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clitic -oo plus varia

The clitic -oo is added to different kinds of constituents to indicate vagueness, ambiguity, or doubt in the speaker's mind about the certainty, veracity or truth value of some event or circumstance. Sometimes oo substitutes for an interrogative aa, but with an expression of `doubt' or uncertainty. Sometimes, also, oo is pragmatically `softer' than an outright interrogative.

Since a sequence of two noun phrases or whole sentences, both marked with aa is one way Tamil makes disjunctive phrases (`either X or Y), a sequence of noun phrases or whole sentences, both marked instead with oo, gives a disjunctive pair with extra doubt, as in the last example above. This can often be translated `whether or not' or, if both verbs are negative, `neither ... nor':

When oo is added to WH-interrogatives, the meaning is as in section § xxx (6.62?)



Haorld_F.Schiffman