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41

The reason for the western language learners' confusion when facing the so-called "two types of Japanese adjectives" is that they try to find similar constructs to their own native language in Japanese. And when they fail (since Japanese has no real adjectives at all), the naive learner or teacher (which unfortunately includes most textbook writers, who are ...


17

Agglutinative languages are somewhat harder to understand than other categories. it's easy to see what the difference between synthetic fusional languages (like Latin or Russian) to isolating ones (such as Chinese or English): in isolating languages you only have words mixed with each other in various ways, but no morphology (or at least not very much of it, ...


14

To the extent that studying linguistics helps you understand some of the more complex patterns, you will probably find it useful. But a great deal of linguistics is dedicated to finding common systems to describe all languages, which (by necessity) isn't terribly useful for using a particular language. Some texts are written somewhat 'in the middle' for ...


8

I think it would be like a musician studying acoustics, or avid dog owner/trainer studying canine anatomy. It probably all depends on what your future goals are with Japanese. If you're planning to move to Japan, or just keeping that option open, and working and perhaps marrying a Japanese, then you should just remain as a JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) ...


8

From the Examples of agglutinative languages section of the Wikipedia page on Agglutination: Japanese is also an agglutinating language, adding information such as negation, passive voice, past tense, honorific degree and causality in the verb form. Common examples would be hatarakaseraretara (働かせられたら), which combines causative, passive or potential, and ...


7

According to the Wikipedia page on Inflection: Japanese shows a high degree of overt inflection of verbs, less so of adjectives, and very little of nouns, but it is mostly strictly agglutinative and extremely regular. Some fusion of morphemes does take place (e.g. causative-passive -sare- as in ikasareru "is made to go", and non-past progressive -ter- as ...


7

My understanding is that な-adj are actually a completely different type of word that are closer to nouns but are taught as な-Adj. taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_adjectives adjectival verbs 形容詞 keiyōshi adjectival verbs, i-adjectives, adjectives, stative verbs adjectival nouns 形容動詞 keiyōdōshi adjectival nouns, ...


6

From how I understand it, studying linguistics will give you knowledge about languages and how they work, but does not necessarily let you speak that language. My Japanese teacher studied linguistics, and while he could tell you anything about the German language, he couldn't speak it for the life of him (by his own admission). Of course, he was also fluent ...


5

I guess that it depends on dialects, but when vowels /i/ and /ɯ/ are “devoiced” in the Tokyo dialect, these vowels are actually dropped and the preceding consonant fills the mora. Moreover, if the vowel is /i/, the consonant is palatalized. This blog article (in Japanese) gives a fairly detailed description of “devoiced vowels” in the Tokyo dialect.


4

To the best of my knowledge there are none. Infixes are really pretty rare crosslinguistically, so it's not that surprising. English's expletive ones are pretty unusual even by English's standards, and as far as I know they're not particularly productive (I can't think of too many words you're actually allowed to use them with).


4

As the other answers have mentioned, it's not a bad idea to delve into linguistics as a way to break down a language into formulas. But if your overall goal is further language fluency, you may just want to continue interacting with others in the language. Keeping up your literacy by reading news articles or books doesn't hurt, either. Another thought is ...


4

It's [歩]{ある}かないで[渡]{わた}る cross without walking 歩いて渡らない not cross on foot In this case you want the second option. For "not eating" it is 食べていない I haven't eaten whereas 食べないでいる, albeit more logical in a sense, is hardly used, meaning you'd have to provide a lot of context to make it sound natural. Note that 食べていない is a continued state ...


3

It never hurt to improve your knowledge, but I don't think you should do linguistic if it's not something you like already. It will be a waste of time and waste of motivation in the middle/long term. All the linguistic I know use it from the beginning of their learning because that's their way to do it and because they love it. I don't know what your ...


3

動詞 in Japanese can represent 3 different things, 動作、作用 and 存在. An example will be easier to understand. 動作: 道を歩く 歩く is categorized as 動作をあらわす動詞, because when you walk, you move your legs, in other words "movement" or "action". 作用: 壁に絵をかける かける is categorized as 作用を表す動詞, here 壁にかける is having an "effect" on the wall. 存在: 机に本がある ある is categorized as ...


3

I've got an old PDF folder full of papers on Japanese, and I managed to pull up two which might be helpful. (I've been on the search for a full detailed phonetic study of Japanese. Add a comment if you know of some other technical resources!). The first, the open paper Processing missing vowels: Allophonic processing in Japanese (Ogasawara and Warner, 2009) ...


3

I've done some cursory searching through LLBA and have come up with a number of studies comparing the Japanese and Turkish grammars... there are undoubtedly many, many more, however. A brief selection of these studies follows (though I'm not sure how useful it will actually be, as many studies can be difficult to find copies of): Allen, S., Ozyurek, ...


3

I don't know much (or any) Turkish, but I can tell you this: a long time ago, my linguistics department used to had a Turkish course, and my Japanese professor (a native speaker) used to be a student back then. He told us that the course was quite tough, since most "students" there were actually Ph.D students and other professors at the department, but he ...


3

These revisions sound -very- strange to my ears. I would never use ある with verbs in this way, even if the verb form in question is technically conjugated as an adjective, but even if you rewrite them with する, they sound odd. I think this comes down to the base form you're riffing off of. 食べもしない is a quite normal way of saying 'I won't even eat it' or 'I ...


3

The only one I can think of, if it can be called an infix, is [兼]{けん} as in: [書斎兼応接間]{しょさいけんおうせつま} - a room used for both study and for receiving vistors or [総理大臣兼外務大臣]{そうりだいじんけんがいむだいじん} - (be both) Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs But as it has been pointed out, prefixes and suffixes are much more common in Japanese. One might ask ...


2

This structure is correct it is just very casual Japanese sorry if my explanation is too simple I don't have a very large English vocabulary but here is an example from a song lyric. 許せなくもあり そうされたくもあり here is the link to the official lyrics http://j-lyric.net/artist/a000680/l00ab4a.html


2

From Natsuko Tsujimura's An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics, page 148: Infixes are bound morphemes that are inserted in the middle of a word rather than being placed before or after it. Japanese does not have any examples of infixes. (emphasis added)


2

In the Vて+V case, I think loosely translating て as "by" here helps give a little intuition: 歩いて渡る "cross by walking" 歩かないで渡る "cross (not by walking)" 歩いて渡らない "not (cross by walking)" However, this intuition does not hold with auxiliary verbs (補助動詞{ほじょどうし}), and certainly not with inflectable particles (助動詞{じょどうし}). With auxiliary verbs, you ...


2

Just going to throw my 2¥ in here. Learning anything is good. More information is always better than less information. But learning linguistics is absolutely unneccesary when learning a language. Just as learning the physics of throwing a ball is not at all neccessary to playing a sport. If linguistics excites you, then get into it. If not, don't worry ...


2

I will not comment on whether or not linguistics is helpful for learning a language, but just want to say that traditional Japanese study, most saliently known by the works of 橋本進吉 and is taught in Japanese elementary schools and junior and senior highschools, is harmful for either learning Japanese or learning linguistics. Its the kind of grammar that uses ...



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