Katakana and Kanji (was: Re: interleaved ordering (was RE: Phoenician))

From: Kenneth Whistler (kenw@sybase.com)
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 18:29:25 CDT

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    Stefan Persson wrote:

    > Mike Ayers wrote:
    > > I have not seen
    > > katakana joined to kanji (or romaji), and suspect that such does not occur.
    > There are a few cases, e.g. ソ連 (So-Ren: Soviet Union), but that could
    > also be written as two kanji as 蘇連 (which is however very rare in
    > modern Japanese).

    It's actually quite common, depending on how you choose
    to construe "joined". Certainly, mixed katakana/kanji
    lexical items occur all the time.

    Japanese for PGA: puroogorufukyookai
                      katakana kanji
                 PGA Championship: zenbeipuroo
                                    kanji katakana
    It's true that katakana aren't normally used the way okurigana
    are, to write out the grammatically changeable suffixal portion
    of verb stems written in kanji. But that's rather beside the
    point when kanji and katakana are rather freely mixed in
    nominal compounds of all sorts.

    By the way, the So-Ren example is just an abbreviation of the
    same kind of pattern I show above:

    Japanese for Soviet Union: sobietorenhoo ==> soren
                               ^^^^^^^====== ^^===
                              katakana kanji
    This process is an onrushing, accelerating one. If you look
    at early 20th century Japanese materials, it is rather uncommon,
    but if you look at contemporary Japanese writing -- particularly
    the sort seen in popular culture, which is the leading edge of
    this kind of change, it is all over the place. Katakana is
    sweeping in as it carries with it all the English (and other)
    language material rapidly moving into Japanese, along with all
    the other popular functions of katakana.

    Other examples from corporate names:

    fujizerokkusu (Fuji Xerox)

    tookyoogasu (Tokyo Gas)

    nihonaibiiemu (IBM Japan)
    =====^^ ^^^ ^^^

    Then there's always that all-purpose fixer-upper:

    nenchakuteepu (duct tape, adhesive tape)


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