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What does it mean to put a な after an い-adjective? For example, many Youtube videos are called begin "いいなCM", and a Japanese text book I have uses this sentence as an example:

この通りを行くと 大きな 交差点がある。

Go along this street, and you will find a large crossroads.

What is the meaning of this な? It is also unusual that the 大きい is missing the final い but the いいな is not. I cannot find it in my textbook or on using Google.

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大きな is not a conjugation of 大きい. It is a different adjective. –  Gradius Jun 24 '12 at 1:34
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FYI: alc.co.jp/jpn/teacher/soudan/015.html –  Gradius Jun 24 '12 at 2:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • Your example いいな CM is not an adjective modifying a noun. It can be taken as a quoted sentence modifying a noun. It may be more recognizable if it were in quotes like "いいな" CM. The in いいな is a sentence final particle that adds the first person's subjective feeling to the proposition.

  • There are both the i-adjective 大きい and the (possibly) na-adjective 大きな. However, whereas the i-adjective has full paradigm, the 大き part in the na-adjective form cannot be extracted and be used like 大きだ. It looks like the na-adjective form is a fossilized form. For this reason, traditional grammar reserves an independent category called 連体詞. The two words are usually interchangable, but for a subtle difference, see the answer here: i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな).

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“For this reason, traditional grammar reserves an independent category called 連体詞 for these words”: I am afraid that this is incorrect. I can only interpret “these words” as the words which are used as both na-adjectives and i-adjectives, but 連体詞 does not necessarily have i-adjective counterpart. The reason 大きな is often categorized as 連体詞 and not as 形容動詞 is because 大きな does not conjugate to 大きだ or 大きに like other 形容動詞. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 24 '12 at 3:24
    
@tsuyoshiIto I corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out. –  sawa Jun 24 '12 at 4:51

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