So if we take this sentence 「鳥や魚にだって喜怒哀楽の感情があると思う。」

We can see that the に particle is directly attached to the だ copula. The だ copula really just being である, doesn't this mean the に particle and で particle have been attached? I was under the assumption that 格助詞 (or logical particles for Cure Dolly students) cannot attach to each other- which is why we can do には (Since は is a 副助詞 or non-logical particle) and we can't do にが for example.

Is my understanding of だって weird and the だ here is actually not the copula? Or is there some reason that the に particle can attach to the particle here?

I understand that when we shorten stuff, we can use them in cases they would not normally be able to be used in- for example って can be used in さくらって日本人だ, however, さくらという日本人だ doesn't mean the same thing despite って being a shortened form of という.

I'm hesitant to believe that this is what's happening here because the above works consistently, while neither にだ nor にである seems to be seen anywhere else in Japanese.

I suspect this may have to do with the etymology of the word maybe?

Would appreciate someone shining the light on this matter or just sharing their thoughts.

  • 1
    に [any non-final particle] + だ is valid: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/98774/7810 Commented Apr 29 at 12:38
  • さくらって日本人だ does mean さくらという日本人だ when って is the short form for という. It means a different thing when it's for とは.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Apr 29 at 12:46
  • 2
    だって is a particle (助詞) (besides being also conjunction). In context of sentence from this question, this だって is amongst bindings particles (係助詞), like は and も. Although だって supposedly comes from だとて from だ + とて, it now has its own grammatical uses, and you should not think of this だって as form of copula.
    – Arfrever
    Commented Apr 29 at 12:51
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    で in である construction should not be considered to be any particle, but -te form of certain verb, n-, which is defective and has only 3 attested forms: Attributive (連体形) no (n-o), Continuative (連用形) ni (n-i), and -te form nite (n-i-te) → de. Case particle にて / で developed from that form of that verb, and case particles の and に may also had developed from forms of that verb at earlier time. It is not too unusual in history of Japanese. E.g. case particle から comes from noun [柄]{kara}, and case particle へ comes from noun [辺]{pʲe}.
    – Arfrever
    Commented Apr 29 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


How is this any different from the use of だって to express "even". In this context,

Even birds and fish have emotions.

I don't know the etymology of だって, but the construction here is not

~ にだって ...

But rather,

~ に ... ある

where in the second だって is appended to the phrase 鳥や魚に in order to convey the English equivalent of even.

To say,


is to say,

A has feelings of human emotion.

Grammatically, the Japanese and English are set up different. You could perhaps try something more literal, but the English will sound very awkward.

Feelings of human emotion are in birds and fish

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