Questions tagged [particles]

For question about parts of speech classified as particles.

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1 answer
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What other languages can get by in some cases without prepositions or particles like Somali?

I just learned of a clever workaround for prepositions: possessive phrases, as in Somali (and here): miiska agtiisa: near the table -> [the table his vicinity] dekedda agteeda: near the harbour -&...
2 votes
0 answers
141 views

Are there languages without fillers like "um" or "uh"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsMWbVrjucg&t=34s According to this video (0:55) almost every language has those speech disfluencies. But ALMOST. Do languages exist that have no such sounds for ...
0 votes
1 answer
112 views

How do languages other than English deal with compound, hyphenated adjectives?

In looking at some long, hyphenated adjectives in English (or this), you find: a twenty-one-gun salute a five-acre farm a five-day week the four-colour problem the low milk-and-cream-yielding dam the ...
13 votes
2 answers
844 views

Are there any languages with only one of "yes" or "no"?

Many modern languages have single words for "yes" and "no" (e.g. English), and some have more than a simple pair (e.g. French), while others have no word for "yes" or &...
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

What parts of speech and sentence constituents are "yes" and "no" words in answers?

Let's look at some examples: — Would you like some ice cream? — No. — Are you happy? — Yes. According to Wiktionary “yes” is a particle: ParticleyesUsed to show agreement or acceptance... “No” and “...
22 votes
7 answers
4k views

Are the Japanese and Korean subject particles known to be related in any way, including by Sprachbund?

Japanese and Korean have strikingly similar grammars but whether they are related or not is an open question. Both languages have a particle to mark the grammatical subject of a sentence and in fact ...
7 votes
1 answer
89 views

What does 'MSP' stand for in the context of Chinese parts of speech?

The Part-Of-Speech Tagging Guidelines for the PennChineseTreebank(3.0) uses several acronyms without defining them. I am a hobbyist student of Chinese linguistics as part of my study of Chinese. I ...
3 votes
4 answers
270 views

What Non-Austronesian languages have a linker or ligature?

In Tagalog, there is a particle called a linker or a ligature, with two forms: na and -ng /-ŋ/. The ligature's main function is to link modifiers (like adjectives and adverbs) and the words that they ...
1 vote
1 answer
477 views

Origin of Japanese particles だい(dai), かい(kai)

I was wondering about the origin of these emphatic interrogative particles in Japanese. It seems very likely that they are related to the more typical forms だ and か, but what led to the postfixed /i/? ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Indo-European prepositions: whence did they come?

What manner of theories are there on the origin of Indo-European case-like prepositions (usually; they were originally postpositions, and a handful of languages still have postpositions)? They seem ...
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

How common are the “politeness particles” in Thai?

A Thai speaker (I’m not sure about their fluency or what regional variants they use) told me that 1) the particles ครับ and ค่ะ are essentially only taught to foreigners and have very little usage ...
4 votes
2 answers
537 views

Infinitive Marker

In English, is the infinitive marker a part of speech? I noticed that Oxford was using it in the PoS lexical entry position for one sense of "to": https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/to "...
1 vote
2 answers
105 views

If there are cases of tense or plural as separate words like particles

I am looking for stranger particle-like things, like the Japanese wa particle, or determiners like the. So wondering if there are any cases of pluralizing or changing to past/future tense that is not ...
6 votes
1 answer
506 views

Understanding the purpose of determiners/articles/demonstratives in language

This was an interesting read: Articles have developed independently in many different language families across the globe. Generally, articles develop over time usually by specialization of certain ...
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do the Thai masculine & feminine "polite particles" have counterparts in Lao?

In Thai there are particles which can be used at the end of many sentences to make them more polite. Different particles are used by male and female speakers: "ครับ" (kráp) : male "ค่ะ" (kâ) : female ...
0 votes
0 answers
121 views

Is the difference between analytic and agglutinative languages superficial? [duplicate]

Say you have a theoretical language which has verbs that are never inflected. If that verb appears, it will only appear in one form. Tense and such things are marked with particles that follow the ...
1 vote
2 answers
483 views

What is the part of speech of 'modifiers to adjectives'?

This is something I was just thinking about. Adjectives in a lot of languages can also take modifiers of their own: very big, more intelligent, etc... But is there an actual word for the part of ...
2 votes
1 answer
159 views

What is the relationship between perfectivity and the Classical Japanese conjunctive particle "-て" ("-te")?

In Classical Japanese, the auxiliary verb "-つ" ("-tsu") has a perfective function, indicating the completion of an action or process. According to Haruo Shirane's Classical Japanese: A Grammar, "-て" ("...
5 votes
3 answers
468 views

Etymology of Ancient Greek interrogative particle ἆρα

The Ancient Greek interrogative ἆρα is strikingly similar to modern Persian āyā. Both words exclusively signal yes/no questions, and almost always begin the sentence. There is an accent on the first ...
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Difference between particle and adverb in English

Some dictionaries such as Cambridge Online Dictionary defines the word particle as a word or a part of a word that has a grammatical purpose but often has little or no meaning: In the sentence "I ...
2 votes
1 answer
920 views

Symbol or abbreviation for a particle?

Not sure if this is a silly question, but: is there a standardised symbol or abbreviation that can be used in formal definitions to refer to particles? Writing "PARTICLE" or "PART" sounds...silly...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are Japanese honorific お and ご prefixes, particles, or both?

In Japanese there are two morphemes which are used before certain nouns as part of the honorific system: お (o) ご (go) Which terms can be used to refer to these out of "prefix" and "particle"? I ...
6 votes
1 answer
447 views

Discourse analysis of Japanese particles?

Have there been any English language attempts (preferably readily-available) to define Japanese particles from the perspective of discourse analysis? Some of the things I would be interested to see ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Agglutinative vs. Analytic. What's the difference?

First of all, I understand that these typological distinctions are not absolute and almost all languages show signs of almost all morphological strategies but most display a certain tendency towards ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Etymology of Japanese no/na/ni/ga?

What is the current accepted origin of the Japanese particles no/na/ni/ga? One account I heard was that all were descended from a common root: an existential verb nu or ni, where ni was the ...
2 votes
0 answers
296 views

What has been written about English completive "up"?

English up can be used to express completion or thoroughness: eat it up 'eat all of it', beat him up 'beat him thoroughly'. What research exists on this construction, from any angle (syntax, ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

How common is a topic particle beyond just Japanese and Korean?

Both Japanese and Korean are "topic-comment" languages and both have an explicit topic particle. (I believe Chinese might be an example of a topic-comment language without a topic particle but I may ...
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Are there any papers etc analyzing Japanese as a language with noun cases rather than particles?

Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinating languages. Many (most?) agglutinating languages are analysed as having case systems. Of course cases and prepositions/postpositions fill the same ...