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What is a particle?

 

Definition
 

A particle is a word that

 
  • does not belong to one of the main classes of words
  • is invariable in form, and
  • typically has grammatical or pragmatic meaning.
Discussion
 

The usage of the term particle varies. Some authorities include English prepositions and even English articles as particles.

Examples (English)
 
  • to (in marking infinitives)
  • up (in set up)
  • not
  • well
  • oh
 
Sources:

Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985 208

Kind
  Here is a kind of particle:
 
Generic
  A particle is a kind of
 
Sources
 

Crystal 1985 222

 

Mish 1991 858

 

Crystal 1987 427

 

Pei and Gaynor 1954 161

 

Richards, Platt, and Weber 1985 208

 

Hartmann and Stork 1972 165

 

Schourup 1983 1


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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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