[Lingtyp] common background particles

Hartmut Haberland hartmut at ruc.dk
Tue Dec 4 16:13:06 UTC 2018


Rie Obe and Hartmut Haberland 2018. [Review of] Naomi Ogi (2017), Involvement and Attitude in Japanese Discourse: Interactive Markers. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 41(1): 117-128
(for Japanese and Scandinavian – minus Icelandic – and references to other languages).

Hartmut Haberland
Professor emeritus

Roskilde University
Department of Communication and Arts
Universitetsvej 1
DK-4000 Roskilde
Telephone: +45 46742841

Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> På vegne af Vladimir Panov
Sendt: 4. december 2018 17:03
Til: LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org
Emne: [Lingtyp] common background particles

Dear collegues,

In some languages of Europe (e.g. Russian and German) there are special markers ("particles") that have among their core functions the one of "reminding" the hearer of some common background information that s/he is expected to share with the speaker.

S1: Magazin zakryt.
      shop      closed
      The shop is closed

S2: Konečno, segodnia že    voskresen'je
      of.course  today      PRT  Sunday
      Of course, (you know that) today is Sunday.

In Russian, že has some other prominent functions as well. A very similar meaning is also provided by the sentence-initial ved' ("common ground" is its core meaning). For German, the particles ja and, to a certain extent, doch are often descirbed in similar terms. For both German and Russian, these particles have been extensively studied.

Markers having this meaning as at least one of the prominent ones are found in many languages the Circum-Baltic region, Eastern and Northern Europe, Finno-Ugric languages of the European part of Russia. However, they seem to be rare or even absent in Romance languages (but are present in Latin), the rest of West Germanic languages and in the Balkans. Arguably, the overt marking of this meaning may be considered an areal feature of this particular macroregion.

I would like to ask if anyone is aware of languages beyond Europe that have this type of markers. I am mostly interested in the rest of Eurasia, but not only.

Thank you,
Vladimir Panov
(Vilnius University / Russian Academy of Sciences)
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