Meh contributes VERUM: A study of biased questions in colloquial Singapore English

Gregory Antono


This paper analyzes the contribution of the meh particle in biased questions in Colloquial Singapore English (CSE). Canonical CSE questions can be formed with inversion, or with declaratives with rising intonation (maintaining neutrality), while non-canonical questions typically require discourse particles. Meh occurs clause-finally (It’s raining meh?) and has been described to mark questions and express skepticism, encoding the opposite of what the speaker thinks to be true. Drawing from Romero and Han (2004), I propose that meh contributes the meta-conversational operator verum, which triggers the existence of an epistemic implicature.


biased questions; non-canonical questions; discourse particles; Singapore English; Asian Englishes

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2022 Gregory Antono

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Donate to the Open-Access Fund of the LSA

Linguistic Society of America

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

ISSN (online): 2473-8689

This publication is made available for free to readers and with no charge to authors thanks in part to your continuing LSA membership and your donations to the open access fund.