Excising tags: Distinguishing between interrogative sfps and tag questions in Taiwanese

Seng Hian Lau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper serves as an investigation into the differences between interrogative sentence-final particles (SFPs) and tag questions (tags) in Taiwanese. What we are concerned with is the discrepancies found among the lists of interrogative SFPs in the literature. To distinguish tags from the interrogative particles (PRTs), a testing procedure is devised based on the proposal for testing negative particles (NEG-PRTs) in Hsieh (2001). We conclude that buē, bē, bô, m, honn, ma, nih are interrogative SFPs and hiòo, m- e(e), sī--bô, sī- (sìm) and sioh are tag questions. Among the interrogative SFPs, buē, bē, bô, and m are negative-particles which occur under IP, honn, ma, and nih are particles which perch higher, under CP. We believe that distinguishing SFPs from tags is the foundation of a solid investigation into SFPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalTaiwan Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • SFP
  • Tag
  • Taiwanese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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