[aDoIJG] N 💮 A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar

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A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar :white_flower: Home Thread

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Week
Start Date
Reading Entry Count Page Numbers Page Count
#13 Mar 30th なあ to 何でも 7 193 - 216 24
#14 Apr 6th 何しろ to に 7 216 - 237 22
#15 Apr 13th に当たって / 当たり to に代わって 7 237 - 256 20
#16 Apr 20th に比べると / 比べて to に過ぎない 7 256 - 274 19
#17 Apr 27th に対して / 対し to によって/より 7 275 - 301 27
#18 May 4th の関係で to ぬ 8 302 - 317 16

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In general, this series doesn’t have a problem with spoilers, however there are two instances where spoiler tags are a good idea.

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I still think these participation polls should include the option “I am lurking”. :smiley_cat:

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なあ

I was about to go searching for Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling counterexamples to prove the book wrong, but note 1 got there first: “Although it is frequently used by female speakers (particularly, young women), なあ was originally male speech. The female version of なあ and かなあ are わねえ and かしら, respectively.”

I think we’ve talked about this already in this club, but I personally see a fair amount of なあ and かなあ (used by young women) and very little of わねえ and かしら. And that’s with most of my exposure to Japanese being speech from women in their 20s and 30s.

According to the notes, なあ expresses such positive feelings as happiness, thankfulness, and admiration, and such negative feelings as unhappiness, envy, pity, ridicule, and contempt.

なあ may appear with the quotative marker と. According to the dictionary, in these situations なあ is used by both male and female speakers.

かなあ expresses the idea of “I wonder…”, and ないかなあ means either “I wonder…” or “I wish…”. Conditional sentences with いいなあ express the idea “I wish…”.

Sentences with inverted word order are common when なあ is used. Is this something that is really unique to なあ, though? I see that a lot just in conversation in general, especially when the first chunk of the sentence has a particle after it.

Here's an example from TJPW's 2023.11.05 show, where Free WiFi (Nao Kakuta and Hikari Noa) teamed up with Yuka Sakazaki in one of Yuka's last matches as a TJPW member (man, that trio is really sad now, huh?):

No video because this happened in the ring! Obligatory disclaimer that the transcript is from shupro and the translation is mine and might contain errors. I guess additional context is that Yuka and Mizuki both sort of have a running gag where they ignore Nao.

坂崎「よしっ、勝ったぞー! 清水の皆さんどうも初めまして。坂崎と…え~と、あなたたちはなんですか?」

Sakazaki: “Alright, we won! Hi, nice to meet you all from Shimizu. This is Sakazaki and… ah, you two are…?”

ヒカリ&角田「ふりーWiFiです」

Hikari & Kakuta: “We’re Free WiFi.”

坂崎「初めて来たね、ここね。なのにこんなにたくさん集まっていただいてありがとうございます。いいところですね。空気がすごいおいしいね。そんなわけで私、もう間もなく卒業なんですが、卒業前に“びびびたち”と組めて嬉しかった。間違えた、一人除いて嬉しかった!」

Sakazaki: “This is our first time coming here, right? Thank you for such a great number of people coming to see us despite that. This is a nice place. The air is so good. I’ll be graduating soon, but I’m glad I was able to team up with the ‘BIBIBIs’ before that happens. Ah, I misspoke—I’m happy to team up with all but one of them.”

ヒカリ「ありがとうございます」

Hikari: “Thank you so much.”

坂崎「ありがとう。(孤立する角田を見て)うそうそ」

Sakazaki: “Thank you.” (looking at Kakuta, who is standing apart) “Just kidding.”

角田「おかしいなあ…」

Kakuta: “There’s something fishy here…”

I see what appears to be another example from Shoko Nakajima from the most recent TJPW show, but I haven’t got around to translating that part yet, haha. Maybe I’ll share it later…

などと

Wow, I totally did not think of this as a unique grammar point! In my head, it was just regular など + the regular と.

The notes say that the particle などと is used to single out an approximate quote of someone’s speech or internal monologue. Usually it occurs with an explicitly negative predicate or with a negative implication. I thought it was interesting that example (f) sounds positive on the surface, but the speaker is saying it with sarcasm. The only case where a negative meaning is missing is when など is with a noun.

When N of N など is a person it means humbleness if it is the first person pronoun. If not, it is a derogatory or downgrading comment.

Couldn’t find any TJPW examples, which surprised me a bit. All of the などs that did come up appeared to just be the normal type that’s defined in ADoBJG.

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I feel like in a way it is just that. It means “said something like”, the half-literal translation would be “said things like” and the very literal translation “said … and other things like it”. I can see how they got from one to the other.

What was very new for me though was the statement that all usages of など except for the bog standard …や…など carry a negative nuance😱

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何(なん)しろ。。。

Week 14 begins


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I am a bit behind :smiling_face_with_tear:. I’m hoping to catch up soon, though!

ながら(も)

Boy, the translation for example (h) was more confusing than the Japanese sentence was, haha. That took me a couple tries to parse… It reminds me a bit of some of the difficulties I’ve had translating similar sentences, where the relative clauses sort of pile up in an awkward way in English.

I’m not sure I’ve seen this one much! It doesn’t seem particularly familiar, at least.

ながら(も) is a disjunctive conjunction (indicates a contrast or an alternative between words or clauses) and also a subordinate conjunction (fascinatingly, I googled this and google autocorrected it to “subordinating conjunction”, so I’m not sure the dictionary’s term is still used, haha. In any case, a subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause, joining it to a main clause), apparently. That’s still a bit confusing, but basically it expresses the meaning of “although” by combining two sentences.

It’s normally used in written or formal spoken Japanese.

When ながら is used as a disjunctive conjunction, the disjunctive meaning is emphasized if も is used. There are cases where ながら and ながらも are used as a temporal “while” (this is the use I normally think when I see this construction) and the disjunctive “although” respectively.

Probably because 残念ながら “to one’s regret” is an idiomatic phrase, も can’t be attached to it.

ながら(も):

  • Normally used only in written or formal spoken Japanese
  • Usually takes the third person as the subject, apparently because it’s usually employed to give the speaker’s observation of, or opinion about, a third person (however, there are cases in which the first person is used)

が, けれど(も), のに

  • Can be used in both spoken and written Japanese
  • No restriction on the choice of the subject
Amazingly, I found an example of this structure in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations, though not in any wrestler's dialogue. This was from Shupro's recap of young rookie Haru Kazashiro's rundown of the match card for the 2024.01.06 Inspiration show:

(My translation has been slightly embellished with context from the actual show itself, so it’s not a direct translation of the below text. I guess further context is that Maki Itoh was supposed to be in the last match, but she got pulled out of it on short notice due to injury.)

1試合目は「凍雅さんは山下とデビュー以来の対決、HIMAWARIさんはデビュー1周年なので、どれだけ通用するのかと思ってます」。2試合目は「一番予測できない試合」。3試合目は「やばいんじゃないですか。入場から迫力がすごい、会場が壊れるのでは」。4試合目は誰が優勝すると思うかとの難波リングアナの問いに、風城は悩みながらも、「誰がきてもいい」と答えた。実は伊藤の勝ち上がりを予想していたとのこと。

For the first match, her comment was: “Toga-san faces off against Yamashita for the first time since her debut, and it’s HIMAWARI-san’s first debut anniversary, so I think it’ll be a match where you’ll be able to see how much they’ve recognizably improved since they started out.” For the second match, her comment was: “This will be the most unpredictable match.” For the third match, her comment was: “It’s amazing, isn’t it? Incredible intensity right from the get-go, and they’re gonna break the venue.” When ring announcer Namba asked who she thought would win the fourth match, Kazashiro was conflicted, and answered, “Anyone winning would be good.” It seems that she had predicted that Itoh would win.

ないこと も/は ない

ないこと も/は ない is used when the speaker wants to mildly acknowledge/confirm with a proviso (new word for me! I looked it up: “an article or clause (as in a contract) that introduces a condition”) that someone has just said or written. It’s often followed by n(o) desu ga (side note: this romanization was confusing! I think it’s saying ん/の ですが?). The phrase expresses a double negative structure that is virtually an affirmative statement.

It’s an expression of repetition that repeats the same verb, adjective, or N + copula which has just been used in the interlocutor’s question. So it can’t be used as a discourse-initial sentence. In other words, you can’t start a conversation with this phrase.

The difference between ないこともない and ないことはない is that the former is weaker in assertion than the latter.

The predicate phrase ないこともない and ことは share the same characteristics of not giving an unconditional statement. But the former is used in response to a negative question, whereas the latter is used in response to an affirmative question.

I'd seen this structure before, but I wasn't sure that I'd seen it in TJPW, but I did in fact find an example! Hilariously, it's one that breaks the rule in note 3! It's a very similar sentence to the example (1) that supposedly can't be uttered out of the blue, haha. This is from the 2024.01.20 TJPW show, after Hyper Misao and Shoko Nakajima made it to the next round of the tag tournament:

Hard mode: here’s the video.

中島「享楽共鳴、とりあえず初戦突破だー!勝ちました!リング上でも言ったんですけど享楽共鳴タッグベルト取ります!みんな信じて」

Nakajima: “Kyoraku Kyomei, as of right now, we’ve made it past the first round! We won! I said it in the ring already, but Kyoraku Kyomei is going to win the tag belts! Trust me.”

ミサヲ「ついてきてくれ!」

Misao: “Follow us!”

中島「私たちは絶対にタッグベルトを取る!」

Nakajima: “We’re absolutely winning the tag belts!”

ミサヲ「まずはトーナメント優勝だぜ!」

Misao: “First we’re winning the tournament!”

中島「ずっと見ててほしい、見守っててくれ」

Nakajima: “I’d like you all to keep your eyes on us. Pay close attention!”

ミサヲ「明日勝つのは我々、享楽共鳴だ!

Misao: “We’re the ones who are gonna win tomorrow, Kyoraku Kyomei!”

(明日は白昼夢との二回戦だが)は、白昼夢だ…」

(Your second round match tomorrow is against Daydream)

“Ah, Daydream…”

中島「白昼夢は私のなかで因縁深いというか、節目節目で闘ってる印象がすごくあるんです。でもちょっと負け越しか?ひょっとしたら。こっちも勝たないことはないんだけどたぶんね、数的には負け越してる。それを取り戻すっていう気持ちもあります」

Nakajima: “Daydream and I have a deep connection, or rather I feel like we’re fighting them at every major turning point. Do we have a few more losses than wins? Perhaps. It’s not that we never beat them, but numerically I think we’ve lost more than we’ve won. So I also feel like we’re trying to make up for lost ground.”

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Some random notes on N entries:

  • なかなか has a surprisingly long entry for a word I think of as fairly straightforward
  • I can second the recommendation in the ならない entry for 松本清張 mystery novels :slight_smile:
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なかなか

I was literally typing this as you were making your post, haha. I think I learned this one as early as my Minna no Nihongo beginner’s textbook, and then got it drilled again with Tobira, all while seeing it all the time in native media, so I don’t think I’m ever going to forget it…

なかなか modifies only adjectives with positive meanings. Though interestingly, 難しい in example (b) doesn’t count as negative.

Tobira’s description of this grammar point is a little softer than ADoIJG’s: “The adverb なかなか is synonymous with 結構. The major difference is that なかなか is not usually used with adjectives and adverbs with negative meanings, such as つまらない ‘boring’ and 不便だ ‘inconvenient.’ Note that なかなか also indicates that the speaker is impressed by the way something/someone is or the way someone does something.”

When なかなか occurs with the negative form of a verb it indicates the difficulty or slowness with which something desirable reaches its realization.

There are cases in which the affirmative form of a verb can be used, though you could say that the adverb よく is understood. The deletion of よく appears to be allowed when it is followed by a verb that already includes the meaning of “well”, like できる or 話せる. So if the verb doesn’t include the meaning of “well”, よく can’t be omitted.

Only nouns that include the idea of an adjective or adverb can be used with なかなか.

When なかなか is used with an affirmative predicate, it can be replaced by the five adverbs: とても, 非常に, かなり, 大変, and 結構. But when なかなか is used with a negative verb, it can’t be replaced by those adverbs.

結構 and かなり indicate a relatively high degree, whereas とても and 大変 indicate an absolutely high degree. 結構 and とても are more colloquial than かなり and 大変 respectively.

Naturally, I had to go looking for an example of なかなか being used with a negative adjective, haha, and sure enough, I found one! This was from Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling's 2023.10.15 show, which had an all-female audience. Yuki Kamifuku and Maki Itoh teamed up in the main event and spoke on the mic after they won:

(No video because this happened in the ring!)

上福「女子にモテますね~」

Kamifuku: “We’re popular with girls, huh?”

伊藤「モテるー! そう。伊藤たちさ、普段はあんまり人気ないけどさ、こういうところではモテるよね」

Itoh: “Yeah! We are. Itoh and friends, we’re usually not very popular, but in this kind of setting, they like us.”

上福「お前言うなって、それ」

Kamifuku: “You shouldn’t say that.”

伊藤「ハハハ! ありがとうございました!」

Itoh: (laughing) “Thank you very much!”

上福「ホント、女子たちの前でこんなぐちゃぐちゃな…いまはブスになってるけど、午前中からここまで足を運んで格闘を見るあなたたちもなかなかブスよー」

Kamifuku: “Really, getting all messed up in front of girls… We look horrendous now, but all of you who came out here in the morning to watch us grapple, you’re also quite a sight.”

伊藤「ここでは褒めてるから。そうだよ、雨の中ちゃんと来てくれたから。ありがたいですね」

Itoh: “We’re praising you here. Yes, because you came out here in the rain. We’re grateful.”

上福「ありがたい。私たちがコスチュームをかわいいって褒めてもらえたり、化粧をかわいいって褒めてもらったり、何より女子同士って男子とはまた違う勇気とかヤル気に満ち溢れさせてもらえるよね」

Kamifuku: “Yes, thank you. We get praised for our cute costumes and makeup, and above all, among girls, we get filled with courage and determination that differs from when we’re with boys.”

なく

Adj(い)stem くなく and Adj(な) ではなく are used to express a reason/cause for what follows, but the reason/cause is not stated as precisely as in から/ので clauses, just like the English conjunction “and”.

The なく form is used in written Japanese, whereas なくて can be used in both spoken and written Japanese. However, the negative continuative form なく cannot be used with a verb except when なる follows the なく form. However, Vneg ず can be used in written Japanese. Vneg usually takes a potential negative form, except when Vneg means “without doing something.”

If ない is attached to N + copula, it indicates contrast. But if a noun is a Sino-Japanese compound with an adjectival nature, such as 悪性 “malignant” or 好評 “popularity”, it indicates a reason/cause for what follows.

Despite this being written grammar, I did find a TJPW example! This was from their 2022.12.10 show, where Miyu Yamashita defended her EVE (a British promotion) championship against Rhio:

Hard mode: here’s the video (the part quoted below starts around 0:56).

山下「(二冠になってどうしたい?)二冠になって挑戦できることもありますし。二代目の時かな。アメリカでSHINEっていうベルトを取って二冠になって。その時にしか広がらなかった景色があって、それが何かって言われたら言い表せないんですけど。二冠だからこそ広がることもあるし、またイギリスじゃなくてアメリカでもベルトを取りにいきたいですし。そういうところでどんどんベルトを増やしていけるのが楽しいし、自分のいままでのやり方とは違って。自分がいままで見せてきたチャンピオン像ではなく、また新しいチャンピオン像を見せられるんじゃないかなと思うので。そのへんにおいても、私にとっていまプリプリのベルトがすごく必要だなという風に思ってます」

(What do you want to do after becoming a double champion?)

Yamashita: “It can be a challenge to hold two championships. It happened in I believe my second reign. I won the SHINE belt in the U.S. and became a double champion. There is a view that you can only see from that position, and it’s something that can’t be expressed in words. It only extends out before you when you’re the double champion. I want to win another belt in the U.S., not just in England. I’m looking forward to holding more and more belts, which is different from how I’ve done things in the past. I think I will be able to show a new image of myself as a champion, not the one that I have shown up to this point. In that sense, I think the Princess of Princess belt is essential for me right now.”

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I think this falls under

and thus gives the nuance of kind of praising them for it or being impressed, like the other person says in the next sentence.

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何でも

The phrase 何でも indicates the speaker’s uncertainty about something. It is used at the beginning of the sentence and the final predicate has to be either a hearsay expression or conjectural expression.

The sentence remains grammatical without 何でも, but it cannot express the idea of uncertainty.

Among the conjectural expressions, だろう/でしょう cannot be used with 何でも because the speaker is sure about something more than 50% but less than 100% when they use 何でも, whereas they are at most 50% sure about something when they use だろう/でしょう. I thought that was a really interesting way for the book to put it.

Couldn’t find any examples in TJPW of this specific 何でも (I checked the kana spelling as well, and still no dice).

何しろ

Originally this adverb came from 何をしろ, meaning “do what you may.”

何しろ indicates the speaker’s emotive reaction about some extreme state of affairs, so if an unusual situation doesn’t exist, the adverb can’t be used.

何しろ in all of the dictionary examples can be replaced by とにかく, but とにかく has a meaning of “any way/at any rate” but does not indicate the speaker’s emotive feeling like 何しろ does. So 何しろ is a speaker-oriented expression, but とにかく isn’t. The latter can be used in highly hearer-oriented requests or question sentences but the former can’t.

No 何しろs in TJPW!

ならない

ならない is used to express insurmountable psychological or physical feeling. The form is connected with Adj(い/な) of psychological or physical feeling, or with V of psychological feeling. If Adj(い/な) is neither a psychological nor physical feeling, ならない can’t be used.

However, there are some psychological and physiological adjectives that can’t be used with ならない. The examples given are 痛い, 嫌い, and 好き. I wonder why these can’t be used with this form?

When V is connected with ならない, it is usually an idiomatic verb phrase of psychological feeling, and not of physiological feeling.

The subject of the ならない construction is normally the speaker/writer or whoever the speaker/writer is empathetic with. If the subject is other than the speaker/writer and the speaker/writer is not empathetic with the referent of the subject, it is necessary to use expressions such as ようだ, らしい, 様子だ, etc.

たまらない and 仕方がない can be used with any adjective or verb of psychological or physical feeling to express its unbearableness, whereas ならない is much more restricted in that it has to indicate psychological feeling when used with a verb. The difference between たまらない and 仕方がない is that the former expresses the speaker’s feeling of intolerability more strongly than the latter.

Here's an example of ならない in TJPW which appears to be an idiomatic verb phrase. This was from the show on 2023.10.27, which featured a preview tag match between the rookies before the Next Generation tournament:

Hard mode: here’s the video.

HIMAWARI 勝ちましたよ。

HIMAWARI: “I won!”

上原 来週からねくじぇねのトーナメントが始まりますが勝ってどうですか?

Uehara: “The Next Generation tournament starts next week, how do you feel about winning?”

HIMAWARI ……あ、私? そうね。トーナメント始まるってことで、ここで勝ってギアあげていこうという気持ちなので。(上原、琉那と)ちょっと山が違うから別だけど決勝戦で会いましょう。

HIMAWARI: “Huh, me? Well, since the tournament is starting, we’re all in the mood to win and start with good momentum. We’re on different sides of the bracket, so let’s just worry about meeting in the final."

琉那 凍雅のエルボーは誰よりも強くて、一番思いがこもっていた。最後も目をあわせたときに闘いたくないけど、絶対勝ちにいきます。

Runa: “Toga’s elbow strikes are stronger than everyone else’s, and that’s what I’m thinking about the most. I didn’t want to fight her when our eyes met at the end, but I’m absolutely going to win.”

HIMAWARI (琉那の目を見て)泣きそうだね。やっぱり23年組は仲がいいから、トーナメントでシングルで当たるの初めてだからね。

HIMAWARI: (looking at Runa’s eyes) “You look like you’re about to cry. After all, the class of ‘23 is pretty close, and this is our first time facing each other in singles matches in a tournament.”

上原 今日、勝利を掴んでギアをあげて。対決するかもしれないけど勝利を掴むのは私なので。

Uehara: “Today, we got a win and stepped it up a gear. We might face off, but I’m going to be the one who wins."

HIMAWARI おっと~。聞き捨てならないね。

HIMAWARI: “Uh oh, I can’t let that go.”

上原 正々堂々お願いします!

Uehara: “Let’s do it fair and square!”

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When I read the article I thought “hmm, this doesn’t sound familiar, is it really intermediate level?” – and then I found it in my SRS info as something I’d learnt years ago, and it turned up in two different books I was reading this week…

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I’m catching up in the reading myself, but I just wanted to say that I am loving the discussion of all of the points so far. It’s kind of funny, sometimes the explanations are a little complicated, especially for things I’m already familiar with. But they certainly are thorough. It’s also interesting to see how things have changed since the publication of the book – what I’ve noticed, mostly, is the notes on feminine or masculine usage of the words. I have no knowledge in this area, but it’s interesting to see counter examples. I get the sense that this may be something that has changed (perhaps rather quickly in the grand scheme of things?) in the last 15+ years.

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Week 15 begins


Entries: に当たって / 当たり to に代わって
Pages: 237 - 256

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We now have more than 60 pages ahead of us on expressions beginning with に :slight_smile:

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~なり~なり

~なり~なり is used to present two choices as examples. The speaker makes a subjective judgment that their choice is a reasonable and proper one, which is why it is frequently used in sentences expressing a command/request, or a suggestion/advice, or an intention/desire.

Usually なり is repeated twice, but it might only appear once in Vinf・nonpast なり Vinf・nonpast なり.

The main predicate of the structure in question is more often than not in the nonpast tense because it expresses the speaker’s current will, determination, desire, or habits. But the main predicate can be in the past if the predicate expresses a habitual determination.

The structure ~なり~なり can be replaced by the conjunction ~か~か because both can express choice. The difference is that the latter is an exhaustive listing of choices (either or), but the former is a listing of representatives out of more possible choices.

The expression ~たり~たり can replace ~なり~なり. Both list representative examples, but the latter sounds more assertive than the former (i.e. the speaker feels that their choice is the proper one).

~とか~とか is also used to list representative examples, and can replace ~なり~なり. The latter conveys the speaker’s subjective judgment that the choice is the proper one, but the former doesn’t.

Unfortunately I think this one is impossible to search for in my Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling translations because “なり” is too common in other words/grammar.

なりに

I learned this なり sort of by accident, haha. I think I added 自分なり to Anki as a separate word, and then after seeing 彼女なり and the like, I started to figure out the pattern…

That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this specific N は N なりに structure before? Usually it’s just the Nなりに part without the repetition. The notes allude to this use, but don’t show any examples with just that.

The book says that the particle なりに is used to express a way or a style that is proper to someone or something. The phrase N は N なりに is used when the speaker wants to assert something about N.

There’s also N なりのに N. In both N1 は N2 なりに and N1 は N2 なりのに N3, N2 can be replaced by the pronoun それ if N is an inanimate object.

Here's a pure なりに example from the 2024.03.18 Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling press conference before Grand Princess on 3.31. This was in the Yuki Kamifuku vs Yuki Arai for the International Princess Championship portion of the presser:

Here’s the official transcript and here’s the video, though I’m not timestamping it, sorry.

――上福選手、荒井選手からこのベルトは上福選手のイメージがあると言っていたが。

――She said she associates the belt with you?

上福「そうですね。割とその時期はコロナで街も悲しい感じになっていたし、自分にとっても初めてのベルトなのもあって、自分なりにはすごく盛り上げようと必死だったので、そういうふうに思ってくれている人がいたんだなって思うと、あの頃頑張っていてよかったなって。海外にいったり、海外の選手と試合をしたわけでもなく、田舎者のやつと試合をしたんですけど、それでもそういうふうに思ってくれていたんだなと思うと、すごく今ありがたいなと思います」

Kamifuku: “That’s right. Everyone was pretty miserable because of covid, and it was also my first belt, so I was desperately trying to raise everyone’s spirits in my own way, so to think that there are people who feel that way about it, I’m glad I worked so hard back then. I didn’t go overseas or face foreign wrestlers, though I did fight a country bumpkin or two, but when I think about it being thought of in such a light despite that, now I feel very grateful.”

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なしでは

なしでは is used to express a conditional “if something/someone is missing”. It usually appears with a negative predicate. It can also be implicitly negative. The は → も examples in note 2 were interesting.

なしでは can be replaced by なしには on some occasions. N なしでは seems to be preferred in a context where N is used as a means of achieving something, and N なしには is preferred in a context where the meaning of a means of achieving something is weak. I’m not sure I fully understand this nuance, though I understand it in theory.

The adverbial phrase なしでは can be replaced by が なければ or by が いなければ. The only difference is that the なしでは version sounds slightly more formal, probably due to the archaic form なし. However, が (い)なければ can’t be rephrased by なしでは when the sentence is a question, request, command, suggestion, or volitional sentence.

No なしでは (or なしには) that I could find in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling!

ねばならない

Vinf・neg ねばならない is used only in written Japanese or in formal public speech to express obligation, duty, or necessity. The ねばならない form for the irregular する is せねばならない.

The only crucial difference between Vinf・neg ねばならない and Vinf・neg なければならない is that the former is used normally in written Japanese, but the latter in spoken and written Japanese. The way ねばならない and なければならない are connected with adjectives are different.

I (unsurprisingly) could not find any examples of this in TJPW!

I am now considering swapping it in for なければならない in this tanka I just wrote, though…

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に

I’m not sure if I’ve encountered this に before? It isn’t really ringing any bells, at least.

(I misread “Scond” in note 1 as “Second” and was very confused at first, haha.)

According to note 1, if the structure is “Scond, {V / Adj}inf・nonpast {でしょう / だろう} に”, the entire sentence expresses the subjunctive past (i.e. a supposition that is counter to the current situation). “Scond, {V / Adj}inf・past {でしょう / だろう} に” expresses the subjunctive past perfect (i.e. a supposition that is counter to the past situation).

In both situations, the entire sentence expresses the speaker’s regret. But if the subject of the Scond is the second or third person, it expresses the speaker’s sympathy for the second or third person. If Scond is not there, the entire sentence expresses sympathy.

The sentence-final particle に always follows でしょう / だろう.

" Scond, {V / Adj}inf {でしょう / だろう} " can be rephrased as “Scond, ~ { V / Adj} inf のに”. The でしょう / だろう に version indicates uncertainty, whereas the のに version does not.

Not going to go looking for examples in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling because I don’t want to try searching through the にs.

に当たって / 当たり

This structure is used to indicate time when one faces something formal. The compound particle is primarily used in written Japanese. When a verb precedes it, it’s often a Sino-Japanese する verb, because the Sino-Japanese verb is also suitable for written Japanese.

The tense of the verb is always nonpast regardless of the tense of the final predicate. The nonpast tense expresses an incomplete aspect of an action indicated by the verb.

The difference between に当たって and 当たり is a matter of style. The former is more formal than the latter.

There is also a prenominal form: ~に当たって の N.

時 is a basic noun which indicates the time when someone or something will do/does/did something, or the time when someone or something will be/is/was in some state. 時 cannot be replaced by に当たって / 当たり when the preceding verb is past. 時 can be used to express any time, be it formal or informal, whereas に当たって / 当たり is used only in formal style.

に当たって / 当たり and 前に are semantically very close. Both only allow Vinf・nonpast because an action indicated by the verb is incomplete. The difference is that に当たって / 当たり means "before something significant takes place’, but 前に means “before something takes place”.

There is another time expression ~(の)際(に) / に際して which is used to indicate a special occasion on which someone does something. The difference between this and に当たって / 当たり is that the latter indicates an occasion in formal sentence, but the former indicates a special occasion. Practically all uses of ~(の)際に / に際して can be rephrased by に当たって / 当たり as long as the sentence is formal.

I couldn't find any に当たって / 当たり examples in TJPW that were this structure, but I did find a 際! This was from after Nao Kakuta challenged Mizuki for the Princess of Princess championship on 2023.04.15:

Hard mode: here’s the video (the part below starts around 3:41). This is extra hard mode because the 際 in question is in the (heavily paraphrased in the transcript and hard to hear in the video) question from an interviewer. I can’t actually hear if he says it in the video or not, but either way that’s how the transcriber chose to represent the question.

角田「(有明の際の自身と同じく、誰かの心を動かすことはできた?)できてたらいいな。でも、自分の挑戦で間違いなく女子プロレスをまた見る気持ちになったって言って来てくれる人がいるっていうのは、紛れもない事実だから。これからも継続していったら、きっとそういう人が増えていくのかなって思います」

(Were you able to move someone else’s heart just as yours was moved at Ariake?)

Kakuta: “I hope so. But there are people who came to tell me that my title challenge made them want to watch women’s wrestling again. That’s an undeniable fact. If I keep going, I think there will be more and more people like that.”

に反して / 反する

(Side note: the way key sentence B was formatted was confusing to read at first…)

て in に反して may be dropped.

に反する modifies the word which follows.

When に反して connects two propositions, the propositions are in opposition. In this case, it can be paraphrased as にひきかえ or と逆に. に対して can also replace に反して when に反して connects two propositions in opposition. The difference is that when に反して is used, the connected propositions are in opposition, but when に対して is used, the connected propositions are contrastive but not necessarily in opposition.

Here's an example from the TJPW press conference on 2023.03.20, right before their first show in America last year! This was building up to the tag title match where Miyu Yamashita and Maki Itoh defended their belts (er, well, failed to defend them) against Mizuki and Yuka Sakazaki:

Here’s the link to the video of the whole presser, and here’s the official transcript.

Further context is that before this, Miyu called Itoh her “business partner”, which upset Itoh, and then Miyu tried taking it back.

――山下選手は訂正できただけで成長したことになる?

Interviewer: “Just because Yamashita was able to correct herself means that she has grown?”

坂崎「それはそうですよ。だって山下実優ですよ? 前はちょっとワッて言われると、ワーって返してたんですけど、今はこうやってそうじゃないですよって言えてるので」

Sakazaki: “That’s right. Because she’s Miyu Yamashita, you know? Before, if someone complained to her about something, she’d respond back with more fire, digging in her heels, but now she’s capable of saying ‘it’s not like that’ like she just did.”

――山下選手は成長の自覚がある?

Interviewer: “Yamashita, are you aware of this growth?”

山下「……そうですね。一緒にいる相手だし、いけなかったものっていうのは認めなきゃいけないのかなって思います」

Yamashita: “…Yes. We are partners together, and I think I have to admit the things I did wrong.”

坂崎「だってビジネスパートナーの概念を変えるみたいな言ってたし」

Sakazaki: “She said something about changing the concept of ‘business partner.’”

山下「言った後に携帯で検索したところ、これはいけないことを言ってしまったと正直思いました。でも、あまり私が一回言ったことを曲げるというのは私の信念に反してはいるのかなと思うんですけど、やっぱり伊藤はベストパートナーなんで。そこはしっかりここで、はっきりアメリカに行く前に訂正しておきたいなと思います。ごめんなさい」

Yamashita: “After I said that, I looked up the word on my phone and I honestly felt that I’d said the wrong thing. It goes against my convictions to change what I once said, but Itoh is truly my best partner. I want to amend this here and make it very clear before we go to the U.S. I’m sorry.”

伊藤「結果を出さないことには意味がないと思ってるので、別に結果が出せたらビジネスでもなんでもいいんですよ。でもやっぱり、結果が出せなかったらベストでもなんでもないと思ってるので。必ず結果で見せてほしいし、見せたいなと」

Itoh: “I think there’s no point if we don’t get results, so if we can show results, then ‘business’ or whatever is fine. But if we can’t get results, then calling me your ‘best’ partner means nothing. I want her to show me that growth by getting results; I want us to show it.”

山下「見せます!」

Yamashita: “We will!”

Just for fun, I'll throw in a couple に対して examples, too. This was from the press conference about a year after the last one, also for the tag titles! This time Suzume and Arisu Endo were challenging Yuki Aino and Ryo Mizunami:

Here’s the video, and here’s the official transcript.

――私には持ってない武器がある、とは具体的に何?

――The weapons they have that you don’t, what do you specifically mean by that?

愛野「私は2人みたいに素早く動いたし、飛んだり跳ねたりできないというところは、一番わかりやすい私にない武器かなと思っています。2月の大阪大会で悔しくも引き分けだったんですけど、最後に見せた鈴芽の粘りとかは、私の想像ですけど鈴芽は動けなかったんじゃないかなと。それでもあそこまで負けないために粘れるというのが、これはすごいなと思いました」

Aino: “Quick movements like what the two of them are capable of, flying and leaping around the ring, I think those are the most obvious weapons that I don’t have. There was that frustrating draw at the Osaka show in February, and when it comes the tenacity that Suzume showed at the end—just from my perspective at the time I thought there was no way she could still move, but toughing it out to the extent that she did so that she wouldn’t lose, I thought that was amazing.”

――逆に王者組に対して自分たちにない武器は?

――Conversely, can you talk about weapons that, in contrast to the champion team, you don’t have?

遠藤「やっぱり最初の入場の時の盛り上がりは、ちょっと悔しいけどまだちょっとあれかなって思っています」

Endo: “Of course, well, regrettable as it may be, I think that our getting the crowd excited during our entrance may not be all there.”

鈴芽「やっぱりプロレスにおいて一番シンプルでわかりやすくてカッコいいパワーは私たちにはないものなので。私たちは逆にそんなカッコいい力に対してどうやって闘うかを日々考えて育ってきたので、それをパワーを持っている方に認めてもらっているのはすごく嬉しいことだと思います」

Suzume: “Power, the most straightforward, easiest to understand, and coolest thing in wrestling, we don’t have that. Instead, we’ve spent our development thinking every single day about how we’re going to fight against such cool power, so I’m really happy to get acknowledged by those who possess that kind of power.”

(Might need to wait for someone else to post before I can keep going, haha)

I expect many people will have encountered に代わって already:

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Week 16 begins


Entries: に比べると / 比べて to に過ぎない
Pages: 256 - 274

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にほかならない

Don’t think I remember seeing this one before.

The phrase にほかならない is used to express that X is nothing but Y. The phrase is used in written or very formal spoken Japanese. The final negative ない can be replaced by the archaic negative marker ぬ in formal written Japanese.

The phrase に過ぎない which means “nothing but” sounds very close to にほかならない, but they are quite different. The former means “something/someone is nothing more than what is stated, in terms of amount, degree, status, significance, etc.” whereas the later means “something/someone is nothing other than X”. The former often has downgrading nuance, but the latter lacks this nuance. (I had to read that description a couple times before it made sense…)

Another difference is that に過ぎない can be used with a quantity expression but にほかならない can’t. Connection-wise, にほかならない is attached only to a noun/noun phrase or a から clause, but に過ぎない is attached to a noun, a quantity expression, and Vinf.

Wasted my time searching for this one in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. However, all was not lost, as I did manage to find an example of に過ぎない at least! This was from a post-match comment I think I already linked before, after Shoko Nakajima and Hyper Misao won in the main event of Shoko's hometown show in Niigata on 2024.02.17:

Hard mode: here’s the video.

中島「新潟守りました!」

Nakajima: “We protected Niigata!”

ミサヲ「享楽共鳴が新潟の愛と平和を守ったぞー!」

Misao: “Kyoraku Kyomei protected love and peace in Niigata!”

中島「でも私は今日が序章に過ぎないということを知りました。なぜなら3月31日両国国技館、マックス・ジ・インペイラーとアジャコングさん、いやアジャコング! コイツらと試合をすることになりました。どっちが最強の怪獣か決着をつけようというそんな気持ちです。こっちには最強のヒーローもいるんだからな!」

Nakajima: “But we’ve learned that today is just the prologue. Because on March 31 at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Max The Impaler and Aja Kong-san, no, Aja Kong! We’re going to have a match against those guys. It feels like it’ll be to decide once and for all who is the strongest kaiju. We also have the strongest hero on our side!”

に限らず

限らず is a negative continuative form of 限る “to limit”. ~だけで(は)なく~(も) is used in similar contexts. However, it can’t be used when an indefinite noun is used in front of に限らず.

My example for this one comes not from TJPW, but from a BTS interview that apparently caused lots of debate among BTS fans, hahahaha, specifically because of the stickiness of this very grammar point:

I’m not a BTS fan myself, but I read enough about the translation controversy, I sure won’t forget this grammar point anytime soon…

に限って

The phrase に限って is used to express an exclusive focus on topic item X. The predicate is either explicitly negative or implicitly negative. An explicitly affirmative predicate cannot occur with に限って. The phrase is the particle に with the て-form of the verb 限る.

No examples of に限って that I could find in TJPW!

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