LINGUIST List 10.483

Thu Apr 1 1999

Sum: Exclamations and Interjections

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. David Harris, Summary: exclamations/interjections

Message 1: Summary: exclamations/interjections

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 22:47:15 -0500
From: David Harris <>
Subject: Summary: exclamations/interjections

Many thanks to those who responded to my exclamations/interjections query.
The responses I received appear below. In addition, I got an interesting
reference to an on-line Esperanto site which discusses several aspects of
exclamations and interjections as used in "the universal language". That URL
is: and the information can be found under
Ekkrioj and Interjektoj. Thanks again for your help,

David Harris
Washington, DC
- ------------------------------------
I have no scholarly input here, but it occurs to me that Spanish has
"Eh?, "Ah?, "Oh?, -Uy!, -Ay!, -Cataplon! ('Kerplunk'), -Aj~! -Pas pas!
(sound of a slap) etc. etc. But it does not seem to have a large
vocabulary of the type used in comic books like Squish, Varoom, etc.;
Spanish versions of English comics invent silly items like -Esquish!
And it is difficult to translate things like 'my car has a ...' ping /
clunk / screech etc. One tends to say 'makes a funny noise' more often
than is necessary in English.
I suspect that you will find lots of languages have such words in big
When you get all you work done, I hope you will make a report to all of
Karl (Karl Reinhardt [])
- ------------------------------------
Dear David,
If you already have not done it, you might do well by looking into
the volume 18 of Journal of Pragmatics (1992) which was a special
number about interjections (exclamations). There are many interesting
papers dealing with attempts to classification, semantic analysis of
interjections, and so on.

Best regards - Jan.
Jan K. Lindstrom
Scandinavian Languages and Literature
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 Helsinki University
phone +358-9-191 23007
fax +358-9-191 22506
Jan K Lindstrom []
- ------------------------------------
In Slavic languages interjections ( I do not really know the difference
exclamations and interjections) can also be used predicatively, governing
complements and
expressing diverse tenses. If you are interested and able to read German I
can send you a
short chapter I wrote on that with examples. Best
Dr. Ursula Doleschal
Inst. f. Slawische Sprachen WU Wien
Augasse 9, A-1090 Wien
- ------------------------------------
Dear David,

I have a Home Page about Discourse Markers with a bibliography of more than
500 references. Take a look at, maybe you find
something of your interest there. FRASER, Bruce classifies interjections as
I created the site to help people who do research on Markers in general and
on related entities in many different languages . Presently I am wrinting
my PhD Dissertation about markers of Portuguese. I decided to create the
site right after I started my course because of the difficulty of finding
references on the subject. Of course I received information from many
friends around the world and still do. That is why the bibliography is so
big now. If you know of any titles that are not reffered yet, please let me
know, and I will enter them as soon as possible.
I have a student who has just started her research on interjections in oral
narrative texts of Portuguese (popular stories) and I think that maybe it
would be interesting to know a little more about your work. If you are
interested, she can tell you a bit about hers, too. She cannot say much
right now, but I think she will have a lot to say in the near future.
Best Regards,
Megan Duque-Estrada
Duque Estrada []
- ------------------------------------
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue