Talk:Japanese language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cscr-former.svg Japanese language is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Japan (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Japan, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Japan-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. Current time in Japan: 07:15, September 16, 2014 (JST, Heisei 26) (Refresh)
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Languages (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject East Asia (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject East Asia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of East Asia on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.5 / Vital
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
 
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is a vital article.

article aspect[edit]

Nouns have no grammatical number, gender or article aspect.

By loose analogy with verb aspect I guess that "article aspect" means definiteness; but is that a standard term? —Tamfang (talk) 03:44, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Don't all clarify at once ... —Tamfang (talk) 07:43, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Doesn't mean anything. I assume it's a translation problem. I'd just say "and there are no articles". — kwami (talk) 07:59, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I didn't understand this either, and I can't find any evidence that it is a known term. I have changed it per Kwami's suggestion. 86.160.221.80 (talk) 04:00, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Romaji[edit]

"Latin script is used in a limited way, often in the form of rōmaji..."

There is debate and uncertainty elsewhere about whether "romaji" refers only to Japanese words transliterated into the Latin alphabet (e.g. konnichiwa) or whether it also includes embedded use of Roman characters within Japanese text, such as the adoption of acronyms like "DVD". Whichever definition is accepted, I'm not sure that "often in the form of rōmaji" actually makes sense. I'm tempted to remove it, but does anyone else have a view? 86.160.221.80 (talk) 03:55, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Since there have been no comments I have removed it. 86.148.153.245 (talk) 04:01, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Omission of pronouns[edit]

The article currently says:

While the language has some words that are typically translated as pronouns, these are not used as frequentforly as pronouns in some Indo-European languages, and function differently. Instead, Japanese typically relies on special verb forms and auxiliary verbs to indicate the direction of benefit of an action: "down" to indicate the out-group gives a benefit to the in-group; and "up" to indicate the in-group gives a benefit to the out-group.

"Instead ... typically" gives the impression that such special forms serve to disambiguate in most cases where pronouns are omitted. In fact, this is not true, as far as I understand it. These special "giving"/"receiving" forms apply only in a relatively small number of cases, and, of course, normally only with human subjects. 81.159.105.254 (talk) 02:38, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't think the special "giving"/"receiving" forms are even remotely related to pronouns, but this unreferenced paragraph implies they are. Where did this come from? Is this OR? Curly Turkey (gobble) 04:24, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the supposed connection with pronouns is that the "giving/receiving" forms can clarify the subject and object/target of a verb (e.g. whether it's "he gave me" or "I gave him") when pronouns are absent. I didn't think that in itself was unreasonable (correct me if I'm wrong), just that the wording made it seem like a more widespread and general-purpose mechanism than it really is. 81.159.105.254 (talk) 11:54, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Note, too, that the so-labeled "giving/receiving" forms are used outside of what is generally thought of in English as "giving/receiving" -- things like "I did XX for YY", which could be stated without using pronouns in a manner such as "XX してあげた" ("XX shite ageta", informal), or things like "let me do XX", stated as "XX させていただきます" ("XX sasete itadakimasu", formal). -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 16:47, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
あげる should be compared with やる and it has nothing to do with formal/informal. Usually, あげる is used when the speaker talks about older people like "母に歌を歌ってあげました/I sang a song to my mother" and やる is used when the speaker talks about younger people or non-human like "弟の宿題を手伝ってやった/I helped my younger brother to do his homework" and "犬に餌をやる/I feed my dog". "させていただく" is another matter and a lot of people use it incorrectly in these days. As for "giving/receiving", this might be helpful. [1] Oda Mari (talk) 18:00, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
@Oda-san, "informal" is just in reference to ageta as opposed to agemashita -- i.e., to indicate that this is the informal plain form, and not masu/desu. Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 18:51, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I have changed "typically" to "in some cases". 86.146.106.166 (talk) 19:31, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
    Which leaves us with the same problem—an implied relation where there is none. Also, it's still unreferenced. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:51, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
The real problem is that there is no omission of pronouns in Japanese. Japanese simply doesn't use pronouns where European languages do; it's not like anything has been left out. — kwami (talk) 00:17, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
No, that's not actually the problem at all. While it certainly could be reworded to be more clear, the text does say that Japanese "has some words that are typically translated as pronouns", which is true. Even people who have demostrated that they know better typically describe these words as pronouns. The "instead", though, strongly implies ther's a relation between these "not-pronouns" and the "up" and "down" verbs (a description that itself is gibberish to anyone who doesn't already know the the text is talking about). The whole paragraph (and much of the article) needs a thourough re-think before a re-write. Also, the text quoted above isn't the only mangling of the "pronoun" issue—check out "Japanese speakers tend to omit pronouns on the theory they are inferred from the previous sentence". What "theory"? "inferred from the previous sentence"? ... except when there was no previous sentence, but still the "pronoun" (or other subject) was never made explicit? Again, no source, of course, because no reliable source would spout this gibberish. Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:02, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
So are you saying there are no cases in which the "giving/receiving" forms help to identify the subjects and objects of verbs when they are omitted? 86.160.221.48 (talk) 11:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Using the examples in the article, if I said oshiete moratta, how could you tell if the person being taught/told was "me" and not "my mother"? Or "you", for that matter? Curly Turkey (gobble) 13:18, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
My knowledge of Japanese is not good enough to answer that, or to answer my own question. 86.160.221.48 (talk) 14:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Phonology and consonant clusters[edit]

The Phonology section makes the statement that:

However, consonant clusters across syllables are allowed as long as the two consonants are a nasal followed by a homorganic consonant.

In the orthography, and in careful speech, this is the case -- you only ever encounter intersyllabic clusters based on ん (the moraic nasal), such as:

  • /VɴkV/: [kõ̞ɴka̠i] (今回 konkai?): “this time”
  • /VɴgV/: [hã̠ɴŋa̠] (版画 hanga?): “a print, a printed picture”
  • /VntV/: [kã̠ntã̠ɴ] (簡単 kantan?): “easy, simple”
  • /VmbV/: [õ̞mbɯᵝ] (負んぶ onbu?): “piggyback”

However, in everyday speech, other clusters also occur with the sibilant sounds, such as:

  • /VɕtV/: [ɕta̠] (した shita?): “did”
  • /VskV/: [so̞ːde̞ska̠] (そうですか sō desu ka?): “is that so?”

Japanese-language references about Japanese phonology, such as the NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3), describe certain vowels as being unvoiced in particular words. This is often indicated in Japanese phonology texts by circling the kana containing the unvoiced vowel with a dotted line, as in た (shita, “did”). In careful speech, the unvoiced vowel is realized by speakers making that mouth shape but just omitting the voice, indicated in IPA by an under-circle, as in [ɕi̥ta̠]. However, in more casual speech, the sibilant alone is pronounced, with the unvoiced vowel so foreshortened as to be effectively omitted, producing [ɕta̠] instead.

I think this bears mentioning in the article. Has anyone run across published materials describing this phenomenon? I thought Shibatani might have, but I cannot find my copy at the moment. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 17:51, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

The infobox says that Japanese is the "official" language in Japan, but the main text says it "has no official status". Something not quite right there. 86.151.119.98 (talk) 03:42, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

i want a leave for tommoro but will come on friday — Preceding unsigned comment added by 211.134.208.20 (talk) 13:22, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

OK, whatever suits you. 86.169.36.101 (talk) 22:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)