Grammatical particle
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In
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
, the term ''particle'' (
abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for example, the word ''abbrevia ...
) has a traditional meaning, as a
part of speech In traditional grammar Traditional grammar is a framework for the description of the structure of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sig ...
that cannot be inflected, and a modern meaning, as a
function word In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ph ...
associated with another word or phrase to impart meaning. Although a particle may have an intrinsic meaning, and indeed may fit into other grammatical categories, the fundamental idea of the particle is to add context to the sentence, expressing a mood or indicating a specific action. In English, for instance, the phrase "oh well" has no purpose in speech other than to convey a mood. The word 'up' would be a particle in the phrase to 'look up' (as in the phrase ''"''look up this topic''"''), implying that one researches something, rather than literally gazing skywards. Many languages use particles, in varying amounts and for varying reasons. In Hindi, for instance, they may be used as honorifics, or to indicate emphasis or negation. In some languages they are more clearly defined, such as Chinese, which has three types of ''zhùcí'' (助詞; particles): ''Structural'', ''Aspectual'', and ''Modal''. ''Structural'' particles are used for
grammatical relations In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...

grammatical relations
. ''Aspectual'' particles signal
grammatical aspect Aspect is a grammatical category A grammatical category or grammatical feature is a property of items within the grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, struct ...
s. ''Modal'' particles express
linguistic modality In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis inclu ...
.
Polynesian languages The Polynesian languages form a genealogical group of languages, itself part of the Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also call ...

Polynesian languages
, which are almost devoid of inflection, use particles extensively to indicate mood, tense, and case.


Modern meaning

Particles are typically words that encode
grammatical categories A grammatical category or grammatical feature is a property of items within the grammar of a language. Within each category there are two or more possible values (sometimes called grammemes), which are normally mutually exclusive. Frequently encou ...
(such as
negation In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, ...
, mood, tense, or
case Case or CASE may refer to: Containers * Case (goods), a package of related merchandise * Case, the metallic enclosure component in modern firearm cartridge (firearms), cartridges * Bookcase, a piece of furniture used to store books * Briefcase or ...
),
clitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
s, or fillers or (oral) discourse markers such as ''well'', ''um'', etc. Particles are never inflected.


Related concepts and ambiguities

Depending on context, the meaning of the term may overlap with concepts such as ''
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone, but a word on this definition alw ...
'', ''
marker The term Marker may refer to: Common uses * Marker (linguistics), a morpheme that indicates some grammatical function * Marker (telecommunications), a special-purpose computer * Boundary marker, an object that identifies a land boundary * Marker o ...
'', or even ''
adverb An adverb is a word or an expression that modifies a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), ...

adverb
'' as in English
phrasal verb In English traditional grammar, a phrasal verb is the combination of two or three words from different grammatical categories — a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in ...
s such as ''out'' in ''get out''. Under a strict definition, in which a particle must be uninflected, English
deicticsIn linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include pho ...

deictics
like ''this'' and ''that'' would not be classed as such (since they have plurals and are therefore inflected), and neither would
Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
articles (since they are inflected for number and gender). This assumes that ''any'' function word incapable of inflection is by definition a particle. However, this conflicts with the above statement that particles have no specific lexical function per se, since non-inflecting words that function as articles, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections have a clear lexical function. This disappears if particles are taken to be a separate class of words, where one characteristic (which they share with some words of other classes) is that they do not inflect.


In English

''Particle'' is a somewhat nebulous term for a variety of small words that do not conveniently fit into other classes of words. ''The Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language'' defines a particle as a "word that does not change its form through inflection and does not fit easily into the established system of parts of speech". The term includes the "adverbial particles" like ''up'' or ''out'' in verbal idioms (
phrasal verb In English traditional grammar, a phrasal verb is the combination of two or three words from different grammatical categories — a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in ...
s) such as "look up" or "knock out"; it is also used to include the "infinitival particle" ''to'', the "negative particle" ''not'', the "imperative particles" ''do'' and ''let'', and sometimes "pragmatic particles" like ''oh'' and ''well''.


In other languages


Afrikaans

The following particles can be considered the most prominent in
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
: * ''nie''2: Afrikaans has a , as in ''Sy is nie1 moeg nie2'' 'She is not tired PTCL.NEG' (meaning 'She is not tired'). The first ''nie''1 is analysed as an adverb, while the second ''nie''2 as a negation particle. * ''te'': Infinitive verbs are preceded by the complementiser ''om'' and the infinitival particle ''te'', e.g. ''Jy moet onthou om te eet'' 'You must remember for COMP PTCL.INF eat' (meaning 'You must remember to eat'). * ''se'' or ''van'': Both ''se'' and ''van'' are genitive particles, e.g. ''Peter se boek'' 'Peter PTCL.GEN book' (meaning 'Peter's book'), or ''die boek van Peter'' 'the book PTCL.GEN Peter' (meaning 'Peter's book'). * ''so'' and ''soos'': These two particles are found in constructions like ''so groot soos 'n huis'' 'PTCL.CMPR big PTCL.CMPR a house' (meaning 'as big as a house').


Arabic

Particles in Arabic can take the form of a single root letter before a given word, like "-و" (''and''), "-ف" (''so'') and "-ل" (''to''). However, other particles like "هل" (which marks a question) can be complete words as well.


Chinese

There are three types of zhùcí (助詞; particles) in Chinese: Structural, Aspectual, and Modal. Structural particles are used for
grammatical relations In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...

grammatical relations
. Aspectual particles signal
grammatical aspect Aspect is a grammatical category A grammatical category or grammatical feature is a property of items within the grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, struct ...
s. Modal particles express
linguistic modality In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis inclu ...
. Note that particles are different from zhùdòngcí (助動詞; modal verbs) in Chinese.


Hindi

There are different types of particles present in Hindi. Emphatic particles, limiter particles, negation particles, affirmative particles, honorific particles, topic-marker particle and case-marking particles. Some common particles of Hindi are mentioned in the table below:


German

A German modal particle serves no necessary syntactical function, but expresses the speaker's attitude towards the utterance. Modal particles include ''ja, halt, doch, aber, denn, schon'' and others. Some of these also appear in non-particle forms. ''Aber'', for example, is also the conjunction ''but''. In ''Er ist Amerikaner, aber er spricht gut Deutsch'', "He is American, but he speaks German well," ''aber'' is a conjunction connecting two sentences. But in ''Er spricht aber gut Deutsch!'', the ''aber'' is a particle, with the sentence perhaps best translated as "What good German he speaks!" These particles are common in speech but rarely found in written language, except that which has a spoken quality (such as online messaging).


Turkish

Turkish particles have no meaning alone; among other words, it takes part in the sentence. In some sources, exclamations and conjunctions are also considered Turkish particles. In this article, exclamations and conjunctions will not be dealt with, but only Turkish particles. The main particles used in Turkish are: * ancakused with "Ama, fakat, lakin" (but). * başka, another * beri, since * bir, one * bir tek, only * dair, regarding * doğru, right * değil, not * değin, mention * denli, as much * dek, until * dolayı, due * diye, so * evvel, before * gayri, informal * gibi, like * göre, by * için, for * ile, withused with "Ve" (and) * kadar, until * karşı, against * karşın, Although or despite * mukabil, corresponding * önce, prior to * ötürü, due to * öte, beyond * rağmen, despite * sadece, only * sanki, as if * sonra, then * sıra, row * üzere, to * yalnız, alone Particles can be used with the simple form of the names to which they are attached or in other cases. Some of particles uses with attached form, and some particles are always used after the relevant form. For examples, "-den ötürü", "-e dek", "-den öte", "-e doğru": * Bu çiçekleri annem için alıyorum. ("anne" is nominative) * Yarına kadar bu ödevi bitirmem lazım. (dative) * Düşük notlarından ötürü çok çalışman gerekiyor. (ablative) Turkish particles according to their functions. Başka, gayrı, özge used for ''other, another, otherwise, new, diverse, either'' * Senden gayrı kimsem yok. No one other than you. * Yardım istemekten başka çaremiz kalmadı. We have no choice but to ask for help. Göre, nazaran, dâir, rağmen used for ''by, in comparison, about, despite''. * Çok çalışmama rağmen sınavda hedeflediğim başarıyı yakalayamadım. * Duyduğuma göre bitirme sınavları bir hafta erken gerçekleşecekmiş. * Şirketteki son değişikliklere dâir bilgi almak istiyorum. İçin, üzere, dolayı, ötürü, nâşi, diye used for ''for, with, because, because of, how''. * Açılış konuşmasını yapmak üzere kürsüye çıktı. * Bu raporu bitirebilmek için zamana ihtiyacım var. * Kardeşim hastalığından nâşi gelemedi.


Japanese and Korean

The term ''particle'' is often used in descriptions of Japanese language, Japanese and Korean language, Korean, where they are used to mark nouns according to their grammatical case or thematic relation in a sentence or clause. Linguistic analyses describe them as suffixes,
clitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
s, or Preposition and postposition, postpositions. There are sentence-tagging particles such as Japanese and Chinese question markers.


Polynesian languages

Polynesian languages The Polynesian languages form a genealogical group of languages, itself part of the Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also call ...

Polynesian languages
are almost devoid of inflection, and use particles extensively to indicate mood, tense, and case. Suggs, discussing the deciphering of the rongorongo script of Easter Island, describes them as all-important. In Māori language, Māori for example, the versatile particle "e" can signal the imperative mood, the vocative case, the future tense, or the subject of a sentence formed with most passive verbs. The particle "i" signals the past imperfect tense, the object of a transitive verb or the subject of a sentence formed with "neuter verbs" (a form of passive verb), as well as the prepositions ''in'', ''at'' and ''from''.


Tokelauan

In Tokelauan language, Tokelauan, ''ia'' is used when describing personal names, month names, and nouns used to describe a collaborative group of people participating in something together. It also can be used when a verb does not directly precede a pronoun to describe said pronouns. Its use for pronouns is optional but mostly in this way. ''Ia'' cannot be used if the noun it is describing follows any of the prepositions ''e, o, a'', or ''ko''. A couple of the other ways unrelated to what is listed above that ''ia'' is used is when preceding a locative or place name. However, if ''ia'' is being used in this fashion, the locative or place name must be the subject of the sentence. Another particle in Tokelauan is ''a'', or sometimes ''ā''. This article is used before a person's name as well as the names of months and the particle ''a te'' is used before pronouns when these instances are following the prepositions ''i'' or ''ki''. ''Ia te'' is a particle used if following the preposition ''ma''i.


See also

* Nobiliary particle * Ilocano particles * Okinawan language#Particles (助詞), Okinawan particles * Proto-Indo-European particles * Uninflected word


Notes


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Grammatical Particle Parts of speech