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May
27
comment What does ちがいます。 mean?
@dotnetN00b There's no standard Japanese path from "chigau" to "chigakunai", but that's not what those speakers are doing. The evidence suggests that they have an -i adjective "chigai" in their lexicon. Note that people also say "chigee yo!" (like "takee yo!" for "takai yo!"), "chigakatta", etc. One reason for this reanalysis might be the fact that, in this usage, the (original) verb "chigau" is more stative than dynamic -- it describes how something is rather than what something does, so in some ways it's more adjective-y.
May
25
comment What does ちがいます。 mean?
ちがくない is perfectly grammatical in the idiolects of the people who (non-ironically) use it... it's just not standard.
May
24
comment Kanji 何: why is it missing in 今なにしてる (facebook text in status editbox)?
Good point. Another possible reason for 誰 in hiragana in some contexts is that (incredibly) it wasn't on the Joyo Kanji list until 2010.
May
24
comment Kanji 何: why is it missing in 今なにしてる (facebook text in status editbox)?
Re the second point, note that it is fairly common to write "今、何してる" but less common (still not unheard of) to write "今、なにしてる". I have always understood this sort of thing as being due to vague aversion to "writing two kanji letters in a row when they do not form one word", as Tsuyoshi explains. Inserting a comma between them is another way of keeping them from running together.
May
22
comment understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?
You're welcome! I updated the answer with this information. The short version is that 著 and 着 used to be variant ways of writing the "same" character. The separation in meaning/pronunciation between them seems to be native to Japan. I suppose that Nelson is showing the standard Japanese readings (promulgated by MEXT etc.) rather than the full historical mess.
May
22
revised understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?
added 971 characters in body
May
21
revised understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?
added 162 characters in body
May
21
answered understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?
May
18
comment Does 切った mean to “cut out” or “cut from”?
How about if you visualize it as a line on a graph "cutting" through another line as it goes down?
May
17
comment What are the rules determining the use of the dash in katakana?
@istrasci Nah, most speakers do actually pronounce けいたい "kē-tai", including many people who believe they are actually saying "ke-i-tai".
May
17
answered What are the rules determining the use of the dash in katakana?
May
14
comment Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます
I see where you're coming from, but I think the proposal is just too convoluted: "ありがとうございます is basically just a polite form of ありがとう, and this is just a short form of ありがたく存じます". On the other hand, I am okay with a model where ありがとう(ございます) has become able to take a direct object due to interference from ありがたく存じます. But this is different from saying that ございます is somehow a surface form of 存じます.
May
13
comment Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます
This explanation works for ありがたく存じます, but it doesn't work for ありがとうございます, and I don't agree that they're interchangeable. 存じます is roughly equivalent to 知る or 思う, so it's "allowed" to take a direct object marked with を; but ございます is roughly equivalent to ある, which isn't "allowed" to do that.
May
12
awarded  Nice Answer
May
10
comment How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?
@dotnetN00b Sure, I'm not criticizing the question, just offering one reason why it might not be getting answered. Re the second part, even that really requires more than intuition -- I'd prefer hard data...
May
10
answered What exactly does とばかりに mean?
May
10
comment How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?
Speaking as an etymology nerd if not a (professional) etymologist, the reason that I haven't jumped on this question is because a proper answer would easily fill a PhD dissertation (and require about as much research)... the question is just too broad to answer in a satisfying way, at least from my POV.
May
9
comment What is the difference between 見える/聞こえる and 見られる/聞ける?
@dainichi OT for this question, but re the last issue you raise, Frellesvig, Vovin etc. argue that /-e-/ was actually a "transitivity switch" morpheme, making intransitive stems transitive (ap- → ap-e-) and transitive stems intransitive (yak- → yak-e-). (Also, I think you know this but just to avoid confusion in the thread as a whole, this morpheme is also distinct from the -y(e)- morpheme Dono is talking about.)
May
8
comment Multiple onyomi
That particular word actually is in the dictionary (if the dictionary is big enough). It's pronounced ほんさつ and it means something like "main book", "main text", as opposed to 別冊 (べっさつ), supplementary volumes. But the general answer to the question is basically as Kaz says: it depends. e.g. In the case of 本冊, 本 seems likely to mean "main" or "this" (so almost certainly "ほん", not "もと"). 冊 is most often さつ in Japanese, so unless you have a strong reason to suspect さく or ざく (e.g. the context is tanzaku at Tanabata), ほんさつ is the most likely reading.
May
8
comment Multiple onyomi
Just a suggestion: this answer would be better if you used an example other than 上手, because that particular two-kanji combination can also represent うわて.