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Jun
1
comment What is the te-form of 問う?
I'd just like to note that "this unusual conjunction came about" is a bit misleading; this is a perfectly normal conjunction in much of (modern) Western Japan, and you can trace the split back to how the onbin changes worked out in medieval times. The question is really why the premodern/western-dialect form was retained/adopted as an irregular form in what eventually became Standard Japanese for just a few verbs (問う, 乞う, etc.)
May
31
comment Why are there two words 算数 and 数学 representing different fields?
I like this answer, but I think there is a historical component too. IIRC 算数 was taught in terakoya schools and considered a practical skill useful for business, etc.; 数学 comes from a more "academic" tradition, and was the vessel into which Western mathematics was eventually poured. But I haven't had time to look up proper references.
May
29
comment Why do TV subtitles use spaces (instead of commas)?
Incidentally, I do not know if Pacerier's subtitles were actually added by the producer, but I can vouch for having seen similar orthography watching live Japanese TV with the subtitles on. I am less confident about having seen spaces after は and so on, but I have definitely seen spaces after ねえ, あたし, etc. (basically corresponding to pauses in speech).
May
29
comment Why do TV subtitles use spaces (instead of commas)?
@TsuyoshiIto I think you might be surprised by how many Japanese TV shows have subtitles (in Japanese) these days. Look for the little 字-in-a-box symbols in a TV guide, like this one: tbs.co.jp/tv/daily/?20120529 .
May
28
comment What does ちがいます。 mean?
Actually, let me add one important caveat to that "-i adjective chigai" thing: the interesting part is that for many of these speakers whenever it would appear as "chigai", it appears as "chigau" instead. You might say that they treat "chigau" as an -i adjective that happens to have an irregular plain/dictionary form ending in -u instead of -i.
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?
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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
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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...