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staroverfuji
July 28th, 2008, 14:09
I am in urgent need of some online article drills to do. i am still getting は and が mixed up. and に、え、and で still confuse me. so anyone know of any good sites???

:kaos_chirub_pachi:

ampersand
July 28th, 2008, 15:00
and に、え、and で still confuse me. so anyone know of any good sites???

Well, え isn't a particle. へ is. え is however an interjection, often encountered in an elongated version: えぇぇぇぇぇ?

I don't know much about online study, so I can't help you there.

I Am Quailman
July 28th, 2008, 15:03
they have a good book called "All About Particles"... it is a good reference tool to have when studying... but to be honest, sometimes it's easier to remember what particle goes with which verb. or knowing if a verb is transitive or intransitive can help between using  が and を

kiwimusume
July 28th, 2008, 18:06
Well, え isn't a particle. へ is.

Yeah, the particle へ is pronounced as "e" for the same weird reason that the particle は is pronounced as "wa". (Unless you are my JTE, who spells it as わ. One of the other teachers saw it and thought I'D written it. :lol:)

Rin
July 30th, 2008, 14:15
Yeah, the particle へ is pronounced as "e" for the same weird reason that the particle は is pronounced as "wa". (Unless you are my JTE, who spells it as わ. One of the other teachers saw it and thought I'D written it. :lol:)

That comes from sound changes that began in the late Nara period.

Originally, は, ひ, ふ, へ, and ほ were pronounced [pa], [pi], [pu], [pe], and [po], and of course, their voiced versions were ば, び, ぶ, べ, and ぼ - [ba], [bi], [bu], [be], and [bo]. At the time, there was no ぱ, ぴ, ぷ, ぺ, or ぽ, and there was no H-line.

Some time during the late Nara period, は, ひ, ふ, へ, and ほ became more like "fa fi fu fe fo" (more accurately, [ɸa], [ɸi], [ɸɯ], [ɸe], and [ɸo] - voiceless bilabial fricatives, if you can't read IPA).

As happened in process from Proto-Indo-European to Latin to Spanish, p > f > h > 0, in many of them except for in certain conditions (unlike in Spanish, where it happened completely).

In around the early Heian period, は, へ, and ほ all became [ha], [he], and [ho], respectively. ふ stubbornly retained its pronunciation as [ɸɯ]; and, whilst ひ traveled further back in the mouth along with は, へ, and ほ, it decided to settle in the palate as [çi] and stayed there into modern times whilst the others continue their treck towards H. This is why the normal Japanese pronunciation of ひと sounds more like "shto": ひ [çi], and し [ʃi] are extremely close together inside the mouth.

In the late Heian period, they split depending on where in the word they occured:

Whenever は, へ, or ほ began a word, they remained [ha], [he], and [ho]; ふ remained [ɸɯ]; and, ひ remained [çi].

However, whenver ひ, ふ, へ, or ほ fell anywhere else in the word, they would all become [i], [ɯ], [e], and [o], respectively. To make things more complex, は chose a different route and became [wa]. Furthermore, wherever っは, っひ, っふ, っへ, or っほ occured, they were completely unaffected by the entire process from the Nara period until present, which is why Japanese still even has a P, and why they needed to invent a new set of characters to handle that: ぱ, ぴ, ぷ, ぺ, and ぽ.

Examples:

言う - いふ ipɯ > いふ iɸɯ > いふ iu > いう iu
言わない - いはぬ ipanɯ > いはにす i(p/ɸ)anisu > いはず iɸazu > いはない iwanai > いわない iwanai

川 - かは kapa > かは kaɸa > かは kawa > かわ kawa

人 - ひと pito > ひと ɸito > ひと çito

In older documents, you will find spellings like those above (I also included the evolution of the negative). In all cases except for the particles は, へ, and を, the spellings were changed after WWII to reflect the pronunciation. They also lost two kana, ゐ [wi] (which simply became [i]) and ゑ [we] (which simply became [e]. Even words with を in them were changed, like をとこ > おとこ.

This series of sound changes also explains why many of the "Chinese" readings of Kanji are nothing like their Chinese counterparts. Kanji got many of their readings from Canton and Hunan, whence much of the Buddhist literature came to Japan. If a character had a reading like "tsap", it would have been transliterated in kana as ちゃふ (chapu), and when the ふ became う within the word, you were left with ちゃう, and all the あうs became おう in on-readings, resulting in spellings like ちょう (chou). Cantonese also has -t, and -k. Guess what those beame (readings like りつ and ちゃく). Because all three of these "final consonants" in Cantonese act like the Japanese っ, they would intereact in the same manner 発【はつ】 hatsu > 発車【はっしゃ】 hassha; 出【しゅつ】shutsu > 出発【しゅっぱつ】 shuppatsu. Notice in that last example, the P that is left unaffected by the sound changes.

In the 1800s, ゑ had become [ye] before it dropped its consonant altogether and became [e], which is why Yebisu Beer retains the old romanization. It should have been Webisu.

Anyway, Japanese is almost always taught such that "particles" are independent, well, particles, that simply come after nouns. The above sound changes prove that to be false. The so-called "particles" are nothing more than noun inflections just like in Latin, or any other language. They just tend to be much more regular. If, as is taught, particles were in fact independent, then "Watashi wa" would be "Watashi ha", but if we treat it like an inflection, it explains why the [ha] > [wa].

Baikinman
July 31st, 2008, 03:18
So Rin, are you a linguistics major or did you just pull that off of the web somewhere?

That may have been an interesting tidbit for those of us with a keen interest in the phonological shifts that have occured in the Japanese language over the centuries, but it really was quite a detour from the original question posted in the OP.

Baikinman
July 31st, 2008, 04:26
To answer your question, staroverfuji, I don't know any decent sites for drilling particles, but I will try to explain them:

は vs  が

は is the topic marker, where as が is the subject marker. They are pretty hard to use correctly at first, but you will get used to them the more native speakers you can speak with. It's quite difficult to give examples for these two, so forgive me if they aren't that great.

スミスさん: 私はスミスです。 (I am Smith)

田中さん: スミスさんいますか。 (Is Mr Smith here?) <speaking to a group>
スミスさん: はい、私がスミスです。 (Yes, I'm Smith) <by using が smith places more empashis on the fact that out of everyone there, HE is smith)

ひらおさん: どんな音楽が好きですか? (What type of music do you like?)
いわさきさん: ロックが好きです。 (I like rock).

For the above example, it should be noted that one always uses が with 好き。 I don't know if this explanation is correct, but it should help you remember the difference between は and が:

In both of the sentences, iwasaki san is the topic, so the two sentences could start いわさきさんは , 私は respectively, but since the topic is obvious from context it gets left out. So if iwasaki is the topic, then that makes music the subject.

I won't talk about transitive/ intransitive verbs and the way they relate to が because it sounds like you're not up to that stage yet.

に vs へ

に and へ both mean "to, towards" and mark the direction of an action or object. に sounds more like the movement or action has a specific purpose, but they are used almost interchangeably. に has another use, but as it relates to で I will explain their relationship in a moment.

東京へ行きます。 (I go to Tokyo)
東京に行きます。 (I go to Tokyo)

There is also a structure, masu form without masu, に行く, which means to "go to do". See below:

東京へ働きに行きます。 (I go to Tokyo to work)
東京に働きに行きます。 (I go to Tokyo to work)

コンビニへ牛乳を買いに行きます。(I go to the convenience store to buy milk)
コンビニに牛乳を買いに行くきます。(I go to the convenience store to buy milk)

母が日本へ会いに来ます。 (My mother comes to Japan to see me)

Furthermore, に can be used to mark a time something occurs, for example:

8時に行きます。 (I go at 8 o'clock)
8月に日本へ行きます。 (I go to Japan in August)
水曜日に田中さんに会いました。 ( I saw Mr Tanaka on Wednesday)

It should be noticed that no に is needed for おととい、昨日、明日or あさって。

昨日、雨がふりました。 (It rained yesterday)
明日、大阪に行くます。 (I go to Osaka tomorrow).

で vs に

If these two are poorly explained, they can be pretty easy to mess up, but once you understand them they are pretty simple. で marks the location that an action takes place, or the tool that you use to complete an action.

動物園でトラを見ました。 (I saw a tiger at the zoo)
小学校で働きます。 (I work at an elementary school)
コンビニで牛乳を買いました。 (I bought milk at the convenience store)

おはしで食べます。 (I eat with chopsticks)
電話で話します。(I talk on the phone)
えんぴつで書いてください。 (Please write in pencil)

に, apart from the uses already introduced, can also be used to mark where something exists, or the direction/ recipient of an action or object.

本はテーブルの上にあります。(The book is on top of the table)
ねこはテーブルの下にいます。 (The cat is under the table)
パソコンの前にすわっています。(I am sitting in front of the computer)
紙に書きます。(I write on paper) <writing is the action, and it is being done to/ towards/ in the direction of the paper>
田中さんに手紙をおくりました。(I sent a letter to Mr Tanaka)

I'm going to be very busy the next week or two what with moving to Japan and all, but if you would like, I can pm you some problems and then you can solve them, pm them back to me and I'll check them for you.

Rin
July 31st, 2008, 09:13
So Rin, are you a linguistics major or did you just pull that off of the web somewhere?

That may have been an interesting tidbit for those of us with a keen interest in the phonological shifts that have occured in the Japanese language over the centuries, but it really was quite a detour from the original question posted in the OP.

I have a heavy interest in linguistics, and studied Joudai (classical) grammar. Admittedly, I get carried away. Also, I wasn't addressing the original question, but someone else's comment about は (wa) and へ (e) being spelled oddly. I added the bit about を (o) since it too is essentially spelled weirdly.

And yes, that post was all my own, and not taken from a website. However, if you're interested, check out Wiki's article on Old Japanese, and read the subsequent articles about later incarnations of Japanese. It's a great place to start full of accurate information (which doesn't contradict what I already know). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Japanese

Another great resource is Classical Japanese: A Grammar by Haruo Shrane, though it may be hard to find.

Rin
July 31st, 2008, 10:55
I am in urgent need of some online article drills to do. i am still getting は and が mixed up. and に、え、and で still confuse me. so anyone know of any good sites???

:kaos_chirub_pachi:

A couple of things to add about は (wa) and が:

は is also the negative particle, which means some weird things for its use vs. が.

1a) わたしは スミス です。 I am Smith. (〇)
1b) わたしが スミス です。 I am Smith. (〇)

Baikinman already explained the subtle difference between the two above, but either one is okay.

2a) わたしは スミス で は ありません。 I am not Smith. (〇)
2b) わたしが スミス で は ありません。 I am not Smith. (X)

However, unlike the affirmative sentences, with the negative sentences, technically, only 2a is correct, and 2b is incorrect.

Another thing to remember is that none of the interrogatives (question words) can be used with は.

3a) だれが わたしの くっきーを たべました か。  (〇)
  Who ate my cookies?

3b) だれは わたしの くっきーを たべました か。  (X)
  Who ate my cookies?

3a is correct, whilst 3b is incorrect.