New answers tagged classical-japanese
I think what you are talking about is old or antiquated forms of Japanese expression, either written or spoken in or before Meiji era. It’s an issue of antiquity vs recency, i.e, 古語 vs 現代語, not the difference of "style" between 文語体 (literaly style) and 口語体 (spoken style). The samples of words you quoted can be rephrased in various ways in old, now ...
Technically ぬ is preferred when modifying a nominal (attributive/連体形) and ず elsewhere (fundamentally predicative/終止形). Nowadays under the merger of these two forms in regular verbs and adjectives, using ぬ to end a sentence seems to have become acceptable as well, but you still don't use ず with nouns or ぬ with adverbial conjunctions (*ぬに/*ぬして), I suppose.
猿は人間に毛が三筋足りぬ、is also said 毛が三本足りぬ. I think 三本足りぬ is more popular than 三筋足りぬ as a saying today. Both '三筋' and '三本' mean three pieces (or threads) of hair. It means monkeys resemble men, but they have three pieces short of hair as compared with men, meaning monkeys are inferior to men. It is an interesting concept and simile that not the size of brain or ...
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