Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Utterance Final Particles
(2,949 words)

Chinese is known to have a large number of sentence-final particles (SFPs), many of which are said to express yǔqì 語氣 (roughly translatable as “modality”) of various kinds. Each Chinese dialect has its own set of SFPs, though some individual ones may cross dialectal boundaries.   

1. Mandarin

The most commonly used SFPs in Mandarin, for instance, include le 了, ma 嗎, a/ya 啊/呀, ba 吧, ne 呢, me 嚜/嘛, etc. Quite a few of them have close counterparts, phonetically or functio…

Cite this page
Chauncey CHU, “Utterance Final Particles”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000375>
First published online: 2015

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