Q08_Affirmative answer by particle

Untitled Document

This property has the value 'yes' when a minimal affirmative answer to a neutral, information-seeking, direct polar question can consist of just a particle.

A 'yes' value is compatible with a 'yes' value for other expressions of minimal answers to neutral polar questions.

This property has the value 'no' if the minimal affirmative answer cannot consist of just a particle.


  1. English has the value 'yes' for this property:
    • Question: Are you ready?
    • Answer: Yes.
  2. Scottish Gaelic has the value 'no' for this property, as there is no affirmative response particle. Instead, verbal material from the question is repeated to form an affirmative response:
    • Question: a' bheil Daibhdh ag òl cofaidh
        Q be.PRS David PROG drink coffee
        "Is David drinking coffee?"
      Answer: tha          
        "Yes." (lit. "Is.")
    • Comment: Scottish Gaelic also has the value 'yes' for Q12.
Contributed by: Anders Holmberg
Language Value Contributor Comments
+ =Hoan Yes Chris Collins
  Words: čo’a xà ’a ʘhǒa yà / ee, yȁ ’a ʘhǒa
  Gloss: rain QF PROG fall Q / yes, 3SG PROG rain
  Translation: “Is the rain falling?” / “Yes, it is raining” (Collins and Gruber: 212).
  Comment: The examples are from the grammar by Collins, Chris and Gruber, Jeff. 2012. A Grammar of ǂHȍã.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
+ Afrikaans Yes Theresa Biberauer
  Words: A: Is jy koud? B: Ja
  Gloss: A: are you cold B: yes
  Translation: A: Are you cold? B: Yes
  Contributor: Theresa Biberauer
+ Agni indénié Yes Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
  Words: A. kófí bá kɛ̀ ? B : ɔ̰̀hɔ̰́
  Gloss: A. Koffi venir Q B: oui
  Translation: A. Koffi vient-il ? B: oui
  Contributor: Amoikon Dyhié ASSANVO
+ Albanian Yes Dalina Kallulli
  Words: Q: Ka ardhur Ana? A: Po.
  Gloss: Q: has-3.SG come Ann-the(NOM) A: Yes.
  Translation: Q: Has Ann come? A: Yes.
  Contributor: Dalina Kallulli
   American Sign Language Yes Natasha Abner
+ Amharic Yes Girma Demeke
  Words: A. kasa astämari näw? B. awo
  Gloss: K. teacher be.3ms Q yes
  Translation: A. 'Is Kasa a teacher?' B. yes
  Comment: Please assume that there is a rising intonation on the copula.
  Contributor: Girma Demeke
   Ancient Greek Yes Richard Faure
   Arabic, Gulf Yes Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Armenian (Eastern) Yes Sona Haroutyunian
+ Bafut Yes Pius Tamanji
  Words: mfɔ̀ wá kɨ̀ nó mɨ̀lù’ù? Answer: ɨ̀ɨ̀ŋə́
  Gloss: chief the PST drink wine yes
  Translation: Did the chief drink wine? Yes
  Contributor: Pius Tamanji
   Bambara Yes Hilda Koopman
   Bandial Yes Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi Yes Claire Bowern
+ Basaa Yes Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Q: (ɓáà) mudaá a-n-lɑ́mb kón *(ɛ́) A: ŋ̀ŋ́ (proᵢ aᵢ-n-lɑ́mb kón/jɔ́)
  Gloss: Q: Q woman SM-PST1-cook rice Q A: pro SM- PST1-cook rice/ it
  Translation: Q: 'Has the woman cooked rice?' A: 'Yes (lit. Yes she cooked rice/it?)'
  Comment: As can be seen, the parenthetical sentence is optional. In fact, the natural answer consists in using the affirmative particle ŋ̀ŋ́ ‘yes’ for economy purposes. Also, if the speaker wants to repeat the entire sentence s/he can use either the object NP or a resumptive.
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
  Words: Q: (ɓàá) mudaá a- n- lɑ́mb kón *(ɛ́) A: ntǐɣ (proᵢ aᵢ-n-lɑ́mb kón/jɔ́)
  Gloss: Q: Q woman SM-PST1-cook rice Q A: Yes (pro SM- PST1-cook rice/ it)
  Translation: Q: ‘Has the woman cooked rice?’ A: ‘Yes (lit. Yes she cooked rice/ it?)’
  Comment: Another strategy consists in using the particle ntǐɣ ‘yes/exactly/of course/undoubtedly’ as in the following example. The comment is the same as the one used for the particle particle ŋ̀ŋ́ ‘yes’ above.
  Contributor: Paul Roger Bassong
   Brazilian Portuguese Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Burmese Yes Timothy Ho
   Calabrian (Northern) Yes Giuseppina Silvestri
   Cantonese (Guangzhou) No Zixian Qiu
   Catalan Yes Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw Yes Pam Munro
+ Cypriot Greek Yes Marios Andreou
  Words: Q: Ise etimos? A: Ne.
  Gloss: Q: be-2SG ready? A: Yes
  Translation: Q: Are you ready? A: Yes
  Contributor: Marios Andreou
+ Czech Yes Pavel Caha
  Words: Jí Petr polívku? --- Jo. / Ano.
  Gloss: eats peter soup -- yes / yes
  Translation: Does Peter eat soup? --- Yes.
  Comment: The two markers differ in style. The first one is colloquial, the second one formal.
  Contributor: Pavel Caha
   Danish Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo Yes Hilda Koopman
+ Dutch Yes Hilda Koopman
  Words: A: is je broer met de TGV naar Parijs gegaan? B. Ja /*wel/ *(ja) is/*Is gegaan/*hij is/ ja, dat is ie
  Gloss: Yes/ *well/ *(yes) is gone/ *yes he is/ yes that is he
  Translation: Yes
  Contributor: Hilda Koopman
   English Yes Craig Sailor
   English (Singapore) Yes Adam Chong
   Faroese Yes Hjalmar Páll Petersen
+ Fijian Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Comment: Yes: io/ia NO: sega
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
   Finnish Yes Anders Holmberg
+ French Yes Vincent Homer
  Words: Est-ce que tu aimes faire du shopping? Oui/Non.
  Gloss: Q 2SG like-PRS do-INF shopping? Yes/No.
  Translation: Do you like shopping ? Yes/No.
  Contributor: Hannah Kim
   Ga Yes Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician Yes Naír García
   Garifuna Yes Pam Munro
   georgian Yes Lea Nash
   German Yes Viola Schmitt
   Gothic Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek Yes Giorgos Spathas
  Words: Q: Ex-i erthi i Ana? A: Ne.
  Gloss: Q: has-3.SG come the.SS.NOM Ann A: Yes.
  Translation: Q: Has Ann come? A: Yes.
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Metin Bagriacik
   Greek (Homer) NA Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Medieval) Yes Io Manolessou
   Guébie Yes Hannah Sande
+ Gungbe (Porto-Novo) Yes Enoch Oladé Aboh
  Words: A. àsíbá wá  ̀ ? B. n
  Translation: A:Did Asiba come? B: Yes.
  Contributor: Enoch Oladé Aboh
+ Haitian Yes Michel DeGraff
  Words: Èske Jan rive?
  Gloss: Q Jan arrive
  Translation: Has John arrived?
  Contributor: Michel DeGraff
  Words: Èske Jan rive? Wi
  Gloss: Q John arrive? Yes
  Translation: Has John arrived?
  Contributor: Michel DeGraff
+ Hausa Yes Russell Schuh
  Words: Kun ida salla? I
  Translation: Have you completed your prayers? yes
  Contributor: Russell Schuh
   Hebrew Yes Ur Shlonsky
+ Hebrew (Biblical) No Massimo Gargiulo
  Comment: In BH a word for "Yes" is lacking. In post-Talmudic Hebrew the adverb "ken" begins to be used for "Yes". In Joshua 2,4 "Ken" means "Yes", but there is no question preceding
  Contributor: Massimo Gargiulo
   Hungarian Yes Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio Yes Willie Willie
   Icelandic Yes Jim Wood
   Igbo Yes Mary Amaechi
   Iha Yes Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua Yes UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian Yes Mark Donohue
   Italian Yes Adriana Belletti
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) Yes Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) Yes Giovanni Roversi
   Jamaican Creole English Yes Stephanie Durrleman
   Japanese Yes Jun Yashima
   K'iche' Yes Pam Munro
   Kashaya Yes John Gluckman
   KiLega Yes Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kom Yes Richard Kwamong
+ Korean Yes Grace Lee
  Words: Q: pay kophu.ni? A: ney
  Gloss: Q: Hungry.Q? A: Yes
  Translation: Q: Are you hungry? A: Yes
  Comment: Q: 배고프니? A: 네
  Contributor: Grace Lee
   Koyo Yes Hilda Koopman
   Kuot Yes Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) Yes Yadgar Karimi
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal No Florian Lionnet
   Lao No Alif Silpachai
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Latin (Late) Yes Chiara Gianollo
  Words: accedens autem tribunus dixit illi 'dic mihi, tu Romanus es?' at ille dixit 'etiam'
  Gloss: get_close:PTCP then tribune say:PFV.3SG that:DAT tell:IMP PERS.PR.1SG.DAT PERS.PR.2SG.NOM Roman:NOM be:PRS.2SG but that:NOM say:PFV:3SG yes
  Translation: 'and getting close the tribune said to him: "tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" and he said "yes" '
  Comment: (Actus Apostolorum 22.27) various adverbs / modal particles are used (ita, sic, etiam, verum) - - Biblia Sacra Vulgata, 4th cent. CE.
  Contributor: Chiara Gianollo
+ Lithuanian Yes Felix Thies
  Words: Ar matei tą filmą? - Taip.
  Gloss: Q see.PST.2.SG that film - yes
  Translation: Did you see that film? - Yes.
  Contributor: Felix Thies
   Maasai (Kisongo) Yes Hilda Koopman
+ Malagasy Yes Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
  Words: Ho avy ve ny orana? Eny.
  Gloss: FUT come Q the rain yes
  Translation: Is it going to rain? Yes.
  Contributor: Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
   Malayalam Yes Mythili Menon
   Mandarin Yes Arthur Wang
+ Marshallese Yes Heather Willson Sturman
  Words: Kwo-j etal ke n̄an Rita?
  Gloss: 2sg-prs go Q to Rita
  Translation: Are you going to Rita?
  Contributor: Heather Willson Sturman
  Words: Aet
  Gloss: yes
  Translation: yes
  Contributor: Heather Willson Sturman
   Moroccan Arabic Yes Arwa Rangwala
+ Muyang Yes Bebey Théodore
  Words: I
  Gloss: yes
  Contributor: Bebey Théodore
  Words: I Lawan ó zúm ɗaf
  Gloss: yes Lawan eats food
  Translation: yes Lawan eats food
  Comment: I "yes" is compulsary.
  Contributor: Bebey Théodore
   Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) Yes John Garcia
   Nepali Yes Mark Donohue
   Nkore-Kiga Yes Arwa Rangwala
   Northern Thai Yes Alif Silpachai
   Norwegian Yes Marit Julien
+ Nupe Yes Jason Kandybowicz
  Words: Speaker A: Ngba Musa gi bise? Speaker B: Eba.
  Gloss: Speaker A: Q Musa eat hen. Speaker B: Yes
  Translation: Speaker A: 'Did Musa eat the hen?' Speaker B: 'Yes'.
  Contributor: Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh Yes Hilda Koopman
   Old English Yes ---
   Old French Yes Heather Burnett
   Old Norse Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Old Saxon Yes George Walkden Only one example in the Heliand, but no other examples of affirmative answers.
  Words: queđe iâ, gef it sî
  Gloss: say yes, if it is.SBJV
  Translation: Say "yes" if it is (true)
  Comment: (Heliand 1522)
  Contributor: George Walkden
+ Oluwanga (Eji) Yes Ceciliane Odangah
  Words: Question: O –lomaloma-nga lusungu? Answer : eeh
  Gloss: Do you speak English? yes
  Contributor: Ceciliane Odangah
   Pashto Yes David Pate
+ Polish Yes Barbara Tomaszewicz
  Words: Czy Piotr je zupę? --- Tak.
  Gloss: Q Peter eats soup -- yes
  Translation: Does Peter eat soup? - Yes.
  Contributor: Barbara Tomaszewicz
+ Portuguese Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
  Words: Ela chegou? Sim.
  Gloss: she arrive.PRF.3SG (Q) Yes.
  Translation: Has she arrived? Yes.
  Comment: Question mark is change in tone.
  Contributor: Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Q'anjob'al Yes Kathleen O'Flynn
   Romanian Yes Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian Yes Denis Paperno
   Samoan Yes Hilda Koopman
   Sandawe Yes Helen Eaton
   Shan Yes Alif Silpachai
   Shupamem Yes Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
+ Sicilian Yes Cristina Guardiano
  Words: A: ki arrrwàu Màrju? B: se // arrwàu // se arrwàu
  Gloss: A: what arrived Mario? B: yes // he.arrived // yes he.arrived
  Translation: A: has Mario arrived? B: Yes (he has arrived)
  Contributor: Cristina Guardiano
   Skou No Mark Donohue
   Spanish Yes Victoria Mateu
   Swedish Yes fredrik heinat
+ Tagalog Yes Edith Aldridge
  Words: Q: Bi-bili=ka=ba nang kape? A: Oo.
  Gloss: Q: Red-buy=2s.Abs-Q Obl coffee A: yes
  Translation: Are you going to buy coffee? Yes.
  Contributor: Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min Yes Arthur Wang
+ Teramano Yes Iara Mantenuto
  Words: ke a kutʃinitə Lenə? - si (Lenə a kutʃinitə)
  Gloss: what has cooked Elena - yes (Elena has cooked)
  Translation: did Elena cook? - Yes (Elena has cooked)
  Contributor: Iara Mantenuto
   Thai Yes Peter Jenks
+ Tigre Yes Zhenyu Sun
  Words: 'afo/'ābe
  Translation: 'yes'
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
  Words: 'ifālu
  Translation: 'no'
  Contributor: Zhenyu Sun
   Tommo-So No Laura McPherson
   Tukang Besi No Mark Donohue
   Tuki (Tukombo) Yes Edmond Biloa
   Tupi (Ancient) Yes Fabricio M. F. Gerardi In ancient Tupi there is a yes used by men (pá) and a yes used by women (e’ẽ)
   Turkish Yes Deniz Ozyildiz
   Twi Yes Cansada Martin
   Vata Yes Hilda Koopman
+ Vietnamese Yes Binh Ngo
  Words: có phải Nam học lớp này không? phải
  Gloss:  Q Nam study class this Q? Yes
  Translation: Is Nam taking this class? Yes.
  Contributor: Binh Ngo
  Words: Nam học lớp này phải không? Phải.
  Gloss: Nam study class this Q? Yes
  Translation: "Is Nam taking this class?" "Yes."
  Contributor: Binh Ngo
  Words: Nam có học lớp này không?
  Gloss: Nam Q study class this Q?
  Translation: "Is Nam taking this class?"
  Contributor: Binh Ngo
+ West Flemish Yes Liliane Haegeman
  Words: Is Valère no Parys geweest? Joa-j
  Gloss: be-pres-3sg Valère to Parys be-part? Yes+he
  Translation: Has Valère been to Paris? Yes he has
  Comment: The particle ja (=yes) is inflected like the finite verb and is followed by a clitic form of the subject pronoun
  Contributor: Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian Yes Hrayr Khanjian
   Wolof Yes Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa Yes Xiujie Ma
   Yémba Yes Elsie Mawamba
   Yan-nhaŋu Yes Claire Bowern
+ Zamboageño Chabacano Yes Grace Gaspardo
  Words: A: Ya mira tu con Jose? B: Si.
  Gloss: A: PST see you with Jose B: yes
  Translation: A: Have you seen Jose? B: Yes.
  Contributor: Grace Gaspardo
   Zulu Yes Claire Halpert