On 2015-09-08 09:46:55, Garth Wallace <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 1:14 AM, Bast Erol <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > On 2015-09-07 22:05:44, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> Do any natlangs or conlangs have gender-specific first person or second
> >> person pronouns?
> >>
> >
> > Japanese has what are largely considered to be "gendered pronouns"
> > in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, though they're not as exclusive as
> > "he" or "she" in that they mainly tend to denote "softness" vs.
> > "hardness".
> >
> > As such, sometimes what would be considered to be a "feminine"
> > pronoun will be used by a male when he addresses a superior,
> > and women will occasionally use the "masculine" pronouns
> > to sound tougher.  Though by and large most of them fall
> > upon fairly fixed gender lines.
> "Kanojo" is pretty strictly for female referents AIUI. The "jo" is
> spelled with the kanji for "female" (same as in "joshi"). You'd
> probably raise some eyebrows if you referred to a man with "kanojo".

Yes, absolutely.  The third person "pronouns" (note the scare quotes)
are really more in the category of regular nouns, especially considering
those two were imported/created largely to fill the gap that existed 

They translate more as "male/female person" than anything (though
Japanese has a more literal way to say such too).

> >> 1st per singular neuter (for non-gendered speaking entities like robots?)
> >
> > Does not exist in Japanese, though the only reflexive pronoun in Japanese
> > can be used this way, and is often done by people who don't wish to use
> > any of the above.
> >
> > 自分 (jibun)
> What about "ware"? That seems pretty neutral but I can't be sure.

To me (and again, I'm not a native speaker) "ware" sounds like
something an older man would use.

> >> 1st per plural mixed
> >
> > Chosen from the above based on the speakers preference, though see note
> > below of how the plural markers are used in Japanese.
> "wareware" and "warera"? (I don't think "waretachi" is licit but I
> could be wrong)

I don't think I've ever heard "waretachi" used either.  I seem to think
I've heard or seen "warera" used, though "wareware" is definitely the 
one I think is most common.

> >> 3rd per singular male
> >
> > 彼 (kare) though it should be pointed out that this is not (according to
> > a former Japanese linguistics professor) a pure pronoun, since it can also
> > conjugate like a regular noun.  Perhaps closer to "male person" than "he".
> >
> >> 3rd per singular female
> >
> > 彼女 (kanojo) same as above, with same linguistic caveats WRT pronoun
> > or noun classification.
> "Kare" and "kanojo" are also frequently used to mean "boyfriend" and
> "girlfriend", respectively.
> >> How fun would that be if most of the verbs were irregular?
> >>
> >
> > I have to say that I'm a fan of regular languages, which is probably
> > a big reason why I was attracted to Japanese in the first place.  My
> > conlang is even more regular in its grammar than Japanese is (probably
> > close to the point of an engelang, though one could almost say that
> > about Japanese proper).
> >
> > Japanese only has three irregular verbs (most people say two,
> > because they forget one of them because it's such a minor
> > irregularity, that it can slip one's notice), two (I think) irregular
> > adjectives, and five (or seven, I can't remember off the top
> > of my head) honorific verbs that aren't irregular per-se, so much as
> > they follow their own (slightly different) way of conjucation.
> It depends on how you count! You have godan verbs ("-u verbs"),
> ichidan verbs ("-ru verbs"), and the "-aru verbs" that are usually
> considered a subclass of godan (gozaru, kudasaru, etc.). I was always
> taught that "kuru" and "suru" were the only two irregular verbs,
> though honestly I'd call "suru" the prototypical member of the large
> class of noun+suru compounds. Also, "da"/"desu" is usually not
> considered a verb, but I've never really understood that because it
> conjugates for the same categories with only a few gaps. WWWJDICT
> names a "-zuru special class" of ichidan verbs but I'm not familiar
> with any AFAIK.

Yes, I absolutely agree that when one looks at anything higher than
pure morphology, there are definitely some irregularities in
Japanese.  The transitive/intransitive one is something that still
sometimes causes me to stop and think, and even then sometimes
I'm not sure which one is which for less common words (in my
daily usage at least).

While the conjugations are regular, the patterns of which is 
transitive and which is intransitive are sometimes opposite of
one another!  Furthermore, for cultural and linguistic reasons,
they do not function exactly the way English in/transitive verbs do.

Often in Japanese, one would use an intransitive verb where in English
we would use a transitive one.  Rather than say, "The section manager
changed the time of the meeting from 1:00 to 4:00", in Japanese one tends
to avoid naming agents as a matter of politeness, so it comes out more
like, "The time of the meeting changed from 1:00 to 4:00". 

English speakers are also quick to translate such sentences as passives,
("The time of the meeting was changed from 1:00 to 4:00") but that's a
whole 'nother can of worms which I don't want to go into too much and
derail the thread.

> I assume by the three irregular verbs you mean suru, kuru, and
> something else besides desu. Which is it? I'll probably feel foolish
> when you point it out...

Yes, I was referring to "kuru", "suru", and "iku" as the one that most
people are quick to forget is irregular.  The gerundive (I think that's
the correct linguistic term to use for the Japanese "-te form", but
someone please correct me if I'm wrong) of it is "itte" (行って).

However, were it to follow the same pattern of other "-ku" verbs it
would be "iite" (行いて).  Since this is such a minor deviation, most
people I encounter don't recognize it as being irregular; especially
considering the fact that it has only one, extremely minor deviation 
from the norm, whereas "suru" is much more noticable, and "kuru" is 
extremely irregular when compared to the rest of Japanese verbs 
(though it has a method to its madness that becomes more apparent 
when one looks at Classical Japanese verbs and their conjugations).

> Honorifics make things more complicated because several common verbs
> don't follow the regular rules, e.g. "goran ni naru" as the honorific
> of "miru". Transitive/intransitive pairs also throw things out of
> whack because some intransitives are derived from transitives, some
> transitives are derived from intransitives, and some pairs are both
> derived from an archaic form, and you can't necessarily tell which
> from one form. These are usually considered separately from verb
> conjugations for simplicity's sake, but if you take them into account
> Japanese verbs suddenly look a lot less regular.

I would personally categorize "goran ni naru" as more of a lexical 
irregularity than a morphological one, since one can use the "honorific
passive" form of "miru" which is "mirareru" (見られる), though it's less
honorific than "goran ni naru" and might possibly sound a bit odd to
speakers who are well versed in honorific usage.

That being said, again, I do agree with you that when one looks beyond
pure morphology, Japanese definitely has irregularities.  I suppose
that so long as one knows the root form of a verb, and which category
it's in, one can always know with 100% certainty how to conjugate it
to any other form.

Since the verbs are ~80% godan; 20% ichidan, (all of which end with 
either "-iru" or "-eru" which in and of itself doesn't guarantee its
category, but I almost feel like I can predict with more accuracy than
not which category an ambiguous verb is in based on "which one sounds
better" which tells me that there is probably an underlying linguistic
reason that I'm not aware of at a conscious level) and a small handful
are irregular, it's rather straightforward from a strictly morphological

When semantics are thrown into the mix, it definitely becomes much
less straight forward, and in some cases downright confusing especially
WRT the in/transitive pairs.