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Particles

Updated: 6-28-2011 7:22 AM

Particles are uninflected words and can be divided into several subclasses. Some particles always occur in a certain position. For example, the question particle is used with questions that are typically answered with yes or no, and appear after the first word in a sentence.

ina, na

Emphatic

Emphatic particles add emphasis to statements and phrases. They are common in conversation and narratives.

go        emphatic heightening assertiveness

sha       emphatic of contradiction

sa         emphatic of novelty

Interjectional and Exhortative

Interjections are one or two adverbial words that express emotion or attitude. Exhortative encourage others to undertake an activity.

ahaaw!  =  okay

boozhoo!  =  hello

ambe!  =  come on, let’s …

Sequencing

Sequencing particles serve to pace and sequence discourse and narration. The particle dash is extremely common in speech, and is often joined to a preceding word.

dash
and, so then

Many words that have been classified as particles are now being recognized as adverbs, and may be cross-classified as such.