The national language of Japan, member of the small Japonic language family, otherwise considered to be isolated.

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How would a haiku look in English using morae?

I read today that in Japanese, Haikus are based on morae instead of syllables. Wikipedia tells me that morae determine "syllable weight" and "in some languages determine stress or timing". I still ...
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90 views

Are there other languages where pronouns behave like they do in Japanese, Korean, and Ryukyuan?

In Japanese and Korean (and I have to assume the Okinawan / Ryukyuan languages also), pronouns are quite different from most other languages from most families in at least two ways I can think of: ...
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2answers
91 views

Are Japanese honorific お and ご prefixes, particles, or both?

In Japanese there are two morphemes which are used before certain nouns as part of the honorific system: お (o) ご (go) Which terms can be used to refer to these out of "prefix" and "particle"? I ...
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3answers
186 views

Can the Chinese script be used to record non-Chinese languages?

I know of at least 3 countries in the Sinosphere that have historically used the Chinese script (or scripts derived from it) - Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. So how did it work? Did they use it to read ...
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65 views

Where can I find Japanese-English (manually) word-aligned corpora?

I'm looking for as many very reliable Japanese-English corpora as possible so I'd like to ask: Are there any other manually aligned corpora besides KFFT's and Utiyama's? What are the most accurate ...
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277 views

Seeking examples of complementary distribution of [s] and [ʃ] in Japanese

[s] & [ʃ] are in complementary distribution within Japanese as I already know, but I don't speak Japanese and I'm finding it difficult to give examples how they are in distribution, are there any ...
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171 views

Etymology of Japanese no/na/ni/ga?

What is the current accepted origin of the Japanese particles no/na/ni/ga? One account I heard was that all were descended from a common root: an existential verb nu or ni, where ni was the ...
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812 views

Why was korea able to remove kanji but japan wasn't when both languages use homophones?

I am strictly interested in the question of homophones and kanji. Korean has homophones yet they removed the Chinese characters and are getting by just fine? Or are they? Japanese kanji lovers say ...
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239 views

Is it accurate - Chinese Wikipedia on Japanese/Korean classification

I'm not very updated on random theories regarding the Altaic theory (which I personally am agnostic about; though I slant towards not believing in it due to the extreme lack of any regular sound ...
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166 views

Basic resource on Japanese phonetics

Could you recommend a good reference for studying Japanese phonetics?
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697 views

Relationship between Turkish/Azeri and Japanese/Korean

How are Turkish and Azeri related to Japanese and Korean? Are there obvious similarities between them?
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132 views

Discourse analysis of Japanese particles?

Have there been any English language attempts (preferably readily-available) to define Japanese particles from the perspective of discourse analysis? Some of the things I would be interested to see ...
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235 views

What is the maximum number of forms a (modern) Japanese verb can take?

Recently I've begun to wonder how many possible forms can be made from a single Japanese verb. I asked a similar question first on the Japanese Language & Usage site, where I received some ...
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1answer
241 views

Is the concept of syllables pronunciation-relevant in languages with mora-based pronunciation?

Japanese pronunciation is mora-based (correct me if there is a better word), i.e. each mora is pronounced with equal length. Still I sometimes see the concept of syllables used, e.g. 疲労 /hirō/ ...
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4answers
1k views

What languages lack personal pronouns, and why?

The Japanese language lacks personal pronouns in the IE sense. Japanese is very pro-drop, and often sentences will be constructed so personal pronouns do not appear, and the agents which the pronouns ...
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358 views

Suppletion vs. missing verb forms

Japanese is famous for its very few irregular verbs, but there are some cases where verb-forms are missing and other verbs/adjectives are used instead. For example, (in standard Japanese) the verb ある ...
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2answers
288 views

Is grammar the main barrier to Japanese people understanding English?

Although a much higher proportion of Japanese people understand English than people from English-speakering countries understand Japanese, it isn't as high as the Scandinavian countries. I wouldn't ...
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4answers
256 views

How common is a topic particle beyond just Japanese and Korean?

Both Japanese and Korean are "topic-comment" languages and both have an explicit topic particle. (I believe Chinese might be an example of a topic-comment language without a topic particle but I may ...
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272 views

Are there other pairs of languages that are as close grammatically despite not being in the same language family as Korean and Japanese?

Though there are many theories grouping Korean and Japanese in the same family, none of these are widely accepted by linguists. Yet the grammars of these two languages are extremely similar in many ...
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2answers
361 views

In Japanese, why do certain consonants change depending on the vowel?

I was wondering why in Japanese, certain consonants change depending on the vowel. For example: Consonants that do not change: ka / ki / ku / ke / ko na / ni / nu / ne / no Consonants that do ...
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5answers
807 views

Does Japanese have determiners?

It's generally established that Japanese does not have the grammatical category of articles (akin to English "a/an" and "the"). But as mentioned in this answer, the concept of articles seems to be ...
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5answers
574 views

Are the Japanese and Korean subject particles known to be related in any way, including by Sprachbund?

Japanese and Korean have strikingly similar grammars but whether they are related or not is an open question. Both languages have a particle to mark the grammatical subject of a sentence and in fact ...
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383 views

Are there any papers etc analyzing Japanese as a language with noun cases rather than particles?

Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinating languages. Many (most?) agglutinating languages are analysed as having case systems. Of course cases and prepositions/postpositions fill the same ...