I once learned that there are two more or less transversal concepts:
The polite/plain (others call it distal/close), caracterised by the use, or not, of ~ます suffix.
That defines the relationship between the speaker and listener.
And then the use respectful language; which is function of what the discourse is about (subject, object, etc), and comes in two kinds: honorific (raises the status of the subject/object, in relation to the speaker), and humble (lowers the status of the subject/object, in relation to the listener).
Of course, respectful language is in polite style also (but not always, because use of politeness suffix is possible only at the end of sentences, so in a relative phrase, you can have respectful language but in plain form… just as here with 残ってらしたんです
Analysis incoming, I want Jonapedia’s message first :).
斎藤 is the name of the intern
どうしたんだ is the equivalent of どうしたのだ
Although I generally avoid that website like the plague as I can’t bear the format with the dog pictures, I tried to tackle this issue with her article this time around.
のです has been on the back burner of my mind for a while now. It’s something I wanted to tackle more in depth.
She begins with:
In order to understand how to use ん ( = ), you have to know the form of ** のです ( = ** no desu. ) or **のだ ( = **noda) because * *んです ( = **n desu) and **んだ ( = **n da) are spoken language of **のです ( = ** no desu.) or **のだ ( =**noda.).
So far so good as I already knew about that. She goes on:
寒いです。= samui desu.
寒いのです。= samui no desu.
While 1) is just a factual thing, It’s cold. 2) sounds more explanatory indicating a reason for something.
Now, I was under the impression that のです was used as a nominaliser, that is to say, to turn a verb into a gerund.
In her explanation, she says のです is used to give a reason, as in:
2)…because it’s cold
Regarding the difference between のです and んです, they both have the same function of expressing a reason, an explanation but んです is more casual. I understand that.
Let’s go back to our example, Saitou’s friend and other intern says:
どうした means “What’s the matter”.
Is he using んだ because he wants to know the reason for something? How would it differ from:
EDIT: The speaker in this case is asking what’s the matter, he is requesting for the reason why Saitou is doing something.
A- speaker->listener relationship (determines use of ~ます)
B- speaker->subject/object or listener->subject/object relationship (the grammatical subject/object can be the listener, the speaker or a third) determines the use of honorific or humble speech; two cases:
B1 : the grammatical subject/object is raised in relation to the speaker => use of honorific speech.
B2 : the grammatical subject/object is lowered in relation to the listener => use of humble speech.
B0 : well, there is also the plain case, no special relationship is highlighted, normal speech/vocabulary is used.
お待たせいたしました。(Just a little example of keigo as a joke ) It’s rather long. I’ll take your classification and complete it + add some corrections.
I’m not sure if I can give you a ‘morphological’ classification, but in my opinion, and based on the Japanese textbook I have, there are three levels of politeness in spoken Japanese:
①とても丁寧な言い方: very polite speech, which uses 敬語 (honorifics). There are two kinds of 敬語:
ⓐ尊敬語: ‘respectful’ speech (elevates the status of the listener; I don’t know how this is translated in textbooks)
ⓑ謙譲語: humble speech (lowers the status of the speaker)
Side note: it also seems that some 敬語 can lower the status of the listener if used to indicate their actions. (I found that out while reading the definition of 参る.) In that case, it’s 尊大語, which elevates the speaker above the listener. I imagine such usage is rare now, since probably only people of very high status would be able to say such things. (I don’t know if it would be acceptable even for the Emperor to use this.)
②丁寧な言い方: polite speech, which can be combined with 敬語 where necessary. Typically characterised by the です・ます forms.
③くだけた言い方 ≈ タメ口 (The categories that follow are just descriptions. They’re by no means technical terms.)
ⓐ Casual speech
ⓑ Vulgar speech/slang
タメ口 is strictly speaking a term used by young people to designate speech without honorifics and polite forms, which literally means ‘equal mouth’. I guess you could call it ‘plain speech’? The term itself isn’t a technical term though, since it’s rather informal.
辞書 形 (形 means ‘form’; 系 is often used to mean ‘system’ or ‘series of interconnected things’, which isn’t quite what we’re discussing here) forms the basis of the 砕けた言い方, but as my friend studying in Japan often told me, this so-called ‘dictionary form’ isn’t necessarily casual, since it can be used in formal writing, like scientific journal articles, and as YanagiPablo pointed out, even the verbs used in 敬語 can be used in their 辞書形 when necessary.
In terms of morphology… you could say that each speech level has its own morphology, but it’s not like they’re unrelated. Dictionary form is just the ‘plain’ form of the verb without です・ます, while polite speech usually uses the ‘masu stem’, which is called the 連用形 in Japanese. 連用 because 連=connect and 用=用語, which are the words that have declinations/multiple forms in Japanese, like verbs. 敬語 usually either uses a different verb, or takes the 連用形, adds お, and then になります behind it (to describe the listener’s actions, that is). Those are just some general ideas. 敬語 morphology is of course a little more complex, and there are things I don’t know.
What YanagiPablo just said as an explanation is accurate, but I think ‘relationship’ (or rather, ‘closeness’) and ‘respect’ aren’t necessarily two distinct concepts. It’s true that in some anime (and I think also in period dramas, though I’ve only seen one), children in noble families often address their parents using honorifics (e.g. お母様 or 母上 instead of the usual お母さん), but generally speaking, closeness tends to preclude the need for politeness. For example, while we might use it as a joking reference to Japanese grammar practice between Japanese learners, it would be quite shocking if one of us suddenly transitioned into polite or honorific speech when speaking to a close Japanese friend. I’d say it’s more like a tree:
a. Ordinary politeness (丁寧語)
b. Increased politeness (丁寧語+敬語)
Each time you go up a level, you add additional components. [Edit: merged posts]
Just a general remark about 先生: while I definitely don’t know all the uses, I’ve come to understand it simply as a term of respect for somebody, often somebody who has a certain sort of knowledge or competence. My monolingual Japanese dictionary seems to agree. (I skimmed the definitions since I can understand the kanji even if I don’t know all their Japanese readings.) It’s used for doctors and teachers, but also for writers and artists. Light novel authors and illustrators are called 先生 as well.
(I’m kinda the opposite: I really like Maggie Sensei’s content and I use it quite often, and I’m OK with the dog pics, even if I don’t look at them much.)
I think a more helpful way to look at のです is as a form for emphasis. The emphasis can be for various reasons, including a request for explanation. The の, in my opinion, is similar to こと. However, it’s not necessarily just the verb that is nominalised: it could be the whole clause before の. E.g. 信じられません。彼女が王族なのですから: (I) can’t trust/believe (her). It’s because she’s a royal. The extra なの draws attention to her royal blood. That is, the issue at hand is the fact that she’s royal. Perhaps the speaker has a particularly bad experience with royals.
In this case, perhaps the difference is not so much one of meaning as one of tone. There’s an insistence on the fact that something is different, and a stronger desire for an explanation. There’s also an expectation that something is amiss on the part of the speaker.
See, to me, emphasis and wanting to give a reason or asking for a reason are mutually exclusive.
A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar explains it like so: A sentence ending which indicates that the speaker is explaining or asking for an explanation about some information shared with the hearer, or is talking about something emotively as it it were of common interest to the speaker and the hearer.
To me, it’s much more precise in scope than emphasis. The reason I’m saying this is not to contradict you but rather to explain why my mind has a hard time to come to terms with: のです => used for emphasis.
I wouldn’t worry about picking the right definition of the particle (because there are so many!) when there’s already an entry for the whole word: やけに
Just makes it unnecessarily complicated to plug things together yourself when it’s already done for you.
けっしょうばん けつ→けっ because of the S sound. The kanji literally mean ‘blood-small-board’
Plasmanate Cutter: 6 sticks. Venilon: 5g
Plasmanate Cutter may not have an equivalent in English. I’m not sure. According to Google, Plasmanate is a ‘blood plasma expander’, whatever that is. A document I found regarding… ‘39 cases of Hepatitis B blood plasma and blood products being used simultaneously in the context of blood product doses for blood transfusion’ (or something like that… I’m not really able to understand the title) says Plasmanate Cutter is 加熱人血漿たん白 ('warmed/heated blood plasma albumin/protein). 六本 because the doses probably come in slender tubes.
Venilon is an sulphated immunoglobulin solution according to a database I found. So… antibodies, basically.
You did all of this to the elder/old Mr Kaneko, right? Dr Saitou
か is a question particle. ね indicates that agreement is being sought.
全=all; 部=part. Therefore a ‘whole’/‘all of’
やる is often a less formal form of する. It can also be similar to あげる in the sense that it carries the idea of ‘doing something for someone’.
No worries, I understand. You’re right. ‘Emphasis’ was perhaps not quite the right word here, especially since we tend to associate the verb ‘to emphasise’ with affirmative statements.
The dictionary has explained it much more eloquently and precisely than I have. Perhaps what I wished to say, in order to summarise the use of のです into an easy-to-grasp concept, was that のです exists to draw attention to something, be it for the purpose of explanation or that of (emotive) emphasis.
The kanji for やけ are 自棄, which (based on my understanding as a Chinese speaker) literally mean ‘self’ and ‘abandon’, which is to say ‘to give up on oneself’. As @Myria said, it’s already has its own entry in the dictionary, so you might as well take that definition. The closest simple Japanese definition given by my dictionary is ひどく, as in ‘terribly’ or ‘awfully’, which I think pretty much explains what it means. However, perhaps you, like me, enjoy breaking things down into their components in order to understand them better. I’ll join you in that now.
If you look into the etymology provided by various dictionaries, it’s said that やけに came from 自棄, meaning that the two must have related meanings. I presume you went through the list of possible meanings for に and found that none of them fit… except perhaps the one that you mentioned right at the end, the adverbial function. I guess you could say it probably just means ‘desperately’. In context though, it seems to mean ‘really’, which doesn’t match. How can we explain this? Well, the dictionary also says やけに is a 俗語的表現 (a colloquial/vernacular expression), so just like ‘terribly’ in ‘terribly excited’, やけに can indicate an extreme degree of something without it necessarily being truly ‘desperate’, even if the expression does put a bit of a negative spin on it.
Yup, やる can also mean things like ‘to send’ or ‘to give’. In the context of informal Japanese though, it usually just means ‘to do’, and sometimes also ‘to do for somebody’.