[Lingtyp] common background particles

Ludwig Paul ludwig.paul at uni-hamburg.de
Wed Dec 5 10:32:11 UTC 2018

Dear Vladimir,
just an addition to your German data: Bavarian "fai" has the same  
meaning, and is probably more specific, and more frequent, than High  
German "ja". Its origin seems toe be from feil, which means "fore  
sale" (see, "feilbieten").
Ludwig Paul

Zitat von Vladimir Panov <panovmeister at gmail.com>:

> 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.
> Russian:
> 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

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