日本語一筋 [JP]

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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:46 pm

Since starting to learn classical Japanese, I’ve been keeping a document where I put all of the classical Japanese that still appears in modern Japanese. I have a lot, but here are a few that I find interesting or even helpful to know.



So む is an auxiliary verb in classical Japanese that has two major meanings: speculation and intent. It’s very similar to the volitional おう/よう in Modern Japanese because, in fact, it is the origin of this form. む had two different sound changed forms.

1: ん. This one comes up in certain set phrases like, in the Star Wars quote, “フォースと共にあらんことを” (May be force be with you). This form is easily confused with the ん that is used as negation as it also follows the imperfective (あら), but in this case, it’s clear there is no negation. Here the meaning is closer to the modern “ありますように”(may there…).

Identifying whether ん is used for negation or is just む can sometimes be tricky, however. Another fixed phrase in modern Japanese that I actually thought was む is in fact the negative.

と言わんばかりに
“Almost as if to say…”

It turns out this ん is originally the negation. The originally meaning is something along the lines of “と言わないだけで言ったかと思うほど” (just didn’t say it, but it was to the extent that I could have thought they did). But it my mind, it was “と言いそうなほど” (to the extent that they might say)

む also comes in the form むとす, with is the auxiliary む, the particle と, and the verb す (modern: する). This closely resembles the おうとする/ようとする of modern. It even comes up in modern Japanese occasionally. While I was reading the other day, I came across 言わんとする in a modern book.

2: う. This is the fun sound change. With む turning into う, verbs started to look like this: ゆかう, よまう, いわう. For those who know classical Japanese orthography, you already see where this is going. a+u in classical Japanese has a tendency of becoming a long o. This is actually still very present in Kansai dialects of Japanese and many set phrases that were adopted by the Edo elite when the court moved from Kansai to Kantou since 江戸 Japanese at the time had no real honorifics system. Something like ありがたございます would, through sound change, become ありがたございます, which would be pronounced ありがとうございます. Similarly, おはやございます would become おはやございます , which would be pronounced おはようございます because of the a+u.

It a similar way, よまむ would become よまう, which would be pronounced よもう. And with that, 四段 verbs (which only ended in a, i, u, e) became the 五段 (which can end in a, i, u, e and o).


しむ
This is one of my favourite finds. しむ is an old causative auxiliary verb like す and さす (modern: せる and させる). All three are 下二段 (shimo-nidan), meaning that they end in u or e depending on their conjugation, and they all follow the imperfective of the preceding inflected form. So a verb like よむ can become よます or よましむ (modern: よませる), and a verb like みる would become みさす or みしむ (modern: みさせる).

As you can probably tell, しむ doesn’t really exist in modern Japanese. For whatever reason, す and さす won out, and most Japanese speakers wouldn’t be able to tell you what しむ is, unless they paid attention in their classical Japanese classes.

And yet, I recently found a word that is still stuck in the past 至らしめる (itarashimeru). This is fun, because it looks like it might be 至る+しめる, but that can’t be the case, because then it would have to be 至りしめる, because supplementary verbs like this take the continuative form (至り) and not the imperfective (至ら). The second piece of the puzzle is then why did しむ become しめる? I actually discussed this before, but it’s because 下二段 (shimo-nidan: verb can end in u or e) verbs all became 下一段 (shimo-ichidan: verb can end in only e).

To explain this better, let’s look at the verb 育つ (sodatsu: to grow). In classical Japanese, そだつ was actually two different verbs depending on whether you conjugated it like a 四段 (yodan) verb: そだた, そだち, そだつ, そだつ, そだて, そだて; or as a 下二段 (shimo-nidan) verb: そだて, そだて, そだつ, そだつる, そだつれ, そだてよ. The first (yodan) was an intransitive (no object) verb that meant to grow, and the second was a transitive verb (yes object) that meant to raise. In modern Japanese, the first verb stayed as そだつ, a yodan verb, and the second became そだてる, a shimo-ichidan verb. Notice how the つ at the and changed into て and was then followed by る? しむ -> しめる. It’s the same process.

たり、つ、り
These are some other personal favourites of mine. In classical Japanese there are four auxiliary verbs used to mark the perfective: たり, り, ぬ and つ. たり still exists in modern as the past tense た, the conditional たら(ば) and the parallel たり. Learning that たり was the perfective actually gave me a lot of insight into the meaning of たら, since たら is just a shortened version of たらば (たり in the imperfective + hypothetical particle ば), which would literally mean, “if (one) will/would have…” or “if (one) has/had…”.

The parallel meaning is interesting to me because for whatever reason, 3 of the 4 perfective auxiliary verbs (たり, つ, ぬ) ended up having this same usage. I don’t know why this is the case, but it finally explains the phrase 持ちつ持たれつ (give and take; you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours). つ is another auxiliary verb that has fallen out of use in modern Japanese, but it still appears in this phrase. When you first see it, you might wonder where the つ came from since it’s not mentioned in any Japanese textbooks. Maybe they took the conjunctive particle つつ and split it up? Nope. Just replace つ with たり and the meaning becomes a lot clearer: 持ったり持たれたり (holding and being held).

But what’s going on with り? When I first learned about it, I was pretty certain I’d never seen it in modern before, but that there must be a fixed phrase somewhere that uses it. My search has gone on for months, but I finally found a word the other day! I was playing a rhythm game when one of the lyrics popped out at me: 輝ける未来. This seems like one of your regular transitive/intransitive pairs of verbs (i.e. 輝く/輝ける) just like 育つ/育てる I mentioned above, but there’s a few things going on. First, 輝く is already intransitive and so is 輝ける. Usually, this split in modern verbs occurs because of a difference in transitivity. In classical Japanese, 輝く was actually both transitive and intransitive, but here’s what’s important: both meanings were 四段 (yodan) and not 下二段 (shimo-nidan) meaning that there’s no reason one should become 輝ける in modern. Second, as stated already, 輝く is 四段 (yodan), which means it can actually take the auxiliary verb り (only yodan and sahen [す, おはす(owasu), 愛す, etc...] can take り). Third, り also is used as the contiunative (modern: ている) and that makes perfect sense in this context. Fourth, I mean, weblio just straight up says it’s formed with り.

I’m sure there are more り’s out there, but I haven’t found any. Let me know if you see any.

There's a bunch more I went to share, but this is already a lot and I have to go!
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby vonPeterhof » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:52 pm

Sizen wrote:2: う. This is the fun sound change. With む turning into う, verbs started to look like this: ゆかう, よまう, いわう. For those who know classical Japanese orthography, you already see where this is going. a+u in classical Japanese has a tendency of becoming a long o. This is actually still very present in Kansai dialects of Japanese and many set phrases that were adopted by the Edo elite when the court moved from Kansai to Kantou since 江戸 Japanese at the time had no real honorifics system. Something like ありがたございます would, through sound change, become ありがたございます, which would be pronounced ありがとうございます. Similarly, おはやございます would become おはやございます , which would be pronounced おはようございます because of the a+u.

I'm pretty sure that all dialects of Japanese were affected by the [au] -> [ɔː] vowel shift, not just Kansai (I think I also remember reading that there are some dialects that haven't completed the subsequent merger of [ɔː] into [oː], but I'm not totally sure). The difference in Kansai was the loss of -k- in adverbial endings, which is apparently something that's even attested back in the Classical period. And of course the [au] endings in verbs like 買う or しまう are used even in Kansai, because the loss of -ɸ- in those ending happened much later (although I am a bit curious how the Kansai past tense forms こうた and しもうた came about).

Sizen wrote:しむ
This is one of my favourite finds. しむ is an old causative auxiliary verb like す and さす (modern: せる and させる).
Fun fact: in Kanbun しむ is the reading of the character 令 when it functions as a causative particle/modal verb. Because of this when the next era name was announced I saw a few Japanese language buffs on Twitter assume that 令和 is supposed mean something like 和せしむ, "to pacify"

Sizen wrote:As you can probably tell, しむ doesn’t really exist in modern Japanese. For whatever reason, す and さす won out, and most Japanese speakers wouldn’t be able to tell you what しむ is, unless they paid attention in their classical Japanese classes.

And yet, I recently found a word that is still stuck in the past 至らしめる (itarashimeru).

I also know たらしめる, where しむ is paired up with the equally outdated auxiliary verb たり. The only place I've heard it so far is the song シュガーソングとビターステップ by Unison Square Garden: "...鳴らし続けることだけが 僕たちを僕たちたらしめる証明になる、QED!"

Sizen wrote:I’m sure there are more り’s out there, but I haven’t found any. Let me know if you see any.

One other example that comes to mind is 迷える子羊 for the biblical lost sheep.
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Sizen
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:54 am

vonPeterhof wrote:I'm pretty sure that all dialects of Japanese were affected by the [au] -> [ɔː] vowel shift, not just Kansai (I think I also remember reading that there are some dialects that haven't completed the subsequent merger of [ɔː] into [oː], but I'm not totally sure). The difference in Kansai was the loss of -k- in adverbial endings, which is apparently something that's even attested back in the Classical period. And of course the [au] endings in verbs like 買う or しまう are used even in Kansai, because the loss of -ɸ- in those ending happened much later (although I am a bit curious how the Kansai past tense forms こうた and しもうた came about).


Yeah, I suppose what I meant is that while the sound change does affect all of Japanese, Kansai is an example of a dialect where one can still see/hear it in action (i.e. it’s not hidden behind orthography). All the inflectional [au] -> [oː] sound changes in standard Japanese occur after the stem (yuk-amu becoming yuk-ou), and so the orthography hides the vowel shift. However, in Kansai, as an example, the sound change affects the adjective stem (aka-i becoming ako-u), and so orthography can’t hide the change.

I should have said what I meant: this is actually still very visible in Kansai dialects of Japanese.

I do have somewhat of an answer for the last part of this quote. Though I don’t know dates or general regions, I do know that in addition to the 促音便 that made 買ひて become 買って, there was also a (competing?) う音便 that turned ひ, び and み into う. So かひて becomes かうて and よろこびて become よろこうで and よみて becomes ようで. This also explains いうて (言ひて) or ゆうて as it would be spelled in modern and, two verbs that always perplexed me, 問うて and 請うて.
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:51 am

I've been reading Classical Japanese poetry lately. Here's a poem I recently came across from the Kokinshū (a collection of poems published in the early 10th century) by Fujiwara no Toshiyuki, which I will use as an excuse to talk more about Classical Japanese that turns up in Modern Japanese.

秋来ぬと 目にはさやかに 見えねども
風の音にぞ おどろかれぬる

There's a lot here that isn't present in Modern, but there's only a few points that are completely opaque to speakers of Modern.

First of all, there's our good friend the perfective auxiliary verb ぬ (the ぬ in 来ぬ and the ぬる in おどろかれぬる). Basically, it just marks that the action is complete.

Then, there's a fun conjugation that is actually still sometimes used in Modern, but not usually in this way: 見えねども. This is the verb 見ゆ (Modern: 見える) in the imperfective (見え), plus the negative auxiliary verb ず in the perfective form (ね), followed by the concessive conjunctive particle ども. What I like about this is that it's not actually all that opaque. The auxiliary verb ず shows up a lot in Modern Japanese in all sorts of different forms. We know that it originally conjugated at least as な in the imperfective, に in the continuous, ぬ in the attributive, and ね in the perfective (though it might have had all 6 conjugations at some point). By the Heian period, only the ぬ and ね of this line remained. It's not very practical for such a useful auxiliary verb to be defective, however, so at some point before the Nara period, a new continuous and final form were created, it's believed, through the combination of the old continuous form and the verb to do (す): にす. This over time became んす, then んず, and finally ず. Another addition to the conjugations of ず took place afterwards with the merging of ず and the verb あり, giving us ざら in the imperfective, ざり in the continuous, ざる in the attributive, ざれ in the perfective and ざれ in the imperative. Which gives us the following table:

  n- ず ラ変
MZ X X  ざら
RY X ず ざり
SS X ず X
RT ぬ X ざる
IZ  ね X ざれ
MR X X  ざれ

What’s interesting is that in Modern, the attributive ぬ ended up as the final form (now ん) and ず stayed as the continuous (often paired with the particle に, such as 食べずに). On top of these uses, ざる stayed around in expressions like ~ざるを得ない (must ~~). But there’s still one more use that you can occasionally see in Modern and that I had always suspected was related to negative ぬ but didn’t understand why or how: the ね in phrases like 行かねばならん. In more standard Japanese, this would be 行かなければならない. The auxiliary ない has a perfective form of なけれ, and that’s why we get 行かなければ. In the same way, ぬ has a perfective form of ね and so we get 行かねば.

I sort of intuitively knew this because just like 行く becomes 行け before ば, it made sense to me for ぬ to follow the same pattern and become ね before ば, but it never really sunk in until I started studying Classical Japanese. Also, it never would have ever occurred to me that all these different forms would be so closely related. ぬ, ね, ず and ざる never really stood out to me as conjugations of the same auxiliary verb.

So anyway, back to how this relates to 見えねども. Obviously the ね is the above mentioned negative ね, but let’s talk about the concessive conjunctive particle ど(も), because it’s everywhere in Modern, even if just in secret. The biggest example is the conjunction けど (but). けど has a lot of forms in Modern, but the most important for us is けれども. This is actually from the past auxiliary verb けり in the perfective (けれ) followed by this conjunctive ども. Because this combination of auxiliary verbs after the verb was so common, it eventually separated from the verb and became its own word and lost the meaning of the past tense. (Another fun fact about けり: the combination of the perfective auxiliary verb たり with けり (たりけり) gave us the Modern たっけ, as in “言ったっけ” or "あったっけ".)

Another invisible manifestation of ど(も) in Modern is the expression とはいえ. I always wondered about this phrase, because it didn’t make sense to me to use the imperative いえ in a conjunction like this. And as it turns out, that was the right instinct to have: it’s the perfective! I just didn't know that was a thing until I studied classical. The ど(も) here is just implied, but it could very well be said: とはいえど(も). In fact, I found a similar form in the opening to the 方丈記 (Hōjōki), which I’ve started working through: “その、あるじとすみかと、無常を争ふさま、いはば朝顔の露に異ならず。あるいは露落ちて花残れり。残るといへども朝日に枯れぬ。あるいは花しぼみて露なほ消えず。消えずといへども夕べを待つことなし 。” “The way dwellings and their masters fight for impermanence is, if I were to say, no different from the dew of morning glories. Sometimes the dew falls and the flowers remain. I say they remain, but they will no doubt dry up in the morning sun. Other times, the flowers wilt and the dew does not disappear. I say it does not disappear, but neither does it wait for evening.” (You probably wouldn’t want to translate といへども as “I say…, but…” in this context, but I’ve done it this way here to better illustrate the point.)

So all in all, 見えねども give us: “can’t be seen, but”, and as you can see, it’s not so opaque as it might first seem. (I hope!)

ぞ also looks like it’s being used in a strange way here, but this is perfectly fine in Classical Japanese. ぞ is an emphatic bound particle much like こそ, can follow other particles, and has the added bonus of causing the final inflected form (verbs, adjectives, etc.) of the sentence to be in the attributive form.

The last grammatical tidbit you need to know to understand this poem has to do with the auxiliary verb る. Here it’s in the continuous form (れ) in おどろかぬる. This is the exact same る that became れる in the modern passive construction (呼ばれる, 怒られる, etc.), but here its meaning is something quite different from what you get in Modern called the “spontaneous” (自発 in Japanese). This sort of translates to, “can’t help but…” or “find oneself …-ing”. My Japanese linguistics professor mentioned this term how the modern potential form sometimes takes the role of this spontaneous form in words like 笑える and 泣ける. I’m also fairly certain that 憚られる is the spontaneous form, as well, like in this sentence I came across in my reading: “それを彼女に語るのはほんの少し憚られるのですけれど。” 憚る and 憚られる basically have the same meaning, so it seems possible to me. 憚られる isn’t a regular passive since it’s an intransitive verb. It’s not the honorific use of the passive either, since it’s used by the speaker to refer to themself. I feel like it can’t be the indirect passive either since I’m pretty sure there wouldn't be an agent marked by に.

Anyway, the poem. In おどろかれぬる, the verb is おどろく (Here in classical Japanese it means “to notice”) in the imperfective おどろか, followed by spontaneous る in the continuous (れ), and the perfective ぬ in the attributive ぬる (this because of the bound particle ぞ which comes earlier in the sentence), altogether meaning “couldn’t help but notice”. Quick note: に is marking the cause of this action, that is to say, what caused the writer to notice.

So that’s it. “Although it cannot clearly be seen that Autumn has come, I couldn’t help but notice (it had) by the sound of the wind.”

Well. I originally intended to talk a bit more about other stuff, like Nara period grammar since I’m starting to study that, but I ended up having more to say about this poem than I thought. Oh well, I’ll save that stuff for another time.
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby vonPeterhof » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:10 pm

Sizen wrote:Another fun fact about けり: the combination of the perfective auxiliary verb たり with けり (たりけり) gave us the Modern たっけ, as in “言ったっけ” or "あったっけ".
Wow, I had no idea! For some reason I was assuming that っけ was somehow derived from the questioning particle か. I remember when I first started reading Classical Japanese poetry it seemed very odd to me that "…−かな" survived into modern Japanese pretty much unchanged while "…−けり" appeared to have vanished without a trace, but apparently that's not quite the case. I wonder if the Hokkaido/eastern Japanese interjection したっけ is also derived from that.

Sizen wrote:You probably wouldn’t want to translate といへども as “I say…, but…” in this context, but I’ve done it this way here to better illustrate the point.

For some reason I'm reminded of "そう言われても…" getting translated by overly literal fan translators as "Even if you say that..." :lol:
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Sizen » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:31 pm

vonPeterhof wrote:For some reason I'm reminded of "そう言われても…" getting translated by overly literal fan translators as "Even if you say that..." :lol:

Sometimes it's not just the fan translators... I guess it just can't be helped. ;)
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Re: 日本語一筋 [JP]

Postby Ser » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:13 pm

And if I'm being honest, I sometimes get frustrated with Chinese. Why can't you be like your sibling and stop restating verbs? (Ex. 我跑步跑了半個鐘頭)

Since you dislike it, in this particular construction ("verb-object verb adverbial") you can often drop the first verb: 他(開)車開得太快 ta1 (kai1-)che1 kai1 de tai4 kuai4 'he drives too fast'. I don't know if you can do that with 跑步 in particular though.

What's up with your multiple ways of forming adverb? (Ex. 慢慢來, 快快地回家, 說得很快)

These two strategies, 慢慢(地) man4manr1(de) (or man4man4(de) in Taiwan) versus 得很慢 de hen3 man4, are there to express different locations of the focus. If the important new information for the reader/listener is that something was done slowly, you use the post-verbal 得很慢, whereas if this slowness is part of a larger predicate containing the important new information, likely some other detail like a direct object or adverbial after the verb, you use the pre-verbal 慢慢(地).

我的電腦運行得很慢。
wo3 de dian4nao3 yun4xing2 de hen3 man4
'My computer runs slowly.'
(The fact that it runs slowly is the main point of me saying this sentence.)

我的電腦慢慢運行這個程序。
wo3 de dian4nao3 man4man4 yun4xing2 zhe4 ge cheng2xu4
'My computer runs this program slowly.' ~ 'It's this program that my computer runs slowly.'
(This sentence implies the question "what is your computer running slowly?". I am concerned that it's this program that is run slowly, and so should you. The focus is really on the direct object.)

我的電腦把這個程序運行得很慢。
wo3 de dian4nao3 ba3 zhe4 ge cheng2xu4 yun4xing2 de hen3 man4
'My computer runs this program (too) slowly.'
(This sentence implies the question "how does your computer run this program?". I am concerned that it does it slowly when it should be faster than that. The focus is really on the adverbial.)

I learned this contrast from Yip and Rimmington's grammar. (Right now I feel too lazy to open it and find the exact page of the passage though.)
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