Coordinated on the context: the many uses of Marathi =ts


  • Ashwini Deo The University of Texas, Austin


Several Indo-Aryan languages, including Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, and Marathi contain a discourse clitic whose uses overlap with those of English particles like exclusives only/just, anaphoric indeed/that very, intensifiers really/totally, precisifiers right/exactly/absolutely, and scalar additive even without corresponding perfectly to any of them. This paper focuses on the Marathi variant =ts and offers a detailed empirical picture of a subset of its uses – uses involving discourse salience and noteworthiness or unexpectedness. I put forward the hypothesis that =ts conventionally signals that interlocutors are in mutual agreement that the proposition denoted by the prejacent is uniquely salient among alternatives in the current question. That is, =ts conveys that the proposition expressed by the prejacent offers a schelling point (or focal point) for the interlocutors to coordinate on.