統語論. Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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9
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1k views

Usage of か after a clause?

Here's a sentence I found: デパートはどこにあるか、知っていますか? Do you know where the department store is? What's the purpose of the か particle in 「どこにあるか」? Under what circumstances do I use it? I'm fairly ...
9
votes
2answers
266 views

Varying word order for stylistic effect

Sometimes, for stylistic or rhetorical effect, one wants to delay mentioning a word/concept until the end of a sentence. For example, it's often best to save the punchline for the very end: I was ...
11
votes
2answers
952 views

Can placements of adverbs be altered freely?

I'm curious if there is any difference in nuance between these two sentences: 彼は少なくとも週に一度車を洗う。 彼は週に少なくとも一度車を洗う。 I'm aware that grammatically speaking both are 100% right, but this question is not ...
10
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1answer
390 views

Unifying concept for noun-adjectives of the pattern Xかな

Consider these: ~か: 静か 愚か 厳か ~やか: 穏やか 鮮やか 賑やか ~らか: 柔らか 滑らか 明らか There are many more that I've not listed. The か/やか/らか at the end of these words ...
7
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2answers
316 views

Do we use odd day pronunciations outside of calendar ranges?

After reading @jkerian's comment in this post, I started thinking about this. Here's the comment in full: On a side note, all days ending in '4' are also irregular, and use ~よっか. So the 14th is ...
5
votes
2answers
746 views

How to know if a sentence ending in the て form of a verb is imperative or not

I know that a sentence that ends in the て form of a verb can be imperative. How do you know for sure if it is? Why is「~しようとして」not imperative?
19
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2answers
3k views

How to end a sentence in わけ

The is a certain way of talking where you can end just about anything you say in わけ. What is the sentence structure for this way of talking?
13
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2answers
834 views

Difference between sentence final ものだ and ことだ

My understanding is that ものだ is used to assert things which are mostly known to everyone. 誰かの家に招待されたときは、何か手土産をもっていくものだ 'When invited to somebody's home it's customary to bring presents'. On ...
5
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1answer
146 views

Grammatical Pattern : VerbてのNoun

What does this grammatical structure/pattern mean? I am trying to understand the meaning of the following sentence where the VerbてのNoun pattern appears. "昭和64年に起きた誘拐事件を巡る物語だけに、“昭和な顔”を買われての起用だったという" ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

usage of ”し” particle

Whenever I watch drama or news I always hear "し" particle being used. Back when I was still studying "Minna No Nihongo" my teacher taught me that ”し” means "だから” but native japanese tend to use this ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Nominalization with のが、のを

I've just learned to nominalize verbs with のを but as I was looking for more info on the web I saw that this is also done with のが and こと. The question "What is the difference between the nominalizers ...
12
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3answers
363 views

Sentence structure/element order

In the textbook Japanese for Busy People I, the order of the elements in a sentence is always the same (subject - when - with whom - by what means - to where - verb) at least as far as I have made it. ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the subject in 「士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。」?

士郎の理想、英雄となった姿があなたではないのですか。 I think the subject of なった is 姿, but a friend tells me it's 士郎. Is it not possible that the sentence means The figure that became hero, are not you? ?
18
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4answers
2k views

Are there cases when two or more particles will occur next to each other without intervening lexical words?

Most particles seem to be postpositions but I'm sure I've seen say a noun followed by a location particle followed by "wa" or "ga" or possibly "wo" but when I've tried to use it I've only confused my ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Proper use of ため to thank someone for doing x?

I know ため can be translated into English as "for" such-and-such. But is it appropriate to use it to thank some one for doing something? For example, "Thank you for your email address." Would it be ...
10
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3answers
3k views

How to separate words in a Japanese sentence?

Unlike some languages (English, French ...) , written Japanese sentences don't have spaces between words. I know that it is the same in Chinese for example, but the fact that the Chinese language ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Saying something is like/not like something else

How does one say "this is like/similar to that" or "this is not like that" in Japanese in essence? An example sentence is "In this way, the English are like the Japanese" ; I have not been able to ...
7
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2answers
152 views

Most natural way to write sentences of the type “A verbs that B verbs that C verbs that…”

A) I think the typical way to say Tanaka said that Yamata knows where the building is in Japanese is 田中さんは山田さんが建物はどこか知っていると言った Maybe it's more natural to say "the building's location" ...
7
votes
3answers
158 views

How to tell よく (often) apart from よく (good)?

Whenever I see 「よく」, I have to ask someone whether it means "often" or "good". For example, here is a sentence from my book: クラスへ行って、先生の講義をよく聞いて、ノートをよく取り、それをよく覚えれば、試験でいい点がもらえる。 I thought all ...
3
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1answer
262 views

An i-adjective immediately before 「ください」?

Does it make sense to have an i-adjective (in て-form) immediately before 「ください」? For example, when asked to choose between hot and cold coffee, can I use 「温かくてください」, or must I turn it into nominal ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

Is repetition of words in questions, such as the 番 in 電話番号は何番ですか common in Japanese?

In this other question, the answers say that 電話{でんわ}番号{ばんごう}は何番ですか is a common way of asking for someones number. I was thrown off by the repitition of 番, but the answers say it's commonly used. So ...
7
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1answer
857 views

“unfinished” sentences ending in particles like を, に and が

This is something I've always wondered about, but can't find any info about. When native speakers come across a sentence that ends ...を。, ...と。 or ...が!*, how do their brains parse it? Is it just a ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Maths sentences: 足す and 掛ける

I noticed a lack of case marking particles in mathematical sentences: 1足す2は3である。 3掛ける4は12である。 足す and 掛ける are verbs, does subject and object analysis apply to this? Do they take on the ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?

白い箱はカウチの上に緑のランプは机の上にあります。 This sentence looks like it has two topics in it. But when I try to translate it, it doesn't make sense (to me obviously). My direct translation is: A white box on top of ...
5
votes
2answers
269 views

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle?

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? I was curious about how we could form a sentence with: 特別が 特別を 出色が 出色を
4
votes
2answers
574 views

In front of “ほうがいい,” is it always past tense?

ほうがいい means: the particular way "ほう" is "が" good "いい" So, for example, if it looks like it's going to rain, I might say to a friend: "今日は雨らしい。傘を持った方がいい。" But what I'm curious is, why is "持った" ...
4
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2answers
465 views

When an -i form (連用形{れんようけい}) of a verb seems to be a suffix rather than a prefix?

In a previous question about コーヒー割り I learned that 割り is a form of the verb 割{わ}る "to dilute". Now I'm trying to understand the grammatical process by which this 割り form of 割る can be added to nouns ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
1
vote
2answers
195 views

Looking for references on 複合格助詞

I am currently doing research on automatic case frame (格フレーム) acquisition and its applications. A case frame describes the syntactic structure of a predicate by providing a canonical representation of ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

How can one stop “去年【きょねん】教職【きょうしょく】” from looking like a weird 4 kanji compound?

In writing, sometimes you get the illusion of a 4-character compound: Xさんは去年教職を退【しりぞ】いた。 This bothers some non-natives. To correct the "problem", can I always just place a comma between the ...
10
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1answer
184 views

Telling the speaker apart from the person being spoken about

A recent question about the usage of quoted speech contained this interesting sample sentence: ハイリアの民は、ふしぎな力を あやつることが、できたと言います。 Often when I read this kind of sentence, I wonder if ハイリアの民 is part ...
8
votes
2answers
239 views

How to break down who did what in AにBをCさせる

I'm trying to understand the following: 後輩にサイフを開かせることはないよ I guess this could be generalized as AにBをCさせる. It's confusing. Maybe if someone can break down how to understand this and then I can ...
6
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2answers
623 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Is the “?” character an official character in Japanese syntax?

In English, "?" can end a sentence. In Japanese, can "?" ever end a sentence? With regard to the UNICODE standard character blocks: "。" ---> CJK_SYMBOLS_AND_PUNCTUATION // as expected "?" ---> ...
4
votes
3answers
442 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clauses?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Difference between 「来ませんでした」and「来なかったです」 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません? Both have the same meaning ("did not come") and according to my Japanese co-workers both are acceptable while they can't define the ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

Sentence structure and meaning

here is an extract from a manga that gives me troubles : (|| = column breaks in the manga) ただし||お前達の相手は||私一人でいい||一対一で闘い||私が勝ったら||次の者が||また 私と闘うのだ... First : can you confirm that there are 2 ...
3
votes
1answer
516 views

How to analyze それが元で?

I understand the meaning of this phrase, but I have a hard time understanding how it's constructed. In phrases like それで or というわけで you have a noun plus the particle で. This looks superficially ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

How does のは work in this sentence?

彼が持っているのは二百円です。 Supposedly this means "It is 200 yen that he has.". But I am really not familiar with this sentence construction. Therefore, I'm not sure how everything before の works with the rest of ...
3
votes
2answers
757 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
2
votes
3answers
248 views

Common ways of asking for someones phone number

I saw somewhere today that [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}は何番ですか is used to ask for someone's phone number. It seemed strange to me since I usually hear it as [電話]{でんわ}[番号]{ばんごう}何ですか, and also because the literal ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Why is に used in 若者が元気に溢れている?

Why is に used in a sentence like this? 若者が元気に溢れている I thought it was: 若者に元気が溢れている I know に is used as an indirect object marker. Could someone tell me the difference between direct and ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

noun + の + adjective

I've seen a couple times examples of using this format of [noun] の [adjective] and I mostly see it in the form ~の高い Some specifics I'm referring to are: 人気の高い 柔軟性の高い I can't think of any more off ...
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3answers
124 views

Can I say this sentence in another way? [closed]

Please have a look at this sentence 彼の実力を考えと、今回のかれの受賞は驚くには当たらない Can I say 彼の実力を考えて、今回のかれの受賞は驚くには当たらない If I say 彼の実力を考えて、今回のかれの受賞は驚くのには当たらない is it okay?