Words that are formed by putting two or more words or other elements together

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3
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1answer
176 views

Can kanji compounds be formed arbitrarily?

I will take 客 as an example: Can 客 form a compound with 席, 娟, and all the other thousands of Japanese 漢字? If I put 席客, but not 客席, will the meaning be different? Or will it just have no meaning? Or ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Using the stem form of a verb like the て form, as in 燃えゆく or 飲みほして

What is the significance of sometimes using the stem form of a verb like how the て form would be? For example: 燃えゆく (from HANABI) 飲みほして (from Ambiguous) It's something I hear now and again, ...
15
votes
2answers
432 views

Exceptional compounding forms

There are a number of Japanese words which have distinct compounding forms: -a/-e alternation: 天・雨、酒、上、風、目 — many examples. -u/-i alternation: 神([神]{かむ}[集]{つど}ふ)、月([月]{つく}[読]{よみ}) -o/-i alternation: ...
3
votes
1answer
229 views

How to parse “あけぐち”?

I'm working out my Japanese by trying to read everything around me, including food packages. On my milk carton written inside a large arrow pointing to the spout is "あけぐち" in hiragana. Obviously ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

The difference between 辞書 and 字引

My dictionary lists both 辞書{じしょ} and 字引{じびき} as simply, "Dictionary." On tatoeba.org I can only find example sentences of 字引 where it is used in the phrase: 生き字引 = A walking dictionary ...
5
votes
1answer
195 views

Does 数独{すうどく} really mean “single number”?

I've never actually played a sudoku puzzle (I know, I live in a cave!). I just saw the word written in kanji somewhere, which rekindled my interest. Wikipedia states: The puzzle was popularized ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

You can use 「押し開ける」 to say “to push open”, but can you say 「押し閉める」 to mean “to push closed”?

For example, consider the following sentences; ドアを押し開ける。 I pushed the door open. ドアを引き開ける。 I pulled the door open. Can you do the same for 閉める? So for example; ドアを押し閉める。 I pushed the door shut. ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Are all kanji compounds considered words?

A friend once commented to me that Japanese has a larger vocabulary than English. I said I didn't think it did, because it wasn't really accurate to call all kanji compounds "words". My friend said I ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

そのようにする + Recognizing a compound

そのようにしてこの巨城は、二年の長きにわたってゆっくりと攻略されてきた。 The first thing I had kind of a problem with, is そのようにして... I just have no idea how to translate it. Also, as for 巨城, 巨 doesn't have a prefix form, nor there is ...
0
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1answer
269 views

meaning of 名種設定? [closed]

A friend of mine asked me to give him a quick translation of an app he downloaded. One of the buttons in the main menu had this 名種設定 written. I wasn't able to find what it means.
2
votes
2answers
215 views

What's the word or phrase used specifically to describe someone who is only concerned with physical appearence of others?

I believe it starts with み and is something like 'only has an eye for beauty', but it's been a long time since I used it. I believe it's a kanji compound.
13
votes
1answer
559 views

Voiced or unvoiced syllables in compound words

Examples first. First example: 空 {そら}. Almost all compound nouns for which 空 is the second component pronounce it as ぞら (zo ra): 青空 {あおぞら}, 夜空 {よぞら}, 星空 {ほしぞら}. There is at least one exception ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Does Japanese have morphemes that span two kanji?

I read once (in this comment by Victor Mair on Language Log) that Chinese has single morphemes that span two hanzi. The example given was the Chinese word pútáo 葡萄. At the time, I assumed it applied ...
5
votes
1answer
555 views

しらゆきひめ 'Snow White'

I am trying to understand the title of a tale. しろ 'white' ゆき 'snow' ひめ 'princess' しらゆきひめ 'Snow White' If white is しろ, why is 'Snow White' not しろゆきひめ?
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Are 弱い相互作用 and 強い相互作用 unnatural?

In introductory physics books, when they introduce 弱い相互作用 "weak interaction" and 強い相互作用 "strong interaction", I almost always see a notification that these terms are supposed to be the name of the ...
0
votes
1answer
383 views

Size adjectives and prefixes

I know some size adjectives like 小さい (small), 大きい (big), and 並 (normal). Does anyone have a list of other size adjectives: something that could describe things ranging from micro things like Legos to ...
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Analysis of もしかして (perhaps)?

I'm hearing this word a lot in Japanese drama and anime. What is the literal meaning of it? Does it have a Kanji form? What root(s) does it contain (I think there is a する in the second half of it? ...
10
votes
2answers
410 views

What is the etymology of [山葵]{わさび}?

I know that "わさび" 'wasabi' can also be written using kanji as "山葵" and that these two characters mean respectively "mountain" and "hollyhock", but hollyhock doesn't seem at first glance to be related. ...
7
votes
1answer
341 views

If a compound noun is made from a na-adjective suffix, is it followed by a な particle?

There are a few compound nouns that are made by compounding something with na-adjectives like 好き and 嫌い, for examples: 花見好き 子供好き 水嫌い 人嫌い 負け嫌い Are these compounds followed by a な particle? Or do ...
8
votes
3answers
192 views

Was the name for the Shōwa era a voluntary pun?

According to dictionaries, the WA 和 in 昭和 has both the meaning of peace, harmonious and Japan, japanese (although mostly as the first kanji of a compound, such as in 和語). So I wonder how Japanese of ...
15
votes
3answers
364 views

What is the difference in meaning between “husband and wife” 夫婦【ふうふ】 and 夫妻【ふさい】?

I see that those two compounds mean husband and wife, as a married couple. But is there a difference in usage or context?
3
votes
1answer
249 views

What is the meaning of 人児, and is it a compound?

There's this rather unpleasant sign on a restaurant that says: 中国人&帰化人、残留孤児、中国系混血人児、絶対入店禁止、純血日本男児のみ。 Putting aside the racist content, from a linguistic point of view, the one word that throws ...
14
votes
2answers
138 views

What are the nuances between these three terms for intelligence: 知恵 [ちえ], 知能 [ちのう], 知性 [ちせい] ?

In particular which one is closer to the idea of "ability to reason over things" as a quality of someone in particular? What I believe is that 知識 on the other hand is closer to "knowledge" and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Common 四字熟語 that use/are 当て字

Are there any commonly used known 四字熟語 that use/are 当て字 besides the following? Just crossed my mind, and now I'm curious. 滅茶苦茶 (めちゃくちゃ), 夜露死苦 (よろしく), 無理矢理 (むりやり)