On the Identity and Uses of Cantonese Sentence-final Particles in the Late 20th Century: The Case of wo (?) and bo (?)

  •  Wai-Mun Leung    


This paper mainly describes the uses of the frequently used sentence final particles wo3 and bo3 in the 1990s in Hong Kong Cantonese by examining speech data. In the past twenty years, most experts treated wo3 and bo3 as variant forms, the former being the result of sound change from the latter (Kwok 1984, Luke 1990, Li 1995, Fang 2003). In order to verify whether wo3 and bo3 are different particles or free variations of the same particle, the synchronic picture of the two particles will be considered by comparing their uses and functions in the 1990s with the language examples from the Hong Kong University Cantonese Corpus and local movies.

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