2,687 reputation
311
bio website
location
age
visits member for 1 year, 1 month
seen 19 mins ago

May
12
comment How are the noun 方【へ】 and the particle へ related?
The common romanisations use <ye> for /e/ for some reason, so it doesn't actually reconstruct to *pje, just *pe (though that's probably from a Proto-Japonic *pja or *pia). Just so you know! ^_^
Apr
30
comment -ei/-you alternation in some kanji: what's going on?
Originally the -you ones ended in -eu, so there's more similarity between the two than is immediately apparent.
Apr
10
comment is “こっかい” a heteronym?
@Szymon - if you look at tone crosslinguistically, there's no real justification for the term 'pitch-accent', since there's no reason to believe 'pitch-accent' is fundamentally different from normal tone. Basically, Japanese has a very small number of tone distinctions per word (due to things like tones spreading across several syllables), whereas Chinese has tone distinctions on every syllable. Japanese isn't the only tone language that doesn't allow tone to change within a syllable - most Athabaskan and Bantu languages are the same.
Apr
8
comment Appropriate context for お前【まえ】
I've also had Japanese teachers tell me to NEVER use certain words, when really they're quite fine in the right contexts. I'm not sure what causes this phenomenon.
Apr
8
answered How do you say “funny”?
Apr
8
comment Are 万葉仮名 (man'yōgana) chosen consistently?
I know Marc Miyake's 'Old Japanese: A Phonetic Reconstruction' has a discussion of this, though I don't remember the details. I do remember that he sees some definite patterns in man'yougana choices over time.
Apr
3
comment Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?
I'll have to take a look at those when I get to the library next.
Apr
3
comment Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?
Am I the only person that sees all of these as just transitive verbs? (or verbs that are optionally transitive?)
Apr
2
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Mar
29
awarded  Enlightened
Mar
29
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
28
comment If 校 is the kanji for school, why do I need 学 to actually say school?
This is a fairly normal process in languages - if a word gets too short to be distinguishable, compound it with a synonym. Chinese has vast numbers of these compounds; I don't know how many Japanese has borrowed versus created.
Mar
25
comment What exactly does the grammatical form NがNなだけに mean?
Would the English translation `X being what it is' make sense for this?
Mar
23
comment Rosetta Stone uses は instead of わ
Rosetta Stone's format involves presenting a phrase in audio and text and the image/video it's a description of, and leaving you as the student to figure out what's going on. I haven't used it much, but what I've seen of it is that it has no explanations at all - it might have a few, I don't know. It's a very strange system.
Mar
18
comment What does さあ (saa) mean?
There's also the さあ in response to a question, which basically means 'I have no idea'.
Mar
14
comment Do Japanese's sister languages have equivalents of the particles は and を?
Oh, and be warned - the table-of-contents hyperlinking in that pdf is -terrible-.
Mar
14
answered Do Japanese's sister languages have equivalents of the particles は and を?
Mar
14
comment 推量の助詞、「う」… does this particle exist?
I'm... not sure I understand what you're saying. *ə > /o/ is a hypothesis, but one that seems to be pretty darned well borne out by the data (see Marc Miyake's reconstruction for the whole reasoning). By 'V' here, do you mean a consonant? I don't know that there's any evidence at all for consonant-consonant sequences in Old Japanese - if there were single consonants, the metre in the Man'youshuu would be completely screwed up. (I also truly doubt people would change pronunciation to fit spelling.) You can totally write consonants with kanji, though - Old Korean uses 乙 for /l/, for example.
Mar
13
comment 推量の助詞、「う」… does this particle exist?
Three comments (^^;): -Old Japanese *ə becomes Middle Japanese /o/ in all cases, so I highly doubt this -a- is from *ə - this kind of phoneme reinterpretation only really happens when loaning, not within a language. -I feel like a lot of uses of the 未然形 do have a common semantic domain, namely, things that are not completely true. -あか and あけ are related, the second one is *aka-e- with the transitivity flipper / inchoative -e-; and I don't know if -raka has anything to do with the 未然形.
Mar
13
comment とまる / とめる and such pairs of verbs
@Tim It does, and it does contain those, but there is an extra little thing in there, since つかめる is something else ^^ And I think it's not that the adjective -maru/-meru is the cause of the verb -aru/-eru, but the other way around: あつまる is atsum-a-ru (treating the 未然形 -a as another affix), but 深まる is fuka-m-a-ru. There's an -m- that makes it a verb, followed by -aru or -eru like any other verb. Think about it - atsu- doesn't still mean 'assemble', but fuka- still means 'deep'.