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Compound nouns

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Compound nouns

Postby dorkface » Sun 05.08.2011 3:47 am

Greetings all

In the textbook I'm reading, it says "Compound nouns are very numerous, and can be formed at will." Does this mean you could substitute a noun in a compound for a synonym?

ie;
furo - "bath"
ba - "a place"
becomes bathroom

but if there was another word for bath, would it be correct to say -example-ba? Would it still mean the same thing? Can you make up nouns, pretty much?

Thanks for your time
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Re: Compound nouns

Postby squarezebra » Sun 05.08.2011 4:54 am

If you want to be understood by people, then no. Japanese is a language with enough homophones as it is, and doesn't need confusing by people inventing more on their own^^ :whistle:
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Re: Compound nouns

Postby hyperconjugated » Sun 05.08.2011 4:55 am

dorkface wrote:Greetings all

In the textbook I'm reading, it says "Compound nouns are very numerous, and can be formed at will."
...

but if there was another word for bath, would it be correct to say -example-ba? Would it still mean the same thing? Can you make up nouns, pretty much?

Your textbook is wrong. There's no way you can make stuff up as you go and call it Japanese. Let alone think that people will understand it.
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Re: Compound nouns

Postby dorkface » Sun 05.08.2011 5:02 am

squarezebra wrote:If you want to be understood by people, then no. Japanese is a language with enough homophones as it is, and doesn't need confusing by people inventing more on their own^^ :whistle:


Yeah I didn't think it made sense, but I'm not sure what the text meant by the statement. Maybe it meant like... how you add suffixes to things? Ah well.

hyperconjugated wrote:Your textbook is wrong. There's no way you can make stuff up as you go and call it Japanese. Let alone think that people will understand it.


I wouldn't say the text is wrong so much as the way I read it was wrong. :mrgreen:

Thanks again for the replies, I was confused.
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Re: Compound nouns

Postby jimbreen » Sun 05.08.2011 5:44 am

dorkface wrote:In the textbook I'm reading, it says "Compound nouns are very numerous, and can be formed at will." Does this mean you could substitute a noun in a compound for a synonym?

ie;
furo - "bath"
ba - "a place"
becomes bathroom

but if there was another word for bath, would it be correct to say -example-ba? Would it still mean the same thing? Can you make up nouns, pretty much?


I would not call 風呂場 a compound noun. To me a compound noun (or a noun compound) is something like 学生割引. 場風呂 is a noun (場風) and a suffix (場). Different animal.

And yes, noun compounds are very numerous and new ones are being formed all the time. It's probably one of the main sources of neologisms in Japanese, But I'd caution a non-native speaker from creating them "at will" until they become very fluent, as knowing what nouns can be joined like that can be quite difficult and subtle.

Jim
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