Questions tagged [classical-japanese]

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

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7
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2answers
182 views

What is しか here?

[至誠]{しせい}に[悖]{もと}る[勿]{な}かりしか [言行]{げんこう}に[恥]{は}づる[勿]{な}かりしか... What part of speech is it? Wiki translates it as 真心に反する点はなかったか, which going by meaning only fits with 2(連語) here, but I couldn't find ...
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1answer
211 views

is there a way to display the hito/jin 人 in non-simplified form?

is there a way to display the hito/jin 人 in non-simplified form ? I see kanji IMAGES everywhere on the net. but I'm looking for a unicode character like the old Chinese Lishu script. I see it in ...
2
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1answer
141 views

Help with understanding a sentence

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、...
4
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1answer
792 views

Translating 鳴神の少し響みてさし曇り... etc

This passage of the movie, Kotonoha No Niwa: 鳴る神の 少し響みてさし曇り 雨も降らぬか きみを留めむ Several sites translate as: A faint clap of thunder, clouded skies. Perhaps rain will come. If so, will ...
3
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1answer
194 views

What is せる followed by suru-verbs?

専売特許に違背せる物品 infringements on patents 和英字書を編集せるはヘボン博士をもって嚆矢とす。Dr. Hepburn was the first to compile a Japanese-English dictionary. Is it する・す mizenkei followed by り rentaikei (here), or something else?
3
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1answer
353 views

How is を used here?

この大作の完成を願えども余命とぼしきを如何せん。I had hoped to finish writing this novel, but I'm afraid I have little time left. 貧窮なるを如何せん。I am poor, so what can I do? In the sentences above is ヲ used as a conjunctive ...
4
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2answers
332 views

Couple of classical Japanese questions

I found a poem by Nagai Kafu entitled 震災 (The Earthquake) in a volume of Japanese prose and poetry. It's a short poem about the Ansei Edo Earthquake (安政江戸地震) in 1855 which destroyed the red light ...
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2answers
530 views

What the grammar/syntax of 御来駕被成下度奉懇願候?

Dictionary translation is "I beg you will favour me with your company―I request the pleasure of your company." 御来駕被成下度奉懇願候 I can only surmise about ご来駕 noun 懇願候 verb (ask), sourou being a polite ...
3
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1answer
229 views

Is the negative in ゆめ人に洩らし給えそ implicit?

ゆめ人に洩らし給えそ Never breathe a syllable of it to any one! (NEW斎藤和英大辞典) Is negative meaning here implied but not stated explicitly? ゆめ = 必ず, そ = ぞ as bound particle (it could be negative final particle そ, ...
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1answer
253 views

How are the adjectives conjugated to izenkei (うれしけれ, たのしけれ) used here?

I came across a "Mermaid's song" in a text: ものみな眠るさ夜なかに 水底を離るることぞうれしけれ。 水のおもてを頭もて、 波立て遊ぶぞたのしけれ。 澄める大気をふるわせて、 互に高く呼びかわし 緑なす濡れ髪うちふるい、 乾かし遊ぶぞたのしけれ! The bolded adjectives, うれし(い)、たのし(い)、...
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1answer
287 views

What is the explanation for the archaic attributive particle が becoming a modern subject particle?

While reading though Haruo Shirane’s Classical Japanese: A Grammar, I came across the following passage: が started as an attributive case particle, became a subject particle, and then turned into a ...
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1answer
77 views

Help understanding 案ずるより産むが易し

案ずるより産むが易し It is better to get down to work than (just) to worry about it (beforehand). | Fear can magnify a danger. | A danger is not as great as it seems in advance. | We have nothing to fear but ...
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163 views

Classical form of 落{お}ちる

I read in a haiku written by Bashō/芭蕉 (source - see my addendum at the end of the post) : をちこちに 瀧{たき}の音{おと}聞く{きく} 落{おち}葉{ば}かな My translation : From far and near, hearing the sounds of the waterfall(...
3
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1answer
457 views

Auxiliary verb ん

I came across this sentence in a grammar book (Japanese Postpositions: Theory and Practice by Noriko Katsuki-Pestemer): 生きんが為に働く。 In order to live, I work. It is then briefly explained that "ん ...
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2answers
539 views

Why was 邪 chosen to spell the names of 伊邪那岐神 and 伊邪那美神 in the 古事記?

I had been wondering about this for a while. Consider the spelling of he names of Izanagi and Izanami in the 古事記: 伊邪那岐神【いざなぎのかみ】 and (妹【いも】)伊邪那美神【いざなみのかみ】 (source) Both of their names ...
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1answer
466 views

Old way of counting people?

I always found it funny how the counter for people, 人, has the special cases [一人]{ひとり}, [二人]{ふたり}, but then continues [三人]{さんにん}, [四人]{よにん}, ... However, this summer I came across a neat bit of info. ...
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1answer
833 views

"Irregular" 命令形 of some verbs

Recently I've noticed several verbs where the imperative form is used in a way that is not the "correct" conjugation. くれる → くれ! → The one we're all used to つける → つけ! → An example from my ...
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3answers
855 views

When ない becomes 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 to know if there is a name ...
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2answers
177 views

Classical: On the subject of a sentence with 連用形/て clauses + ば condicional

I'm having some trouble with this beautiful passage from the Kana Preface to the Kokinshū, which is talking about us (spaced for clarity):  1 人まろ なくなりにたれど、  2 うたの こと ゝどまれるかな。  3. たとひ とき うつり こと ...
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1answer
172 views

The origins of なんだ as in 飲まなんだ or せなんだ

Even here in Osaka I don't hear it very often among anyone even remotely young, but where does this come from originally? Does anyone have a reference on hand? If I myself had to guess from what I ...
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1answer
738 views

What's this -れり ending?

I'm really a 初心者 when it comes to Classical Japanese, and I guess that is what I have here... 一日の苦労は一日にて足れり. 【聖】 Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Please, can someone tell me what ...
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3answers
773 views

Do 形容詞 have a 未然形 in Classical Japanese?

I was reading Eiríkr Útlendi's answer about -い vs. -き in 形容詞 and noticed that he identified -く as the 未然形 of 形容詞. When I studied classical Japanese, though, I was taught that 形容詞 lack a 未然形 (and also ...
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1answer
629 views

What is the difference between 美しき and 麗しき?

What is the difference between 美しき and 麗しき and what is the difference between 美しい and 美しき? I know that both 美しい女性 and 美しき女性 are correct. But what is the difference between these two?
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3answers
725 views

Mora count for 思ふ in Classical Japanese?

During an analysis I was performing of the poems contained in the 古今集 I noticed a curious pattern. Otherwise perfectly-formed poems included in the collection seemed to ignore the morae-count on a ...
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1answer
278 views

「の」followed by 「...なき」

In the lyrics of a song by Utada Hikaru I came across two lines (starting from 0:40) saying: 開いたばかりの花が散るのを 見ていた木立の遣る瀬無きかな My questions: How to explain the 「の」 in the second line? I guess the 「かな」at ...
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2answers
849 views

Why do 為る【する】 and 為す【なす】 use the same kanji as 為【ため】?

Why do the verbs 為る【する】 and 為す【なす】 ("to do") use the same kanji as 為【ため】 ("because of", "for the sake of", etc.)? I'm not seeing any obvious connection between the meanings of する・なす and ため that would ...
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1answer
257 views

Apparent reversals of conjugation patterns in classical 形容詞 and 動詞, origin?

We observe the following peculiar apparent relations between the conjugation patterns of 形容詞 and 動詞 (using 赤し and 行く as examples): 連体形: 赤き / 行きし (past recollective) 終止形: 赤し / 行きき (past recollective) ...
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1answer
246 views

Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

軍艦行進曲 seems to be written mostly using Classical Japanese grammar. Here's the first stanza: 守るも攻むるも黒鐵{くろがね}の 浮かべる城{しろ}ぞ頼{たの}みなる 浮かべるその城{しろ}日{ひ}の本{もと}の 皇國{みくに}の四方{よも}を守{まも}るべし 眞鐵{まがね}のその艦{ふね}日の本に 仇{あだ}...
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3answers
446 views

What is an example of how the 推量の助動詞 「む」 can be used to mean 反語?

One of the listed meanings of the 推量の助動詞 「む」 on Wikipedia is that of 反語, which I understand to mean "saying the opposite of what one means for rhetorical emphasis" in this context (as opposed to just ...
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1answer
1k views

What old Japanese texts can be used in the same fashion as the latin "Lorem Ipsum"?

"Lorem Ipsum" is used as a place holder when creating designs or formatting media that will have actual text and functionality. Question I would like to know what the Japanese equivalent is of this ...
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0answers
419 views

I'm confused about the English title for the movie "Kaze tachinu" [duplicate]

風立ちぬ has just been released where I live. I'm a bit confused about the translation of the title, "The Wind Rises". I would have thought the title should have been translated "The wind doesn't rise." ...
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2answers
730 views

Difference between ~ざる and ~ぬ

A sentence from 五輪書: おのづから道の器用有りて、天理をはなれざる故か。 I found a question about ~ざる and ~ぬ on 知恵袋. The only answer claims that ~ぬ and ~ざる are both the 連体形 of ~ず and ~ざる is a "complementary" conjugation, to ...
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1answer
2k views

Grammar of (verb)し(noun) such as in 選ばれし者

Is there a grammatical explanation for this pattern, which I have seen a couple times in writing? I'm guessing it comes from classical grammar.
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1answer
312 views

Differences between なし and あらず?

At some point in history, ない replaced *あらない as the negative of ある, at least in the Kantō dialect (Kansai seems to have あらへん; あらん is also apparently attested in some dialects). When did this happen? ...
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2answers
361 views

Why is する considered irregular?

Yes, this sounds like a really confusing question. But I suddenly realized that する seemed to be a perfectly regular 上二段活用 (kami nidan; upper bigrade) verb with a stem of s-: 未然形: し (as in しない) 連用形: し ...
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2answers
1k views

Haphazard usage of katakana and hiragana for particles and okurigana

I'm looking at this picture of the 日米和親条約 (Kanagawa convention) from the late Edo period and it seems rather strange: It looks like the non-kanji parts are rather haphazardly written in katakana and ...
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1answer
325 views

Does the たり in Modern Japanese come from the Classical たり?

For example, in the sentence 飲んだり食べたりした. Does this たり have anything to do with the -(i)tari ending in Classical Japanese that meant the present progressive (and later semantically shifted to past, and ...
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2answers
552 views

What is the origin of けれど, ければ, けど, etc?

In Classical Japanese (correct me if I'm wrong; all my CJ was from Wikipedia and linguistic papers), the 已然形 could attach a lot of things: ど, ば, ども, etc. So I would be able to say 会へども話せず rather than ...
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1answer
1k views

History and Meaning of Soran Bushi

Recently I've found several versions of Soran Bushi, and this puzzles me-I don't understand why it would be different in different places. Moreover, I don't understand some of the vocabulary in it: ...
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3answers
635 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
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1answer
2k views

Etymology of transitive/intransitive verb pairs

Many verbs come in pairs, frequently but not always transitive/intransitive pairs. These verbs generally have multiple okurigana characters, but according to my dictionary one of the pair was formerly ...
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2answers
367 views

心は出血している - what exactly the Japanese idiom for it?

is there the same expression in Japanese for good russian idiom 'Сердце кровью обливается'? 「心は出血している」? 'My heart is bleeding' is not very accurate, not really verbatim. This idiom in Russian ...
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1answer
263 views

Hyakunin Isshu pronunciation; ちはやふる vs. ちはやぶる?

In the Hyakunin Isshu, the 17th poem (found here) has me stumped. In the manga/anime ちはやふる, the title is written and pronounced as ちはやふる, but on the card for the game the manga revolved around (also ...
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2answers
266 views

桜桜ーいざや and ゆかん meanings

In 桜桜 what do "いざや" and "見に行かん" mean, or rather why do they mean what they mean. I've never heard a term like いざや, and I've never seen 行く written as ゆく, nor have I seen an あん ending unless it was ...
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1answer
400 views

Past tense of なし in Classical Japanese?

Is it なしかりたらず as a usual し adjective? Or is it something weirder? I need this for a skit.
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1answer
742 views

Casual Speech Particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for my class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it seems weird ...
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2answers
835 views

What function did あり perform in classical Japanese 形容詞?

In classical Japanese, many uses of 形容詞{けいようし} had あり "embedded" in them, e.g.: 熱からず = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の未然形{みぜんけい}+「ず」 熱かりたり = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 熱かれ = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の命令形{めいれいけい} 熱かる人 = 「熱し」...
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1answer
316 views

How wrong is my constructed poem?

I tried writing a classical Japanese poem: 赤き空 青かりたり根 夢がごとし 元を返るべし 汚さざらまし And here is a rough literal translation: The red sky, The origin that was once blue, Like seeing a dream, It would be best ...
7
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3answers
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 ...
4
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1answer
327 views

What does the ぬ in 詰まぬ mean?

I encountered a Shogi saying: 三桂あって詰まぬこと無し And I'm pretty confused about the ぬ there. If it was る I'd expect the meaning to be something like: "If you have 3 knights, you can't be mated" But ...