Discourse particles in the Soikkola dialect of Ingrian

Keywords: modal particles, focus particles, uncontroversial information, contrast

This article offers a general overview of the discourse particles in Soikkola Ingrian. The research material comes from 48 unpublished Ingrian texts recorded in the course of field trips in 2006–2013 from 23 fluent speakers of Soikkola Ingrian. Most of the texts are narratives, there are also four dialogues. The paper presents text examples that illustrate the basic functions of discourse particles, and also mentions the non-discourse usages of the same units if attested.

In the analysed texts, there are nine particles that have counterparts in other Finnic languages, namely ‑ha/-, –ki, –kaa/-kää, nigu, nii, no ~ nu, pa, še, and šiiž. Additionally, the article examines four particles borrowed from the Russian language: vot, ved, že, and -to.

In respect to discourse particles, Ingrian appears to be rather resistant to the contact influence of the dominating Russian language. The only borrowed particles that are represented in Ingrian texts with a considerable number of examples are vot, ved and že. Of the common Finnic particles, –pa and ‑ha/‑are very rare in Ingrian texts. The analysis suggests that they may have been replaced by the Russian origin ved and že, that have similar functions, but more research is needed for a definite conclusion.

The distribution of particles among the speakers is rather homogeneous. Despite certain individual preferences, the system of discourse particles seems fully functional in Ingrian even among the last generation of speakers.


Elena Markus (b. 1981), PhD, University of Tartu, Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, Associate Professor of Finnic Languages (Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu); Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Researcher,