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Re: What do you call this?

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 22:50
Quoting John Cowan <cowan@...>:

> Steg Belsky scripsit: > > > What do you call a word like "yes" "no" and "maybe"? > > "Truth value marker"?
Formally, they differ from language to language. In Old English, _gea sie_ "yea, may it be" was an entire sentence. In modern English, I would call "yes" and "no" affirmative and negative discourse particles, respectively, since they are formally outside the domain of the clause's syntax. "Maybe" might be better termed an adverb: "Yes, he can go" *"He can yes go" "No, he can't go" *"He can no go" "Maybe, he can go" "He can maybe go" (My grammaticality judgements.) ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637