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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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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 ...
dainichi's user avatar
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22 votes
4 answers
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Does Japanese have pronouns?

It is often said that Japanese doesn't really have a pronoun word class, such as in the Wikipedia article on Japanese Grammar: Although many grammars and textbooks mention pronouns (代名詞 daimeishi), ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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23 votes
8 answers
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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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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22 votes
12 answers
56k 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
11k 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 ...
Alex Kinman's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
859 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 ...
ithisa's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
627 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/ '...
dainichi's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
771 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 ...
Abdul Al Hazred's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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10 votes
5 answers
17k 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 ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
829 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
170 views

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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1 vote
2 answers
168 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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