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This is from a Trigun soundtrack, song called Sound Life (lyrics), 3rd line:

3つ目の夜に ワルツの子は世界面にウエーブを 打つ

The 世界面 is translated as "world face", however pronunciation is given as よなも. I can't find translation for this よなも anywhere. I have listened to the song as well and to my untrained ear it does sound like よなも (YouTube).

The Animelyrics site translates the whole thing as "children of the waltz make ripples on the face of the world" which I believe ignores ウエーブ. On another site it was translated as "children of the waltz name it Uebu" which makes use of ウエーブ and I believe translates よなも as name (名?), however the same word appears in the 5th line and there "name" does not make sense.

I know that sometimes poetry and songs deviate from standard language so it might be the case?

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If 世=よ(world) and 面=も(surface, from おも), then what's な? Like the な in まなこ・・・? –  snailboat Mar 21 '13 at 2:03
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"Children of the waltz name it Uebu" doesn't make sense. In the translation "make ripples on the face of the world", ウエーブ is represented by "ripples". ウエーブ comes from "wave". –  snailboat Mar 21 '13 at 2:05
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If 水面 is 水(みず)+な+面(おも)+[SoundModification]=みなも. Then 世界(よ)+な+面(おも)+[SoundModification]=よなも. Where 世界 is assigned よ by the writer. –  Flaw Mar 21 '13 at 2:28
    
Could な be a sound-shift of の (or のお)? –  Earthliŋ Mar 21 '13 at 2:51
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@user1205935 I think it's the 格助詞「な」 which means の, as in まなこ・みなと・みなも –  snailboat Mar 21 '13 at 2:52

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I believe よなも is 世な面, meaning roughly "the surface of the world". Here's how it breaks down:

  • よ is 世 (world)
  • な is the archaic case particle な, which is the same as the modern particle の
  • も is 面 (surface), a word derived from おも (the お is elided)

The case particle な is rare in modern Japanese. It's preserved in several words:

  • 眼(まなこ=[目]{ま}な[子]{こ}, meaning 目の子)
  • 港(みなと=[水]{み}な[門]{と}, meaning 水の門)
  • 水面(みなも=[水]{み}(な)[面]{も}, meaning 水の面, where な is unwritten)

What all these words have in common is that they were formed back when な was in common use. I'm not sure whether よなも is a historically attested word or not, but if it's not, it was probably formed on the pattern of these words--particularly 水面 as pointed out by @Flaw's comment, fitting the imagery of ウエーブ.

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Regarding this -na, your explanation basically matches the dictionaries. The typical explanation of this is that it is a genitive case marker or a locative suffix. However, this does not hold up to further analysis. Vovin (2005:102-107) reviews all extant examples in OJ and concludes that it is a plural marker. –  Dono Mar 21 '13 at 11:28
    
Awesome, thank you very much! –  user2081475 Mar 21 '13 at 11:59
    
@Dono Ah, thank you! I found some related discussion by searching for Vovin: japanese.stackexchange.com/a/6280/1478 –  snailboat Mar 21 '13 at 16:40

I believe it's just a fancy reading for 世の面:

1) よ is the usual reading for 世 (e.g. この世), and it's basically synonymous to 世界 in this reading.

2) な can be used instead of の: Using な particle after common nouns (non na-adjectives)

3) も is a non-standard reading for 面 (e.g. 美面 or 水面 are read 「みなも」)

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