Japanese

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Definitions of Terms

Some definitions of terms I use follow:

MOD_PHRASE - A modifier phrase is a phrase suitable for modifying a noun phrase, as defined below. Examples of modifier phrases follow, each shown modifying a noun.

  • (noun phrase) {の,だった} - Any noun phrase plus {の,だった} (no,datta) is a valid modifier phrase:
    私の本 (watasi no hon) (= my book)
    日本語の本 (nihongo no hon) (= japanese language book)
    魚屋だった店 (sakanaya datta mise) (= store that was a fish store)
    静かな人の本 (sizuka na hito no hon) (= quiet person's book)
  • (adjective)- Any true adjective (i-adjective) is a valid modifier phrase:
    大きい本 (ookii hon) (= big book)
    高かった本 (takakatta hon) (= book that was expensive)
    買いたい本 (kaitai hon) (= book that I want to buy)
    買わなかった本 (kawanakatta hon) (= book that I didn't buy)
  • (adjectival noun) - Any adjectival noun (na-adjective) plus a plain copula is a valid modifier phrase. Note that the plain copula だ (da) must be changed to な (na) whenever it modifies anything.
    静かな子 (sizuka na ko) (= quiet child)
    元気だった子 (genki datta ko) (= child that was healthy)
  • (plain predicate) - Any plain (informal) predicate is a valid modifier phrase:
    読む本 (yomu hon) (= the book I read [progressive tense] / the book I will read)
    読んだ本 (yonda hon) (= the book I read [past tense])
Modifier phrases can also include more complicated versions of the forms given above.
昨日うちで読んだ本 (kinou uti de yonda hon) (= book that was read yesterday at my house)
大きくて高い本 (ookikute takai hon) (= big and expensive book)
家内が買った本 (kanai ga katta hon) (= book that my wife bought)