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Phonology and Morphology Research Group (FoMo)



The research group is engaged in a wide range of themes in the fields of phonetics, phonology and morphology under the auspices of the Department of Theoretical Linguistics of the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Its primary goal is to establish synergy between empirical and theoretical work. The theoretical research carried out by the group focuses on analogy, variability and formal models, while the empirical work is done within the framework of laboratory phonology and it is based on linguistic corpora and experiments. Languages studied by the research group are in particular the following: Hungarian and other Uralic languages, the diverse varieties of Romani spoken in Hungary, Boyash, English, Spanish, Georgian.

The research group publishes extensively in and reviews papers for Hungarian and international scholarly journals while also participating in and organising Hungarian and international academic conferences. For further details, consult the personal websites and Hungarian Scientific Bibliography (MTMT) pages of the individual members of the research group.


Research areas:

Analogy-based phonology and morphology

In our view, linguistic phenomena involving variation, gradience and frequency effects belong to the core of language. Our goal is to develop a phonological and morphological framework that hinges on two central assumptions: (1) linguistic patterns can be captured by surface-based generalisations made directly about linguistic units, and (2) the grammar should be able to handle frequency-related and gradient (non-categorical) phenomena in language.

Formal phonology

We investigate both fundamental components of phonological models: the structure and basic units of representations and the set of operations mapping one representation onto another. In addition, we examine the interactions of phonology with morphology on the one hand and with phonetics on the other. Our research deals with both synchronic and diachronic data, coming from various languages (currently focusing mostly on Hungarian and English).

See here for more information on our research topics


Other duties carried out by the research group

  • The majority of the research group teach courses at the Theoretical Linguistics Centre operated jointly by the Faculty of Humanities of Eötvös Loránd University and the Research Institute for Linguistics at every level (BA in Liberal Arts with a specialisation and minor in theoretical linguistics, MA in theoretical linguistics and PhD in theoretical linguistics within the Doctoral School of Linguistics). The members of the research group are also active as part-time university lecturers, sessional lecturers, supervisors of BA, MA and PhD theses, and as members of university degree award boards and viva voce examination boards.
  • Several members of the research group take part in the selection and preparation of the Hungarian team of the International Linguistics Olympiad.
  • The members of the research group make a major linguistic contribution to popsci, presenting it in the form of online articles and radio programmes.


Research projects

Ongoing project:


Participation in ongoing projects:

Research proposal:

  • Non-agglutinative properties and paradigm structure in Hungarian and cognate languages

Previous projects:

  • Variation in Romani morphology (OTKA K 111961, 2014-2017, PI: Kálmán, László)
  • Documentation of Romani varieties spoken in Hungary and the description of morphological variation (NKFI K 125596, 2017-2019, PI: Kálmán, László)

Participation in previous projects:

  • Variation in phonology (OTKA 104897, 2013-2016, PI: Szigetvári, Péter)
  • Comprehensive Grammar Resources: Hungarian (OTKA 100804, 2012-2017, PI: Kenesei, István)


Successfully defended doctoral theses supervised by members of the research group:

Szalontai Ádám: The syntax and prosody of the post-verbal domain in Hungarian (supervisors: Katalin Mády és Balázs Surányi, opponents: Markó, Alexandra (ELTE), Szendrői, Krisztina (UCL, London), cum laude)

Baló András Márton: Analogy in Lovari Morphology (supervisor: László Kálmán, opponents: Törkenczy, Miklós, DSc (ELTE), Zsigri, Gyula, PhD (SZTE), summa cum laude)

Rung András: Magyar főnévi alaktani jelenségek analógiás megközelítésben (supervisor: László Kálmán, opponents Kornai, András (SZTAKI), Törkenczy, Miklós (ELTE), summa cum laude)

Drienkó László: A linguistic agreement mapping-system model (supervisor: László Kálmán, opponents: Bíró, Tamás (ACLC, University of Amsterdam), Rebrus, Péter (MTA-ELTE), cum laude)

Kiss Zoltán: The Phonetics-Phonology Interface (Allophony, Assimilation and Phonotactics) (supervisor: Miklós Törkenczy, opponents: Siptár, Péter (ELTE), Szentgyörgyi, Szilárd (Pannon Egyetem), summa cum laude)

Varasdi Károly: A progresszívről és az imperfektívről (supervisor László Kálmán, opponents: Gendler, Szabó Zoltán (Yale University), Maleczki, Márta (SzTE), summa cum laude)

Anne Tamm: Relations between Estonian Verbs, Aspect, and Case (supervisor: András Komlósy, opponents: Christopher Pinon, Pusztay, János, summa cum laude)

Gyuris Beáta: The Semantics of Contrastive Topics in Hungarian (supervisor: László Kálmán, opponents: Maleczki, Márta, Christopher Pinon, summa cum laude)

Rebrus Péter: Morfofonológiai jelenségek (Magyar tő- és toldalékváltakozások CV-fonológiai keretben) (supervisor: László Kálmán, opponents: Siptár, Péter, Szigetvári, Péter, summa cum laude)

Szigetvári Péter: VC Phonology: a theory of consonant lenition and phonotactics (supervisor: Miklós Törkenczy, opponents: Jean Lowenstam, Polgárdi, Krisztina; summa cum laude)



FoMo talks: The Phonology and Morphology Research Group regularly invites external and internal presenters to give talks. Time and place: once a month on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the lecture hall on the ground floor of the Research Institute for Linguistics

Upcoming talk (the series is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

Previous talks: see the the institute archives of events at the institute



Balo, Martin, PhD, research fellow

Bárkányi, Zsuzsanna, PhD, part-time senior research fellow (abroad)

Fejes, László, PhD, research fellow

Kálmán, László, CSc, senior research fellow

Komlósy, András, CSc, senior research fellow (retired)

Mády, Katalin, PhD, senior research fellow

Polgárdi, Krisztina, PhD, senior research fellow

Rebrus, Péter, PhD, senior research fellow, research group leader

Törkenczy, Miklós, DSc, research professor

Former staff:

Benkő, Ágnes, MA, part-time assistant research fellow

Deme, Andrea, PhD, assistant research fellow

Kohári, Anna, PhD, assistant research fellow

Patay, Fanni, MA, part-time assistant research fellow

Reichel, Uwe, PhD, guest researcher

Siptár, Péter, DSc, research professor

Szalontai, Ádám, PhD, assistant research fellow


Individual research activities:

Balo, Martin

Testing analogical models on Romani language material. Collecting and analysing empirical, spoken Romani language data.

Bárkányi, Zsuzsanna

Her research applies laboratory phonological methods to Hungarian, Slovak and Spanish data, focussing on voicing at prosodic boundaries and in consonant clusters.

Fejes, László

Describing phenomena of vowel harmony and antiharmony in Uralic languages, developing a typology for harmony. Investigating certain morphological phenomena in Uralic languages (paradigm types, derivation).

Kálmán, László

Performing corpus-based statistical analyses in the field of Hungarian morphophonology. Running computer simulations in order to evaluate theoretical models. 

Mády, Katalin

Laboratory phonology, sociophonetic phenomena, processes of sound change. Investigating and modelling prosody using experimental methods.

Polgárdi, Krisztina

Theoretical phonological research in the framework of Government Phonology: syllable structure phenomena (distributions and alternations), segmental representations and the analysis of processes (on data from English, Hungarian and other languages).

Rebrus, Péter                                                                 

Phonology and morphology, Hungarian phonology and morphology in particular, vowel harmony, the typology of consonant clusters, optimality theory, analogy-based grammars, morphophonology (irregularity, defectiveness, paradigms). Computational linguistics, in particular: morphological annotation, finite-state machines in phonology and morphology, analogy-based linguistic models.

Törkenczy, Miklós

Research into theoretical phonology and morphology. Research into Hungarian phonology and morphology, with special regard to vowel harmony, phonological and morphological variation and the morpho(phono)logy of paradigmatic gaps. Evaluating the results of experiments carried out in these areas, comparing theoretical models. Gathering Hungarian morphological and phonological data from corpora and performing summary analyses of them. Research into English phonology, with special regard to the topic of word stress.


Last modified: 28.01.2021