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.
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.
I speak both Japanese and Latin (albeit to a limited extent for either one), I disagree that the Latin particle -ne is analogous in any significant way to the Japanese particle は. I can see where the idea comes from, but they are not that similar in actual usage. For one thing, -ne attaches very often to verbs. In Japanese, a verb cannot be the topic. Neither can an adjective. All four of the Latin sentences given as examples use a verb or adjective as the so-called topic! You could turn a verb into a noun and make that the topic, but that wouldn't be the same thing at all. But even if we consider only nouns, I think they are not that similar. For example, this might be a typical exchange in Latin: "Malumne habet Quintus?" "Minime, habet pirum." ("Is it an apple Quintus has?" "No, he has a pear.") The word malum "apple" takes -ne to emphasize the apple as opposed to some other thing. Japanese does not use は this way. I believe the same exchange in Japanese would be "Quintus wa ringo o motteiru?" "Iie, pea o motteiru." Here the topic is Quintus, not ringo "apple". Making "ringo" the topic would be possible, but it would not serve the same purpose as in the Latin exchange (it would be more like "The apple, does Quintus have it?"). There is surely some overlap in usage between Japanese は and Latin -ne, but I think such overlap is coincidental rather than indicative of a fundamental connection. Three of the four Latin sentences were variations of the same sentence, "topicalizing" a different word of the same sentence each time. However, as I stated before, none of these three variations would be possible in Japanese. Thus I think it is evident that the -ne is doing something completely different in Latin from what は does in Japanese. Since I don't think they serve the same purpose, I don't think they should be called the same thing, and so I believe the Latin examples do not belong here. - furrykef (Talk at me) 14:04, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
"If what is to be the topic would have had が (ga), the subject marker, or を ((w)o), the direct object marker, as its particle, those are replaced by は."
This is not always true. You can have a relative clause that modifies the topic, e.g.: "Nihongo ga hanaseru hito ha doko desu ka?" = "Where are the people that can speak Japanese?" Also, sometimes, the topic marker ha is not even necessary. For example, you'll hear: "Ame ga furu," "Nani ga tabetai ka?" or "Biiru wo nomu?"
I think you're misunderstanding. None of your last three examples have a topic. If you did make those nouns the topic, however, you would replace が and を with は. - furrykef (Talk at me) 22:19, 27 November 2012 (UTC)