3
  1. 象は 大きい。
  2. 象は おりに入れた。
  3. 象は えさをやった。
  4. 象は 鼻が長い。

などの文では、「象は」はいずれも題目を示している。4の「象は」は「象が」に言い換えられるもので、事実上は文の主語を兼ねる。しかし、5以下は「象が」には言い換えられない。5は「象を」のことであり、6は「象に」のことである。さらに、7の「象は」は何とも言い換えられないものである(「象の」に言い換えられるともいう[47])。これらの「象は」という題目は、「が」「に」「を」などの特定の格を表すものではなく、「私は象について述べる」ということだけをまず明示する役目を持つものである。

The above is a snippet from the Japanese Wikipedia page on Japanese which I am reading for Practise and bettering my understanding at the same time, especially on grammar. I am having trouble understanding 「何とも」 here within a sentence from the above snippet:

さらに、7の「象は」は何とも言い換えられないものである

I can understand its meaning given the context, where it effectively says that "Sentence 7's [象は] is unable to be said any other way" (i.e. you cannot change the particle). But I fail to grasp a detailed understanding of 何とも in the sense that I know what it means (I have found many english "translations" of the word), but I fail to find any good explanations of how the expression actually works, as in are the 「と」and 「も」 particles? I think they must be obviously, but is the 「と」here the quotation particle or the inclusion particle etc.

I would appreciate it a lot if you anyone could shed light on the origin of the word with the particles which explain its meaning as it is the only way I will be able to fully understand it.

Any help is much appreciated, Thank you.

4

「(~~を)XX言い換える」 means "paraphrase ~~ as XX".
何も・・・ない」 means "not ... anything" or "nothing".

The case particle と here functions like "as" in "rephrase something as~~" or "with" in "replace/exchange something with~~". eg 「切れた電球を新しいもの取り替える」("replace a dead light bulb with a new one").

The adverbial/binding particle も, used with a negative word (「ない」), functions as "any". eg 「何知らない」("don't know anything") 「どこに行かない」("don't go anywhere").

So 「(~~を)何とも言い換えられない」 means "cannot paraphrase ~~ as anything."

さらに、7の「象は」は[何とも言い換えられない]ものである。

Here, 何とも言い換えられない modifies もの.

lit. "Besides, the '象は' in #7 is something [that you cannot paraphrase as anything]."
→ "Besides, the '象は' in #7 cannot be paraphrased as anything. / cannot be replaced by any other word."

  • Thank you, I believe I understand it now in terms of particles. You explanation has been great! Thank you! – Jaimin Jun 6 '18 at 8:40

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