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A relevance-theoretic account of the pragmatic marker ba in Mandarin Chinese

  • William S.Y. Wang (Dr.)
Publiceringsår: 2010
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 261-287
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Chinese Linguistics
Volym: 38
Nummer: 2
Dokumenttyp: Artikel


This paper aims to present a proposal for a relevance-theoretic description of the use of the particle ba in Mandarin Chinese. The result of the analyses of the data shows that ba is a pragmatic marker with a similar function in declaratives, interrogatives and imperatives, i.e. to indicate hearer-oriented weak commitment towards either the proposition expressed (declaratives, interrogatives) or the speech act expressed (imperatives). The results also indicate that ba can be compared to tags such as English yeah, right? and innit? and that it is often used more generally to engage the hearer in the conversation and expressing politeness with no real intention of allowing for a response or confirmation from him/her.



  • History and Archaeology
  • discourse markers
  • pragmatics
  • Relevance Theory
  • Mandarin Chinese


  • ISSN: 0091-3723

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