Questions tagged [language-evolution]

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The origin of the ご reading of 御

The prefix 御 can be read three different ways in modern Japanese: お, ご and み. I believe み is the original reading, and お maybe comes from 大御, but where does ご come from? I understand it is not ...
6 votes
1 answer

Why did こなた and そなた fall out of use but not あなた?

Modern Japanese (by this I mean 標準語, I do not know about dialects) still uses あなた, yet both こなた and そなた seem to have fallen out of use. Confusingly, こちら and そちら are still very common. What happened to ...
7 votes
2 answers

Has Japanese syntax changed between the 1950s and today?

Excluding vocabulary items which are entirely new or have fallen into disuse, what are some ways in which Japanese syntax itself has changed between the 1950s and today? (I would also like to exclude ...
1 vote
0 answers

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 -...
4 votes
1 answer

Is Japanese に related to the Chinese character 仁?

Is Japanese に (pronounced as "ni") related to the Chinese character 仁 (pronounced as "ren" in Chinese mandarin)? Does the に have the root from the Chinese character 仁? They both ...
2 votes
1 answer

Evolution of the pronunciation of the surname 中嶋/中島 from "Nakashima" to "Nakajima"

I was trying satiate my nostalgia by looking for theme songs of classic Japanese dramas on YouTube, when it suddenly occurred to me that 中島 can be pronounced in two ways: 中島 みゆき is Nakajima Miyuki 中島 ...
1 vote
1 answer


日本語の文法では五段動詞の方が一段動詞より多いです。文法が変化すると、一段動詞が五段動詞に変化する可能性がありますか? 私は日本語を練習したいです。上手くなければすみません。
7 votes
1 answer

Katakana loanwords: is there data about their creation/evolution and acceptance as "new Japanese words"?

Disclaimer: This is a topic that I hold particularly dear. This question is related to data so that it is acceptable for this community. However, as a languages enthusiast, what deeply concerns me is ...