Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fun find on Google Books.

SHIRANE Haruo. Classical Japanese: a Grammar. vol 1. Very exciting. I probably shouldn't read it because it'll only confuse my Japanese, but even a glance through has helped me to understand a few things. Interesting that 男 otoko and 女 onna used to begin with "w" sounds and actually were spelled with を wo rather than お o—をとこ, をんな. 参る まいる mairu used to be mawiru. ふ is sometimes "u" rather than "fu/hu". (Presumably, け is きょ or something similar; in shuuji the other day we wrote けふ, ke-fu, which 先生 said is spoken as 今日, きょう kyo-u.)

Anyway, the book looks like a lot of fun, with plenty of historical notes. Looks like there are some other tasty treats on offer, too:

Vovin, A Reference Grammar of Classical Japanese Prose (here) (with exercises)

Bentley, A Descriptive Grammar of Early Old Japanese Prose (here)

Dickins, The Makura-Kotoba of Primitive Japanese Verse (here)

など。 There are quite a few books on 文語 and modern Japanese, language and literature. Many are expurgated or snippetized, but even they can be useful, and some of the older books are available in full view (and probably are generally better sources for 文語, anyway).
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search for all stuff in Japanese

"Makura-kotoba" (枕詞): pillow-word, pillow-book. 面白い。

Definitely most excited about the Shirane book. For now I should focus on 元気。 あしたレッスンがあるので、今晩沢山予習しなくちゃいけない。 Three chapters left!

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