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25
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Japanese have two kinds of adjectives? (-i adjectives and -na adjectives)

Japanese has two kinds of adjectives known by several terms but the ones I know are i-adjectives and na-adjectives - why? I recall that Japanese adjectives are much more like verbs than in English ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Japanese really an agglutinative language?

In the linguistics topic of language typology, Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinative (or agglutinating) languages, but when learning or reading about Japanese grammar exclusively this ...
13
votes
7answers
678 views

Linguistics and Japanese study

Firstly, I apologise if this has been asked before or if I have asked this in the wrong place (should I have asked on the meta site?). I've studied Japanese for (going on) 5 years, now. It's been ...
12
votes
3answers
979 views

Actual phonetic realization of “devoiced” vowels

Descriptions of Japanese phonology (such as Wikipedia's) usually describe high vowels between voiceless consonants (or word-finally) as "devoiced". For example, the pronunciation of ⟨圧⟩ 'pressure' and ...
7
votes
1answer
200 views

動作 as opposed to 作用

The linguistics text I’m reading has a sentence with this fragment: 「動詞の表す動作・作用が[…]」。 Consulting dictionaries just made me more confused; what’s the contrast between the two in this context? “Action” ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a study available on the similarities between Japanese and Turkish grammars?

No I'm not claiming the Altaic hypothesis so try not to bring that up in answers. Still there are grammatical similarities between Japanese and Turkish such as agglutination and use of postpositions ...
5
votes
5answers
354 views

Does Japanese have any infixes?

In English, we have prefixes, like "pre-"; suffixes, like "-ize"; and arguably, expletives that function as infixes (one classic example is "abso-fucking-lutely"). In Japanese, we also have ...
5
votes
2answers
271 views

Which verb receives a negation in a Japanese sentence?

I can say 歩いて渡る which translates to "to cross by walking". However, if I would like to say "I am not going to cross by walking, but by some other means", would I say 歩かないで渡る or 歩いて渡らない? There are ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

What do we know about the phonetic distinctions between the 甲類 and 乙類 syllables in 上代特殊仮名遣い?

上代特殊仮名遣い【じょうだいとくしゅかなづかい】 is a Nara-period practice in which two distinct versions of certain syllables (called 甲類【こうるい】 and 乙類【おつるい】, and denoted by subscript 1 and 2 in Latin script) were ...
4
votes
1answer
355 views

When should I use あそこで / そこで?

I have the sentence from 合格できる、日本語能力試験N2: 私は外国旅行をするたび、「 」専門の勉強をしている日本人の若い学者に会うと、思いがけない収穫をえる。 The choices for the blank are A)あそこで B)そこで C)ここで D)どこかで I narrowed it down to either A or B, but ...
3
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Can 「食べも飲みもしない」 be rewritten as 「食べなくも飲まなくもある」?

I'd like to see if I understand a couple grammar points correctly. I'd like to rewrite this sentence:  1. 食べも飲みもしない As either one of these:  2a. 食べなくも  飲まなくもある  2b. ...