Discourse particles are given that name because they play an important role in the management of a conversation.
- Toch in the following example helps convert a declarative into an interrogative:
The effect of toch here is to ask for confirmation: the speaker knows that something is the case but wants to have it confirmed by the listener.
- Nou indicates that a speaker is going to answer a question or react to a comment, but needs some thinking time. It is a delaying tactic, like the English well.
- Zo is an indication from a speaker that (s)he has finished saying what (s)he wanted to say and therefore often an invitation to another person to say something.
- Hè is used in combination with a questioning (i.e. rising) intonation to turn a declarative sentence into an interrogative, like toch. In many cases, toch is added for extra effect.
- Zeg can be used at the beginning of a sentence to draw someone’s attention or to change the topic. Alternatively, it can be used at the end to reinforce the fact that the speaker is impressed.
- Hoor at the end of a sentence is often used to reassure.