All Questions

11
votes
0answers
826 views

Iterative / repetitive る evolving from classical 連体形【れんたいけい】

This is somewhat related to the discussion of classical auxiliary verb ふ, mentioned in the answer to snailboat's question, What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?. Another apparent iterative / repetitive ...
8
votes
0answers
372 views

Understanding difficult handwriting/calligraphy

I'm having trouble deciphering this handwriting. So far, I can definitely tell that the first column says 参拾弐 in 大事, and the fourth column says 手本. Really struggling with column two and some of column ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

Are there general guidelines regarding the length of sentences in Japanese written text for the sake of readability?

Inspired by this question, I'm curious as to whether there are similar guidelines for the length of Japanese sentences (Maybe in Japanese clauses are more relevant?) to maximize readability, whether ...
4
votes
0answers
103 views

Why are 湖 and 山 in geographical names typically read in On-reading but 川 in Kun-reading?

This question is based on my somewhat limited understanding and observation of places I have been to so I may be falling victim to a bad sample size. If that is the case, please alert me. In the ...
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Are です and あります/います ever interchangeable?

I feel like  (私は)彼の前です。 means the same thing as  (私は)彼の前にいます。 (I am in front of him.) Also  本はどこですか。 and 本はどこにありますか。 (Where is the book?) Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a rule for determining ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

What's the difference between にはおかない and にはすまない?

I've searched them online, but still couldn't distinguish these two. I know: ①The former is to remark or to express a strong feeling. ②The later is more about personal emotion, obligation and social ...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Understanding this usage of 「〜に変わって」

I am reading a selection from A Japanese Reader and am trying to figure out the meaning of this passage, especially the usage of 「これに変わって」: 古い行事のすべてをそのままに行うことは生活様式が異なってきた今日{こんにち}、無理であろうし、...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

When is である/な Needed for Certain Words?

While studying grammar I noticed that some words require using である/な when used with a noun/な-adjective respectively. I wanted to see if there was a pattern between which words required them and which ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

How did the on-readings with -チ appear?

This is what I know. 1) Unlike, say, -p, the final -t of Chinese readings was maintained in careful speech at least as long as the Christian resources of the XVIth century (Frellesvig 2010: 316-7). ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Verb (とどめる) and its meaning in these sentences

I was looking for the meaning of the verb (とどめる) and how it differs from (とめる). I understood that (とどめる) means (to stop "potentially" from moving). But how does that meaning relate to the following ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

Why are voiced and unvoiced consonants both acceptable for the same word?

It's common enough to see two possible pronunciations of a word in Japanese. For example, take the word 容態 (meaning 'condition' or 'state'). According to 三省堂 スーパー大辞林, both ようたい and ようだい are ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

How can I say “With the passing of time…”

I am writing a text and I want to say: "With the passing of time, I have understood what he wanted to say". I have written: 時間がたつにつれて、彼が言いたかったことが分かってきました。 Is my sentence completely wrong?
3
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the difference between 端, 縁 and 先っちょ?

I struggle to visualise the differences between 端, 縁 and 先っちょ after reading many examples and definitions online: The approximate english translations are very similar: 端: end, tip, point margin (...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Differences between “even if”/“no matter (how much)” structures: としても, ところで, ~ようが/と

I've encountered several forms that mean both "even if" (might be used for example with たとえ), and "no matter (how much)" (used with どんなに, いくら, etc). ~ても ~としても ~ところで ~ようが/と The only difference ...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Usage of ところ to represent time with に and で

I am trying to understand the grammar of using ところ with に and で when using ところ to represent the time that actions have happened. These are (ungrammatical) sentences I made up: 1) ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Need help with artwork

Good day all, Thank you for reading my request. I am making a painting and want to make it so that it makes sense to Japanese people. I am very interested in Japanese culture but would not really ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

Nuance differences between the kanji for ぐあい, 具合 and 工合

Usually I read ぐあい as 具合 but recently I was reading a some Japanese literature and the 工合 version of the kanji was used. For reference the literature: 脳味噌の中心にヒリヒリと焦げ付く位である。それでいて、あとから考えるとその興味の焦点と、...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Comparing nouns

Good day, I would like some clarification with regards to comparing nouns. In some references like Minna no Nihongo, the sentence formula would be something like A と B と + どちら のほうが/が + ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

Can you nominalize a verb and then use it again as verb by combining with です?

I have come across a sentence which I do not know if I understand correctly. すべて の コイン を もらえる の です か? I know that in this sentence the speaker asks if he wins/receives all of the coins, but I am ...
3
votes
0answers
122 views

Why does いい加減 have diametrically opposite meanings?

When scolding a misbehaving child, we tell them to be iikagen: いい加減にしなさい。 But we can also tell a misbehaving child to stop being iikagen, or describe something bad as iikagen: もういい加減でやめなさい。 ...
3
votes
0answers
166 views

来た2日後に vs 来て2日後に vs 来てから2日後に

日本に来た2日後にこの本を買った。 日本に来て2日後にこの本を買った。 日本に来てから2日後にこの本を買った。 I created these sentences from similar-looking examples I found on Google. Are they all grammatical? These all mean "I bought this book two ...
3
votes
0answers
73 views

Explanation for 'noun + な + ので', is 'ので' still a 接続助詞 here?

I saw the following statement in a grammar book: 接続助詞 'ので' can only be placed after 用言 and 助動詞 in form of 連体形. But in another text book it says that ので can also be placed after a noun, and then ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Why is a verb before a 格助詞 called 連体形?

As I have known, 格助詞 is not 体言.That is what I cannot understand.
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Statistics of on-yomi phonemes/syllables

On-yomi of kanji feel a bit like they all sound alike. For instance, vowels /o/ and /u/ are over-represented. Are there statistics of phoneme counts or syllable counts for on-yomi compared to kun-yomi?...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

~ば vs ~ていれば in counterfactual conditionals

In l'électeur's answer here, he claims (with such confidence that he bolds the belief) that the correct way to say the English sentence "If I had turned right back then, I wonder what would have ...
3
votes
0answers
117 views

What does には mean in this case?

The sentence in question: 休日の繁華街は平和な賑わいに満ちていた。道行く人々の笑顔は眩しく、街灯はどこまでも明るく、一足早いクリスマス模様のショウウィンドウには、まるで世界中の幸せを寄せ集めて詰め込んだように華やかだった。 I would normally think of には following after something like ショウウィンドウ to ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Trouble ないで vs なくて

In this answer it is said that the usage of なくて is narrower than ないで(ないで can always replace なくて according to the logic explained and is ambiguous because of that) But in this question, the answer ...
3
votes
0answers
242 views

Word lists/sources for pitch accent in Middle Japanese

Is there anywhere I can find a list of words and what their reconstructed pitches were in Middle Japanese? Or especially what words we have tone dot information on (with a preference for the oldest ...
3
votes
0answers
255 views

The て form, the と and もの constructions: gerund, participle, transgressive, or verbal noun?

As far as I understand, among the constructions (て-form verb), (て-form verb)いる, (finite verb)こと, (finite verb)の, (verb phrase)と, (finite verb)もの the form (2) unambiguously functions as a finite verb ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

Phonetic Mapping of the Hiragana System Used in the Okinawan Omoro Sōshi

The classical Okinawan poetry collection the Omoro Sōshi is written (mostly) in Hiragana, but the phonetic mapping of the characters to sounds seems to be different to their standard mapping. For ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

What does conditional たら add to 未然形+う+とする?

Do the following sentences differ in meaning? I understand that conditional たら adds the meaning of simultaneous action, but does the meaning of the sentence really change without たら? 寝ようとした、...
3
votes
0answers
167 views

What is the difference, in usage, between native Japanese words and their Chinese derived counterparts?

I found some verbs that have Chinese derived counterparts. For example: 選ぶー選択する 死ぬー死亡する 取るー取得する 変えるー変更する 諦めるー放棄する How are these words used differently? Are they interchangeable? I think the Chinese ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

What is the etymology of タマ in タマを取る?

It seems that when spoken by/in regards to Yakuza, the phrase タマを取る means to take someone's life. However, I've seen some explanations saying タマ comes from 頭{あたま} and others say that it comes from 魂{...
2
votes
0answers
128 views

question with でしょうか

こんにちは。質問があります。 1.「行くのでしょうか」 2.「いきますでしょうか」 Why is "の" needed in the first sentence to form a question, but in the second sentence there is no need for "か" to form a question?
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Does using the past tense make the conversation more polite?

I am wondering if the past tense is used sometimes to increase the level of politeness in a conversation which occurs in present form. For example: お待たせしました In that case, under which circumstances ...
2
votes
0answers
137 views

が in the expression “耳が聞こえない”

I tried to translate this phrase literally and came up with "(My) ears can't hear". Since the expression means "(I'm) deaf", this makes sense. However, I can't really get it to work grammatically, ...
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Is there an actual difference in meaning or nuance between 私達の世話をする and 私達を世話する?

I have seen this pattern where を is replaced by の in many sentences that use a する verb. I got used to this construction by exposure and it has started to look less clunky and more natural to me, but ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Word Order - は and が Particles

Today I learn that word order is not very strict in Japanese. You could change the order of noun phrases with no loss of meaning, as long as the correct particles are used. I've learned this with the ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

expressing opinion adding し at the end of adjective

I have two dialogues: かわい : 沖縄料理は 食べましたか。 ホセ : ええ、もちろんです。おいしいし、ヘルシーだし、つまも 私も 気に いりまた。 かわい : ホテルは よかったですか。 ホセ : ええ。へやは ひろくてあかるいし、へやから 海が みえたし、さいこうでした。 かわいさんの おすすめの ホテルに ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

is there a hidden meaning to それとなく?

I got bumped in the term それとなく in these two sentences 1. だから今はそれとなく散々淡々と暮らしていて 2. 思い出して魚の眼 Oh Oh! それとなくキルミーして!Oh Oh! Jisho said indirectly; obliquely, but feels like it is not fit well to the ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

What is the standard size of a kanji as written by a standard caligraphy brush

I recently acquired some brush pens meant for calligraphy, one of size 'standard', and one of size 'beginner'. While I cannot find the site where they were labeled as such, the lineup is here with ...
2
votes
0answers
85 views

X (affirmative) より仕方がない and alternatives

I know that the usage of 仕方がない has been discussed here, but I had an additional question. If you say: X (affirmative) より仕方がない The translation as I understand it is that you have no other choice ...
2
votes
0answers
104 views

Why is “でしょう” the norm in weather forecasts?

In weather forecasts on the radio or on TV, I frequently notice the announcers suddenly starting to add "でしょう" to almost all their sentences. Now I know this is used to indicate uncertainty, which ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Usage of だけ and しか

I've been wondering about the different usages of しか and だけ. I understand that the first one emphasizes the feelings of the speaker, negatively or positively. だけ is usually used with a positive verb (...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

How do I determine if an indefinite pronoun requires a particle?

I've been trying to determine if there is a rule for when indefinite pronouns (何か, だれでも、 etc.) require a particle. It seems like if the required particle is を or が, it gets "absorbed" into the ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

How would you describe both “XX is the furthest I have traveled” and “XX is my favorite place?”

Now actually I already wrote both of these lines as so: カナダは私の家族が一番遠い場所でした。 and マクドナルドは私の場所一番好きです。 I want to say Canada is the furthest my family has traveled and McDonalds is my favorite ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Usage of the Particle で alone and with は

I understand what the particle で does as far as describing how or where an action took place. But I notice that I run into で many other times where it seems to have a different function. Could ...
2
votes
0answers
114 views

Meaning of とし in this sentence

Aが出たとし、B。 (This is what the speaker is telling to another person on the phone) Where A is an event that already happend (let's say an accident), and B means something like "I'll send you more info on ...
2
votes
0answers
98 views

What common words are written one way - but almost always pronounced a different way? (eg. 言う is generally spoken as 「ゆう」)

I am aware that [行く]{いく} is sometimes read 「ゆく」 but I do not think it is mostly read as 「ゆく」except in combinations. 例えば、行く手・行く先・行く春. Whereas I almost never hear 言う as いう. These are the only two ...
2
votes
0answers
112 views

Why are the South China Sea and East China Sea still referred to as “南シナ海 ” and “東シナ海” when “シナ” is considered derogatory when referring to China?

If China is usually referred to as [中国]{ちゅうごく}, then why do the names for the seas still use the old Japanese name? Is there a reason?

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