[PW] Stumped my local library ...

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 24 14:17:06 PDT 2016


While Japanese can Only Sort-Of be said to have something like articles. 
As a rather good Yahoo Answer puts it:Short answer - there aren't any. Japanese doesn't have articles. 

Long answer - you can use 或る(ある - aru) as a sort of indefinite article -- although technically it's an adjectival verb, the general meaning will be conveyed. That said, although you CAN use it as an indefinite article, you almost never should. 

Really long answer - there is some discussion about the role that the particles は/が can play in certain situations that behave somewhat similarly to definite/indefinite articles, but it's pretty esoteric stuff and it isn't generally considered a viable theory. 

That at:https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111023132237AATCMQL


 

    On Thursday, March 24, 2016 5:13 PM, Todd Mason <foxbrick at yahoo.com> wrote:
 

 Hm. And I'll have to walk that back...Mandarin doesn't actually have indefinite articles, now that the brain is actually firing up the memory cells.  

    On Thursday, March 24, 2016 5:11 PM, Todd Mason <foxbrick at yahoo.com> wrote:
 

 Japanese and Mandarin both came immediately to mind.
(Sorry if this is redundant, as PW doesn't play nice with my mail account for obscure reasons.)
Todd Masonhttp://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2016/03/sf-magazines-head-to-head-planet.html


 

    On Thursday, March 24, 2016 4:54 PM, "Peter Zilahy Ingerman, PhD" <pzi at ingerman.org> wrote:
 

 (This is for me personally ... no urgency whatsoever, but perhaps 
someone will know?)

German, Spanish, French (e.g.) all have both definite and indefinite 
articles.

In each of them, the indefinite article is also the word for "one".

English, however, has a word for "one" that is distinct from the 
indefinite article.

Are there any other languages (not necessarily Indo-European) that have 
indefinite articles that are distinct from the word for "one"?

Peter
(a lurker for a long time!)
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