Catherine Neill

Publication Date



In this paper I illustrate how two final particles in Thai function in the context of oral narratives. Earlier studies of these final particles have proved inadequate when they did not refer to specific contexts of occurrence. Examined in the context of spoken narratives, I found that ná? serves many functions. Ná ? serves both a cataphoric and an anaphoric foregrounding function in the discourses. It sometimes highlights details which have significance at a later point in the story. It may also underline the general evaluative focus several times throughout the story. Where châj máj occurs, it seeks to confirm understanding based on the listener's own knowledge of the world or of the story situation. I suggest that these particles reflect the overall importance that socio-cultural expectations play in the telling of a story. Speakers evoke shared expectations as a means of creating a wider interpretative context in which the stories make sense (Tannen 1979). While châj máj signals background information which serves as the frame of expectations for the narrative events, ná? often highlights a break in that frame. By acknowledging the audience, these particles serve to involve listeners at every step. The frequent use of these particles in Thai conversational narrative is supporting evidence for the claim that storytelling, like conversation is an interactional achievement (CD. Schegloff 1981).



First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.