The meaning and function of Norwegian Tags

Among all words, there are hardly any that are as vague, polysemous and hard to describe as tag particles, exemplified by the sentence final expressions below. In this project, our main goal is to deepen our knowledge of the meaning and function of a set of so far unexplored Norwegian tag particles.


  1. Du kjem tebake i morgon, e’von?          ‘You come back tomorrow, PART (lit. ‘it is hope’)’
  2. Je like itte fisk, je a’ma.                            ‘I don’t like fish, PART (lit. ‘then must know’)
  3. Æ kjæm tebake i morra, sjø.                   ‘I come back tomorrow, PART (lit. ‘you see’)’
  4. Du e fra Bergen, sant?                             ‘You are from Bergen, PART (lit. ‘right’)’
  5. Kom hit, gett!                                             ‘Come here, PART (lit. ‘boy’)’


In addition to descriptions and theoretical analyses of the semantics and pragmatics of a selected set of tag particles, the project will contribute to the development of methods specifically aimed at revealing the meaning and function of tag particles. Moreover, we aim at integrating sociolinguistic aspects of tag particles into a semantic and pragmatic description of the words. The project will also explore the possibility of accounting for universal properties of tags based on data from a variety of languages.


The project is supported by The Research Council of Norway.


Questionnaires: Thanks to all our informants!

Contact us

Project leader Kaja Borthen