Questions tagged [japanese]

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

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1answer
279 views

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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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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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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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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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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1answer
112 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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106 views

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 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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2answers
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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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136 views

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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135 views

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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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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160 views

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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124 views

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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4answers
503 views

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 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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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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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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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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4answers
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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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2answers
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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), ...
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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 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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559 views

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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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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1answer
253 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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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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1answer
191 views

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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2answers
301 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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247 views

What gave rise to the manual alphabet for Latin characters in Japanese Sign Language?

I am aware of the fact that this question is rather specific, but anyway I would like to give it a try. Japanese Sign Language has three manual alphabets: one for representing kana-characters, and ...
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168 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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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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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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4answers
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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
114 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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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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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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1answer
482 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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Pronunciation in languages from East Asia of words that are Japanese loanwords in English

In English, most loanwords from Japanese are pronounced similarly to the Japanese word. It isn't an exact match, for example with "karaoke" the pronunciation of the second "a" differs between English ...
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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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2answers
158 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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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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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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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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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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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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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, ...