Research of Particles
"Particles" is one of the most challenging and controversial parts of speech in the modern linguistics. Their grammar status, syntactical features, semantic variety, changes in language contact and discouse functions in different types of texts remain the subject of discussion.
This platform provides an overview of current research results and contains links to the cloud-based resource with data updated by particles' researchers.

The project is led by Dr. Liudmila Saveleva, Ph.D. in Philology (Comparative-typological linguistics), member of the International Society for the Linguistics of English and the Linguistic Society of America

Introduction to Particles
Overview of the speech part "particles" in English, Russian and German
The starting point in particles research is defining the term “particles”. The overview of topic-related studies shows significant inconsistency in application and understanding of the term. It can be concluded that it is applied in linguistics in two ways: in general sense, it is all synsemantic parts of speech (i.e. conjunctions, interjections and words that generally “do not fit” in standard speech parts). Another way to look at the particles is treating them as separate class of words that perform pragmatic and communicative functions triggered in discourse.

Analysis of term usage in compared languages shows that in Russian particles are recognized by most of grammar studies as a separate part of speech. V. V. Vinogradov proposed definition of the Russian particles and offered to consider them in narrow and broad sense. In broad sense, all function words (conjunctions, interjections, etc.) can be called particles. In narrow sense, particles are lexical units that bring a variety of “tints of meaning” to notion words and sentences, expressing emotions and attitude of a speaker (Vinogradov, 1980).
There is no strict and unified definition of the term “particle”. H. Weydt, the author of multiple works on particles, states: “The term “particle” is applied by linguists in anything but a uniform fashion” (Weydt, 2010). In German particles are actively studied as a separate group (“Modalpartikeln”), however the number of studies classify particles as an "underclass of adverbs". In English, on the contrary, particles are is generally absent in speech parts classifications and similar lexical units are observed within discourse markers.

These conclusions serve as prerequisites for a comparative study of particles in Russian, German and English considering particles as language-specific markers. In our research we are following the second approach, studying particles in narrow sense and considering them as a separate, unique part of speech in Russian, English and German.
Moverover, we are considering the particles as units that can carry culture code or "linguoculturemes" (in terminology of the Russian scholar V.V. Vorobyev), which sets a new perspective on particles research.

See further details on the role of particles in building speech portraits in literature, the role of particles in human-machine interaction and milestones of the project below.

For references and list of literature go to the bottom of the page.

particles in english. Stanford University
Stanford University Forum: results of group research and interview with Linguistics department
Dr. Saveleva took part in Stanford Forum and completed group research project aimed at studying the role of culture in international relations. Particular role of intercultural communication was described.
While at Stanford, Dr. Saveleva took an interview with Professor and Chair of Linguistics Department Christopher Potts, where they discussed the pragmatic aspects of language studies and research of particles, please see below.
In the current research particles are studied from contrastive- typological perspective in Russian, English and German language. The choice of languages is explained by the difference in presence of particles: Russian and German possess a wide range and significant number of particles and, therefore, can be considered as “strong-particles language” ("сильно-партиклевые языки"). English, on the contrary, does not possess many particles ("слабо-партиклевый" язык) (Nikolaeva, 1985).
Such language selection provides an opportunity to compare particles’ functional potential and methods of its compensation in case of particles’ absence. Therefore, one of the leading methods applied in our research is contrastive method, the research is conducted within typological paradigm.
German Particles. Univeristy of Texas At austin
UT at Austin: Texas German dialect and German particles

Liudmila visited the Department of German language at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). The University of Texas is one of the leading universities located in the south of the U.S., as well as the largest university in the United States.

Ph.D. students of the German language department, as well as a number of teachers, participate in a project devoted to the study of the Texas German dialect (Texas German Dialect Project). Within the project, they conduct interviews with dialect speakers, replenishing the corps for research. Graduate students of the department also study methods of teaching the German language. As a leading method of teaching, they single out the communicative method.

The professor of UT at Austin and one of the leaders of Texas German Dialect Project, Hans Boas, is also researching German particles (see the publication, 2018. Boas, Hans C. A constructional account of the modal particle ‘ja’ in Texas German. In Constructions in Contact. Constructional perspectives on contact phenomena in Germanic languages. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 253-276). For more details please see the video below.

One of the highlights of the project is meeting with Prof. Dr. Noam Chomsky and discussion of particles, as well as other topical questions of linguistics. What should modern linguists study? Is "Hm-m-m" really a particle or a verbal filler, that is connected with cognition? Find out more in the video below.

The study of particles in the English language shows that it is also necessary to consider materials on discourse markers, as well as “pause placeholders” ("verbal fillers"), since these tools can act as particles when translated from Russian and German into English.
In the study of materials on the "verbal fillers" and speech errors, we noted the work of prof. Elizabeth Schriberg. A conversation with professor was held at the University of California at Berkeley, during which feedback was received on the research, as well as recommendations for further expansion of practical database of the study. In particular, the professor recommended referring to the corpus of oral spoken language, which can be provided by the American Linguistic Society. The professor also noted the prospects of particle research with their subsequent implementation in technologies based on artificial intelligence and cited the example of voice assistants applied in carsBook design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. In the words of Jan Tschichold, "methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve, have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books, these rules have to be brought back to life and applied."
Front matter, or preliminaries, is the first section of a book and is usually the smallest section in terms of the number of pages. Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed or printed, on either display pages or blank pages.
Research materials

Dr. Saveleva has conducted the research on particles in Beinecke Rare Books & Manuscripts Library. In particular, she worked with a book “Cautions for Children, in Rendering English into Latin; With the Signification and Use of Certain Particles” (1786), as it contained the term "particles" in relations to English and Latin. See more details on the book and conclusions on the cloud-based resource.

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Altmann, H. (1978). Gradpartikel-Probleme. Zur Beschreibung von gerade, genau, eben, ausgerecht, vor allem, insbesondere, zumindest, wenigstens. [To the problem of particles of intensity. Description of particles gerade, genau, eben, ausgerecht, vor allem, insbesondere, zumindest, wenigstens]. Tübingen: Narr. ISBN 3 - 87808 - 808 – 6
Enfield, N.J. (2017). How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation. New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN-10: 0465059945
Erard, M. (2008). Um...: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean. New York City: Anchor. ISBN-10: 1400095433
Fasmer, M. (2004). Etimological dictionary of the Russian language. Translated and expanded by Trubachev O. Kh. М.: AST. ISBN-10: 1853994146
Foolen, A. (1994). A pragmatic analysis of Norwegian modal particles. Lingua, 93 (4), 307-312. ISSN: 0024-3841
Fraser, B. (1999). What are discourse markers? Journal of Pragmatics, 31, 931-952. ISSN: 0378-2166
Fraser, J. B. (1976). The verb-particle combination in English. New York, NY: Academic Press. ISBN-10: 0122658507
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Gerwien, J. Rudka, M. (2019). Expectation changes over time: How long it takes to process focus imposed by German sogar. In O. Loureda, I. R. Fernandez, L. Nadal, A. Cruz (Eds.) Empirical Studies of the Construction of Discourse (pp. 230-251). John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN 9789027203472
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Haselow A. (2012). Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the negotiation of common ground in spoken discourse: Final particles in English. Language & Communication. Vol. 32. No. 3. 182–204. ISSN: 0271-5309
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Heritage, J. (2018). Turn-initial particles in English: The cases of oh and well. In J. Heritage, M.-L. Sorjonen (Eds.) Between Turn and Sequence: Turn-initial particles across languages (pp. 155–190). Studies in Language and Social Interaction, 31. ISBN-13: 978-0415761659.
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Savelyeva, L. (2019). Particles in Russian as markers of word pictures (case study of the novel “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov). Kazan science. No. 2. 127 – 129. ISSN 2078-9955
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