A Study of Evidential Particles in Cantonese: the case of wo3 & wo5

Wai Mun Leung


The study of evidentiality, which has become an indispensable part of linguistic studies, has had a rapid development in the past few decades. However, studies of evidentiality in Cantonese, one of the major dialects spoken by some 70 million people in Hong Kong, Macau and most of the Guangdong province of China, are relatively few. This paper will firstly introduce evidentiality and its derived concept, mirativity, and subjectivity. Then the features of the Cantonese evidential particles wo3 (mid-level tone), which indicates unexpectedness and noteworthiness, and wo5 (low rising tone), which expresses hearsay information, will be analyzed, and a discussion on how a speaker expresses his or her understanding of the objective world through language will be given.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/bjll.v4i0.35