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What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby Christine Tham » Thu 01.15.2009 1:47 am

furrykef wrote:I think the point we're getting tripped up on is, if a modern name is written in what was historically 万葉仮名, it's hard to argue that such a particular name would be equivalent to writing it in runic letters, and I don't think anybody's arguing that it is. But 万葉仮名 as a complete writing system is a good analogue to runic letters, because it is not in modern use for that purpose and a document written in it will generally not be understood except by people who specialize in it.


First of all, we are not necessarily talking about 万葉仮名 as a "complete writing system". Remember that Yudan's sentence could also be interpreted as "the specific kanji in iroha using 万葉仮名" in which case neither the kanji nor the usage is archaic.

And also remember that 万葉仮名 was never intended to be a "complete writing system" - it was devised originally for the specific purpose of capturing proper names, and is still used in that sense today. So, as a writing system, it is still being used today in the same way that it was originally designed to be used.

Now, we know that there exists literature written using 万葉仮名, iroha being an example. But it was never widely used this way.

So the point remains: we are not talking about a writing system that was used widely in the past, but is no longer used. It was invented for a specific purpose, and continues to be used for that purpose. There was a wider application of it to capture spoken language, which is no longer used (except possibly in special circumstances).

The real point here is that Japanese writing systems are not mutually exclusive. One writing system did not "replace" another. It's not as if 漢文 was replaced by 万葉仮名 which was then replaced by ひらがな and カタカナ. All these systems more or less operated side by side right up to World War II. The script reform that happened post World War II did simplify things, but all systems are still in operation today. 漢文 for 漢語, 万葉仮名 for (some) proper names, ひらがな for native Japanese constructions, and カタカナfor non-Chinese loanwords.

There are people who would like to see 漢文 and 万葉仮名 become obsolete. Specifically by replacing them with カタカナ. This would greatly reduce the amount on 漢字 used, and arguably will make it far easier to master the writing system. One of the aims of 当用漢字 (and to a lesser extent 常用漢字) was to encourage this to happen.
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A1してA2する+こと 

Postby coco » Thu 01.15.2009 5:59 am

richvh wrote:ココさん、「印刷して世に出すこと」を読むと、その「こと」は「世に出す」だけか、「印刷すること」も含む可能性もあると思いますか。

「印刷して世に出すこと」は、
①印刷する
②世に出す
という連続した一連の行為を名詞化したものなので、①と②の両方の(動詞で表される)行為が含まれていると考えます。
(この場合、and が A1 and then A2 の意味ならば連続を表すことができるものと私は思っていました。)

もっともこの定義だと
・すでに発行された印刷物の一部を大量にコピーして配布する場合も当てはまる
・メールマガジンや新聞の電子版、電子書籍など印刷を伴わない場合でも「発行」が使われることがある
という理由から、個人的には
雑誌・図書・新聞などを制作し、世に出すこと
の方がわかりやすいかもしれないと思います。

別の例を考えてみましょう。

「泳ぎ」は泳ぐの名詞ですから、「泳ぐこと」(あるいは「泳ぎ方」)と説明されています。
「泳ぐ」は、単純化すると「水中/水面に体を浮かせ、手足を動かして進む」という行為です。

そうなると、「泳ぎ」は「水中/水面に体を浮かせ、手足動かして前に進むこと」と説明できます。
この場合、
①水中あるいは水面に体を浮かせる
②進む
という二つの行為は必須です。 どちらかひとつだけでは「泳ぎ」の説明になりません。
また上の「(コンテンツを)制作して(A1)、(それを)世に出す(A2)こと」の例と異なり、「水中に体を浮かせて(A1)(前に)進む(A2)こと」で表される行為は、①を終えた後に②を行うのではありませんから、「水中に体を浮かせ[つつ/ながら/ると同時に](前に)進むこと」という意味になります。

これはNocturnalOceanさんの
(b) A1 and A2 are two states of someone or something.
という使い方になるのではないでしょうか。

A1,A2 が動詞の例として
・ 腹を抱えて笑う
・ イスにすわって雑誌を読む
・ 立って話す
などが挙げられるように思います。
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby richvh » Thu 01.15.2009 10:49 am

ココさん、いつものようにありがとうございます。お疲れ様でした。(ところで、まだ添削中ですが、このごろようやく「ゆきの物語」を書き終わりました。)

Christine, unless you're prepared to argue with the person who has been kind enough to tutor the JLPT study groups for the past few years, perhaps you should review your JLPT3 grammar, or, at least, your understanding of how こと works on compound sentences.
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Re: A1してA2する+こと 

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 01.15.2009 1:05 pm

cocoさん、ありがとうございました。

coco wrote:これはNocturnalOceanさんの
(b) A1 and A2 are two states of someone or something.
という使い方になるのではないでしょうか。

A1,A2 が動詞の例として
・ 腹を抱えて笑う
・ イスにすわって雑誌を読む
・ 立って話す
などが挙げられるように思います。


この場合は、A2のとき、A1の状態がまだ存在してます(? 英語でThe state expressed by A1 is still in progress/still applies)。たとえば、「雑誌を読んでいすに座る」は違う意味だと思います。いすに座って、もう座っていないときに雑誌を読むではなくて、いすに座って、座っているままで読むという意味ですね。

So as these examples indicate, A1 and A2 don't necessarily have to be consecutive actions, but A1 at least has to be "actualized" (i.e. made real) before A2 occurs.

As far as I know, this is generally how て works (A = action, S = stative verb/adj)
A1てA2 = A1, then A2 (A1 is not necessarily completely finished when A2 occurs, but it has to have at least begun)
SてA = Action A is done after State S is actualized
AてS = Action A is done, resulting in State S
S1てS2 = States 1 and 2 both apply, S1 can come before S2 but it doesn't have to (S2 cannot be first, though)
This doesn't describe 100% of cases, but AFAIK it mostly holds true.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby NocturnalOcean » Thu 01.15.2009 1:27 pm

What about sentences like:

由美子は今大学三年で、専攻は日本文学です。

This sentence describes two states as far as I can see, yet I would argue that S2 most likely is a state that has lasted longer than state S1.

What is your take on that?

Similar states would be something like.

私の部屋は狭くて暗いです。

This example is one where one couldn't really say one state has precedence over the other.


Edit: Changed into S1, S2 as Richvh suggested
Last edited by NocturnalOcean on Thu 01.15.2009 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby richvh » Thu 01.15.2009 1:51 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:What about sentences like:

由美子は今大学三年で、専攻は日本文学です。

This sentence describes two states as far as I can see, yet I would argue that A2 most likely is a state that has lasted longer than state A1.

What is your take on that?

Similar states would be something like.

私の部屋は狭くて暗いです。

This example is one where one couldn't really say one state has precedence over the other.


Well, when you're talking chained noun-phrases and adjectives like the above, they are states, not actions, so you should be marking them S1 and S2 (using Chris' notation), though I'm not sure the same rules apply as with stative verbs.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 01.15.2009 3:34 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:What about sentences like:

由美子は今大学三年で、専攻は日本文学です。

This sentence describes two states as far as I can see, yet I would argue that S2 most likely is a state that has lasted longer than state S1.


If the two predicates are states, they don't have to be sequential. In cases like this (and the next example) it's just two states that both apply. The only requirement is that the first state be actualized when the second state is active, so I suppose I shouldn't have said that S2 can't come first.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby Christine Tham » Thu 01.15.2009 4:20 pm

richvh wrote:Christine, unless you're prepared to argue with the person who has been kind enough to tutor the JLPT study groups for the past few years, perhaps you should review your JLPT3 grammar, or, at least, your understanding of how こと works on compound sentences.


Actually, I did. I consulted a professional Japanese Language consultant at the Japan Foundation, whose job is to provide help to Japanese teachers (that was the "teacher" I was referring who I said wouldn't agree with you). I don't believe in asking questions on Internet forums because you get unqualified opinions that are probably conflicting.

All this debate about こと is actually kind of missing the point, as well as personalising this into me vs you or Yudan or coco.

Take me out of the equation. My opinion on this actually doesn't matter.

Look at this strictly from the context of the original sentence in the dictionary definition.

You now know, or should know, that the author of this definition did not intend the こと to include printing. "Printing" is a contextual clarification for the こと.

How do we know that? From the context of the overall dictionary entry. Plus the fact that a rival dictionary has a definition that is very similar but does not include printing.

So you have a concrete example of a Japanese language lexicographer constructing a sentence not intending こと to span て conjunction.

The question you, Yudan, Nocturnal Ocean and coco need to ask is: why?

I suggest once you find the answer to this question, it may help your conceptualisation of how こと works.

I do recommend you seek professional and qualified advice, not just opinions of native speakers on the Internet. As far as I know, an initial consultation with a Japanese language consultant at the Japan Foundation on a question like this should not cost you anything.

But don't just seek advice on the sentence in isolation. Seek advice based on the entire dictionary definition, plus the alternative dictionary definition. Then broaden the discussion into こと in general. That's what I did.
Last edited by Christine Tham on Thu 01.15.2009 4:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby JaySee » Thu 01.15.2009 4:35 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Actually, I did. I consulted a professional Japanese Language consultant at the Japan Foundation, whose job is to provide help to Japanese teachers (that was the "teacher" I was referring who I said wouldn't agree with you).


Oh dear, this is not going to turn in to one of those "but my native speaker is better than your native speaker" kind of things, is it...

Christine Tham wrote:I don't believe in asking questions on Internet forums because you get unqualified opinions that are probably conflicting.


But that makes your presence here somewhat contradicting, doesn't it? You don't want to ask questions because of the unqualified and conflicting opinions you say you'll get... yet your own opinions are unqualified as well, so you should know (by your own logic) of how little help your answers will be to others. Why exactly are you replying then, I wonder? Just to recommend people to seek help from qualified professionals?
Last edited by JaySee on Thu 01.15.2009 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby NocturnalOcean » Thu 01.15.2009 4:37 pm

Christine Tham wrote:Look at this strictly from the context of the original sentence in the dictionary definition.

You now know, or should know, that the author of this definition did not intend the こと to include printing.

How do we know that? From the context of the overall dictionary entry. Plus the fact that a rival dictionary has a definition that is very similar but does not include printing.


You cannot know that just because there are many different definitions.

If I look up 発行 in my dictionary I get 3 definitions.

1. 図書・新聞などを印刷して世に出すこと。
2. 証明書・証券・貨幣などを作って世の中に通用させること。
3. はやること。

Why are there 3 different definitions? Well cause the word 発行 do not just simply mean 世に出す.
Each definition should be seen as an isolate definition of the word 発行.

In number 1 発行 means the process of having something printed and then made available in public.
in number 2 発行 means the process of making something then having it used in out in the public.

Just looking at these isolated fact, one should be able to determine that in each of the definitions, こと does indeed span over both process. They are both needed to fulfill the meaning of 発行.

And I have still not been able to find any readings where it says that こと, especially in definitions, cannot span over two actions connected with gerund form.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby Christine Tham » Thu 01.15.2009 4:42 pm

JaySee wrote:But that makes your presence here somewhat contradicting, doesn't it? You don't want to ask questions because of the unqualified and conflicting opinions you say you'll get... yet your own opinions are unqualified as well, so you should know (by your own logic) of how little help your answers will be to others. Why exactly are you replying then, I wonder? Just to recommend people to seek help from qualified professionals?


I'm not holding myself here as a Japanese language expert, and I have never said my opinion is "qualified". All I did initially was offer my translation of a sentence (and at that time I actually said the translation was sloppy).

richvh offered an alternative translation, and I said my teacher would probably not agree with that translation.

Nocturnal Ocean asked me to justify my translation without referring to my teacher, which I did.

You will also note, I explicitly did not use the line of "I know a native speaker better than your native speaker ..." earlier in this thread even though I could have. The only reason I mentioned the consultant was in direct response to richvh's post.

As I've mentioned before, rather than making this into a debate about unqualified opinions, I recommend seek professional, qualified advice.

For the sake of peace, I will refrain from injecting my personal opinion into this any further. In any case, I have already stated my case several times, and I still stand by it.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 01.15.2009 4:58 pm

What is it with all the 'contradictory' posts from new posters lately? Did someone step on a linguistical crack and open up a vortex to 'let's see who is the better linguist?'

With the amount of that lately, I'd almost think we had a warband of trolls about.. But here, at least it seems it wasn't just about trolling..
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby JaySee » Thu 01.15.2009 5:13 pm

I think it is important to remember though that in cases like these, which are rather ambiguous, there might not necessarily be only one correct way of interpretation, especially if even among native speakers discord exists about it. I don't think the opinion of one native speaker can or should be held in higher regard that of other native speakers, because all of them are equally capable of telling you what sounds natural to them and what doesn't, and how certain sentences are interpreted.

So, if coco says she interprets 'koto' as referring to both parts of the sentence, she is correct, and if your teacher tells you that in his/her opinion it doesn't, then he or she is correct as well. I would say it's just a small linguistic ambiguity.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby richvh » Thu 01.15.2009 5:42 pm

Christine Tham wrote:
richvh wrote:Christine, unless you're prepared to argue with the person who has been kind enough to tutor the JLPT study groups for the past few years, perhaps you should review your JLPT3 grammar, or, at least, your understanding of how こと works on compound sentences.


Actually, I did. I consulted a professional Japanese Language consultant at the Japan Foundation, whose job is to provide help to Japanese teachers (that was the "teacher" I was referring who I said wouldn't agree with you). I don't believe in asking questions on Internet forums because you get unqualified opinions that are probably conflicting.


The problem with this is that it isn't transparent - neither your question to the consultant, nor his reply are a matter of public record, all we know about them has been filtered through you. That's fine for your own benefit; it's not so good for ongoing, public discussion, as we can examine neither the phrasing of the question, nor the phrasing of the reply. It's argument from authority, and an authority we can't cross-check.

Also, disparaging coco's contribution to this thread doesn't really help your image, as she has spent years on this forum giving grammar advice to many, many people, so she has immense credibility here; frankly, given a choice between believing coco, and some nameless teacher who has somehow morphed into a consultant (this may really be legitimate, but it reeks of the "people support me in email" tactic common among usenet kooks), coco wins hands down, and I think most here would agree.
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Re: What have you gained by using Heisig RTK1?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 01.15.2009 6:21 pm

In the end I don't know how much difference it makes; whether or not the こと applies to both or just one, the meaning of the definition is still to publish something that has been printed. (I still believe it applies to both, but that's just my opinion.)
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