Datapoint for feature 38A and language wals_code_jpn

Discuss WALS Datapoint for feature 38A and language wals_code_jpn.

3 Responses to “Datapoint for feature 38A and language wals_code_jpn”

  1. Tom Dougherty Says:

    Japanese does not have definite or indefinite articles; the reference used to support the point that it has “No definite article but indefinite article” and ” Indefinite word distinct from numeral for ‘one’” says as much, even.

  2. Matthew Dryer Says:

    The source says “Indefiniteness may be shown by aru ‘a certain’”. This is my basis for classifying Japanese as having an indefinite article.

  3. Olle Kjellin Says:

    How does “a certain” mean indefinite? As far as I understand, “aru” is used in a plural semidefinite sense: “Aru hito wa sou omou” ある人はそう思う ’some people/certain people think so.’ I don’t know if this is an argument con or pro the classification here. But in Japanese there is certainly nothing like the a/an of English. The “aru” is more like the Russian “nekie/nekotorye”: некие/некоторые люди так думают ’some people think so.’ And Russian is classified as having no definite or indefinite article.

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