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12:01 AM
Since it parses as [森の近くの]家 and 森の[近い家]
Hmm. I really hate leaving comments saying things are grammatical or ungrammatical, since I feel like I'm likely to be wrong.
1 hour later…
1:15 AM
@snailplane I think Susumu Kuno's book mentioned that somewhere
I'm not sure though, but I have this feeling I've read that somewhere
Maybe a different book, I just flipped through the book and couldn't find it
1:53 AM
@ssb i gave you downvote because I believe your answer is not useful (the criteria of a downvote). it's too literal, and i think we both know that it is the idiomatic meaning that needs translation. i know downvotes can get personal, but it's judgement on your answer, not a judgement on you.
@ssb it's not that it's too simple, it's that your answer, at least I believe, is answer which misinterprets the question. since I can't tell if it was a deliberate misinterpretation (ie an answer to simply score points and earn rep) all I can do to communicate to you that it is not an accurate interpretation of the question is to downvote.
2:18 AM
@taylor It is a literal translation but only because the idiom literally exists in Japanese
you can use it in the same way and people will understand. I assumed that based on his question he was looking for an equivalently idiomatic way of saying something. My error might have been assuming that he had the level of Japanese necessary to express this in other ways and that he was looking for a more advanced interpretation. If he was just looking for a way to express that via idiom or not then yeah my answer would have been less helpful, so I added a little.
2:37 AM
Is パンドラの箱 widely recognised?
I guess it's the easiest way to import directly from Greek mythology
@Flaw I've run into it in Japanese stuff.
Haha. I truly wonder how I misspelled etymology in the title of that question.
Also, what happened to the bolding there? It looked fine in the preview. Weird.
2:52 AM
The ** method doesn't work for kana
Ah. Shucks.
But if it can look fine in the preview, then it should also be able to appear afterwards
I don't know why it doesn't though
Well, the preview is probably done using a different parser than the generation, since one is probably implemented in Javascript and the other in some server-side language.
(Just a guess.) They should be consistent though.
The で question is really hard to answer
I don't know how to deal with "5. そうではない"
Yeah, I imagine. But I've been told "they're all the same thing" in the past, and that has been making me wonder for ages.
2:58 AM
I think 5. is で+ある then で+は+ない for negated
The problem after breaking up the copula である is that I don't know what to make of the individual parts
I thought that である is already a smallest unit of meaning, but I guess we can go further.
@Flaw I analyze that as 用言の連用形+係助詞+形容詞
"awesomely good"
"is not awesome(ly)" ?
The latter is just "is not awesome", but yes.
Then what is 好きではいい ?
"It's alright to like ~" ?
I think you might need context to figure out what that は is doing there...?
3:03 AM
Well, 好きではいい is a weird one, but it's grammatical (to my knowledge). That's how I'd translate it I think.
I'd have done 好きでもいい
Yes, that's definitely a better choice.
@Flaw In English, you can say "another" or "a whole nother", even though it doesn't consist of "a" and "nother", and the tmesis doesn't cause you to reanalyze "another" as two words when you see it on its own
Even though etymologically it is two words, "an" and "other"
So just because something has become one word doesn't mean it can't be split, and just because it can be split doesn't mean it isn't one word :-)
I'm now thinking of taking である as a sentence itself
But I need to bring in に so that ある ties in
It's a bit of a circular reasoning to say that で derives from a copula, and then think about で+ある
There's something more fundamental I'm missing.
I don't think it'll be possible to answer my question with a modern analysis only, either way.
It'll probably require knowledge of old and classical Japanese.
3:13 AM
The study of Quantum Japanese
(I hope all my questions about random historical useless stuff are on-topic here, that tends to be what I post about.)
They are on-topic
It is on topic
I might ask that question about どんな ← どのような
I like Japanese etymology. A lot of the time, I feel like stuff makes more sense when I understand where it comes from
It might not actually make more sense, but it ends up fitting into neat categories in my head
For example, I like the idea that 新た・新しい・改める all come from アラタ
And that the た and ら got mixed up in あたらしい
It means those words can all occupy one category together in my mind.
Also, metathesis is a neat word.
@snailplane Hooray for neat categories in our heads!
3:39 AM
I dropped my pen on its tip. I feel like I'm writing with a marker now.
4:10 AM
@Flaw A fell-tip marker?
Was a ballpoint pen.
Now it lets out too much ink.
Sorry, I just wanted to make a pun on felt-tip. It may have failed :-)
Ah, sorry. Was preoccupied with my lab report
I want to point out that when people refer to meta questions tagged "FAQ" as though it's the site FAQ, it's confusing.
It may be the site FAQ, but there's another page which is actually linked everywhere that calls itself the FAQ.
So, when I signed up, I had no idea the real FAQ was secretly hidden among various questions on a sub-site whose existence was only briefly mentioned
Oh, hey
The FAQ has been updated since I signed up.
Maybe I don't need to point this out after all!
You mean this page? japanese.stackexchange.com/faq
4:15 AM
I sure do.
Did it really have all those links to meta questions when I signed up?
Because I totally don't remember that.
I think jkerian edited it
I remember it looking like boilerplate.
Well, hooray for that!
It's much better than how I remember it, but I think a question or two could be added, still.
@jkerian linked recently to meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/806/… on a question where bold went wrong
I don't see that question linked from the FAQ. Is it appropriate to add a link?
I ask because I managed to miss this question's existence until his comment.
Yeah, I think it could go under "How do I ask?"
@snailplane Unfortunately I can only edit the very top of the official FAQ
(I only edited the site-faq a few days ago)
A-ha! So the old linkless FAQ wasn't a figment of my imagination.
At one point, I asked the other mods to make the top of the site-FAQ look like this: meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/a/814/29
Now that I have the power to do it, I'm not so sure it's a good idea.
4:29 AM
Well, thanks for editing the top part! I think it's a lot less confusing now.
I was mostly recounting my experience as a new user N months ago--I didn't have a clue about meta.
yeah, and considering that the off-topic message even links you to the FAQ...
I kind of want to ask a question about 「色をしている」・・・
seems reasonable
青い and 青色をしている
~をしている for describing intrinsic quality?
4:39 AM
I don't know. Do you think those are strict synonyms? 青い and 青色をしている
Or do you think there's some distinction?
I would interpret 青い as a incidental quality
That is to say that it could have come in other colours
Or it is first ~, then 青い is a descriptor
Hmm... no expansion... anyways... criticism is welcome
BTW... it's HIGHLY annoying that the edit box for that FAQ entry is a regular markdown box. It makes you think you can do things like normal markdown-style links. You can't... the box is raw HTML only.
Yikes, that does sound irritating.
4:48 AM
Yeah... clicking any of the buttons generates only a somewhat confused preview-pane... and a more confused moderator
I can't think of a good way to stick in question 806 (formatting), but I think you probably could stick it in the top part
It'd just be slightly incongruous
Like as an aside
It's in there right now as the second paragraph
Ooh, is it?
refresh :)
I have! I think perhaps I'm getting a cached version.
4:52 AM
We have a few tricks and tools available on the site to help write questions, including furigana, markdown bug workarounds, and a few standard notations.
^ What I added
Ahh, neat
I wonder if anyone's really asked themselves "Why does this site look so neutral?" before reading the FAQ.
I tend to doubt it... but I'm hardly the artsy type
Me either. I love to draw, but it comes out as scribbles.
heh... lovely control knob I've got here "RW_ENABLE_DISABLE"
5:12 AM
@Pacerier Ping! Have you been in chat before?
I'm responding to your comment here, which you say is off-topic, so I thought chat might be a better place to follow up
What morphemes are 宮(きゅう) and 路(ろ) made of, would you say?
I think they are both monomorphemic, imported from Chinese
Maybe he means the components of the kanji
But generally kanji only have one or zero components representing a morpheme
I bet he thought I was referring to the kanji rather than to a particular morpheme represented by those kanji
since I didn't use furigana.
I didn't add readings because I thought it was obvious from context
I have one more confession to make
I hate adding furigana to anything besides the top of a paragraph in an answer.
If furigana goes on the second line or later, it makes the whole paragraph look funny.
5:27 AM
my modem died
Welcome back!
I think that if you approach the concept of morphemes from "sound"
then we should look at the phonetic components that make up a kanji
Those are just lossy transcriptions of the morphemes themselves, which are independent of the writing system
きゅう and ろ would be morphemes because you can't break the sound down further
In 路 for example, we have 各, which represents a number of different sounds in modern Japanese
including mainly カク and キャク, and also リャク and ガク
5:30 AM
but you don't get 路 by pronunciating 足+各
But that doesn't mean those are all related morphemes, just that they sounded similar or the same at some point in the past, probably
No, but you do get it by writing 足 and 各, and 各 is the phonetic component in that kanji
Do you mean something else by phonetic component?
Or wait, is 路 semasio-phonetic at all?
I was thinking without the writing system
Oh, I got confused because "phonetic component" usually refers to the part of a character used to transcribe the sound in a 形声文字
When I said morpheme in the first place I hoped it was obvious I meant sound, not writing :-)
I think my attempt to pull Pacerier into chat has failed.
I can do it... but I doubt I wonder if that's an abuse of the super-ping
Well, I left a comment when Pacerier didn't respond to the ping.
5:37 AM
Is a super ping any different from a regular ping?
Brightly coloured maybe?
@Flaw No range-limit, basically
I can summon anyone on the site into any chatroom
Plus, doesn't it have two at-signs?
That's a lot of punctuation for one person.
usually it's used to haul people into private/locked chatrooms to ask them to stop doing something
"Stop asking good questions!"
"Let that be a lesson to you."
I have yet another confession to make.
I delete comments and re-comment when I want to edit them.
Hopefully that's not too irritating. (I read somewhere that deleted comments are invisible to everyone, even moderators, but that moderators can ask to be able to see them.)
Hmm... I can see them if I go to the post-history. But I'm not actually sure where the button to get to that is.
(if there are flags on a question or answer, a button shows up to go to that history)
6:23 AM
hmm lol, the problem with chat (at least for me) is that there's too many messages flying arnd too quickly, it gets messy and it's hard to have any real discussion (because by the time i can reply, there's another 3 or 4 messages to reply lols)

hmm ok, anyway what i wanted to say is that the kanji 路 is not a morpheme because it can be furthur subdivided into smaller semantic units in the japanese written language (as demonstrated at http://goo.gl/0MwXl). This is the same for the kanji 宮. Also, "きゅう" is made up of 3 morphemes "き", "ゅ", and "う". And "ろ" itself is a morpheme in the Japanese w
Ah, I see. I disagree with that definition of morpheme, because I don't believe /r/ and /o/ individually lend any meaning to ろ
And likewise for dividing up きゅう
So I guess I should say I agree with the definition, but I disagree with how you're applying the definition
@Flaw I asked the color question japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/11360/…
@Pacerier I apologize for all the messages flying around! :-)
Morphemes are not synonymous with graphemes in written language nor with phonemes in spoken language, because individual phonemes do not necessarily contribute meaning on their own (meaning = semantics) and therefore the smallest semantic unit is often larger than a phoneme; and because individual graphemes can correspond to a different level of organization either larger or smaller than a morpheme (particularly in Japanese, where you can write something more than one way)
That is, /r/ can combine with other sounds including /o/, but they won't have any shared meaning carried by /r/. /r/ by itself is meaningless, so it must be smaller than the smallest semantic unit.
1 hour later…
7:49 AM
@Pacerier That's how chat is I guess, but usually there aren't too many overlapping conversations
I disagree with "Also, "きゅう" is made up of 3 morphemes".
When you cut it up there isn't any smaller semantic unit
I think you might have phoneme and morpheme confused.
8:09 AM
sry for the delay, anyway just in case we start discussing about different things I'd like to say that when I say "meaning" I mean the "semantic meaning" and thus leaving pragmatics out of the window.

anyway, in japanese spoken language, the sound /r/ does not carry meaning *by itself*, but it definitely **contributes** to meaning and hence is a semantic unit. The native speaker will perceive different meanings depending on its presence. The sound /ro/ is made up of the consonant /r/ and the vowel /o/. The consonant contributes to meaning, because /ro/ is perceived to have a different mean
@Flaw, the sound "きゅう" is made up of /k/ + /y/ + /u/ + /u/. We can prove that all four of these has meaning in the japanese spoken language by removing any one of them. If the semantic meaning doesn't change, it does not contribute to the semantic meaning and thus is not a semantic unit.
However, removing any one of them would change the semantic meaning, and hence the units /k/ + /y/ + /u/ + /u/ are semantic.

A morpheme is the smallest semantic unit in a language, a grapheme is the smallest semantic unit in a written language, a phoneme is the smallest semantic unit in a spoken language,
Still disagree
You cannot form a meaning with きゅう by summing up the "meanings" of any smaller parts
きゅう stands as it is
Unlike 食べたい; you can break this up into root たべ and desiderative たい
きゅう does not decompose into smaller units of meaning
Removing any thing from きゅう would obviously change its meaning, but not because the individual parts are semantically loaded but because it falls apart entirely.
Take the number "ni". It means two. You cannot assign a meaning to /n/ and another to /i/ and say that the combination systematically forms the meaning "two".
This is unlike たべたい. We can assign "eat" to たべ and "desire" to たい, and we can systematically form たべたい, ~たい.
The same thing happens when you analyse in terms of graphemes.
a horizontal stroke can be a grapheme for "one".
Therefore 二 can be built from the grapheme 一
But there are many other kanji with horizontal strokes
Not all the horizontal strokes carry the meaning "one"
If you take out the final stroke from 口, you will have a horizontal stroke, and an open-bottom box. It falls apart entirely because neither of them are semantically loaded.
(For the previous 6 lines, replace grapheme with morpheme)
1 hour later…
9:56 AM
@Flaw, I know where you are coming from. We agree on the orthodox definition of a morpheme as *"the smallest semantic unit in a language"* but we disagree on the definition of a *"semantic unit"*. Your definition (orthodox) of a *"semantic unit"* is "a unit that has stand-alone semantic meaning", while my definition (unorthodox) is "a unit that *contributes* to semantic meaning".

I have provided points backing up that argument (simply, as opposed to the orthodox definition of "semantic meaning", I regard it more rational to consider a unit semantic if the native speaker will perceive diffe
But if one cannot perceive a different meaning systematically upon addition of a unit, then it is not a morpheme.
if "ni" is made of n+i such that n+i=2, then "nana" is made of n+a+n+a=7 ?
Then a=3.5-n, and "san" is made of s+3.5=3, s=-0.5 ?
2 hours later…
11:41 AM
Whenever we add a unit, the meaning changes. Whenever we subtract a unit, the meaning changes. I consider this *systematic* and thus one can perceive a different meaning *systematically* (addition / subtraction).

Also, /n/ + /a/ + /n/ + /a/ is 4 units and /s/ + /a/ + /n/ is 3 units. The "semantic unit" is a language-independent device that has nothing to do with *mora*.
1 hour later…
1:01 PM
Ah, carry on, then. I thought you simply didn't know what a morpheme was. I didn't realize you rejected the usual definition and decided to make an argument for your own, knowing that it was something different than what people usually meant by the term.
I still don't agree with your argument, but I've already explained why, so repeating myself won't help anything, and I'll just leave it at that.
@Pacerier I do not agree with your argument, so I guess we'll leave it at that.
1:21 PM
@Flaw Ripley's kittens are adopted... so here is a cat in a glass: youtube.com/watch?v=OFDnPIuLMFY
That's too cute
2:06 PM
The 青い question got a downvote. I think I should just accept that I'm not going to be able to ask any questions without getting at least one downvote or close vote
Don't let it bother you
Yeah, I just kept taking it as feedback, like "you need to make better questions"
But your question was fine anyway
3:02 PM
I wonder how often people say パンドラの壺
I've only seen パンドラの箱
I wonder if パンドラの壺 sounds as pedantic as "Pandora's jar" does in English...
2 hours later…
5:18 PM
how would 壺 be read?
I meant ツボ
5:40 PM
I haven't forced this closed since I don't want to be the first and only vote on it... but it's the most straightforward "please translate this for me" that we've seen here in awhile.
It's a bit silly how easy this is... just put a translation of the rest of the sentence in place and then say "I don't understand how the phrase 人の身で灯りも無く fits into this" would probably be sufficient.
Can you see their deleted questions?
I think they might have contained comments to that effect, but I'm not sure anymore
6:12 PM
Yeah, a few other "please translate"-type questions. Self-deleted, just as someone mentioned in that question.
6:23 PM
I am finding it helpful to sit down and read through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, by the way
Though I think it works best in small doses, spread out
3 hours later…
9:04 PM
I'm always surprised at people who think they can ignore formal conjugations and understand Japanese "just fine". If you're included on any cross-company emails, they're incredibly thick with the stuff.
(particularly when we're the customer for a multi-billion dollar contract... holy crap is this stuff hard to read)
@snailplane How informative are you finding it? as opposed to just 'formalizing' your knowledge a bit?
@jkerian Well, I keep mentioning the "filling in holes in the basics" idea, which is what I continue to think is most important for me personally. Today I learned about までに
My method right now is "go through every example, then see if my understanding for the example is right"
So if I'm wrong, I go through the rest of that particular entry.
までに communicates something of a "deadline" meaning... IIRC
(there's probably much more to it than that... that I'm forgetting atm)
Yep! The book uses the term "time limit", which is more or less the same thing
The one I always have a hard time is telling when あとで and あとに are inappropriate, and need to be simplified to just plain あと

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