Questions tagged [japanese]

The national language of Japan, member of the small Japonic language family, otherwise considered to be isolated. For non-linguistic questions about the Japanese language, visit our sister site Japanese Language Stack Exchange.

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Why do Korean and Japanese share similar borrowed Chinese characters and is different from Chinese language?

In Japanese and Korean, "promise" is 約束 (yakusoku) and 약속 (yagsog). Both came from the Chinese characters 約束. However, 約束 in Chinese does not mean "promise" and actually means &...
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Are there human general communication languages without a future tendency?

In Thai language there is no past tense, at least not for negative sentences: A Thai person might say "I don't go" (ฉัน ไม่ ไป) while the listener is expected to guess from the context if ...
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1 answer
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Do any other languages use ruby characters(furigana) as extensively as Japanese

Just what the question asks. I’ll note that Chinese does use it extensively with pinyin when teaching Chinese to western foreigners. However I’m referring to using in materials by and for native ...
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15 votes
3 answers
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Why Korean transcriptions of Japanese words uses the letters ㄱ,ㄷ,ㅈ for initial /k/, /t/, /tɕ/ while using ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅊ for other languages?

Looking at Korean transcription rules for Japanese, I noticed that for some consonants, the hangul transcription would change if it was in the initial position: https://kornorms.korean.go.kr//regltn/...
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4 answers
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Generic name for Hànzì/Kanji/Hanja/Chữ nôm/Sawndip?

So I was thinking about how to talk about these characters in a culturally-neutral way. Chinese seems to be used, but it implies a particular way of writing characters (not to mention it makes it ...
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Rules/Notions explaining/regulating seemingly non complementary combinations of inflections/conjugations/tenses

Note: My original question was [Sentences with strange/Incorrect(from English point of view) Time conjunctive][Conclusive verb form] combinations and aspects/nuances reflected? Below is what I found ...
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1 answer
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Etymology of ぐるぐる

Since it's written in Hiragana, I presume it is likely not a recent loan word. However, its pronounciation bears resemblance to "軲轆", a Mandarin word meaning wheel--similar to ぐるぐる's meaning ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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When and how did the Japanese honorific system evolve?

I know that languages, in general, can denote honorifics, especially with second person pronouns (T/V distinction, etc), and I imagine that the Japanese system of honorifics is probably an extension ...
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3 votes
1 answer
172 views

Differences between free languages and official languages?

In short: as far as I know, English in the USA has no official standards from the government for how it's to be written and used. There are just dictionaries. Spanish however, has the RAE, which is an ...
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Term for non-homograph homophone synonyms?

In Japanese, 熱い and 暑い are both read atsui and both mean 'hot'. The former pertains to an object (e.g. hot coffee) and the latter to weather. In French 'cuissot' and 'cuisseau' have the same ...
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Does Japanese have V-T movement?

I am doing a research assignment on Japanese Syntax and I cannot seem to find any information regarding whether or not the Japanese language has V-T movement. Can anyone help with this?
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1 answer
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Origin of Japanese particles だい(dai), かい(kai)

I was wondering about the origin of these emphatic interrogative particles in Japanese. It seems very likely that they are related to the more typical forms だ and か, but what led to the postfixed /i/? ...
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2 answers
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Why can Japanese Godan verbs only have nine possible consonant sounds before the final -u?

The dictionary form of Japanese verbs always ends in a -u syllable. Ichidan (one row or single-step in German) verbs will always end in -る (-ru, e.g. 食べる, taberu, to eat) while godan (five rows or ...
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Pronunciation and spelling of English loanwords in Japanese

The word for allergy in Japanese is アレルギ (pronounced "a/re/ru/gi") The first three characters are typical for words borrowed from English, but why is the last sound "gi" instead of "ji"? Is this word ...
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Can you write Japanese in only Hiragana, or only Katakana, or only Chinese characters?

I don't know Japanese, but I notice they have a mixture of Hiragana, Katakana, and Chinese characters. Instead of a mixture, could you write a whole article in just one of them? Does this ever occur? ...
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What language/script did Japan during the Yamato period and earlier have?

The Yamato period (300 - 710) had an organized ruler, civilozation, etc. However, only in Nara period (710 - 794), which existed along with the Tang dynasty of China, a Japanese script and language ...
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1 answer
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What is the difference between the nominative case and the subject?

I'm studying Japanese and recently I came across the term "double nominatives". The idea is that ga marks the nominative case, so a phrase with two ga has two phrases in the nominative case: boku ga ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does high-context manifest in Japanese grammar and syntax?

Supposedly being a high-context culture, do modern Japanese text genres also sport a higher prevalence of ellipsis? Do Japanese texts, by and large, sport more kinds of high-context manifestations ...
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1 answer
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Describing continuity and change (like mou and mada in Japanese)

In Japanese, mada まだ refers to a continuing state: 'still (as it was)' or 'not (changed) yet', and mou もう is about change: 'already (changed)' or 'no longer (the same)'. Are there other languages ...
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Accidentally speak Japanese on reflex

There is one time I woke up late and accidentally speak in Japanese "yabai" which means "oh no" or "this is bad", when I came around after finishing getting ready I then realized I've just spoken in ...
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Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

I have this simple question on Kiswahili, a Bantu language. As you know in english, we can not always define morae. it's completely different from Japanese morae system. But when I learn Swahili, ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Does each Japanese copula, だ, な, に, introduce a new clause?

In the book The Japanese Copula: Forms and Functions there's a passage that says: The existence of an adverbial copula is expected when we consider the fact that adjectives inflect to end form, the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
418 views

Should Japanese postpositions be treated as belonging to the same category as English prepositions?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language and WALS, as well as Wikipedia, treat both English prepositions and Japanese postpositions (particles) as belonging to 'adpositions' (although CGEL ...
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1 answer
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What exactly is the Japanese 'u' sound?

I've mostly heard that its a ɯ sound. But I've also heard that its an 'endo-labial close back rounded vowel'. By 'endo-labial', I mean that its a rounded vowel that's pronounced without protruding the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
402 views

Vowel Deletion and Allophone variation in Japanese High Vowel Clusters?

I seem to have heard from films, shows and other japanese programs that there is a kind of vowel deletion in certain contexts which triggers a consonant change which might be allophonic. This paper ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

In what way is Japanese related to Sanskrit?

The Wikipedia says that Japanese katakana vowels “The gojūon inherits its vowel and consonant order from Sanskrit practice. “. Could expert explains this in easy language?
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3 votes
1 answer
247 views

Why is transliteration of japanese always done English-style while transliteration from other non-latin script languges doesn't?

So it's a common issue that words transliterated from a non-latin alphabet towards latin alphabet will depend on which language using the latin alphabet they're translated into. Arabic example : The ...
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4 votes
1 answer
306 views

Japanese kun'yomi with final N? [closed]

It is thought that the moraic post-vocalic consonant [N], spelt with ん, appeared in Japanese under the Chinese influence, with the influx of borrowings. Are there any kun-readings in Japanese that ...
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3 votes
1 answer
128 views

Markers for size, shape etc. on number words in Japanese

Some languages, such as Japanese, mark number words with suffixes denoting size, shape, and other qualities (e.g., ichi (one) becomes ippon for one book). Why would such a linguistic practice develop?
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4 votes
2 answers
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What methods do languages use to re-introduce the subject of a passive construction?

In German and Spanish (I think), you use the word for 'from'. In Japanese though, I think they use 'ni' (which can either mean 'to' or 'at'). In English we use the preposition 'by', which is rarely ...
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5 votes
2 answers
237 views

Abbreviations for pinyin and hepburn transliterations?

Are there 2 letter ISO codes for the pinyin or hepburn transliterations? If not, are there non-ISO abbreviations in common use? Thanks.
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is Japanese "subaru" related to Russian "soberu" and Latin "conferre"?

Is Japanese "subaru" related to Russian "soberu" ("I'll put together") and Latin "conferre" ("to bring together")? I think both Latin and Russian words derive from Proto-Indo-European "com bheroa̯" "...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the relationship between perfectivity and the Classical Japanese conjunctive particle "-て" ("-te")?

In Classical Japanese, the auxiliary verb "-つ" ("-tsu") has a perfective function, indicating the completion of an action or process. According to Haruo Shirane's Classical Japanese: A Grammar, "-て" ("...
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10 votes
5 answers
14k views

Why do Korean and Japanese sound similar to each other to native speakers of English?

I don't understand why, but Korean and Japanese sound very similar to me, and also to other native speakers of English. I think I once read a comment saying something like "If it sounds like Japanese ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Is use of sorting expected and used in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)?

For an English speaker with 26 characters, the concept of sorting is ubiquitous. If I see a list, I inherently expect it to be sorted by one of the columns, and of course clicking a column to sort is ...
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33 votes
8 answers
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Why do Japanese people have difficulties in pronouncing English?

When I watch Anime, I notice that Japanese English pronunciation is really bad, they twist all the sounds, and they can't pronounce sounds like "L". I think English is the easiest language when it ...
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0 votes
2 answers
236 views

Why are some words to express country names different between Chinese and Japanese?

In some countries, their principal chinese characters are represented differently between Chinese and Japanese. For example, 意 vs 伊 (Italy) 法 vs 仏 (France) 德 vs 独 (Germany) That being said, there ...
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4 votes
1 answer
628 views

What are arguments for and against a common origin of Korean and Japanese?

Now, Korean and Japanese have been proposed to be part of other language families, for instance Altaic, but Altaic is not considered a valid term subterfuged by evidence as much as Sino-Tibetan and ...
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12 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why is Korean considered a language isolate?

According to the Wikipedia article on Koreanic languages: Among extant languages, Korean is considered by most linguists to be a language isolate and by others as part of the widely rejected ...
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1 vote
1 answer
346 views

Replacement of the letters in Japanese while compounding words

I've spent some time solving Fakepapershelfmaker NACLO problem, and later at solution I've read that some japanese letters do not require replacement while compounding. In Japanese you should ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Which of 可爱/可愛い was exported to the other between Chinese and Japanese?

In Chinese (Mandarin), there exists a word 可爱 that means "pretty" or "cute" in English. In Japanese, there is also a word 可愛い (adjective) that means the same thing in English. Given that both words ...
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2 votes
1 answer
325 views

Can the voiceless velar fricative, [x], be represented in Japanese?

I was specifically thinking of whether the voiceless velar fricative [x] as in Polish could be represented in Japanese, but [x] would be the same or very similar in every language which contains it, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
181 views

To what extent can Japanese Kana be adapted to the Spanish language and be intelligible?

I have noticed that Spanish phonology is quite similar to that of Japanese and that their syllable structures are both relatively simple. Say--for instance, that one were to write a Spanish passage ...
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2 votes
1 answer
224 views

Do difficult native languages slow down early education?

Do students from countries that teach native languages considered to be quite difficult (e.g. Japanese) generally take longer to master that language? Or does the power of being surrounded by a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Japanese ji versus dji and zu versus dzu (pronunciation and keyboard input issue)

I have found the following partial hiragana chart on t he internet. I was wondering, in IPA, how does ji (じ) differ from dji and zu (ず) differ from dzu? Technically, how are these pronounced? Thanks. ...
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1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Weekday Abbreviations in multiple languages [closed]

I am working on designing a piece of software that must support multiple languages. There is a design scheme in English at the moment that displays weekdays using a single character (ie: "S M T W T F ...
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2 votes
0 answers
157 views

Does Japanese have as many English-derived words as English has French-derived words?

According to current corpora and other tools used by language researchers, does the current vocabulary of Japanese already contain as many words borrowed/derived from English as the number of English ...
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0 votes
1 answer
113 views

Is there any verb net project in Japanese?

I'm looking for a verb network or verb dictionary project in Japanese which shows verbs with its own dependencies (like [iku DP DP] [kaeru DP] etc.). Is there any?
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1 vote
2 answers
145 views

Dependencies in case phrases

Languages like Japanese are said to have case phrases (KP). I don't understand why case particles are considered heads. Why is the structure of NP+ga [KP [DP x] [K ga]] (ie the DP depends on ga)?
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4 votes
3 answers
219 views

Is the social relationship between listener and referent grammatically realized in japanese or korean?

I know that the social relationship between speaker, listener and referent are grammatically realized in japanese and korean. I know there are different levels for the relation between speaker and ...
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