Questions tagged [language-change]

言語変化. Questions concerning the ways in which Japanese and its writing system, like all languages, evolve over time naturally.

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5
votes
2answers
435 views

Pronouncing ない as ねい / ねえ (also ~oi to ~ei)

I noticed that in anime and other Japanese shows, people often pronounce 「ない」 as 「ねい」. For example, instead of saying 「使わない」, the person will say 「使わねい」, but the translation is the same. I have many ...
11
votes
1answer
635 views

Are Japanese counter words still being created?

That is, are counters (助数詞) an open class of words? If yes: Is there an example of a counter that was added recently (say, post-Taishō) and is now in current use by a community of speakers (i.e. not ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

でありません vs. ではありません [duplicate]

I have come across a book Japanese in 30 hours by Eiichi Kiyooka published in 1942. On page 5 it gives an example of a sentence This is not a book. translated as これは本でありません。 However, when looking at ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Did the Japanese have a word for surrender before WWII?

I had always thought that the Japanese didn't have a word for surrender before WWII. It seemed to be plausible given their culture. However, I can't seem to find any solid evidence of this. Is it just ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Modern names of the obsolete kana ゑ and ゐ

In modern Japanese, the kana ゑ/ヱ (we) and ゐ/ヰ (wi) are largely obsolete. Words formerly containing them now are pronounced with /e/ and /i/, so they were replaced by え and い, respectively. But when ...
36
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is は pronounced as わ when used as a topic particle?

The particle は is pronounced similarly to わ (unlike the rest of the ハ行 kana) when used as a particle; why is this? What historical shifts went on to cause this irregularity?
14
votes
1answer
700 views

Japanese/Chinese numbers usage timeline

Japanese uses both native and Chinese numbering numbering systems, the Sino-Japanese pronunciations being いち, に, さん, etc. and the native being ひと, ふた, み, etc. For the most part they are used for ...