Noun Modification

Ariander

Member
uu
Today in a review session of class, I raised a question involving noun modification about which I had been wondering for a while.

If one wanted to say "My friend who often exercises........ (does such and such etcetc) would it be:
"私のよくうんどうする友だち・・・”
or
”よくうんどうする私の友だち・・・” ?

Sensei said it would be the second choice.
This raised my next question. If one wanted to say "A friend who often exercise's teacher" how would it be said?

”友だちのよくうんどうする先生・・・”
or
”よくうんどうする友だちの先生・・・” ?

It would follow, going off of the first question, that the second choice in this question would imply that the teacher is the one who often exercises and with the first choice... I don't know what it would mean then.

I'm hoping I'm not missing out on some entire other structure or concept ^^; Thanks!
 
  • Havenard

    Member
    Brazil, Portuguese
    Well, I have not your answer, but a question (for everyone able to anwer, of course). As I'm learning japanese by myself, I have to ask... why to use "yoku undousuru watashi no tomodachi" in place of "watashi no tomodachi wa yoku undousuru"? Is this form wrong? Would it mean the same? Which form is the most natural one? Because the way you put it was very strange for me, but I'm just beginning... then...
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    If one wanted to say "My friend who often exercises........ (does such and such etcetc) would it be:
    "私のよくうんどうする友だち・・・”
    or
    ”よくうんどうする私の友だち・・・” ?

    Sensei said it would be the second choice.
    Both are grammatically correct. Your teacher's judgement, which I respect, however, is based on a stylistic concern that a sentence is easier to comprehend if the modifier and the modified are close to each other.

    This raised my next question. If one wanted to say "A friend who often exercise's teacher" how would it be said?
    Do you mean, "The teacher of a friend who often exercises"? This should be 「よくうんどうする友だちの先生」 (Your second choice). The first one (友だちのよくうんどうする先生) would mean "a friend who is a exercise-phile teacher." One might say that the postposition -no indicates apposition here.

    Neither of the two are as simple as to be eagerly used in ordinary parlance. I'd disambiguate as below:
    よくうんどうする友だちがいるんですが、その人の先生が・・・
    I have a friend who often exercises and his teacher (...)

    友だちによくうんどうする先生がいるんですが、その人が・・・
    Among my friends there is a teacher who often exercises and he (...)

    Conjunction -ga is used to introduce a new entity as the topic of the sentence (N.B., new in sense that the entity has been hitherto unknown to the hearer).

    why to use "yoku undousuru watashi no tomodachi" in place of "watashi no tomodachi wa yoku undousuru"? Is this form wrong? Would it mean the same? Which form is the most natural one?
    "[Y]oku undousuru watashi no tomodachi" is NOT equivalent to "[W]atashi no tomodachi wa yoku undousuru." The former is a relative clause meaning, "My friend who often exercises" and the latter an indicative sentence, "My friend often exercises. (Yes, period)"

    Havenard, this misunderstanding seems quite common among native speakers of European languages. Let me set forth a very simplified rule:

    Japanese sentences end with a verb or an adjective.


    If you spot a verb in Japanese text, there ends a sentence. If you see a period right after the verb or after a few functional lexis (-ka, -yo, -masu etc.), there is no doubt that you have a complete sentence there. If the verb is followed by a noun, you have an embedded sentence that modifies the noun (relative clause).
     

    Ariander

    Member
    uu
    Do you mean, "The teacher of a friend who often exercises"?

    Ah, yes, exactly... that is a much much better way of putting it.

    Neither of the two are as simple as to be eagerly used in ordinary parlance. I'd disambiguate as below:

    This does seem the best route-- I remember now the professor saying that personally, to be less confusing, she'd somehow split the sentence up and yours are lovely examples, thank you!
     

    I_like_my_TV

    Senior Member
    Tongan
    Ariander said:
    If one wanted to say "My friend who often exercises........ (does such and such etcetc) would it be:
    "私のよくうんどうする友だち・・・”
    or
    ”よくうんどうする私の友だち・・・” ?

    Sensei said it would be the second choice.
    This raised my next question. If one wanted to say "A friend who often exercise's teacher" how would it be said?

    ”友だちのよくうんどうする先生・・・”
    or
    ”よくうんどうする友だちの先生・・・” ?

    It would follow, going off of the first question, that the second choice in this question would imply that the teacher is the one who often exercises and with the first choice... I don't know what it would mean then.
    If I were the teacher, I'd not say take the 1st or 2nd based solely on the structure of the noun-phrase but would ask you to look at the entire sentence and make the choice. I completely agree with Flaminius on this.
     
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