曖昧. A situation where multiple interpretations are possible as a result of scarcity of information. Ambiguity can exist at the grammatical and lexical level.

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2
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1answer
80 views

Does there exist a poem that uses direction to change its meaning?

I've been reading about writing order and the question has been poking at me for a while now: since writing order could theoretically introduce ambiguity, is it possible that someone has written a ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

When would と appear at the start of a sentence?

In the light novel that I'm reading, the narrator sometimes starts his narration with "と、" like the following example: 「ふん」 と、彼女は鼻を鳴らし、中学の制服であるワンピース型のセーラー服をひるがえす。 I've been curious about ...
1
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2answers
166 views

What does の apply to after a list of items with と?

I've looked around, but I couldn't find an answer for this question. Here's the example phrase that I'm trying to translate that I pulled from a light novel: せりとレタスとキャベツの違い I'm not sure whether ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

Grammar in a modern translation of the 古事記 : ~ようもない

I recently started studying the 古事記. In the beginning of the modern translation, there is a piece of grammar which, while not terribly confusing in itself, still fascinates me. The whole sentence is ...
4
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1answer
100 views

Describe past events with “clause+と+clause”, single vs multiple occurences

A sentence (highlighted below) from Asahi Shimbun: その父の愛情表現は荒っぽかった。娘が父の事務所に顔を出すと、「おお、来たか!」というなり、娘の頭をヘッドロックのように抱きかかえた。父から「愛情の洪水が押し寄せる」ため、話したいことも話せないまま短い面会時間は終わるのだった Without any adverbs (e.g. いつも), ...
4
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2answers
114 views

「星が見えない=Stars can't be seen」 but 「目が見えない=Eyes can't see」, why?

Are the two 「が」 different? Is 「目が見えない」 (at least in principle) ambiguous (eyes can't see / eyes can't be seen)?
5
votes
2answers
251 views

How to rephrase sentences with an ambiguous は to indicate the contrastive or thematic / 「主題」と「対比」の解釈の余地のある、あいまいな「は」の言い換え方

First, some background. My question is kind of an extension of this previously-answered question about the difference between は and が. While I am fairly clear on the different usages of は as a ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Can the appositive have more than one meaning in a phrase?

I'm looking at this phrase: 俺が話していた男。。。 I don't know if this sentence is correct in the first place, but I feel as if this can be translated two ways, specifically: The man I was talking ...
3
votes
2answers
259 views

「思う」 in 「その人を私のように 思う」:think v.s. feel

It seems that 「思う」 can both be "to think/consider" (actively) as in 「義父母を本当の親のように思うのは無理です」 and "to feel" (passively) as in 「母をなくした子をあわれに思う」. When reading an article in Asahi Shimbun, I bumped ...
5
votes
1answer
609 views

Confusion with Japanese particle と in its multiple uses

I have read about the different uses of the different particles in Japanese but often become confused as to how it should be translated in different sentences. In other words the actual intent of the ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Xの担当 - something X is in charge of OR something in charge of X?

Can Xの担当 have both of these meanings? If so, then without context to disambiguate the two meanings, is one of the two more commonly used? For example, how would you translate the sentence ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

“Seemingly cute” - かわいい + 〜そう

The 〜そう form means "seemingly 〜" and is usually conjecture made based on first-hand information. This usually means seeing something or hearing about something and making a conjecture, e.g., おいしそう ...
4
votes
4answers
380 views

Examples of ambigious sentences

I'm looking to test some Morphological Analysis tools, which split sentences into tokens and provide part of speech and pronunciation information (specifically, providing kana when given kanji). I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

How to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」?

The questions is how to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」. As far as I know, the same kanji is used for both (入れる). How can one make the distinction when reading a text?
11
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2answers
790 views

What is the difference between ちょっと and 少し?

Specifically for when they mean "a little". In what situations would they be used and are they completely interchangeable without any differences?
4
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2answers
396 views

〜(ら)れる - Ambiguity between passive and Keigo

In my Japanese Bible, it often uses the 〜(ら)れる Keigo form when talking about God's actions. However, there are certain cases when talking about both people and God in the same sentence where the use ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

How to unambiguously express sentences with lots of relative propositions?

Background, problem statement Very often, I find myself in situations where I have to build structurally complex sentences in Japanese, and find myself struggling, trying to put all I want to say in ...