What does it mean to put a な after an い-adjective? For example, many Youtube videos are called begin "いいなCM", and a Japanese text book I have uses this sentence as an example:

この通りを行くと 大きな 交差点がある。

Go along this street, and you will find a large crossroads.

What is the meaning of this な? It is also unusual that the 大きい is missing the final い but the いいな is not. I cannot find it in my textbook or on using Google.


1 Answer 1

  • Your example いいな CM is not an adjective modifying a noun. It can be taken as a quoted sentence modifying a noun. It may be more recognizable if it were in quotes like "いいな" CM. The in いいな is a sentence final particle that adds the first person's subjective feeling to the proposition.

  • There are both the i-adjective 大きい and the (possibly) na-adjective 大きな. However, whereas the i-adjective has full paradigm, the 大き part in the na-adjective form cannot be extracted and be used like 大きだ. It looks like the na-adjective form is a fossilized form. For this reason, traditional grammar reserves an independent category called 連体詞. The two words are usually interchangable, but for a subtle difference, see the answer here: i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな).

  • 3
    “For this reason, traditional grammar reserves an independent category called 連体詞 for these words”: I am afraid that this is incorrect. I can only interpret “these words” as the words which are used as both na-adjectives and i-adjectives, but 連体詞 does not necessarily have i-adjective counterpart. The reason 大きな is often categorized as 連体詞 and not as 形容動詞 is because 大きな does not conjugate to 大きだ or 大きに like other 形容動詞. Jun 24, 2012 at 3:24
  • @tsuyoshiIto I corrected it. Thanks for pointing it out.
    – user458
    Jun 24, 2012 at 4:51

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