This sentence is from a book about Japanese grammar written for native Japanese speakers:


  • The これ refers to a past incident where a Japanese teacher's explanation of the particle が to foreigners ended up being confusing and incomplete.
  • Teramura-sensei is a Japanese teacher who the book refers to as a pioneer in Japanese language teaching.

"Incidentally, incidents like this are probably encountered by many Japanese teachers, and not just Teramura-sensei." seems like a reasonable translation, but I don't know what's going on with that ならずとも。 If it means "ならないとも" then I would expect to see a に or と just before (に・となる) but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Can anyone clarify what that ならずとも is signifying? Thanks in advance.

  • You don't have to add spaces after and in Japanese. They have spaces built-in.
    – user1478
    Dec 26 '14 at 20:19

This is a negated form of the literary copula なる (fused from に+ある). It's not the verb なる "become", so inserting に or と wouldn't be appropriate. Here, it attaches directly to the noun phrase 寺村先生.

The literary form 〜ずとも generally means roughly 〜なくても, so the literal meaning of 〜ならずとも is close to the colloquial 〜じゃなくても "even if it isn't". This phrase is used to mean something like だけでなく, "others besides ..." or "in addition to ...".

This is covered in Martin's 1975 Reference Grammar of Japanese, p.368 and p.1010.

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