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和語と漢語. The difference between a native-Japanese word (wago, yamato-kotoba) based on kun-reading and a Sino-Japanese word (Sino-loanwords, kango) based on on-reading. 和語 includes most i-adjectives and …
助動詞. Inflecting function words or endings such as 〜ます and 〜ない. Many inflect like verbs (such as 〜(ら)れる), but many others do not (such as 〜たい), so here we will call these simply "auxiliaries" and not …
命令. Grammar, syntax, and sentence patterns of giving commands, issuing orders, and related acts such as some requests and the equivalent of English "let's".
語順. Japanese word order can be very flexible. According to some theories, there is usually an "unmarked" word order, and other orders are achieved by "scrambling" the constituents into different posit…
引用. Questions about Japanese quotations, or about the grammar of quotation.
古語. Old words or phrases no longer in general spoken or written use.
スポーツ. Language used in the context of sports. Sports-related phrases in everyday speech.
「は」と「が」. The difference between the は (topic) and が (subject) particles.
部首. Components of kanji, which may serve as a semantic or phonetic factor in the meaning or pronunciation of the character. Along with stroke count, radicals provide a way to index and give an orderin…
音声学. The physical properties of the sounds of Japanese. Divided into articulatory phonetics (how the sounds are produced physically), auditory phonetics (the physical sounds we're able to hear physic…
形式名詞. A closed subclass of short nouns with general meaning and no specific content. Usually following an appositive clause or a relative clause. The formal noun の is not to be confused with the parti…
曖昧な表現. A situation where multiple interpretations are possible as a result of scarcity of information. Ambiguity can exist at the grammatical and lexical level, and is usually resolved through context…
ふりがな. Small kana written above horizontal kanji or beside vertical kanji to indicate pronunciation. Also called ruby.
資源. Questions about books, websites, and other resources about the Japanese language.
モダリティ. The linguistic expression of the speaker’s psychological attitude towards the verbalized state of affairs or towards the utterance and the communication itself at the time of speech.
記号. Typographic symbols in Japanese writing such as ×, ﹅, ・, ※, etc., that are neither kana, kanji, nor punctuation.
ダジャレ. A form of wordplay which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Although puns are u…
感動詞. A word or phrase, or exclamation, with no particular grammatical relation to a sentence.
形態論. The study of forms of words, including both inflection and word formation.
男女の言葉遣い. For questions about gender-specific speech or how to address or refer to people depending on their gender. Note that Japanese doesn't have grammatical gender.
一人称代名詞. The many Japanese words that correspond to English "I" and "me" but differ in nuances such as formality, respect, intimacy, etc.
役割語. Special language patterns and vocabulary used by fictional characters, often marking this character as fitting a stereotyped 'role' such as "the old man" or "the samurai". This includes キャラ語尾, w…
比喩. An analogy that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object