Introduction: major features of Japanese grammar

Authored by: Naomi H. McGloin , Mutsuko Endo Hudson , Fumiko Nazikian , Tomomi Kakegawa

Modern Japanese Grammar

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415571999
eBook ISBN: 9780203856628
Adobe ISBN: 9781135151393


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The basic word order of a Japanese sentence is subject–predicate. Japanese is therefore classified as a verb-final language. The ‘subject’ can be, and often is, absent, especially when its identity is clear from the context. The predicate may be a verb, an i-type adjective, or a copula. The copula is attached to a noun or a na-type adjective, and functions like the ‘be’ verb in English (e.g. ‘is,’ ‘are’). The main predicates are underlined in the examples in this section.

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