Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by shimon, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. shimon Senior Member

    Hello everybody. Can anyone explain me the meaning of nangenmo in the following sentence: Shinjuku ni nangenmo yasui o mise ga arimasu. I understand there are cheap shops in Shinjuku, but in no book or dictionary I could find an explanation for nangenmo or nangen mo. Thank you
  2. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    何軒も (nangemmo) undergoes a tricky phonological change called sequential voicing (rendaku).

    軒, the counter for small buildings , is pronounced ken in isolation but the first consonant is voiced when it is the second part of a larger morphological unit.

    Nangen is a WH-expression on par with "how many buildings."

    Even trickier, the WH-expression is suffixed with -mo. Phonetically, all /n/ become /m/ before a bilabial consonant (b, p, m). So we have nangemmo (there are transcription methods that do not reflect this change), which is "a lot of ken's". The Japanese sentence means there are a lot of discount shops (of a specific item?) in Shinjuku.

    Generally, a WH-expression suffixed with -mo (nannimmo, nankaimo, nansatsumo etc.) means a lot of something; thus the foregoing examples are "a lot of people," "a lot of times," "a lot of books."
  3. shimon Senior Member

    Thanks a lot, Flaminius, your answers are always of great help!

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