17

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as “cancer” to the jinmeiyō kanji? I do not think that the government is trying to add these kanji to the set of jinmeiyō kanji. I think that some people are confused by the unclear description in Wikipedia. At least I was confused at first. So probably it is useful to clarify it. Article 50 ...


10

This is not particle-へ. Rather it is old kana orthography and さう sound-shifted to そう. In modern orthography it is 逢えそうな【あえそうな】 (Many monolingual dictionaries list old kana orthography of the entries where applicable, but of course the particular inflection あへさう would not be listed under あう.)


10

Main question: Why do they use sometimes small version of katakana ヵ 'ka' in a word? The small ヵ here actually derives from the kanji 個 or 箇, used as the generic counter for things. This was abbreviated to 个, and in turn, this became the regular-sized ケ or small ヶ seen in words like 一ヶ月. Since the counter in these contexts is read as ka, this abbreviated ...


7

As it turns out, I actually researched this phenomenon the other day while doing some reading up on 旧字体【きゅうじたい】. As it turns out, what you're referring to are 書換字【かきかえじ】. Essentially, with the promulgation of the 当用漢字【とうようかんじ】 in 1946, the Japanese government decided to try to encourage some additional, more informal simplifications to bring vocabulary ...


4

You said "hiragana and katakana do not exactly match the phonetic structure of the language," but that's not true. The Japanese language is mora-based, and only trained people who study foreign languages recognize the concept of syllable. Everyone believes 天文台 (てんもんだい) has six "sounds" here in Japan, not three. And that's why it's straightforwardly six ...


3

This is a partial answer specifically about government kanji lists (prior answers did not go into detail). MEXT (文部省) and MOJ (法務省) publish official kanji lists (漢字表) like 常用漢字表 (MEXT) and 人名用漢字票 (MOJ). The former is a list of about 2000 kanji "for every day use" (常用) that schools teach and children are expected to learn in school. The second is a ...


2

There's no point in creating syllabic alphabets because Japanese phonology consists of mora, instead of syllable. That's why you use moraic alphabets, that is, kana. Through centuries, some nationalists have insisted abolishing kanji and failed, as you say. The reason I think is not homophones but inconvenience for loosing productiveness for technical terms ...


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