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[Lingo] Re: [tlug] Correct particle to use

[Cross-posting to <>]

On 12/06/07, Amy & Don Johnson <> wrote:

Niels seems to indicate that を is the correct particle (助詞)to use
based on an entry in a dictionary. However, when I have a question about
Japanese grammar, I plug the possibilities into Google and let mostly
native speakers "vote" for whichever expression they think is
appropriate. Since grammar rules change over time and reflect a kind of
consensus of native speakers, I think this is a good method.

This is called descriptive linguistics:

if you enter


into Google you get 71,000 hits.

I would be interested in the context of these. Neither my wife nor I could think of a case where the rules of *prescriptive* linguistics[1] allow the "A を V-potential" construction.

Obviously native speakers use this construction more than occasionally
(your numbers indicate roughly 1/3 of the time, at least with the
ability to read a book); what I now want to know is how often are they
"making a mistake" (according to prescription[1]) versus conveying
some nuance for which I do not know a rule.

Congrats on a clever use of Google, Don. I use Google like this to
check my usage, but I've never thought to look at the hit count
between different particles. This is a paper in linguistics waiting to
happen; "The Internet as a Corpus". Wonder if my wife'll jump on it.


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