A Pragmatic and Semantic Study
7. Analysis of Particle a with Exclamatives 257
257 7. Analysis of Particle a with Exclamatives As already mentioned in Literature Review (Chapter 2), exclamatives in Chinese are commonly defined in Chinese grammars as sentences where speakers express strong emotions of various kinds. Works on Mandarin grammar generally note the fact that particle a is often used with ex- clamative sentences of the language. In the corpus data of this study, a total of 169 exclamative sentences are found which end in this particle. This chapter addresses the uses of particle a with these sentences and it comprises three sections. Section 7.1 examines the particle’s emphatic use with exclamatives; Section 7.2 focuses on those exclamatory utter- ances in which particle a expresses the speaker’s surprised feeling about the described event or situation; and Section 7.3 takes a look at more marginalized exclamatory uses of the particle with affirmative answers and set social expressions. 7.1 Speaker strong emotions The examination of the corpus data shows clearly that particle a can perform an emphatic function with exclamatives in that it adds to the intensity of the emotion conveyed by an exclamative and also in that it can help construct exclamatives. This finding is in line with what is generally recognized in the literature that the particle can indicate or intensify the exclamatory mood of an utterance (see Literature Review on exclamatives in Section 2.3.4). It is necessary to point out, however, that the particle is capable of doing all this (indicating or intensifying the exclamatory mood of an utterance) simply...
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