is only a supposition which he could not answer. The affirmative answer given by Honti is an empty statement. According to Honti, the validating arguments, which prove the Finno-Ugric language relationship of the Hungarian language, have to conform to the following statement: „The establishment of the relationship between languages must follow fairly close criteria. The relationships mentioned by Marácz are only a part of the grammatical structure of a particular language. In recognizing the relationship, the so-called “common words” play a key role.” (NRC Handelsblad). If we follow a real scientific approach, the statements on his hand-out contradict the above criteria, are not sufficient, or they are true for other languages, but not the Finnish language. So the data enumerated on his hand-out have no power of proof.  Let us examine Honti’s arguments one by one:

1. Honti attempted to prove the Finno-Ugric language relationship with the help of the Indo-Germanic model. He brought up six or seven Indo-Germanic languages. At this point, the entire hypothesis has already failed, because the Indo-German linguists have already given up working with phonetic laws, as László Götz has convincingly proved. Because the Finno-Ugric hypothesis is a function of Indo-Germanism, this theory collapsed along with the collapse of Indo-Germanism.  For this reason, one and a half pages of the five-page handout can be set aside.

2. On pages 2 and 3 we find the Finnish-Hungarian word-parallels or cognates.  Honti did not present the other languages because of space limitations or maybe because the situation is not so clear-cut. The Finno-Ugric basic vocabulary cannot be documented. For this reason the entire list of phonetic parallels is pure speculation, which still awaits validation. (Can the un-provable be proven, if the past one and a half centuries have not been long enough to accomplish this?) It is arbitrary that in Hungarian the sounds change. The following questions arise:  Why do the rest of the Finno-Ugric languages use the sounds of the basic Finno-Ugric language? Why did these change in Hungarian, and why not vice-versa? We don’t get any answers to these questions.

3. The personal pronouns only partly agree; there are some unexplainable differences too. For example the Finnish hän (ő) which means the third person and its Hungarian counterpart, the ő parallel is not so clear-cut. Moreover, there are functional differences too between the two personal pronouns, because the hän cannot be „pronounced”; the Magyar ő can be pronounced.

 (15) (hän) tulee 

(16) (ő) jön  (he/she/it) comes.

The parallel here is superficial because, if we take a closer look at the data, we are not talking qualitatively about the same thing. The numerals also show only partial parallels.

4. Phonotaxis[1] is not a strong proof from the point of view of historical linguistics. It is even contradictory, because the Finnish language treats the accumulation of consonant-clusters differently than Hungarian does.

5. There is vowel-harmony in both languages but this is also characteristic of a few other so-called Finno-Ugric languages. One cannot consider the entire language-family as one common unit. Besides, there are important differences too from this point of view. Therefore, the vowel-harmony is not a conclusive proof.

6. Grammatical elements correspond to similar elements in other agglutinative languages. The triple-direction within the case-system does not appear only in the so-called Finno-Ugric languages. This is not an exclusive Finno-Ugric characteristic.  Moreover, there are differences in the system too.

7. The conjugation of verbs in Hungarian often depends upon the verbal prefixes, which are completely missing from the Finnish language. For this reason, the Finno-Ugric theory cannot be validated.

8. To express possession, both languages use the verb „to be” instead of the „habeo” structure. Apart from these common properties, the structures demonstrated are completely different. In Finnish, the possessor within the possessive structure uses the addessive  lla affix. Hungarian, on the other hand, uses the dative ending, the -nak affix, to express possession; for example „Jánosnak a háza” = the house of János. In Finnish the possessor represents the genitive in a possessive structure. True, the lack of „habeo” structure is present in both Hungarian and Finnish, but the parallel here too can be said to be only superficial. A deeper analysis shows that the two structures are very different from one another.

9. Participial structure, instead of compound sentences, occurs not only in the Hungarian and Finnish languages, but also in Sumerian, Mongolian and Turkish.  Therefore, this does not prove the exclusivity of the Finnish-Hungarian language relationship.

In Amsterdam, there were some questions which Honti could not explain. According to him, my statement, that I do not take into consideration several other languages when researching the origin of the Magyar language, is not true. According to him, generations of researchers have studied the Turkish, Slavic, German and Latin influences upon the Hungarian language (NRC Handelsblad). Every loan-word can be found in the dictionary; all other influences have already been researched (UK). First of all it is not true that, during the research of the Hungarian language origins, several other languages are considered. If this were true, then why do the researchers not use the tenets of Zsigmond Varga and Kálmán Gosztonyi, for example, who proved that the Hungarian and the Sumerian language are structurally related languages?  The linguists of the Academy do not expand their language parallels with many other languages, the way Sándor Csőke, and László Götz did, and this is unacceptable from a scientific point of view. Even if they include other languages in the field of the research of Magyar language origins, they do this with the premise that the Magyars borrowed words from them, as Honti also states. This research premise is based upon the supposition that Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language. This hypothesis is not proven; therefore this research premise is invalid.

The Hungarian-Sumerian language relationship was also mentioned in Amsterdam. According to Honti, there is some overlap between these languages, which came only with the intervention of the Finnish language. The question as to how was not answered. Honti agreed that 2-10 words are identical in the Hungarian and Kechua languages. If there are so few correspondences, then we have to wonder why this question was raised at all. He counted the 200 words between the Japanese and Hungarian languages only as an accidental occurrence. If accidents have such big role, as in the case of the Japanese-Hungarian relationship, then why does he not use these for the Hungarian-Finnish relationship too?


   III. Back to Czuczor-Fogarasi

Instead of researching the lexical elements of the Hungarian language, I would like to outline my research program, which from a methodological and linguistic point of view, contrary to the basic tenets of the Finno-Ugric theory, is truly well-founded because it starts out from the premise that the lexical elements of the Hungarian language should be reconstructed, but not with the help of the basic elements of a non-existent, imaginary language, which cannot even be documented. 

1. The Magyar monosyllabic roots can be found in the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary of the Hungarian language. This list of word-roots forms the base of the lexical relationship and other comparative researches of the Hungarian language.

2. By collecting word-roots and their derivatives, we can form word-clusters, which consist of word-roots identical in form and meaning. This work was begun by Czuczor and Fogarasi. Their dictionary outlines the strong inner cohesion of the Hungarian language. Its principle is that primitive lexical elements, which share a similar form and common content, belong together. Here we will call the common word-root of the word-cluster which has common phonetics, the creator radical. This is a root, which is abstract and which has no linear preference. This is proven by the relationship of the following word-roots: csek-ély/kics-i, kígy-ó/gyík. Therefore, the CS-K, K-GY abstract radicals can form words in two „reciprocal” directions.  The changes of the creator radical are determined by solid linguistic rules.

In theory, vowels can change freely. Consonants can be associated with one another only through the so-called natural phonetic categories. In other words, a change of roots can only come about between similar type consonants, or between the consonants which were formed in a similar position. For example similar type consonants, k- and g- (related explosive sounds), permit the relationship of ker-ek and gör-be (round and bent), or the z- and d- dental sounds permit the relationship of víz and véd (water and protection). In the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary, there are also limitations concerning meaning. The roots are related, not only when they share a similar form, but also when they have similar elements in meaning too. The elements in meaning have to be recognized directly in the Hungarian language, for example in the elements of word-clusters of the K-R creator radical (see no.1. above). Each word has a circle-like element of meaning. Considering that the Magyar roots are very ancient and from another cultural age, the criteria of meaning cannot be used too strictly, because we cannot see the „obvious” connections of meaning. Adorján Magyar’s research also brings this to our attention.

Thus the basic-hypothesis of the fundamental principle of the research of the Hungarian word-root or creator radical is the following:

(17) Word-roots with similar phonetics are the variations of one and the same abstract creator radical and these word-roots have to be connected in meaning also.

This research hypothesis has the following consequences:

1.      The list of the creator-radicals creates the axiomatic elements of the Hungarian dictionary.

2.      The creator radicals have the power to create. They are able to bring about new words, „word-clusters”. The isolated word-radicals have not yet been expanded with affixes.

3.      The Hungarian word root is a root, which is a member of some word-cluster.  A foreign or borrowed root has no relatives.

4.      The Hungarian Dictionary is a cohesive force. The dictionary consists of word-clusters and is not a mass of isolated lexical elements.

5.      The Hungarian Dictionary can be divided into fields of meaning. The creator-radical is also connected to a concept.  Therefore, the Hungarian language is the language of „knowledge”, because ancient knowledge is attached to creator radicals. Adorján Magyar calls these “cultic-word clusters”, for example:

          (18) rúd, réz, ráz, rez- eg, resz-ket, rozs-da, rózs-a, rőt 

This word-cluster is connected with the sound, form and other characteristic elements of copper.

6.      The concept of creator radicals did not exist, or rather was not functional. For this reason the dictionaries of these languages are analytical. Every single element is treated separately. There is a different phonetic form for every meaning.

7.      One can undertake the research of lexical or language relationships only when the mapping of creator-radicals, or word-clusters has been completed. Until then, one should not start.

8.      After this the Hungarian language can be confidently compared with any other language. Related languages, from a lexical point of view, are languages, which share similar creator radicals, or word-clusters. Here one can determine the direction of give and take. If there is a word-parallel between a Hungarian and non-Hungarian language and the Hungarian word is part of some word-cluster, then the Hungarian language is the giver.

The Finno-Ugric linguists wanted not only to steer the research of the origin of the Magyar language into a dead-end but, at the same time, they wanted to break up the cohesive force of the Hungarian Dictionary. If we return to the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary and proceed from there, then a Hungarian lexical research can begin, and Hungarian language research may gain new impetus through the research of the lexical connections of the Hungarian language with other languages. Furthermore, we will be able to recognize ancient connections with the help of the theory of creator-radicals and we will also fully understand the remarks of the English linguist and diplomat Sir John Bowring, which he made in 1830 concerning the Magyar language.

In the great historical work of the Greek scholar, Herodotus, one Scythian origin saga presents the following picture. At the beginning of the reign of Thargitaos, the mythical Scythian king, gold treasures fell from Heaven to his three sons. When the eldest son ran to grab the treasures, fire shot out from the treasures, and the same happened with the second son. The third son, the youngest, was able to pick up the gold treasures, and so became the king of the Scythians. According to legend, the following four gold objects fell from the Heavens: a plough, a yoke, a battle-axe and a drinking cup. If we look at the Hungarian names of these objects, ek-e, ig-a, f-ok-os, ak-ó, then we encounter a surprising discovery. These words belong to one and the same word-cluster, and were formed from the same radical, the –K.  Added to these, the Hungarian word for Heaven, which is ég, can also be counted,. So the Scythian origin-saga can be read with the Hungarian language, and it became fixed within the Hungarian vocabulary. Let us observe, that these words are part of an even greater word-cluster, in which words can be found, such as  ig-e, j-og, ig-az, ig-ér, egy, ügy, agy, ok, ék, üd-v, id-ő, éd-es, etc. This, in itself, is a surprising fact, because these words refer to creation, knowledge and world-order. It seems that these are all connected with the Heavens (ég in Hungarian). The Scythians, (and the Magyars) received not only the golden objects from Heaven but a lot more. This necessitates further research.

The English linguist and diplomat, Sir John Bowring, wrote the following in 1830 about the Hungarian language: „The Magyar language stands afar off and alone. The study of other tongues will be found of exceedingly little use towards its right understanding. It is moulded in a form essentially its own, and its construction and composition may be safely referred to an epoch when most of the living tongues of Europe either had no existence, or no influence on the Hungarian region.”   (POETRY OF THE MAGYARS, Preceded by a Sketch of the Language and Literature of Hungary and Transylvania by John Bowring London : Printed for the Author, 1830. Preface 6. )

A few questions arise in connection with this often quoted paragraph from Bowring. First of all, what is Bowring talking about in the above quotation? Secondly, where did Bowring get his knowledge of the Hungarian language and the courage to state these things about the Hungarian language?  We shall try to answer these questions, one-by-one. Bowring – when he talks about the Hungarian language – thinks of the dictionary, according to the practices of linguistics of his day. He knows that the Hungarian lexical elements are very old, and developed according to their own system. The genesis of a lexical system is rooted in the world of spirit. We may suppose that Bowring, who himself spoke the Hungarian language, first of all knew this secret, otherwise he would not have written in such mysterious manner, and yet so firmly. He himself could not find the secret of the Hungarian language, since there were no writings concerning it, and it is not likely, that he could have found the answer by himself. He could have learned this from a man, whose mother tongue was Hungarian, who was a linguist, who knew the basis of the Indian theoretical linguistics and Panini grammar from the Sanskrit, who was well versed in the ancient cultic languages, Sumerian, Sanskrit, etc., which he compared with Hungarian, and who knew the ancient cultures and wisdoms of the spiritual world. These qualities could be present in only one man around 1830, namely in Sándor Körösi Csoma. This supposition of mine is strengthened by the fact that Bowring knew, and even supported Körösi Csoma. So we can suppose that it was Körösi Csoma who introduced Bowring to the divine secret of the Hungarian language. But what is this divine secret? Every Hungarian word-root is a member of some greater unit, a word-cluster, and so every root represents a greater unit. So the principle of pars pro toto prevails. The smaller unit represents the greater unit at the same time. If we suppose that the Universe and Creation itself is based upon this principle, then we can understand why we dissect divine secrets when we research the Hungarian Dictionary.

One can read more in my practically finished and soon to be published book. It will be a worthy continuation of my two books entitled: “Az igazság forradalma”The Revolution of Truth.”




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  2. Björn Collinder: Comparative Grammar of the Uralic Languages, Uppsala 1960.
  3. Szíj, Eniko: Újra kell-e írni a finnugor őstörténetet?, Magyar Tudomány 1990, 3. sz., 261-266. old. Hajdú Péter: Finnugor népek és nyelvek, Budapest, 1962. Décsy, Gyula: Einführung in die Finnisch-ugrische Sprachwissenschhaft, Wiesbaden, 1965.
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  7. I will mention only a few data concerning my linguistic activities: I finished my linguistic studies in Holland at the University of Groningen. I spent longer periods in the USA twice, as the guest-researcher of the MTI in Boston. My first linguistic study appeared in the Nyelvtudományi Közlemény in 1985, when I was 25 years old. (Marácz K. László, Nyelvtudományi Közlemények, 87. kötet 1. szám, Budapest, 1985, A magyar névutós csoportról, pp.173-186.) One member of the Ny.K’s editorial board was none other, than László Honti, the same László Honti, who, in February of 1996 stated that I was not a linguist. In my doctoral dissertation, I defended the structure of Magyar syntax with the title: “Asszimetriák a magyarban” (Asymmetries in Hungarian) at the University of Groningen in 1989. This was published by the Basque Academy of Sciences in its academic series of 1991 (László K. Marácz: Asszimetriák a magyarban (Asymmetries in Hungarian), Supplements of ASJU, International Journal of Basque Linguistics and Philology, XII, San Sebastian, 1991). My doctoral thesis was acknowledged in several places. I am quoting now the opinions of two noted linguists whom I mentioned in a letter which I wrote to the editor. Bernard Comrie, Professor at USC, Los Angeles, and the author of several language-typological books wrote on January 24, 1990: "Thank you for a copy of your book' Asymmetries in Hungarian', which I just received. A quick look at the book shows that it is full of material that really interests me, and I look forward to studying it in detail."

Professor Richard Kayne, who teaches at the New York City University, wrote in his letter dated November 29, 1989: "Many thanks for sending me your thesis, which looks extremely interesting. I look forward to reading it soon." He read my doctoral dissertation, because in his book, which was published in 1994 (The Antisymmetry of Syntax, MIT Press, Cambridge), on page 140, he refers to my doctoral work. It may not be without merit to mention that Professor Kayne is one of the most important structuralist-generative linguists of the world, and a specialist in Romance languages. This is enough about myself.

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[1] The arrangement of sounds (Editor)