Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Konnichiwa Konbanwa


Recommended Posts

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

sunyata

Good morning 早安(zao an) お早う(ohayu)

Good afternoon 午安(wu an) 今日は(konnichiwa)

Good evening 晚上好(wan shang hao) 今晩は(konbanwa)

doesn't seem like it, since 今日 is pronounced kon-nichi

and 今晩 is kon-ban...then you just add the particle は

i think konnichwa and konbanwa possibly existed before the introduction of Chinese characters. So perhaps Chinese characters (今日 and 今晩) were only used later to represent the already existing native Japanese phrases

just a guess though :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites
i think konnichwa and konbanwa possibly existed before the introduction of Chinese characters. So perhaps Chinese characters (今日 and 今晩) were only used later to represent the already existing native Japanese phrases

今日 in Cantonese is GumYut

今晚 is GumMahn

一 in Cantonese is yut, and in Japanese it is ichi, so Japanese chi = t ending in Cantonese?

Kon and Gum's relationship can be inferred, and Mahn and Ban's also.

I dont think these were coincidences. These phrases probably appeared only after the introduction of Chinese characters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always thought Chinese and Japanese languages were related, and I still suspect that they are, even though articles I've read online said otherwise.

so, could anyone please explain to me why they are "totally unrelated" languages?

Link to post
Share on other sites
sunyata

totally unrelated? who said that?

no, I think you might be right, but I don't see where you are getting 吃了吗 and 好吗 from

Link to post
Share on other sites
msittig

Quest:

I don't know who said that Japanese and Chinese are "totally unrelated", but the fact that Japanese sentence structure is Subject-Object-Verb while Chinese is Subject-Verb-Object seems like a pretty substantial difference (not to mention Japanese having complex verb conjugation, a clear mixing of Chinese and distinctly non-Chinese pronunciation, and a much more elaborate system of respectful keigo vocabulary).

Obviously, there is not "100% relation" or "no relation at all", both countries hava a long history of lending and borrowing in aspects of culture and language. It seems to me that you would have to go back thousands of years before the native languages of China and Japan were significantly unrelated, but it also seems obvious that they come from very different roots (what roots, I don't know). I'm actually interested to know how deeply you think the relation goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

msittig, they're talking about the relationship of Konnichi with 今日 here only.

Your point is right, but nobody here made any attempt to deny it.

The relationship of Konnichi and 今日 is obvious, indeed 今日 (means "today") can still pronounced as "konnichi" (means "today") in some official and very old Japanese document, "konnichi" is the original Chinese pronunciation and had an intonation of literature.

Link to post
Share on other sites

See here:

http://wikibooks.org/wiki/Japanese:Vocabulary_Yon_Kyuu_Kanji

on yomi (Chinese-derived sound reading) is shown in CAPITALS, kun yomi (native Japanese word reading) is shown in lowercase.

今 こん / きん

KON / KIN いま ima now, the present

日 じつ / にち

JITSU / NICHI ひ / か hi / ka sun; day; day counter suffix

For 晩 see here:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%e6%99%9a

on yomi is related to Middle chinese (see the posts about it)

Kanji + は (wa) is a Japanese grammatical structure

Link to post
Share on other sites
Subject-Object-Verb while Chinese is Subject-Verb-Object seems like a pretty substantial difference

Ala has demonstrated SOV orders in Shanghainese, and to think of it, SOV is used in Cantonese too sometimes, more often OSV though. but it tells us that the order is not that substantial a difference.

complex verb conjugation

I consider that could be something the Chinese had lost in the past due to the nature of the characters and the wenyanwen writing style.

it also seems obvious that they come from very different roots

See that's what everyone says, but I've never heard/read a convincing argument. I just want more details.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ala has demonstrated SOV orders in Shanghainese, and to think of it, SOV is used in Cantonese too sometimes, more often OSV though. but it tells us that the order is not that substantial a difference.

Surprised to hear this indeed.

While there're some possibilities of changing the word order in Chinese, it's fundamentally a SVO language without any doubt.

And for Cantonese, SVO is fundamental in Cantonese, OSV is used in rare case.

我哋睇吓呢個例子, 呢句話好明顯就喺svo結構。

有乜嘢例子係osv, 等我諗諗先……

Link to post
Share on other sites

osv+sov+svo

部机你整翻好未呀?你部机整翻好未呀?(快啲啦!)(it does not mean your machine here)你整翻好部机未呀?

只介子我谂住送畀你。我只介子谂住送畀你。我谂住送只介子畀你。

部戏我睇完喇。我部戏睇完喇。我睇完部戏喇。

every one of them is very acceptable and used everyday.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Altair

From what I have read, it is generally accepted by linguists that there is no evidence of a “genetic” relationship between Japanese and Chinese. The relationship of Japanese to other languages is disputed, but from what I have read, I believe that Japanese (as well as Korean) is related to Altaic and Turkic languages (e.g., Mongolian). The relationship, however, is extremely remote.

Sino-Tibetan languages, like Chinese, have no plausible relationship to this group of languages. I am not at all proficient in Japanese, but I know a lot of the grammar, and even a little about its historical development. There really is nothing about Japanese that is like classical Chinese grammar, but that cannot be explained better by direct borrowing or by mere chance. If anyone wants to propose, any examples of a genetic relationship, I think I can address it from what I have read about the two languages and their development.

SOV and SVO issues do not indicate much about genetic relationship. The concepts themselves are disputed. As I understand it, many languages display features of both, including English and Mandarin. If English were fully an SVO language, its adjectives should follow nouns. One grammar book I have asserts that Mandarin is currently undergoing a shift from SVO to SOV, as evidenced by features such as the ba3 construction and many constructions like adverbial complements that require objects to be shifted before verbs. Even Classical Chinese occasional required SOV constructions where one would otherwise expect SVO. It is also unclear whether Mandarin is evolving towards prepositions or postposition, since both types of words are quite common.

“Konban” and “konnichi” are certainly borrowings from Chinese, as previous posters have explained. If anyone is interested, I can explain some of the details of the phonetic changes that have occurred between Classical Chinese and Japanese, as compared with what happened to Mandarin, Cantonese, and Wu dialects.

The “wa” endings that are applied to these words in greetings and elsewhere are, however, not related to any ancient or modern Chinese particles I can think of. “Wa” is basically used to indicate that what follows is somehow focused or limited in application to the words it is attached to. “Konnichi wa” means something like “speaking about the day” or “as for the day.” In Japanese, politeness usually requires some vagueness. The grammar of “konnichi wa” absolutely implies that some statement must follow; however, the speaker politely says nothing in order to avoid stating a definitive opinion that might disagree with the expectations of the listener. In other words, you do not actually commit to saying that the day is good, since the listener might feel otherwise. This meaning is reinforced by a formal level intonation that is given to these types of greetings and that overrides their normal accents.

"Ohayoo" is a native Japanese construction that theoretically indicates the extreme politeness appropriate to possible intrusive greetings. Although it means "zao3" (early), I am not sure that it can be used in a construction that would mean "nin2 zao3." I only recall seeing it used with reference to the time, not to people directly.

I have one grammar book that alleges that "zao" originally was a complement indicating praise that the person being greeted had risen early. "Ohayoo" is an informal (but technically polite) shortening of "Ohayoo gozaimasu." "Gozaimasu" is a "humble" word that cannot be used with reference to someone you are speaking to and so cannot equate directly with "nin2 zao3". The implication of "Ohayoo gozaimasu" is something like "I would like humbly to comment that it is early." Even though this bold :D assertion of an actual comment goes against what I said above, the hyperpolite form of the comment removes the possibility of giving offense.

Of course, all these greetings have become somewhat fossilized. The underlying grammar they use can no longer be applied freely to any Japanese words and do not really carry much weight anymore. They basically mean the same things as "Good day" and "Good evening" and have lost just about all sense of special elegance or politeness.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard Japanese is related to the Austronesian family, Korean is related to the Altaic branch of the Uralic-Altaic family. As of the moment, they are Languages Isolated. No Korean and Japanese are not directly related, maybe lots of loanwords, but English has lots of loanwords from Arabic and even Indonesian!! I have never heard anyone say Japanese is Altaic.

Completely random guess, 罢,吧,哇 <> は ???

- Shibo :mrgreen:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wu dialect: 日 = niq (/gniI?/)

Ancient Wu: 日 = /gnit/

Japanese nichi = /gni tSi/. Ancient Japanese: /gni ti/ and /gnit/

===

Sino-Tibetan languages' date=' like Chinese, have no plausible relationship to this group of languages. There really is nothing about Japanese that is like classical Chinese grammar, but that cannot be explained better by direct borrowing or by mere chance. If anyone wants to propose, any examples of a genetic relationship, I think I can address it from what I have read about the two languages and their development.

[/quote']

Japanese scholars as a whole vehemently deny the Altaic relationship. They reason that the bulk of similarities with Korean were either loaned or coincidental (as SOV languages all require certain common elements, see the vast amount of Tibetan similarities with Japanese. And Tibetan is obviously Sino-Tibetan).

About Tibetan (part of the same family of languages as Chinese):

-SOV

-High degree of honorifics

-Cases

-Tenses

-Not tonal

All the reasoning given for why Japanese is Altaic could also state that Tibetan is Altaic, which is clearly not the case. So let's not get too carried away with making genetic relationships based on superficial characteristics. I for one am unconvinced that the Japanese language is related to Korean (and therefore do not think that Japanese is Altaic).

BTW, Japanese does not have complex conjugations.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Altair

Ala,

I am aware of the controversy surrounding a possible link between Japanese and Korean and between both of these languages and Altaic languages. I am also aware that many people argue the link between Japanese and Korean based on the similarity of surface features, such as honorifics and extensive verb affixes. My mention of this link was not based on this.

Some years ago I was quite interested in understanding what lay behind certain anomalies in Indo-European grammar and vocabulary, such as the origin of gender, why 3rd person plural verbs end in “nt,” why neuter words show no distinction between nominative and accusative, why neuter plurals show features similar to feminine singulars, etc. I stumbled upon a book that was a gold mine for me. I think I still have it and can share the title with you, if you are interested.

This book had extensive information on certain features in a variety of Eurasian languages, including a large selection of Altaic languages and dialects. I do not recall any data about Sino-Tibetan languages. I believe I also recall several discussions of grammatical and phonetic features shared among Altaic languages, Japanese, and Korean. Up to that point, I had seen no real evidence opposing the view that Japanese was an isolate and had even read the same about Korean from more than one source.

The general discussion in the book concerned features that one would expect to date back several thousand years at least, perhaps even as far back as 5000-10,000 years, rather than merely on similarities in modern grammar. It also discussed a wide variety of features, such as phoneme evolution, vowel harmony, ergative grammar, pronoun evolution,etc. Such features were discussed across many languages and dialects, and were not specifically aimed at Japanese and Korean.

I do not have enough background in general linguistics or in Altaic, Korean, or Japanese to judge the worth of the author’s arguments. But in language areas where I am more comfortable, I was quite impressed with the breadth and depth of his reasoning. Again, if you are interested I can try to search out some of the specific evidence that was mentioned for Japanese, Korean, and Altaic, but I recall it as being generally quite technical and obscure. I also do not recall it as being anywhere near definitive, since the features he cited did not seem so overwhelming or numerous to exclude mere chance as an explanation. In any case, I do not recall a systematic attempt to explain the development of Japanese, but rather attempts to talk about a greater Altaic language family that occasionally cited data from Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, Tungusic, etc.

As for Tibetan, I have only read a little about it and have never studied any of the grammar. I have read two or three popular books on classical Chinese and its grammar that have included some speculation about ancient Chinese. Most of the speculation made the same assertions about ancient Chinese that you have included about Tibetan, except for your mention of an extensive system of honorifics. I had always assumed that the existence of honorifics in Japanese and Korean was an areal feature, rather than a genetic one. If the Tibetan system is similar in “design,” I would be quite interested. I am not aware that any other languages in the world handle honorifics in ways similar to the structure of Japanese (except for Korean, of course).

Lastly, I think that SOV vs. SVO is an interesting topic, but I would not base any assertion of language relationships on this alone. As you stated on another thread, the data for Chinese dialects is certainly mixed. From what I understand of even Classical Chinese, a basic SVO order was occasionally violated by certain constructions where SOV ordering was required. In other language families I know something about and where the genetic relationships are not seriously disputed, some languages have SOV and others have SVO or even VSO (e.g., Classical Arabic within Hamito-Semitic). Because of this, I do not find the SOV nature of Japanese to be very explanatory of genetic relationships.

I also have to confess that I find the “SOV vs. SVO” hypothesis quite intriguing and enticing, but seem to find anomalies in just about every language I know something about. Either the languages have both SOV and SVO ordering, or else some of the features alleged to correlate with these orderings are otherwise than what would be expected from the theory. I find that considering this hypothesis can give insight into a languages structure, but it seemed often to be overridden by other grammatical currents.

P.S., after writing most of the above, I found the book I was referring to. The book is not about Altaic, but rather about providing evidence of a super language family called Euroasiatic that includes all the major languages of Europe and Asia, except for Sino-Tibetan, the Dravidian Languages, and Austronesian Languages. The author (Greenberg) also includes Eskimo-Aleut and Ainu within the family. The evidence he cites is quite extensive and very detailed and concerns only phonetic and grammatical features. His introduction says that he is preparing another book that will provide lexical evidence. I am sure there are experts that would disagree with him, but I do not think what he presents can be easily dismissed.

With respect to Japanese, Korean, and Ainu, Greenberg states that they seem to show no special affiliation to Altaic that they do not show to the rest of “Euroasiatic.” He also seems to state that they may belong to some sort of subgroup, but that the affiliation is very distant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello ala! Can you tell me a little about historical Japanese phonology?

I saw your post of Ancient Japanese prononciation of "nichi" as /gnit/. They didn't pronounce the -/i/ ?

Besides, shi<si chi<ti tsu<tu fu<hu<pu h-<p-, I know nothing more about this topic. I'm also looking for a hentaigana chart.

Any recommended reading?

多谢!Thanks in advance!

-Shibo :mrgreen:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...