Assuming that a coordinating conjunction is a conjunction which links two phrases of the same phrase type (e.g. NPs) and create a larger phrase of the same type, it seems to me 並立助詞 should be coordinating conjunctions. Taking for example this sentence:


It seems pretty clear that here the conjuncts 天気, パーティーでの食事, 好きな飲み物(など) are forming a very large NP/DP (or what the equivalent in Japanese is). The limitation of course being that we don't use 並立助詞 to link full clauses if we're not then going to talk about them in some way, as we might use "and" in English: "I ate and I slept."
Is this wrong somehow or can I go on with a mental model in which 並立助詞 work like coordinating conjunctions?

  • If the question is "if we were to write a paper on 接続助詞 in English, should we call them coordinating conjunctions?", I don't see why not. In my understanding, We can safely map 接続助詞→coordinator. The arises when we try and make the mapping a two-way street and find out that it's harder for the reverse to hold true. The arrow doesn't point back because, as you note, 並立助詞 don't conjoin full clauses. That, in my view, is because in Japanese school grammar 接続語 are 接続助詞 are two separate sets of words, with 接続語, such as および (並列) and だから (順接) belonging to 独立語 and 接続助詞 (such as と、や) being 付属語.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 1 at 6:22
  • One of the first things taught in Japanese grammar is 品詞の分類, and the very first thing they tell you is to separate 独立語 from 付属語. That is the first step to 文節の分け方. So, I think adding 並列の接続詞 to the right side of the arrow will make it more of an equitable formula. The issue here is probably that in grammatical analysis used for English and some other languages, coordinators connect clauses, phrases, and words all the same, but that's not the case in Japanese, which results in a seemingly unbalanced relation. It seems to me to be an issue of terminology, more than anything else.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 1 at 6:33
  • @EddieKal That makes sense, it kinda seems like my original question was a little misguided, or misses the full picture. Maybe a better question (or part of the anser) would be what constructs in japanese can coordinate what things: then we would have 並立助詞 for NPs, te-form/stem for clauses, and 接続語/接続助詞 also for clauses - I think? Though this is where it gets confusing to me: Some sources list ても・たり・etc. as 接続助詞, but those impose constraints on the forms that come before them, while some list ところが・ところで, which require attributive/adnominal forms before them.
    – Sam
    Jan 1 at 23:12
  • Also, some sources see けど・けれど・けれども as a 接続語, and some claim it is a 接続助詞 - so I guess I'm not quite clear on the differences between those.
    – Sam
    Jan 1 at 23:15
  • Also also, it seems you implicitly included 並立助詞 in 接続助詞, is that common? Lists I've seen typically separate them.
    – Sam
    Jan 1 at 23:17

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