I think I have observed certain patterns regarding adjectives describing feelings. Are the following observations correct?
Take うれしい as an example. The Wisdom English-Japanese Dictionary defines うれしい as “glad, happy, thrilled”. Having read a few example sentences, I think that it would be wrong to translate “I am glad” as 私がうれしい because I noted a pattern that in “Xがうれしい“, X is always the thing that causes the feeling of happiness.
Likewise, I suppose that “a happy person” should not be translated as うれしい人, because in うれしいY, Y again should be the thing that evokes the feeling of happiness. The correct translations for “I feel glad” and “a happy person” should be 私がうれしいと感じる/思う and うれしいと思っている人.
I think the same holds, for example, for ありがたい being defined as “be grateful” and 心細い as “lonely, uneasy”. (If the above observations are correct, then perhaps I have come to understand why at the elementary level, I like apples = 私はりんごが好きだ. 好き describes the property of apples of evoking the feeling in 私 of liking apples.)
Is it correct to claim the following?
- Adjectives describing emotions and feelings generally mean “having the property/capability of evoking those feelings”.
- Item 1 holds both when an adjective A appears as a predicate and when it modifies a noun. That is, in XがA and AY, both X and Y are the object/event/person evoking the feeling of A and cannot be the person harboring the feeling of A.
- Items 1 and 2 apply both for い-adjectives and な-adjectives.