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another turn

Postby themonk » Tue 07.19.2011 8:54 pm

Dear Teachers~
I have a question concerning how to read the entries he provides at WWWJDIC.com.

For example:
匂う(P); 臭う(P) 【におう】 (v5u,vi) (1) (usu. 匂う) to be fragrant; to smell (good); (2) (usu. 臭う) to stink; to smell (bad); (3) to glow; to be bright; (P)

Does this mean that both 匂う(P); 臭う(P) are pronounced におう ? Which, in turn, means that two characters have the same pronunciation.
Last edited by themonk on Wed 08.03.2011 7:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby jimbreen » Tue 07.19.2011 9:21 pm

oldwordstudy wrote:How do you look up verbs in a dictionary, when they are not in their dictionary form?

In English, i can look up verbs such as went, been, slept.

English is a bit special. Verbs in English are not inflected much compared with many other languages, and thus dictionary compilers have the chance to put the odd ones like slept in as headwords. You'd go crazy in Japanese (and many other languages) trying to build a dictionary like that.
In Japanese, it seems that is not doable. I have the impression that i have to have the capacity to transform that japanese verb into its dictionary form first for me to look it up. But doesn't that place the cart before the horse?

To a large extent, yes. That's why it's important to be able to recognize inflected verbs (and adjectives) and be able to trace them back to the dictionary form.

In the WWWJDIC server, I have two options which can help:
(a) if you put an inflected verb into the Text Glossing function, it will usually give you the plain form. E.g. for 住んで, it will say:

Possible inflected verb or adjective: (te-form)
住む 【すむ】 (v5m,vi) (See 棲む) to live (of humans); to reside; to inhabit; ...

(b) if you put an inflected verb *in kana* into the main dictionary lookup, it will give you a reference to the likely plain verb(s). E.g. たべなかった will result in:

たべなかった (etc.) See: 食べる

Hope this helps.

Jim
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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby blutorange » Wed 07.20.2011 2:43 am

oldwordstudy wrote:But doesn't that place the cart before the horse?

No. Consider the English sentence: "His brother spoowed yesterday."
What is he doing now? Right, he's spoowing now. So we know, that his brother can spow something.

You've probably got no idea what this is supposed to tell us, what "spoow" means, but it's easy to tell that there there is some verb "to spoow", isn't it? Understanding the meaning of a verb, and conjugating the verb based upon the rules of the language, are two different things. As this example illustrates, it's perfectly possible to recognize the "dictionary" form of a verb, even if you do not "know" the verb. (There's no verb such as "spoow".)

Admittedly, English verb conjugation is much simpler compared to Japanese, but the principle is the same and Japanese verb conjugation is quite regular anyway.
Eg, 昨日、彼はじちんだ。one easily recognized verb ending on "-mu", past tense on "-nda", so the original verb must be じちむ. Using the rules of conjugation, you can reconstruct the "dictionary form". Granted, sometimes there may two or three possible verbs that possess the same conjugated form, but it's not hard to look up those two or three verbs to be able to tell which makes sense in that certain context. (eg, the past form of a verb みこいた could come from either みこいる or みこく).

Ultimately, this means acquiring a feeling for the language.
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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby furrykef » Thu 07.21.2011 2:11 am

blutorange wrote:Eg, 昨日、彼はじちんだ。one easily recognized verb ending on "-mu", past tense on "-nda", so the original verb must be じちむ.

Or じちぬ, or じちぶ. ;)

(To be fair, I think 死ぬ is the only -nu verb.)

Are there any Japanese verbs (I'm not counting on'yomi words here) that start with じ? Seems to be an odd character to start a verb with.
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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby jimbreen » Thu 07.21.2011 3:28 am

furrykef wrote:Are there any Japanese verbs (I'm not counting on'yomi words here) that start with じ? Seems to be an odd character to start a verb with.


事故る, 辞す, 焦らす, 焦れる, 陣取る, 染みる.

If you extend that to starting with じゃ, じゅ and じょthere are a few more.

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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby furrykef » Sat 07.23.2011 5:10 am

Figures we'd get an answer from the dictionary man himself! :lol: Thanks.
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Re: Verbs and Dictionaries

Postby themonk » Mon 07.25.2011 9:23 pm

Dear Teachers ~
Thank you all.
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