Particle: Semantic classification

July 20th, 20122:07 am


Particle: Semantic classification

Taking into account this categorical meaning, it is possible to distin­guish the following types of particles:

1) additive (also, either, even, neither, too) that correlate the nuclear com­ponent with its counterpart on the ground of their similar properties:

Jack was not prepared to deliver the report. Linda was not at her best at the meeting either.

2) limiting (alone, barely, hardly, just, merely, only, solely, scarcely, simply) that make the nuclear component distinct from the (other­wise similar) counterpart on the ground of some peculiar property: Henry just tried to help! He did not mean to pry into your private life!

3) adversative (but, still, though, yet) that indicate the contrast between the nuclear component as an unexpected, paradoxical consequence that results from the previous situation-counterpart:

I can’t see anything in the letter of great interest!“Yet there is one point that struck me at once “.

4) adversative-negative (never) that marks emphatically contrast be­tween expectations, promises, plans, desires with reality:

He promised to come back next day but he never did. Grammarians suppose that particles, in the majority of cases, have developed from other parts of speech: adverbs (never, simply), adjectives (alone, even, only), conjunctions (but). Particles, like modal words, appear as a result of new meanings and syntactic functions, gradually acquired by words. It should also be noted that the majority of English particles are mor­phologically simple, monosyllabic words; the issue of composite particles has not yet been raised for this part of speech in English linguistics.