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I speak Japanese semi-natively, but have never studied Japanese grammar formally (only the stuff I've picked up here and there). I'm very interested in grammar in general, but do not know much of the terminology specific to Japanese. Looking forward to learn (and teach)!


Jun
12
comment Verb classification of honorific/humble verbs
@EiríkrÚtlendi, as I said I've lost faith in my theory, but my train of thinking was that it was these 5 verbs, exactly because they are used for 敬語. When the power shifted, the Eastern language was "unrefined" and lacked honorific speak, so it's natural that 敬語 expressions were imported from Western dialects (just like the よろしゅう-renyokei still used in よろしゅうございます). Now, as you say, ます is a later innovation, so that is a good counterargument to my theory. So it would be interesting to know whether ござい etc. were used as renyokei in any other contexts.
Jun
11
comment Origin of -aru verbs: いらっしゃる、おっしゃる、くださる、なさる
"beginning with a voiced obstruent, something no native verb does" How about だまる, is that not native?
Jun
11
comment Verb classification of honorific/humble verbs
@EiríkrÚtlendi, after googling some more, I'm losing faith in my own theory... however, not sure what your point is? It's possible that the regular Eastern form was in competition with the established Western form, and eventually lost, no?
Jun
10
comment ‥ができないと vs ‥はできないと
@YangMuye, sure, but the は-phrase can be hoisted from subject in the the conditional clause to topic of the whole sentence, i.e. かたづけは、できないと怪獣が出る, As for cleaning, if you can't do it, the monster appears.
Jun
10
comment Verb classification of honorific/humble verbs
My guess is that these are remnants of western dialect in the standard language from when the power shifted from West to East, similar to ありがとう,おはよう,ようこそ etc. instead of ありがたく,おはやく,よくこそ. But others probably know the details better than I do.
Jun
5
comment Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)
@EiríkrÚtlendi, also, ○○を分かろうとする marks the object of understanding with を, so 分かろうとする obviously doesn't mean "try to be understood". So you have to ask yourself what makes more sense: verbs whose semantics (and transitivity) completely change in different forms, or verbs which just mark their arguments differently depending on the form. I definitely shave in the latter way.
Jun
5
comment Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)
@EiríkrÚtlendi, Japanese dictionaries also often list 理解する as a synonym, which marks the understandee with を. I don't think that proves much else than the fact that dictionaries distinguish based on the surface marking. No surprise, (most) dictionaries are made for ordinary people, not linguists. 先生にお分かり is also possible, so now you have to extend your honorification system to include dative objects.
Jun
5
comment Why no 移民者【いみんしゃ】?
It makes no sense. 移民 can be an individual person, just like 国民, 市民 etc can.
Jun
4
comment Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)
@EiríkrÚtlendi, 分かる might have an intransitive etymology, but in my view, it's not intransitive anymore, and the etymology is misleading to the correct synchronous analysis. So in your theory, subject honorification applies to the subject of the verb, unless these constitute a subclause which is the predicate of another subject, in which case it applies to the outer subject, is that right? I find that to be a stretch, but I guess it boils down to different opinions about where Occam's razor should cut.
Jun
4
comment Why does 「でならない」 not mean “does not become”?
I think a better translation for 残念 than "disappointed" is "disappointing". You could translate 残念にならない as "does not become disappointing", although I'm struggling to come up with a scenario where that would be idiomatic.
Jun
4
comment Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)
@EiríkrÚtlendi, I don't agree with everything in the linked explanation either, e.g. the ungrammaticality of 8b, but some of the other arguments are quite convincing. I think the etymology of 分かる is a red herring. It seems clear to me that at some point the verb was reanalyzed so the understander is the subject, thereby allowing subject honorification on the understander only, not the understandee.
May
28
comment How can this sentence using 次 be in the past tense?
Were those somehow qualitatively different from "historical present"/史的現在 which exists in e.g. English as well?
May
28
comment How can this sentence using 次 be in the past tense?
Yes, but I think you can argue that the context is set by the matrix verb. In that sense, the conjugation on the matrix verb is a real tense, not an aspect. E.g. *昨日起きる。 is ungrammatical even if the waking up is taking place in the context of yesterday. It has to be 昨日起きた。, i.e. it is 起きた setting the context, not 昨日. I fully agree with you for non-matrix verbs.
May
28
comment Origins of -ちゃん
The usual Japanese rendering of German -chen is ヒェン, as in Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnrade", 糸をつむぐグレートヒェン
May
27
comment How to classify the non-standard reading of “お土産{みやげ}”?
@virmaior, I am very aware that there are situations where they do not overlap. Translations are almost never perfect. Your very strong statement "I've always hated it" (notice how you are using an absolute?) just lead me to believe that you thought there was no overlap.
May
27
comment How to classify the non-standard reading of “お土産{みやげ}”?
@virmaior, I don't agree. Souvenirs can be given, and お土産 can be inedible.
May
27
comment How to classify the non-standard reading of “お土産{みやげ}”?
@virmaior, I'm curious, what's wrong with translating お土産 as "souvenir"?
May
22
comment 「思う」 in 「その人を私のように 思う」:think v.s. feel
I cannot read the line as "I felt the person was just like me", at least literally, since that for me would be "その人が私のようだと思う". My reading is "I felt as if that person were me".
May
22
comment Nouns exhibiting vowel fronting
A first step could be an OJ dictionary which shows the ko-otsu distinction. Anybody got a link?
May
22
comment Why are 来る and する irregular?
This is a good overview of how K-hen and S-hen compare to the other conjugations, but it doesn't really answer the original question, which is "why?". Old Japanese already had K-hen and S-hen, so the reason must lie before that, e.g. some previous regularization which escaped these verbs.