14

To the extent that studying linguistics helps you understand some of the more complex patterns, you will probably find it useful. But a great deal of linguistics is dedicated to finding common systems to describe all languages, which (by necessity) isn't terribly useful for using a particular language. Some texts are written somewhat 'in the middle' for ...


11

I think you have a couple choices. For "fluent": ペラペラ。 This is a slightly colloquial word (due to being an onomatopoeia sounding like quick speech), which can mean "fluent", both in the sense of (a) speaking uninterruptedly, and by extension, (b) being skilled in the language. This might be the most common word you hear when describing someone as "fluent" ...


10

As far as Japanese is concerned, loanwords (外来語) usually refer to words brought into Japan from countries other than China and written in katakana. But strictly speaking, it depends on how you define loanwords. Many on-yomi Sino-Japanese words had been around even before Japanese people learned how to write their own native words, so IMHO it doesn't make ...


9

I think it would be like a musician studying acoustics, or avid dog owner/trainer studying canine anatomy. It probably all depends on what your future goals are with Japanese. If you're planning to move to Japan, or just keeping that option open, and working and perhaps marrying a Japanese, then you should just remain as a JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) ...


9

I assume that you are asking whether native speakers can detect, as a child, whether a vowel is long (マーナ) or short (マナ). The answer is yes, infants can detect it by age 9.5 months according to the paper by Sato, Sogabe, Mazuka, "Discrimination of phonemic vowel length by Japanese infants" American Psychological Association, 2009


8

Please note that kana is not a true syllabic script anymore. The reason for this is due to /n/. For example, take the word /sinbun/ "newspaper". If you break it into its syllables, it is sin.bun. While accents are determined by syllables in some dialects, kana--as well as Japanese speakers--segment this as si.n.bu.n. The appropriate term for this mora. ...


8

In about 2000 years ago, people in Japan were still using clay vessels and had no characters at all, while China had developed a large civilization and their own writing system, kanji. In those days, Japanese and Chinese used completely different languages, with completely different vocabulary, syllables, and grammar. In around the 1st to 4th century, kanji ...


8

I've got an old PDF folder full of papers on Japanese, and I managed to pull up two which might be helpful. (I've been on the search for a full detailed phonetic study of Japanese. Add a comment if you know of some other technical resources!). The first, the open paper Processing missing vowels: Allophonic processing in Japanese (Ogasawara and Warner, 2009) (...


7

Some language families (such as Chinese and Athabaskan) have visible origins for their tones - you can't reconstruct tone back to the shared proto-language, but you can reconstruct other features that later turned into tone. Other language families (such as Bantu and Oto-Manguean) have no visible origins for their tones - you can reconstruct tone back to ...


7

The former method is 命数法【めいすうほう】, and the latter is 位【くらい】取【ど】り記数法【きすうほう】, although they're not known to most people. See this, this, or this book. Wikipedia says that, in English, 10000 is written as 10000 in 記数法 and as ten thousand in 命数法. I personally knew 位取り記数法, but I haven't recognized 命数法 as the opposing idea of 記数法. Either way, most people (...


6

From Natsuko Tsujimura's An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics, page 148: Infixes are bound morphemes that are inserted in the middle of a word rather than being placed before or after it. Japanese does not have any examples of infixes. (emphasis added)


6

To the best of my knowledge there are none. Infixes are really pretty rare crosslinguistically, so it's not that surprising. English's expletive ones are pretty unusual even by English's standards, and as far as I know they're not particularly productive (I can't think of too many words you're actually allowed to use them with).


6

In the Vて+V case, I think loosely translating て as "by" here helps give a little intuition: 歩いて渡る "cross by walking" 歩かないで渡る "cross (not by walking)" 歩いて渡らない "not (cross by walking)" However, this intuition does not hold with auxiliary verbs (補助動詞{ほじょどうし}), and certainly not with inflectable particles (助動詞{じょどうし}). With auxiliary verbs, you ...


6

It's [歩]{ある}かないで[渡]{わた}る cross without walking 歩いて渡らない not cross on foot In this case you want the second option. For "not eating" it is usually 食べていない I haven't eaten whereas 食べないでいる is used to put emphasis on the duration of staying without eating, but 食べていない also implies a continued state of being without food. (There is more on this ...


6

From how I understand it, studying linguistics will give you knowledge about languages and how they work, but does not necessarily let you speak that language. My Japanese teacher studied linguistics, and while he could tell you anything about the German language, he couldn't speak it for the life of him (by his own admission). Of course, he was also fluent ...


6

You've got two distinct questions here, I'll answer them in turn. Japanese wasn't really 'influenced' by any other syllabic phonetic writing systems; instead, it turns out a syllabary is the most natural kind of phonetic writing system to create out of nothing (or out of a semantically-based system like Chinese). Of the various examples we have of people ...


6

Due to the way kanji are typed (i.e. using an IME which presents you with candidates from a dictionary), and the fact that Japanese kana usage is by-and-large phonemic (i.e. you write it how you say it), there aren't really many mistakes that are entirely analogous to your/you're or there/their/they're, etc. Probably the closest thing is typing something ...


5

Just given the archaeological record, any such Tamil claims seem unlikely in the extreme, unless the proponents of this view also intend to make the Tamil the ancestors of the modern Koreans. In terms of material culture, the Yayoi people that became the modern Japanese were pretty clearly from continental Asia, and they entered the Japanese archipelago ...


5

Not sure I should answer this, but it is related to Japanese after all, so I'll go ahead. So, by definition - no. 外食 is a lexeme that consists of more than one stem. That alone is enough to say that it cannot be a morpheme. To elaborate a bit more, both 外 and 食 are actually unbound morphemes (they appear not only as part of larger words), meaning that it's ...


5

もうすぐ and まもなく are both "soon". The latter is a formal expression mainly used in polite business settings. And まもなく refers to a very short time (usually a few minutes), but もうすぐ can be a few days, or even months later, depending on the context. もうすぐ春が来る。: OK まもなく春が来る。: weird そろそろ is an adverb which adds a nuance of "it's high time" or "it's about ...


5

English Since the question seems asking for Japanese translation, I know that pure translation is a violation of the rules of this site, but I dare to answer the question because I would like to tell the questioner what would be a natural Japanese language. Before answering the question, I'll explain the background of Japanese language and how Japanese ...


4

Use of the unmarked case is categorized into three. When particle は・が・を (and に when the verb is 行く or 来る) are simply omitted. When the unmarked case is the most natural (the least nuanced) choice. e.g. ビール飲みますか? いちご好きですか? When it's grammatically required. e.g. あっ、納豆が腐ってる! → あっ、この納豆くさってる!


4

To my understanding as a native speaker, in all of the three examples, sentence (1) is written from the author's perspective, and sentence (2) is written from the perspective of a character in the story. The switching of the perspectives is in fact, in these examples, is signalled by the change of the tenses. The sentences in Example 24 could be written in ...


4

I am not aware of any such analysis that looks at the full breadth of Japanese character readings. Some background first. Background detail Kanji have been used very flexibly, both historically and currently, with examples such as the historical 木乃伊【みいら】, where the spelling comes from Chinese and the reading comes from Portuguese mirra or Dutch mirre ("...


4

いる is usually used with が for the same reason English "there is" is usually followed by "a(n)" rather than "the"; ~がいる and "there is a(n) ~" are both used to introduce something into the discourse. But "a(n)" can be used with tons of other verbs. Did your book really say you can distinguish the type of a verb by looking at if it can be used with が? I doubt ...


3

I put that citation into the Wikipedia link. It came from a grammar book in Japanese published by Hitsuji Shobou. It lists Japanese cases, giving the particle that marks the case (or showing a zero crossed through for the nominative case), gives some Japanese names for the cases, and gives the English name for the cases. I think some confusion regarding the ...


3

The only one I can think of, if it can be called an infix, is [兼]{けん} as in: [書斎兼応接間]{しょさいけんおうせつま} - a room used for both study and for receiving vistors or [総理大臣兼外務大臣]{そうりだいじんけんがいむだいじん} - (be both) Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs But as it has been pointed out, prefixes and suffixes are much more common in Japanese. One might ask ...


3

It never hurt to improve your knowledge, but I don't think you should do linguistic if it's not something you like already. It will be a waste of time and waste of motivation in the middle/long term. All the linguistic I know use it from the beginning of their learning because that's their way to do it and because they love it. I don't know what your ...


3

動詞 in Japanese can represent 3 different things, 動作、作用 and 存在. An example will be easier to understand. 動作: 道を歩く 歩く is categorized as 動作をあらわす動詞, because when you walk, you move your legs, in other words "movement" or "action". 作用: 壁に絵をかける かける is categorized as 作用を表す動詞, here 壁にかける is having an "effect" on the wall. 存在: 机に本がある ある is categorized as ...


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