LINGUIST List 14.2880

Wed Oct 22 2003

Sum: Cross-Linguistic Particles

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. Morrison, A Further Summary of "Cross-Linguistic Overview of Particles"

Message 1: A Further Summary of "Cross-Linguistic Overview of Particles"

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 23:53:01 +0930
From: Morrison <>
Subject: A Further Summary of "Cross-Linguistic Overview of Particles"

In a previous message (Linguist 14.2157) , I summarised the responses
to my query (Linguist 14.2267): "Can anyone recommend an introductory
cross-linguistic overview of particles that extends beyond the
Indo-European languages?" At that time I had received a single,
although most helpful, response from Dr Petek Kurtboke, regarding
Turkish particles.

Since then, I have received several further responses. Although it 
seems that there is no single introductory cross-linguistic overview of 
particles, I was nevertheless directed towards a wealth of resources, 
which I summarise as follows:

Mike Maxwell pointed me towards the following website: 

Tim Baldwin mentioned a recent workshop in Toulouse entitled "The 
ACL-SIGSEM Workshop on the Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions and 
their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications". 20

Rosa Rodriguez advised that Mayan languages are rich in particles, and 
recommended Brown & Levinson's "Politeness: Some Universals in Language 
Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press" (1987).

Jim Miller referred me to his paper in "Language Science" (1996), with a 
more complete account of his work to be published soon. Jim's work 
primarily draws upon English, German, Catalan, Hungarian and Bulgarian.

Guido Oebel did a Google search and came up with 3280 "particle-related" 
hits simply by using the keywords "particle" and "cross-linguistic". 
This one is going to keep me busy for a while!

Prof. Dr. Anneli Sarhimaa directed me towards two papers Marja Leinonen 
which discuss certain Russian particles in relation to Permic languages.

Mary Erbaugh has done some work on Burmese, Mandarin, Laho, Thai, 
Cambodian and Vietnamese particles as discourse markers. Adrien Tien 
also commented on discourse particles in Mandarin.

Ans van Kemenade advises me that there are a number of articles that may 
be useful now available in the "Yearbook of Morphology 2003".

Dr Andrew McIntyre suggested that a query about "particles" may have 
been a bit too broad, since the term can cover several discrete usages 
(eg. modal particles, verbal particles, question particles), but is also 
sometimes used as a generic term for any uninflected grammatical 
category. I guess it is this second sense that I had in mind when I 
posted the original query - amongst other things, I wanted to get a feel 
for current perceptions of the viablity/usefulness of the generic usage 
of this term cross-linguistically.

I'd like to thank everyone for the time that they took in responding to 
my query, and the helpful nature of their suggestions. I hope that I 
haven't inadvertently left anyone off my summary!

Anne Morrison
PhD Candidate
Communication, Information and New Media
University of South Australia
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