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4

To me, が seems to be the thing you're looking for. It is most commonly known as the "subject marking particle", but can also be placed at the end of a clause to create the sense of "although" or "but". For example: 今日はいい天気だが、遊びに行きたくない。 Although the weather is nice today, I don't want to go play. This type of が can also be used in polite sentences: ...


3

I can only answer part of your question: the shift from かんおん to かんのん in the reading of 観音 is listed by several sources as due to 連声. (Shogakukan's 国語大辞典, and 大辞林 and 大辞泉) The Japanese Wikipedia article on 観音 states: 日本語の「カンノン」は「観音」の呉音読みであり、連声によって「オン」が「ノン」になったものである。 The Japanese Wikipedia article on 連声 interestingly suggests that the 音読み of kanji ...


2

As stated in the thread that WeirdlyCheezy linked to, the full kanji "spelling" for America is 亜米利加. 米 is officially only ベイ or マイ, but, as in other places it acts as a phonetic -- 迷 謎 -- it can also be read as メイ. Ok, so why not 亜国 then? Well, 亜 already referred to Asia in general, so that was out. Ok, 米国 then. Except, 米 isn't commonly read as メイ, and if ...


1

If you're familiar with the Japanese spoken language, one approach you can take is to rectify each kanji you read with a familiar word that it appears in. For example, if you see the kanji 手 and you naturally want to pronounce it "zu" instead of "te," recall that you know that same kanji from the word 手紙, in which it is pronounced "te."


1

It's actually due to a couple of things. For *-p, Japanese actually did originally borrow it as *-pu. Subsequent sound changes have turned Old Japanese *p into /w/ between vowels, and the resulting -(w)u has combined with the vowel before it. (Note that Modern Japanese /p/ is actually a Middle Japanese reintroduction from Chinese; where Old Japanese *p isn'...



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