Dictionary or other references are appreciated, as no dictionary I have referenced gives me an example of this kind of usage.



It looks like すなわち, なぜかと聞くと, 例えば, つまり, or something like that, but I cannot pin it down.

I'm interested in all possible usages of (adverbial?) 曰く without a name prefix, not just the meaning of this one example, so if you can't answer this but know of any more examples with possibly different usages (it is quite hard to google this ><), please add them in the comments.


I see this pattern once in a while. These 曰く are the same as the one preceded by a name, except that the speakers are unimportant and thus omitted.

So basically these just mean "one says ..., another says ..., another says, ...". As for the last two 曰く, even the contents of their speech are omitted, thus effectively implying they are quibbling about trivial things.

  • This explanation seems to work (I'm finding more examples in the context of the quoted speakers being "general opinion" or "random opinions of the public"). It also seems that the quoted person can be "obvious from preceding context" (e.g. some documents are mentioned, then, 曰く, the information in those documents). ... I think I may have been thrown for a loop by a nonstandard usage I saw somewhere else. Thanks :) – Hyperworm Jan 28 '15 at 3:59

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