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Yes and No[edit]

Are yes and no interjections?


  • In some contexts they are, like "Oh no, a weinerhead!" mark 03:40, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  • A friend and I were just commenting on the use of "Yes" and "No" together as a sort of pragmatic thing, I guess. "Yeah, no, I thought it was different." "No, yeah that's just what I'm talking about." It's possible that there's really only one interjection in that the first "yes" or "no" have to do with the previous information, while the second "yes" or "no" is there to sort of draw attention to what's being said. Or so is my analysis. --Alcarilinque 09:33, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

You should have in mind two "notions" of interjection. (1) interjections are words like oh, ah, gosh and the like. (2) interjections are sentence-words / words without sintactical connection to other words (or, at least, to finite verbs). You are arguing for yes and no to be interjections according to the first notion, but yes and no are plain interjections if you follow the second one, that is, the morpho-syntactical / distributional notion. Now most parts of speech have morpho-syntactical/distributional definitions. Interjections are supposed to follow them. So our "intuitive" first notion should be replaced by the second one: yes and no are interjections. Velho 18:54, 18 October 2005 (UTC).


Would onomatopoeia be linguistically/grammatically classified as interjections? HHNHFJFHJDHSKJDHH

  • The sets of interjections and onomatopoeia most probably overlap somewhere (though that 'somewhere' is different for each language); but onomatopoeia is a phonosemantically defined category, whereas the category of interjections is mainly syntactically defined. In other words, they're not defined on the same level. In other words, no. For example, languages can (and do) have onomatopoeic verbs and nouns, which obviously don't qualify as interjections. mark 18:50, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • OK. Thanks!


Why does booyaka redirect here? If it's a synonym, I think it should be explained on the page. mrbartjens The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 2006-01-08 11:00:59 UTC.

Discourse particle[edit]

Can someone expand the article to explain the difference between interjection and discourse particle? I read both of them hard and loud, and, like, uhm, failed to see, er,... any particular difference, y'know, sorry! mikka (t) 08:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

It's the same, and while I like the precision of the term discourse particle, interjection is the most widely used term for these kind of words. So they'd need to be merged. — mark 08:44, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

- I disagree. I think there is a clear divide in their meanings and usage, such as the fact that discourse particles are usually used as discourse boundaries, e.g. for changing a new topic, or when the speaker changes, (such as 'anyway', or 'so') and almost always occur at the start of a sentence. Interjections on the other hand, whilst also carrying no semantic meaning in this context, are not even recognised words as such, and so have no meaning in any context, other than their use as a pause filler whilst the speaker thinks of what he/she wants to say next. There are many other differences between the two, but obviously I won't list them all here. Whilst they are similar, I believe that there is significant difference between the two to keep them as separate articles.

I'm absolutely against merging the articles! Most interjections aren't discourse particles and most discourse particles aren't interjections. Velho 18:31, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I think I agree with you. Why not update discourse particle accordingly? — mark 18:21, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

It is worth noting that interjection are usually sentence-words or, at least, they cannot combine with (and therefore replace) finite verbs. Particles, on the other side, cannot stay alone as "sentences" and they do combine with regular sentences (including finite verbs). Secondly, the notion of particle is not strictly morphosyntactical. Particles do not inflect and can be placed almost anywhere inside a sentence, but their specific trait is semantical or indeed pragmatical. Particles do not change the semantic value of the words they combine with, they rather give a pragmatical (or even semantical) "plus" to the whole sentence. Velho 18:13, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the merge tags which have been here since Feb. I think they should never have been added. If you don't understand the difference, you cannot assume there is no difference. If the articles do not make clear what the difference between the 2 concepts is, that is definitely a deficiency that needs to be corrected. However, adding Merge tags is the wrong way to instigate that. jnestorius(talk) 14:46, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Pop culture issue[edit]

What do the rest of you think of mentioning the pop culture item Schoolhouse Rock, which had an episode on interjections that played for years on U.S. television and made the term very familiar to a generation here. It's both off-topic and on-topic, so I have mixed feelings about adding it. Lawikitejana 16:41, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this should totally be in there! --Grid 21:18, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Theory on phonology?[edit]

I find it fascinating that some English interjections have such a unique phonology. Are there any theories about why that is? Fishal 23:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

At a guess (I'm no expert) I'd say it's because interjections express emotions or states of mind rather ideas, and so are more primitive, allowing them to be unconstrained by the stricter phonology of the words in a language that express more advanced concepts. — Paul G 05:28, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Other Languages[edit]

I find it quite useless to have other languages here. Aren't there enough English examples to give an idea what interjections are? And if we start including other languages, then we have to include all. So I'll delete the other languages of this article. If you're not ok, you will need to state why you think it's reasonable to have other language examples here. Zorroz Msgs 09:46, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "ugh"[edit]

The pronunciation of "ugh" looks wrong to me — I think it should be /əx/ or /ɜːh/. The sound /ʌ/ is the vowel in the standard British English pronunciation of "up". In some US American dialects, this might be similar to or coincide with /ə/ or /ɜ(ː)/, but to use /ʌ/ for either of these sounds (which I think would be the appropriate pronunciation) is incorrect. Personally (and I am a British English-speaker), I would say /əx/ to express disgust with a person and /ɜː(h)/ for a disgusting thing.

I note however that my dictionaries a range of pronunciations:

  • OED (2nd ed.): "/ʊh/, /ʌh/, /ɜːh/, /ʊx/, etc"
  • Chambers (1998 ed.): /ʌx/, /ʌg/, /ʊh/, /ɜːh/

some of which sound very odd. Both dictionaries do however give an earlier meaning of "representing the sound of a cough", so maybe the stranger-sounding pronunciations apply to this sense. — Paul G 05:38, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Glottal stop[edit]

Ahem [ əʔəm ], or [ʔəhɛm] ("attention!") contains a glottal stop that is common in German.

It's been a while since I've studied German, but I don't remember encountering any glottal stops in the language. Also, wouldn't "uh-oh" be a better example than "ahem"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, there is a stop - but not in ähm but in öhm. --AndreGer (talk) 14:44, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

"Excuse me!"[edit]

"Excuse me" and "That's mine" are sentences. One a command, the other a statement. The "Hey" in "Hey, that's mine" is an interjection. I don't feel like being the grammar police and fixing it, but wanted to point that out. For what it's worth, they could be counted as Exclamatory sentences (which do overlap the Declaratory and Imperative [statement and command] sentence types. But being Exclamatory does not automatically make something an interjection. four-tildes


In the third paragraph of the introduction, "Fire!" is listed as an interjection in the context of a soldier. Wouldn't this be a command and thus a complete sentence rather than an interjection? Tphill (talk) 06:51, 14 July 2015 (UTC)