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A Reference Grammar of Japanese

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A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Miaow » Tue 08.19.2008 11:58 pm

Just curious if anyone is familiar with this book, and/or uses this book to supplement a traditional textbook. I'm wondering if it would be useful to look up a grammar point I am studying for more in-depth discussion about it.

It's cool it's a hardcover. My most-used Japanese books (Japanese: The Spoken Language, Japanese for Everyone, and Reading Japanese) are very used-looking.
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.20.2008 8:25 am

It's a very dense, high-level linguistics book. You could certainly learn a lot from it, but it's not really intended for learning Japanese.
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Miaow » Wed 08.20.2008 1:19 pm

I was going to use it as a supplement to Japanese for Everyone, which explains the "how" but not the "why" of grammar. And linguistics are interesting to me, but I don't have a degree in linguistics - does this book use a lot of technical jargon that only linguists would be able to understand? Or can I look up whatever grammar point I'm studying in JfE for a full description of the "why" a given construction is the way it is?
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 08.20.2008 1:47 pm

Personally I think Japanese: The Spoken Language is pretty good for that.

Do you have a library you could look at the book in first (or a nearby university library)? It's dense, but not impossible.
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Miaow » Wed 08.20.2008 3:11 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Personally I think Japanese: The Spoken Language is pretty good for that.

Do you have a library you could look at the book in first (or a nearby university library)? It's dense, but not impossible.


I checked my school's library's website and according to the site website they have two copies, both available! Awesome. I'm going back next week, so I'll put off my purchase until I get to examine the book and see if it will fit my needs. I'll post my opinion of it here next week some time.

The linguistic focus is very attractive to me. I have the first volume of Japanese: The Spoken Language, and it's a well-worn copy. I wish it came in hardcover. when it comes to JSL and the Reference Grammar of Japanese, the fact that RGJ is one volume and is hardcover and will last a long time is what makes it attractive to me.

Thanks so much for your comments!

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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Instant Radical » Thu 08.21.2008 9:03 am

Perhaps you would like to use The Japan Times' "A Dictionary Of Basic Japanese Grammar" and the intermediate/advanced ones as well? They do a fantastic job of explaining grammar and giving examples, as well as loads of extra information. I just wish there was a workbook you could get for these so I could use it for straight-up learning! :)
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Miaow » Thu 08.21.2008 1:21 pm

Instant Radical wrote:Perhaps you would like to use The Japan Times' "A Dictionary Of Basic Japanese Grammar" and the intermediate/advanced ones as well? They do a fantastic job of explaining grammar and giving examples, as well as loads of extra information. I just wish there was a workbook you could get for these so I could use it for straight-up learning! :)


Hey thanks! I'll check it out! :)
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Re: A Reference Grammar of Japanese

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 08.21.2008 2:57 pm

Although note that DBJ and Martin are two different approaches.

DBJ takes a very surface-level approach to grammar; the emphasis is on example sentences and brief explanations, whereas Martin's approach is more linguistic and gets more into the innards and the foundations of Japanese grammar.
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