Japanese

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Kanji in this term

Grade: 4
ぜん
Grade: 4
けい
Grade: 2
goon kan’on

Etymology

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Compound of 未然 (mizen, literally not yet occurred) +‎ (kei, form). Historically called 将然言(しょうぜんげん) (shōzengen), 未然段(みぜんだん) (mizendan).[1]

Pronunciation

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Noun

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()(ぜん)(けい) (mizenkei

  1. (grammar) a Japanese verbal inflectional category: the irrealis form
    Indicates that something has not yet happened, or not yet begun.

Usage notes

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This term is used in the traditional description of Japanese grammar. In Japanese Educational Grammar (日本語教育文法), this is called the ない形 (-nai kei, -nai form) as it is used before the suffix ない (-nai). In the western analysis of Japanese grammar, it is not an inflected form but a derived stem, called for example the "a- stem" in Bjarke Frellesvig's works. Some analyses such as John R. Bentley's A Descriptive Grammar Of Early Old Japanese Prose even do not posit such a stem at all, instead analyzing the a as part of the suffix (e.g. yuk-azu instead of yuka-zu).

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See also

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References

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  1. ^ Shōgaku Tosho (1988) 国語大辞典(新装版) [Unabridged Dictionary of Japanese (Revised Edition)] (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN
  2. ^ Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, editor (1998), NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 [NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary] (in Japanese), Tokyo: NHK Publishing, Inc., →ISBN
  4. ^ Kindaichi, Kyōsuke et al., editors (1997), 新明解国語辞典 [Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten] (in Japanese), Fifth edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  • Shibatani, Masayoshi (1990) The languages of Japan, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, pages 221-224