Questions tagged [classical-japanese]

文語(古文). The classical literary form of the language based on Early Middle Japanese.

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1 answer
214 views

Meaning of しれし on this haiku?

寝たなりは桜としれしけさの雪-一茶 Is it related to 知る? Or the auxiliary し
1 vote
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What does 適 mean in this quote?

I am unsure what 適 means in this (well-known?) quote: 人の適を適として、自ら其の適を適とせざる者なり Based on Google search, it seems to mean something like 楽しみ but I cannot find the mention of this meaning in any ...
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84 views

Example with まじかる

I've tried to find an example of use of まじかる (打消推量の助動詞「まじ」の連体形). However, no matter how much I search, I can't find any sentence from any real text with まじかる. The dictionaries I have consulted do not ...
-3 votes
1 answer
779 views

What special meanings does the number 8,000,000 have in the Japanese language and where do they come from?

What special meanings does the number 8,000,000 have in the Japanese language and where do they come from? Possible suggestions from me: Eternity Infinity In the course of time, I have come across ...
1 vote
1 answer
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How cross-applicable were Classical Chinese second-person pronouns to Japanese kanji?

I'm fairly certain there's a certain stigma surrounding second-person pronouns in Japanese. Even in Chinese, it's generally considered polite to avoid them (and refer to a person by surname, title, ...
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is the old perfective suffix り connecting to 命令形 because there were 2 types of e?

As i have heard, there were 2 types of e's, one got creating through connecting "a" + "i" (which i think is the e for 已然形) and one through "i + a" (which i think is the e ...
4 votes
2 answers
256 views

Is there some poetic license in 止めど or is it following classical grammar?

This line is from the lyrics of a song called TSUNAMI 止めど流る清か水よ 消せど燃ゆる魔性の火よ I had to look up the dictionary to understand what ど does in that line, and found an entry with this example. 呼べど答へず、...
4 votes
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272 views

For this sentence 本日は晴天なりといったとする, could I replace なり to です, if not, why?

ChatGPT said '"なり" (nari) functions as a copula, which is a word that links the subject of a sentence with a predicate or description. Specifically, "なり" serves as a literary or ...
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96 views

古典日本語について:「つ」で二つの名詞を連接する

最近Bilibiliで(実質的に中国版のニコニコ動画サイト)見つけたのは、文語版深海少女の動画です。 誰かがあのめっちゃ流行ってた曲「深海少女」の歌詞を古典日本語(文語)に変換し、動画を作り出しました。歌詞を見習う時、気になったのは最後の部分の一言です: 元の歌詞: 深海少女 腕を引かれる 歌う祝福のマリンスノー 深海少女 もっと知りたい 心惹かれるあの人を見つけたから この動画: ...
2 votes
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Are these 返り点 correct for this Sino-Japanese/Kanbun/漢文 order?

I was writing pseudo-漢文 as a fun exercise between a friend and me, and I found my sentence (What it is isn't particularly important. It was most certainly various degrees of ungrammatical) required ...
2 votes
1 answer
192 views

然る (さる) and 然る (しかる)

Is 然る used in Japanese as both 然る (さる) and 然る (しかる) or only with one of those readings? Does 然る have a different meaning depending on the reading? If so, what does 然る (さる) and 然る (しかる) each one mean? ...
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Use of "かな" in these Bashō/Sora haiku

First: I am a beginner. I don't know much. So, I am reading おくのほそ道. I am confused by the use of かな in these haiku: 田一枚植えて立ち去る柳かな and 卯の花をかざしに関のはれぎかな I have been told かな conveys uncertainty and ...
1 vote
1 answer
341 views

Is it correct to use the word "戦うて" instead of "戦って"?

I'm watching a Japanese TV drama. It is the story of a student whose body sometimes is possessed by the spirit of a samurai. When the body of the student is owned by the spirit of the samurai, the ...
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

how did 二段 verbs shift into 一段?

How was the process? i know that in 鎌倉時代, the 終止形 and 連体形 started to be used interchangeably + only the 連体形 form survived and replaced the 終止形. But here is where i get lost, lets say the classical 下二段 ...
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

why is the 未然形 for 形容詞 in classical japanese not written/in brackets in most conjugation tables?

Took from google some of the tables, some have it in brackets, some list it, some of them straight up remove it, why is that?
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2 answers
185 views

かる・しかる-連体形 cant follow nouns?

i was reading something about adjectives on https://www.imabi.net/ and as i was reading, i came across this sentence, the なる-連体形 may follow nominals whereas the かる・しかる-連体形 cannot. is there something ...
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

Meaning of verb stem + たもう

I'm reading a book titled 君死にたもう流星群 and translated (on the book itself) as She Was Killed by Shooting Stars; I'm trying to understand the structure of the title, but I'm kinda stumped by たもう. I found ...
3 votes
1 answer
181 views

Why is 閉ざす the "-す form" of 閉じる when the classical form was kami nidan 閉づ?

This has really confused me for a long time. Considering the fact that the Classical Japanese form of the verb 閉じる is 閉づ, the expected reflex of 閉ざす should be *閉だす; 閉じる is actually etymologically 閉ぢる ...
7 votes
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294 views

What pitch accent do Japanese native speakers apply to Classical Japanese verbs?

I was reading a tanka which appears in the Man'yōshū (my translation): 瓜[食]{は}めば子ども思ほゆ栗[食]{は}めばまして[偲]{しぬ}はゆ いづくより[来]{きた}りしものそ[目交]{まながひ}にもとなかかりて[安眠]{やすい}しなさぬ When I eat a melon, thoughts of my ...
2 votes
1 answer
809 views

What does ゑ mean here?

So I was reading an old issue of the Asahi Shimbun and I came across this: [從來]{これまで}[醫]{い}[師]{し}[出]{しゆつ}[張]{ちやう}[診]{しん}[察]{さつ}[所]{しよ}[設置]{まうけ}の[儀]{ぎ}[情願]{ねがひ}に[依]{よ}り[聞]{きき}[屆]{とどけ}[鑑]{かん}[札]{さつ}[下]{...
1 vote
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198 views

All conjugation groups of verbs

I believe most learners of Japanese were taught that the verbs of the language are classified into 3 groups: Group 1 / Godan Verbs ([五段動詞]【ごだんどうし】​); Group 2 / Ichidan Verbs ([一段動詞]【いちだんどうし】); Group 3 ...
2 votes
1 answer
192 views

What do 科 and 頼母しけれ mean here?

言語を慎みて多くす可らずとは、寡黙を守れとの意味ならん。諺に言葉多きは科少なしと言い、西洋にも空樽を叩けば声高しとの語あり。愚者の多言固より厭う可し。況して婦人は静にして奥ゆかしきこそ頼母しけれ。福澤諭吉の「女大学評論」より What does 科 work there? What does 頼母しけれ mean? Here's a online dictionary explains: ...
3 votes
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Japanese honourifics during the Heian period

I'm just curious about honorifics during the Heian period. I know that "daredare no kimi" was used often in court however I am curious about other honorifics extant during the period. ...
2 votes
1 answer
266 views

What are these kanji? (Image)

For context: I received this 手拭 (I think that's what it's called) a few years ago when I took a high school trip to Japan. I didn't think to ask what it meant at the time but now I am more interested ...
2 votes
1 answer
224 views

What is the difference between 上代日本語 & 中古日本語 and 古文

I know 上代/中古日本語 are Old/Early middle Japanese, and that 古文 is Classical Japanese, and I know the latter is exclusively written since it's the literary language, but what are the other differences? ...
3 votes
1 answer
269 views

What does せり mean in 「ワレ奇襲ニ成功セリ」

What does せり mean in 「ワレ奇襲【きしゅう】ニ成功【せいこう】セリ」? We succeeded in our surprise attack. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/トラトラトラ I get the following vocabulary: 我【われ】 we 奇襲【きしゅう】 surprise attack に particle 成功 【...
1 vote
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What are all the meanings なり had in Classical Japanese? [closed]

I've tried reading articles in Japanese on the multiple meanings なり has in Classical Japanese, but some articles seem to have more information than others and some just seem not too reliable. To this ...
2 votes
1 answer
407 views

Meaning of といえど

In a book I found this sentence: ありえない。そうおもってるつつも、彼は腰からハンマーを引き抜く。亡き師匠から引き継いだハンマー—その名も『万能鉄槌』は、どんな金属の正体も丸裸にする。一見するとただのハンマーだが、使い手の『能力』と結びつくと絶妙な効果を発揮する。そして、世界広しといえどこれを使いこなせる職人はフィーゴ・アンヴィルただ一人だ I ...
2 votes
1 answer
568 views

Why did "mairasesoro" (まいらせさうらふ/まいらせ候) have its own kana ligature?

The Japanese Wikipedia notes that before 1900, the kana sequence まいらせさうらふ (mairasesōrō) had its own kana ligature: Poking around Wiktionary, my best guess would be that this is a set phrase in ...
4 votes
1 answer
133 views

How are いと and いたう different in 文語?

いと's definition: ①大変。非常に。▽程度がはなはだしい。 ②〔下に打消の語を伴って〕それほど。たいして。 いたう (いたく)'s definition: ①はなはだしく。ひどく。 ②うまく。 ③〔下に打消の語を伴って〕それほど。たいして。 One context which I encountered both words in is from 源氏物語『若紫』 ...
2 votes
1 answer
549 views

How does 形容詞+かる work in Classical Japanese?

I remember reading previously that かる could not be used attributively(1), but that does raise the question: For what else could a 連体形 have been used in the first place? Was it simply an alternate form ...
7 votes
1 answer
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Did つ (助数詞) actually mean の?

There are quite a few examples were tsu actually means no. まつ毛・睫毛・睫 matsuge actually comes from 目の毛 me no ke (ma is another pronunciation for 目 me) 沖つ宮 okitsumiya(aslo written 沖津宮, but, as Meikyou ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Negation in 未然形 + む(ん)

This question has been inspired by this Q&A, from which I learned about 未然形 + む(ん)'s various functions. I noticed two lines on the reference page @naruto points to under 推量, both seemingly sharing ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What verb form is 惜しみて (from 惜しむ)

I was reading the definition (4) of 惜しむ because I think that's the appropriate one from 大辞林. At least it appeared in 言葉の雨に打たれ 秋惜しむまま冬に落ちる (思想犯): (4)価値あるものが失われたこと,また,活用されずに終わることを残念に思う。「ゆく春を―・む」「...
3 votes
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文語の文法「動詞連用形+しく」について

... かれ、その老夫の答へ申ししく、「あは、国つ神大山津見の神の子ぞ」。わが名は足名椎と言ひ、妻が名は手名椎と言ひ、娘が名は櫛名田比売と言ふ。 ―「古事記」の「八俣の大蛇」より 「申し」の終止形は「申す」のようです、この「申し」は連用形だと思います。 質問は、動詞の連用形の後に「しく」を付けて、何の意味か表現を表しているのですか?
5 votes
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What's な doing in 絶えなんとする?

I'm reading Harry Potter in Japanese and it goes: 力は失せ、命も絶えなんとする姿で、ヴォルデモートは逃げ去った。 His powers gone, his life almost extinguished, Voldemort had fled; 命も絶えんとする姿で would make sense to me, but it's a bit ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a reason why the passive and the potential form are identical (at least for える/いる verbs)?

Is there a reason why the passive and the potential form in Japanese are identical (at least for える/いる verbs)? I mean, does one etymologically derive from the other? Or were they perhaps modelled on a ...
4 votes
1 answer
457 views

What is the meaning of らん in ゆくらん?

I saw it in this tanka that I'm trying to translate: 偽のある世にだにもふるさとの契りわすれず雁のゆくらん
7 votes
3 answers
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When does ない become ぬ?

Does anyone know what to call the outdated, high form of language which will say for example "ならぬ" rather than "ならない" or more accurately "だめだ"? Specifically, I would like ...
2 votes
1 answer
323 views

Older Japanese had much fewer particles (助詞)? -- The modern "use ALL the particles" written style

. . . A perhaps pedantic comment: The idea that everything has a particle in theory, which is either "dropped" or not, is actually relatively modern. In earlier forms of Japanese, there were ...
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160 views

かの筆にも言語にも言ひ尽し難き情趣の限なき振動のうちに幽かなる心霊の欷歔をたづね、縹渺たる音楽の愉楽に憧がれて自己観想の悲哀に誇る

詩の生命は暗示にして単なる事象の説明には非ず。かの筆にも言語にも言ひ尽し難き情趣の限なき振動のうちに幽かなる心霊の欷歔をたづね、縹渺たる音楽の愉楽に憧がれて自己観想の悲哀に誇る、これわが象徴の本旨に非ずや。されば我らは神秘を尚び... full Is it (syntax-wise) correct to take(かの筆にも言語にも言ひ尽し難き情趣の限なき振動のうちに幽かなる心霊の欷歔をたづね、...
1 vote
3 answers
205 views

Unclear about meaning of くみす, 天道, and grammar of a Classical Japanese sentence

When looking up online, I found a seemingly old Japanese sentence highlighted in the picture below. What's the meaning? PS: sorry, I'm not asking for a translation. I did look up くみす in the ...
4 votes
2 answers
433 views

Did the られる potential form come from 得る?

One of the shows I've been watching lately kept using some more classical forms of Japanese for style purposes, that I was not too familiar with ; this led me to notice how 得る{える} was often used as an ...
1 vote
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126 views

How did Classical Japanese's 二段 (bigrade) become modern Japanese's 一段 (monograde)? Especially in regards to the 終止形 and 連体形?

It seems very strange to me that the 終止形 and 連体形 of a word like 食べる used to be 食ぶ and 食ぶる, Vovin says in his A REFERENCE GRAMMAR OF CLASSICAL JAPANESE PROSE that 食べ is the stem to which -u, -uる and -...
2 votes
2 answers
220 views

What is the difference in nuance between 思ったら and 思えたら?

敷島の日本の国に人二人有りとし思はば何か歎かむ is always translated into modern Japanese as some variation of 大和の国にあなたが二人いると思えたら何かを嘆こう and I'm wondering why is 思はば translated as 思えたら. Why not 思ったら? -aば is the conditional ...
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101 views

恨なし (恨がない or 恨なす?)

I'm reading a text which uses a lot of classical grammar and there's a sentence which I'm not sure how to translate. 同胞に恨なし、遂に魔の物を統べる魔帝をも討ち負かせり The text is about a swordsman and the part I'm not ...
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

(Classical Japanese) A question about 舎人が寝たる足を狐に食はる from the Tsurezuregusa

The meaning of this sentence is quite clear: the feet of the sleeping servant (舎人) were eaten by a fox. However, there are two things I don't understand (you can reply to just one of them if you don't ...
0 votes
0 answers
337 views

Understanding japanese verb suffixes

I recently learned the meaning of the verb suffixes す, む and ぶ (respectively to do, to seem like or to indicate volition, to act like). I would have two questions : Does every verb ending with す can ...
1 vote
0 answers
77 views

What does き do in this sentence: あんな目に遭ってもなお 気高き兵士のままだ! [duplicate]

I saw this sentence in an episode of Attack on Titan, a soldier is having a panic attack and the speaker says あんな目に遭ってもなお 気高き兵士のままだ! What does き do here? What's the difference from い? あんな目に遭ってもなお ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why do Japanese people read Classical Japanese with a set of weird sound shifts?

I'm learning a bit of Classical Japanese recently, and of course the spelling of words is pretty different, due to sound changes over the centuries. For example, きょう was spelled けふ. That I can ...