Interjections are dealt with in the semantic area of linguistics. They are an important aspect that is worth considering in regards to semantics due to the fact that they are so commonly used, differing from language to language but nevertheless, ever present. When analysing interjections, we must first and foremost confirm what is generally communicated by the term - interjections. This isn't as easy as it primarily seems; semanticists have been seen to put interjections into varying classes, even opposing each others views on whether some items actually constitute an interjection or not.
There does not appear to be a general agreement on the definition of interjections, but on a very general level it would be fair to suggest that interjections are those items that can be interjected into the language to contribute to the meaning or feeling of an utterance. To add to this, however, one finds that interjections can indeed occur on their own to communicate an idea or proposition in a quick and easily digested manner. One important aspect of interjections in relation to language is that unlike traditional lexical items they do not have to be learnt, in fact, it could be suggested that some interjections come almost by reflex. It should be noted at this point that, as observed by Tim Wharton in his Interjections, language and the 'showing'/'saying' continuum , interjections in the written form always constitute an intonation and are usually separated from the rest of the main clause by a comma or exclamation mark, thus highlighting their semantic separation from the main clause. Some of the most commonly analysed interjections in English are as follows: oops, ouch, wow, huh, eh, oh, ah, aha, er, ahem, ha, hey, yuk. Those over which there has been some debate as to their inclusion in the class of interjections are: (bloody) hell, bollocks, shit (and other imprecations), yes, no, thanks, well plus others.
Linguists have been known to divide interjections into different categories to try and identify their functions more easily, and to collectively analyse them. Felix Ameka divides interjections into two main categories of primary and secondary interjections. The primary interjections are all those words that can only be used as an interjection such as, ahem, oh, yuk, ah etc. The category that Ameka refers to as belonging to the secondary category, over which there has been some dispute, are all those that have an 'independent semantic value' , generally imprecations. As Wharton states, these types of interjections are 'non-productive' in the way that they do not inflect or move between word classes. Anna Wierzbicka also divides interjections into classes of different types : emotive ones (those which have in their meaning the component 'I feel'), volitive ones (those which have in their meaning the component 'I want something' and which do not have the component 'I feel something; e.g. Sh!), and cognitive ones (those which have in their meaning the component 'I think something' or 'I know something' and which neither the emotive component 'I feel something' nor the volitive component 'I want something'; e.g. Aha! 'I understand).
Those linguists who have dominated the argument over interjections fall into two main groups. In the first group we find a number of linguists, namely: Ameka, Wierzbicka and Wilkins, that Wharton has chosen to call conceptualists, evidently due to their idea that interjections contain a 'definite conceptual structure' and in the opposing group there are those who believe otherwise, including Goffman, who believes that interjections should come under the study of paralinguistic phenomena, Sperber and Wilson, who believe that it can be explained in relevance-theoretic terms and...