Profile

Cover photo
Nathanael Tronerud
Attended California State University, Long Beach
Lives in Long Beach, CA
4,279 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Nathanael Tronerud

commented on a video on YouTube.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Japanese is a really interesting case. It's much less ambiguous than Chinese, despite having originated from it in ancient times, and despite still using many of its pronunciations (or approximations of them anyway). And while there are some morphemes which seem to be clearly "words" in Japanese as English speakers would understand them, everything gets thrown out the window once you introduce particles.

Particles are a grammatical structure which basically delineate syntax in a Japanese sentence. While it's perfectly acceptable to have just a verb (for example, 食べる, "taberu", or "eat", which is perfectly legal and valid all by itself), if you want to add any context, you'll need to be a bit more specific. (Japanese is a heavily contextual language, which is a whole other topic in itself.)

Taking for granted that Japanese sentences always end in a verb (usually), let's say we wanted to specify that it was I who was eating. The word for oneself is 私, "watashi". However it is not enough to simply say 私食べる ("Watashi taberu") to mean "I eat" (unless you wanted to sound like a 2 year old). You need to somehow specify the subject/predicate relationship between the noun and the verb. This can be done in a few ways, but the most common would be by using this particle: は, pronounced wa*, to state that 私 is the subject (or "Topic", if you've ever taken a Japanese language class) of the sentence. Particles always come after the word they modify, and so our sentence now becomes 私は食べる, "Watashi-wa taberu". "As for me, eat."

Given all the meaning that は conveys in this sentence, can we say that it counts as a word? Or is it really a part of 私? This is an open debate among Japanese linguists. You will also note that Japanese does not utilize spaces to separate morphemes. Is the whole sentence a word? Probably not, but it can get tricky where we make the separations.

Now, if we replace は with a different particle, say, が ("ga"), the sentence becomes: 私が食べる, "Watashi-ga taberu". Now the sentence means: "Of all the people in the given context who could be, it is me who eats."

But if we replace the particle with を ("wo", or usually just "o"), the sentence becomes 私を食べる "Watashi-o taberu". Now we have completely changed the noun/verb relationship and made 私 the direct object of the verb. In other words, someone, or something, is eating me!

Particles do get dropped in casual speech if the context is clear, but if you're just learning it, it would be best to always use them until you learn when it's appropriate not to.


One case where you can't drop a particle ever is with the particle の ("no"). While it has several functions, the most basic is to connect two different nouns, either to show possession, or to have one noun modify the other. In this case, XのY either means "X of Y", or "X's Y". For instance: 私の車, "watashi no kuruma" ("my car").

With は, it was easy to argue that it belonged to the word it modified. But in this case, to which word does の belong? Does it belong to the first word or the second? Does it link them together? Is the phrase 1, 2, or 3 separate words? It's not clear at all, and it may be that "word" is not a useful paradigm in this case.

( * normally pronounced "ha", the character は, as a particle is, for historical reasons, always pronounced "wa")
1
Add a comment...

Nathanael Tronerud changed his profile photo.

Shared publicly  - 
1
Add a comment...

Nathanael Tronerud

commented on a video on YouTube.
Shared publicly  - 
 
Finally on youtube!!
1
Add a comment...

Nathanael Tronerud

Shared publicly  - 
 
The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, which I scored last year, has been nominated for two Audio Publisher Awards ("Audies"), for Best Audio Drama and Best Multi-Voiced Performance:
Princeton Junction, NJ – The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced finalists for its 2014 Audie Awards® competition, the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to hono...
1
Add a comment...

Nathanael Tronerud

Shared publicly  - 
 
Hello Google+.
1
Alicia Byer's profile photoNathanael Tronerud's profile photo
2 comments
 
That's how I roll.
Add a comment...
Story
Tagline
Composer
Introduction
Composer for film and media, science aficionado, Minecraft addict.
Bragging rights
SCL Mentee. GANG Student / Apprentice Award Recipient. Composer for the Riverside series of audiobooks by Ellen Kushner, produced by Neil Gaiman.
Education
  • California State University, Long Beach
    MM Composition, 2010 - 2013
    Composition, Film Scoring, Sound Design, Music Theory, Music History, Notation
  • Rhode Island College
    BA Music, 2003 - 2007
    Composition, Music Theory, Music History, Orchestration, Percussion
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Nate, Nathan, Nathaniel
Work
Occupation
Composer
Skills
composition, arranging, orchestration, engraving, scoring, sequencing, sound design
Employment
  • Composer, 2006 - present
    Composer, copyist, assistant.
  • Symphony 47
    Orchestra Assistant, 2013 - present
    Assistant conductor and librarian, fill-in percussionist. Symphony 47 is a non-profit, community orchestra based in Hollywood, CA, led by Eímear Noone and Craig Stuart Garfinkle.
  • California State University, Long Beach
    GA/TA, 2011 - 2012
    Graduate assistant and instructor.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Long Beach, CA
Previously
Los Angeles, CA - Providence, RI - Blackstone, MA