# Particles of (Un)expectedness: Cantonese *Wo* and *Lo*

Conference paper

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## Abstract

Cantonese has a number of sentence-final particles which serve various communicative functions. This paper looks into two of the most frequently used particles, *wo3* and *lo1*. We propose that *wo3* and *lo1* are expressive items: *Wo3* indicates unexpectedness of the propositional content or the current discourse move, while *lo1* indicates expectedness of the propositional content or the current discourse move. We employ Default Logic to characterize the notion of (un)expectedness by normality conditionals. The analysis has a further implication on the Gricean Cooperative Principle in that the use of *wo3* and *lo1* makes reference to the general world knowledge which includes conditions on how the discourse should normally proceed.

## Keywords

Particle Expressive Conventional implicature Default logic Expectedness Discourse relation Grice Cooperative principle## Supplementary material

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