[Lingtyp] common background particles
gil at shh.mpg.de
Tue Dec 4 16:39:45 UTC 2018
Malay/Indonesian has such particles.
In Riau Indonesian, Jakarta Indonesian, and several other varieties,
your S2 would be rendered as
(1) /K//an hari minggu/
PRT day Sunday
in which /kan/ has exactly the function that you describe. In other
contexts, the same particle /kan/ has additonal functions, including
that of a yes/no tag. Its origin is in a reduced form of the negator
In Papuan Malay, your S2 would be rendered as
(2) /Hari minggu to
/ day Sunday PRT
where the same function is borne by the particle /to/. I have heard at
least two proposed etymologies for /to/: (a) the Dutch particle /toch
/(which I am skeptical about), and (b) the Malay word /tau/ 'know'. I
also have my own idea, namely that it comes from the Malay/indonesian
word /atau/ 'or' (ultimately from Sanskrit) — but I'm still not sure
which of the etymologies is the best ...
On 05/12/2018 00:03, Vladimir Panov wrote:
> 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)
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
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Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
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