2

In this Wikipedia article, in the table of i-adjectives, I noticed that some of these adjectives were completely different in the Kagoshima dialect compared to Standard Japanese in a way that these phonological processes, which affects all words used in the Kagoshima dialect, doesn't explain.

For example, 熱【あつ】い (hot) in Standard Japanese becomes ぬっか in the Kagoshima dialect, and 恥【は】ずかしい (embarassed) in Standard Japanese becomes げんなか.

I understand that certain parts of Kyushu use -か instead of -い for the plain and plain negative forms, but what I don't understand is the change in the stem.

Can someone please tell me if there are specific 'irregular' i-adjectives which undergo this or if this is typical of i-adjectives in the Kagoshima dialect?

And if these are typical of Kagoshima adjectives, is there any way of predict these changes?

  • 2
    I don't know Kagoshima-ben at all, but I would be very surprised if ぬっか and げんなか had any relationship to the standard Japanese adjectives rather than just being different words, like うまい and おいしい. – mamster Aug 23 '18 at 15:41
  • Do you check the line in the link in the first line, which brought up a table of adjectives? There you'll find that the Kagoshima-ben and the Standard Japanese adjectives share the same meaning. Unless, what you're suggesting is that the article has made an error, which is a possibility. – PearApple Aug 23 '18 at 15:43
  • Yes. I'm not arguing that the Kagoshima and standard adjectives have different meanings, just that some of them have different roots. It seems obvious that "waika" derives from "warui," but it's hard to imagine a process that would transform "atsui -> nukii" or "kawaii -> muji". It's not a stem change; it's a different word that fills the same niche. This happens all the time in dialects in a way that isn't predictable, which I guess maybe answers your question, but probably isn't a satisfying answer. – mamster Aug 23 '18 at 23:48
  • So you're saying that those radical stem changes are occassional? So those adjectives are just exceptions? – PearApple Aug 24 '18 at 3:36
  • If that's your answer, can you please write it in the answer box? – PearApple Aug 24 '18 at 3:58
2

I don't know Kagoshima-ben at all, but I would be very surprised if ぬっか and げんなか had any relationship to the standard Japanese adjectives rather than just being different words, like うまい and おいしい.

It seems obvious that "waika" derives from "warui," but it's hard to imagine a process that would transform "atsui -> nukii" or "kawaii -> muji". It's not a stem change; it's a different word that fills the same niche. This happens all the time in dialects in a way that isn't predictable. In other words, there is often no good way to predict whether the box for a corresponding word in any dialect or related language is going to be filled by a word with a standard phonological change or a completely different word that may or may not have any hereditary relationship to the word in the source language.

I'm hoping someone with familiarity with Kagoshima-ben can weigh in, however, because this is really just a high-level linguistic observation.

| improve this answer | |
5

I'm the one who wrote the majority of that article (some ~10 years ago!), so I apologize if that section was a bit confusing when comparing the Kagoshima forms to their standard Japanese counterparts.

As @mamster pointed out, for some of the entries in that table, the root word used in Kagoshima is completely different from that used in standard Japanese. One example, as you noted, was the word "hot". In Kagoshima, the word commonly used for this is ぬっか nukka "hot" (here, the root is nuku-), while in standard Japanese, it's 暑い【あつい】 atsui. Standard Japanese does have the word 温い【ぬくい】 nukui, which is from the same root as the Kagoshima example, but it means "lukewarm" instead.

So it's not just that the Kagoshima dialect is distinctive for its sound changes, but it also uses different words at times.

This is no different from, say, American English using the word "chips" while British English uses "crisps"; both have the same meaning, but both are from different words. British English does use the word "chips", but it represents what Americans call French fries.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.