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#1 2012-04-30 18:59:10

Raulsen
Member

は following verbs?

Hey all!  I just stumbled onto something odd, and I'd like your take on it!

みやこの若者達が集まってきては「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。

Just what the heck's going on with that は?  My tutor said it was like a repetition thing, adding a bit of a "day in, day out... Over and over" feeling.  I've never even seen that before, so a bit of explanation would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks in advance!


なんでここにいるのか?

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#2 2012-04-30 19:18:45

Yldas
Member

Re: は following verbs?

This is the definition, I think:

3 二つの動作・作用などが対になって繰り返される意を表す。「幼い頃は電車を見―喜んでいた」「姉はいつも洋服を脱いでは着て楽しんでいる」

[4]    繰り返される動作・作用について、前件と後件とを結ぶ。

        寄せ―返す浜の白波

        ころんでは起き、ころんでは起きて…


Sources: 大辞泉 and 大辞林.

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#3 2012-05-02 01:28:13

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

A rough and Intuitive explanation :

In this sentence, 'は' functions as a separating marker, which is just the normal and usual use of it.

みやこの若者達が集まってきて  / 「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。

Imagine you are reading a manga which visually describe the situation.
Since 'wa' seperates the sentence into two parts (first one as a kind of question, topic/ second one as a kind of answer or comment), the corresponding manga description would be also divided into two parts(two scenes), with the first scence describing just many young guyes come together, but nothing more than that. As you read the scence, you would wonder what situation will follow after it. (so, question, topic...)

Then, the second scence comes, describing those young men who say "oh, it would be great if that pretty girl would be my wife," having a deep sigh.
(「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。)

But what if without 'wa'?
In that case, the whole decription of the situation, everything in the sentnece (many young men come togehter, say blah blah, and sigh...) would be described within <just one single scene...(there is no seperation)>, and you will have no time to expect or ponder or seek any kind of answer, thinking (what will follow now?)

Here, it is intructive to recall whenever a definition of a term is suggested, 'wa' always follow the term (and also self-introduction context, such as "Hello, my name is...blah blah... ")

It's because wa seperates the sentence into two parts (the first as a topic, question, problme, the second as answer, comment...), thus the second part of the sentnece very naturally functions as an answer, comment, explanation of the term.

Ex)  Human beings-wa / by nature political animals.


On the contrary, 'ga' is a kind of 'pointing to' marker.

let say someone ask you the question "which one is political animals among human-beings, fish, whale?"
Then, you should say " Human-beings-ga  political animals" (which is just a convientn way of saying, " among those animals, the item which matches being animals is 'human beings', pointing to the <human-being> with your finger.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 01:44:42)

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#4 2012-05-02 12:04:45

踊り子
Member

Re: は following verbs?

How does your explanation relate to the definition Yldas posted: 二つの動作・作用などが対になって繰り返される意を表す?

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#5 2012-05-02 14:12:56

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

In my opinion, the definition Yldas picked to post is not so relavant to the present topic.
That is, the defintion doesn't provide a proper account of the 'wa' in the sentence Rausen asked about.
Do you see any trace of  <二つの動作・作用などが 対になって 繰り返される 意> in the sentence?

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 14:17:31)

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#6 2012-05-02 14:18:46

踊り子
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Actually that was exactly why I asked the question. I feel the same way. I have a feeling of repetition in the example sentences in the definition (sort of), but I don't have it with the OP's sentence. I just wondered if you could explain.

Last edited by 踊り子 (2012-05-02 14:20:38)

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#7 2012-05-02 14:24:38

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Yes. In the example sentence of the definition, we can feel a sort of repetition, in the sense of 'habitual repetition' (suggesting the nuance of "used to...").
But that's not the case for OP's sentence.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 14:26:57)

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#8 2012-05-02 14:25:28

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Do you see any trace of  <二つの動作・作用などが 対になって 繰り返される 意> in the sentence?

Actually, yes. It's saying that this happened many times (i.e., all the young men would do this every day, wishing she were theirs)

This can be seen in other places as well:

http://nyworkingmammy.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-94.html

引いては治り、引いては治りの繰り返し

http://freewill7.com/?eid=354

引いては寄せる波のように

There's definitely a sense of repetition in that initial sentence.

EDIT: So assuming you're both in agreement that this isn't repetition, what makes you think that? I see nothing about it that makes repetition unlikely or impossible.

Last edited by Lyrencropt (2012-05-02 14:26:32)

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#9 2012-05-02 14:30:08

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Hm...now, I admit that there is some possibility that the OP's sentence suggests a sort of repetition, but I'd like to check the context in which the sentence is located.
By the way, it's always amusing to try catching the exact nuance of wa, and finding out a general and coherent framework of account of the uses of it.
Do you have any suggestion for correcting or improving my own explanation?

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 14:39:05)

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#10 2012-05-02 14:39:09

踊り子
Member

Re: は following verbs?

In my case, it is just a feeling I have. As you can see here, ては does have many definitions. I just don't get the same feeling when I read the OP's sentence that I get from 「姉はいつも洋服を脱いでは着て楽しんでいる」 or 「寄せては返す波の音」. I am sorry that I cannot explain it.

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#11 2012-05-02 14:44:44

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

In my conjecture, it's partly because 'ga' follows after みやこの若者達. If it were 'wa' (rather than 'ga') you might get somewhat similar feeling.
That is, I guess that when 'wa' implies a kind of habitual repetition as is in the examples of the defition, another wa would precede as a topic-marker, being combined with (the so-called...) the subject of a sentence.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 14:55:23)

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#12 2012-05-02 14:48:17

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: は following verbs?

If it were は though, it would be describing the state of the young men of the town, which is not the purpose of the sentence. It's only using it as a means to describe her beauty or desirability.

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#13 2012-05-02 14:54:00

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Lyrencropt/ I don't agree. For example, see this "「姉はいつも洋服を脱いでは着て楽しんでいる」".
< 姉は> precedes the second 'wa' in the sentence, being in accordance with my conjecture.


Anyway, even if the wa is used to imply a sort of repetition in OP's sentence, we have yet to explain what makes the effect of meaning repetition with 'wa'.
Explanation is more than providing a mere list of numerous kinds of uses of the word. It should be coherent and systematic, with understanding replacing blunt memorization.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 15:05:41)

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#14 2012-05-02 15:12:54

踊り子
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Can anyone explain why 「幼い頃は電車を見ては喜んでいた」 implies repetition? Is it because of 幼い頃?

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#15 2012-05-02 15:21:15

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Can anyone explain why 「幼い頃は電車を見ては喜んでいた」 implies repetition? Is it because of 幼い頃は?

I think the idea is that ては attaches an action to another action in the general descriptive sense, meaning that AてはB implies "every time A, B". This explanation also fits with constructions such as てはこまる and てはいけない, etc. I don't think the initial subject (幼い頃, みやこの若者, etc) is particularly important.

Lyrencropt/ I don't agree. For example, see this "「姉はいつも洋服を脱いでは着て楽しんでいる」".
< 姉は> precedes the second 'wa' in the sentence, being in accordance with my conjecture.

I wasn't trying to make a general statement about AはBてはC, I was just making a specific comment on the initial example. Having a "ては" construction follow an initial は is perfectly possible.

Last edited by Lyrencropt (2012-05-02 15:23:03)

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#16 2012-05-02 15:29:06

踊り子
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Lyrencropt wrote:

Can anyone explain why 「幼い頃は電車を見ては喜んでいた」 implies repetition? Is it because of 幼い頃は?

I think the idea is that ては attaches an action to another action in the general descriptive sense, meaning that AてはB implies "every time A, B". This explanation also fits with constructions such as てはこまる and てはいけない, etc.

I don't know. I have mixed feelings about your explanation. I think we can summarize all of the definitions here as "every time A, B". But does it mean "every time A, B" = repetition?

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#17 2012-05-02 22:35:39

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

踊り子 , Lyrencropt /

The following is one of the defintions in the page 踊り子refered to.

  [すでに行われた事実を条件として示し、それから生ずる事柄を示す後件に結び付ける。…した、それでは。]

Probably, the 'wa' in the initial sentence of Raulsen is used in this usage, in my view.
I believe that the relevant context of the sentence(if provided) would support my conjecture.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 22:37:15)

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#18 2012-05-02 22:50:39

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Third definition seems more likely if you think repetition is not what he is showing here.

[3]    前件が成立すれば、必ず後件が成立するという場合、その前件を表す。…するときはいつも…する。

Since it is not an explicit occurrence (i.e. he is stating a general fact ("the men would gather and sigh") rather than saying "the men gathered and sighed").

I still think repetition makes sense here, since the former condition (the men gathering) is not really crucial for the second. It is merely a device to show that they would do this over and over, gather and sigh, gather and sigh. It is an often repeated scene in the town.

I'm still confused as to why both of you think repetition is not what is happening here.

Last edited by Lyrencropt (2012-05-02 23:03:43)

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#19 2012-05-02 23:21:07

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Lyrencropt / I'm not really denying the possibility that the was in the initial sentence suggests a sort of repetition.

One of my questions is :
(supposing that the wa is really meaning repetition in the sentence), what makes it imply a sort of repetition in the sentence. And, this is intimately connected to another puzzles such as  "how to recognize the wa of repetition?" or "In what condition(s) wa is used to mean a sort of repetition". I think the answers of these questions are exactly what raulsen are seeking to get.

The satisfactory answer should provide a general guideline or clues for recognizing the wa of repetition and distinguishing it from wa of other uses.

For this regard, I still think that my own explanation(wa as a seperation marker in general sense) provide a promising and sound basis for further detailed account of many faces of wa.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 23:24:46)

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#20 2012-05-02 23:25:21

Lyrencropt
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Lyrencropt / I'm not really denying the possibility that the was in the initial sentence suggests a sort of repetition.

My apologies then.

I don't know, I'm mostly running off experience from what I've seen and what makes the most sense to me. I'm not much help here.

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#21 2012-05-02 23:41:47

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Anyway, this thread reminds me of an example sentence in Mikami Akaria's (The japanese language and Logic/ 日本語の論理 , 1963, くろしお出版)

魚であれば、卵生だ。 <---> 魚は、卵生だ。

The following is some of his views on this sentence.

1) 'wa' marks the logical subject of the sentence
2) the antecedent of a conditional sentence is also subject of the (compound) sentence, in broad sense of the term.
3) ば is just an variant of wa when it occurs in the antecedent of a conditional sentence.
4) For both cases (categorical, or hypothetical), 'wa' marks the logical(but not grammatical though) subject of the sentence.
5) In conclusion, despite of seemingly apparent differences between 魚は and 魚であれば, this difference is just an illusion. They are both wa of "logical subject of the sentence", thus belongs to the same category in this regard.

If mikami akira's thought is really right (I think most of his ideas are promising and makes sense), wa of the initial sentence is yet another face of 'logical subject' of wa (but NEVER GRAMMATICAL SUBJECT as is in English. In Japanese, there is no grammatical subject, and no grammtical copula(such as 'is', 'are') as well. )

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-02 23:45:12)

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#22 2012-05-03 09:13:12

irankarapte
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Anyway, this thread reminds me of an example sentence in Mikami Akaria's (The japanese language and Logic/ 日本語の論理 , 1963, くろしお出版)
魚であれば、卵生だ。 <---> 魚は、卵生だ。
The following is some of his views on this sentence.
1) 'wa' marks the logical subject of the sentence
2) the antecedent of a conditional sentence is also subject of the (compound) sentence, in broad sense of the term.
3) ば is just an variant of wa when it occurs in the antecedent of a conditional sentence.
4) For both cases (categorical, or hypothetical), 'wa' marks the logical(but not grammatical though) subject of the sentence.
5) In conclusion, despite of seemingly apparent differences between 魚は and 魚であれば, this difference is just an illusion. They are both wa of "logical subject of the sentence", thus belongs to the same category in this regard.

It seems the 'logical subject' he calls matches what is called 'topic' in common today.
If you stands on the ground of topic-marker theory, you can directly or indirectly explain many things. But any theories have their own weakness and the ては is the last thing it can handle. The sentence of みやこの若者達が・・ is obviously a topic-less sentence.

If mikami akira's thought is really right

Use of は as a topic marker is a prominent feature of written form of modern language. However, that impression is not so strong in spoken language. In addition, subject and topic are not separate in old Japanese and naturally there were no topic markers. So, his thought is right but that's not always the case.

Btw I checked the Kaguya-hime's wiki before and then it was distorted (around her name) by Touhou-chuu big_smile I fixed the English one.

Last edited by irankarapte (2012-05-03 09:20:44)

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#23 2012-05-03 11:07:40

いのり
Member

Re: は following verbs?

I feel this は is a 条件 marker. It suggests the situation following it is a litter special or unusual, and is triggered by the situation preceding it. (Thus both situations might be special.)

I'm just curious to know if all these sentences are possible?
みやこの若者達が集まってきては「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。
みやこの若者達が集まってきたら「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。
みやこの若者達が集まってきると「うつくしいひめを私のつまにできるものなら...。」と、ため息をつきました。
===
The term “topic” as well as “subject” has never been strictly defined. Even Japanese experts don't agree with each other.
I have read many books, papers and researches about は and が, however, none of them makes sense to me.
Many people want to find a catch-all theory for all usages of は, which is really obscure to me.
Without strict definition, the theory can be used neither to “encode” language, nor to “decode” language.
I think 寺村秀夫の記述文法 is much more valuable. He just focuses on only a few limited cases, but is much easier to operate.


日本語を勉強しています

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#24 2012-05-03 23:42:50

minue622
Member

Re: は following verbs?

いのり, irankarapte / Just a few facts about Mikami Akira(三上章) and Teramura Hideo(てらむら ひでお)

Both of them belong to "there is no grammatical subject in Japanese" camp, (in fact, representative scholars of the camp). And it's Mikami akira who proposed "Topic-comment" theory in purpose of demolishing the so called (Subject-predicate) theory.
Actually, Teramura hideo's descriptive grammar (日本語のシンタクスと意味) is under direct influence of Mikami Akira's works.

And yes, the concept of "logical subject" roughly match the cocept of "topic" of Mikami akira's grammar theory.

Anyway, the point is that mikami regards wa of conditional sentence to be a sort of logical subject marker, and curiously this idea is in well accordance with Fred sommer's Term functor logic theory, which is a modern and revitalized version of Aristotellian -Leibniz term logic.

Last edited by minue622 (2012-05-03 23:43:28)

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#25 2012-05-04 12:10:46

Raulsen
Member

Re: は following verbs?

Hmmm... well, I haven't been able to study up on the arguments about the language's origins, but I do recall hearing something interesting about all that...

We all know that は as the topic-marker is an irregular pronunciation, and this supposedly originated from the conditional marker, ば.  I mean, I could see it.  "If it is..." suggests a bit of contrast, which is one of the primary usages of は.  "As for," while a bit different, expresses a similar idea overall.  At least, that's how it makes sense to me...


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