Modal particles: Problems in defining a category

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This contribution addresses the problems of defining and delineating the category of modal particles and determining its relation to other word classes. The paper first presents the most important points of discussion, mainly at the form level, and subsequently attempts to come to grips with this apparently problematic situation by referring to the notions of prototypicality, granularity, and conceptualization. Rather than fully resolving the categorial problem, these notions serve as a tool to better understand discussion and how it should be approached. The argumentation is primarily based on the situation in German, but a brief comparison to French is included.


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