As far as I know when the topic and the object are the same we drop the object from the sentence to avoid redundancy. For example the following sentence is not correct:

ラーメン は もう ラーメン を 食べました。


ラーメン は もう 食べました。

But when I surfed on the internet I saw the をば combination which seems another way to avoid redundancy.

ラーメン をば もう 食べました。

My question is: Is をば an abbreviated version of XはXを? If yes then: Is there a difference between the two correct sentences besides that をば is used in old Japanese and some dialects?

  • 2
    Can you cite a source for 「ラーメン をば もう 食べました」? I don't think that's a natural locution, at least not in modern Japanese.
    – Eddie Kal
    Oct 15, 2021 at 18:27
  • 2
    Broadly, no, 「をば」 is not a contraction or abbreviation of 「XはXを」. The ば here is indeed a form of は, but it is used as a kind of emphasis. Consider 「に」 versus 「には」, 「と」 versus 「とは」, 「へ」 versus 「へは」, etc. Oct 15, 2021 at 18:44
  • @EiríkrÚtlendi I now find a wiki page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particles_of_the_Kagoshima_dialects which say: "The particle をば oba or ば ba marks a topicalized direct object." Then what is mean the topicalized direct object? Oct 15, 2021 at 18:48
  • 2
    It's not that you drop the direct object to avoid redundancy. You turn it into the topic by changing the particle. ラーメンは in your sentence is also such a topicalized direct object.
    – aguijonazo
    Oct 15, 2021 at 22:29
  • 1
    Highly related: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/23875/…
    – user4032
    Oct 16, 2021 at 0:03


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