The meaning and function of Norwegian Tags

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, one goal has been 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 has contributed to insights into pragmatic particles more generally. We have looked at the difference between pragmatic particles in middle field position vs. tag position, and we have investigated Norwegian pronominal right-dislocation and discussed possible connections to tag particles. Moreover, we have looked at how sociolinguistic aspects of pragmatic particles can be integrated with their semantic and pragmatic aspects, and we have developed and tested out teaching material on pragmatic particles for second language learners of Norwegian. Finally, we have investigated the geographical and demographical distribution of 46 Norwegian tag expressions.  

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Norwegian: Norske småord

English: Norwegian Tags


The project has been supported by The Research Council of Norway.

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Norwegian tags

Norwegian tags

We have investigated the geographical distribution of 46 Norwegian tags.

Click to see where the various tags are used.


Special issue on pragmatic particles in Norwegian

Special issue on pragmatic particles in Norwegian:

Norsk Lingvistisk Tidsskrift 2 2018