い adjectives: ~たい and some auxiliary verbs
  • Hi!

    I've come across this pattern with some "i-adjectives" where the adjectives are formed by adding "たい" to the stem (not the auxiliary adjective "to want"). For example:

    煙たい (smoky)
    重たい (heavy)
    平たい (flat)
    眠たい (sleepy)
    後ろめたい (feeling guilty) (めたい in this case)
    冷たい (cold (to the touch))

    What's the "たい" here? What's the difference between 煙い and 煙たい or 重い and 重たい for example?

    On a similar note, what are:

    "ぎる" in 脂ぎる (to become greasy),
    "たわる" in 横たわる (to lie down),
    "ざかる" in 遠ざかる (to go away),
    "ざめる" in 青ざめる (to become pale),

    How/why were those auxiliary verbs formed/chosen for those nouns? They don't appear in any dictionary, so I'm not sure if they're really auxiliary verbs.
  • Note that these adjectives share original meaning, but they also acquire additional meanings, either for disambiguation or expanding/tightening the meaning without interfering the original word. I think we'd need to touch some complex grammar areas to check if - when it comes to these adjectives - this is a kind of process or just selective pool of words or maybe a word-formation phenomenon.

    PS: Note that you are talking about た that appears in the adjective, not たい.

    I don't get your second question. Would you be so kind as to explain it in details? You are not talking about okurigana of these words, are you?
  • Yes, my mistake, た in ~たい.
    And 重たい or 眠たい don't seem to have any additional meanings.

    For my second question:

    脂 (あぶら) is the original word - fat, and the verb form (あぶらぎる) is not listed in KANJIDIC/Jisho.org under kanji details (but it is in EDICT, the word database, except apparently not on Jisho.org, which seems to be using an old version). Neither is it in the list of officially recognized joyo readings*, but it is listed under the example words in the pdf.

    The same goes for 横 (よこ), 遠 (とお) and 青 (あお).

    So I'm guessing these are some archaic auxiliary verbs or something.

    * http://www.bunka.go.jp/kokugo_nihongo/pdf/jouyoukanjihyou_h22.pdf
  • What is an auxiliary verb? Usually, it is a verb that, over time, has come to be used together with another verb to add a certain flavor (time, mood, ...) to it. However, at least originally, they did posses an independent significance (eg られる・れる probably from 得る+有る).

    脂ぎる = あぶら+着る
    青ざめる= 青  +褪める
    遠ざかる= 遠  +離る (『離(さか)る:(対象から自然に)遠く離れる。遠ざかる。〔万葉〕2・131「いや遠(とほ)に里は離り〈用〉ぬ」』全訳古語辞典第三版)

    I don't know about 横たわる, however.

    Also,
    重たい:『〔表現〕「重い」とほぼ同じ意味だが、一般に「重たい」は実際に持ってみたり、持ったら重いだろうと想像したりするような、重さが実感される場合に使われる。』
    眠たい:『「眠い」よりややくだけた感じの言い方。』

    (both quoted from 明鏡国語辞典)
  • Thanks a lot. I think 横たわる is 横 + 仆 or 倒 (たふ/たおれる).

    It seems the ~たい is a remnant of 甚い (いたし/いたい) from old Japanese, which was used to make a verb into an adjective of sorts.

    However, 冷たい, 平たい and 後ろめたい don't have those verb forms, so I wonder if they did in the past (めたい in 後ろめたい could be some other auxiliary adjective I guess).
  • Fun fact: 冷たい derives from 爪痛し.
    http://gogen-allguide.com/tu/tsumetai.html (日本語)
  • Ah, good to know, thanks!

    I also found the answer for 後ろめたい, but 平たい is still a mystery to me (or could it be 平体?):
    http://gogen-allguide.com/u/ushirometai.html

    Another pattern of some i-adjectives I found is by changing the verb-う form into あ + しい:

    輝く -> 輝かしい
    願う -> 願わしい
    喜ぶ -> 喜ばしい

    Any idea what this auxiliary adjective was/is? A similar one is ~らしい which means "seeming, like..." in words like 女らしい. Or could this be the same thing, minus the R?
  • -ashii: Adjectives formed from verb by the addition of shii (形容詞をつくる。そのような性質がある、…の様子だ、…と感じられる の意). It is the adjectival ending, today without meaning and conjugation being its only purpose. The adjectival conjugation is already fully established in the earliest writings of Japanese, such as the Kojiki (waga seko wo kouru mo kurushi, yearning for my mistress too is painful) or the Manyougana (iyashiki yado, a mean dwelling). As for the etymology of this suffix, so I'm afraid the origin of shii goes back well beyond the reach of the available data. This leaves the choice of what is in form identical to the 未然形 as the basis for adding shii to be explained. If it is were the 未然形, I can think of no convincing reason why it should be used, infact, I would expect the 連用形. Now, with adjectives, shii can simply be added to the stem (eg 荒々しい,淡々しい,痛々しい,貧しい(まずい),近しい,眩しい,…), but alas, there is no such stem for verbs, and thus, one form of the verb must be used.

    Consider the following words, which are all derived from verb, which is neither 未然形, nor ending in -a.
    - 恐ろしい (from the verb 恐る)
    - 苦しい (from 狂う?, or 暗る・眩る〔meaning (涙で)目が曇り見えなくなる。理性がなくなる。心が乱れ惑う。〕???)
    - 愛おしい (from 厭う)
    - 頼もしい (from 頼む)
    - 思(おぼ)しい (from 思う)
    - 乏(とも)しい (from 求(と)む?)
    - 宜しい (from 寄る>yoroshii?)

    But observe the vowels,
    - osOrOshii
    - kUrUshii
    - itOOshii
    - tanOmOshii

    Other counter example, without vowel agreement,
    - 恨めしい (from 恨む) not *うらましい
    - 狂おしい (from 狂う) not *くるわしい
    - 侘しい (from either 詫ぶ or 詫びる), not *わばしい, wabi seems to be considered the stem, the part of the word which carries meaning, る is just an inflectional suffix
    - the existence of the pairs 好もしい・好ましい and 思(おぼ)しい・思わしい also hints at sound being the influencing factor

    Conversely,
    - 悲しい, apparently from かねる>*kaneshii>kAnAshii (http://gogen-allguide.com/ka/kanashii.html)
    - 難しい, from 憤(むつか)る (四段), instead of *むずからしい, the final syllable る is dropped, ie there is no rule or auxiliary at work here, the only rule here is "how it sounds"
    - 訝しい, from 訝る
    - 新しい, from 改(あらた)む, similarly, not *あらたましい or *あたらましい, as we might suspect
    - (優・易)しい, from 痩せる, we might expect *やせしい, but again, vowel agreement seems to be the driving factor

    Vowel agreement is also found in many word derived from verbs (adjectives),
    - asamashii
    - kagayAkAshii
    - iratAdAshii
    - imAwAshii
    - itAwAshii
    - isAmAshii
    - itAmAshii
    - utagAwAshii
    - urayAmAshii
    - tAdAshii
    - kidukAwAshii
    - kegarAwAshii (from 汚らふ)
    - nagekAwAshii (from 嘆かふ)
    - fusAwAshii (from 相応ふ)
    - kozAkAshii
    - sAkAshii
    - sawAgAshii
    - shitAwAshii
    - subArAshii
    - nayAmAshii
    - niAwAshii
    - magirAwAshii
    - negAwAshii
    - netAmAshii
    - mezAmAshii
    - yakAmAshii
    - yAmAshii
    - yUyUshii
    - utsUkUshii
    - kIbIshii
    - wazurAwAshii
    - & a few more
    The former of the two vowels can only be coincidence, the inflectional -a can be explained easily by vowel agreement (aka "easy-to-pronounce").

    [Random note: Japanese words: aka, asa, ada, ana, ama, ara, aya, aga, aza, aba, awa, kasa, kata, kama, kara, kaya, kaba, kawa, saka, sasa, saba, sama, sara, saya, saga, sawa, tada, taka, tana, taba, tama, tara, taga, naka, naga, nasa, nata, nana, nawa, nama, nara, naya, hana, haka, hama, hada, haba, haha, hara, haya, hata, masa, mata, mana, mama, mada, raba, yaka, yana, yaba, yama, yara, yaya, yawa, baka, bara, waka, waza, wata, wana, wara, waya, waga, just an interesting observation, this does not mean much, as there are also ake, ase, ate, ane, ame, are, aze, age &c.]

    Adjectives formed by duplication self-contained words, they naturally the same vowel as well,
    - 禍々しい
    - 荒々しい
    - 美々しい
    - 女々しい
    - &c.
    providing more instances of -ashii. This *may* be enough to explain the -a- in the few adjectives derived from nouns that do not exhibit vowel agreement,
    - 厭わしい (itooshii already exists, different meaning)
    - 思わしい (omoosii also exists, similar meaning)
    - 好ましい (konomosii also exists, same meaning)
    - 慎ましい
    - 誇らしい
    - 微笑ましい
    - 望ましい
    - 呪わしい
    - 喜ばしい
    - 忙しい
    - 逞しい
    - -めかしい from -めく (see end of post)
    - and this list is almost complete.
    by analogy to those words that already existed and which we can explain (aka "people-saw-the-pattern"). Alternatively, maybe hohoemashii merely sounds better than hohoemoshii/hohoemushii/hohoemishii.

    Taking all the above into account, it appears to me that the explanation for the predominance of the open vowel a ([ä]) is to be sought in phonetics rather than syntax, grammar or pragmatics, ie "having a nice ring to it" is the driving factor.

    PS:
    - The ka of あぶない・あぶかしい・あぶなかしい still demands explanation.
    -芳(かぐわ)しい=香+くわしい(細やかで美しい)から; 香ばしい=かぐわしいの転。
    -たらしい:(「態(てい)らしい」の変化したものか) …の印象が強くて不快な感じを与えるさま。
    eg 憎たらしい,長たらしい,惨たらしい,未練たらしいことをいう。
    My guess is that perhaps it derives from the classical copula たる?
    -がましい:…その状態や物に似ている意を表す。…らしい。…のきらいがある。…の傾向がある。いかにも。…のようだ。
    eg 晴れがましい,差し出がましい,痴がましい,言い訳がましいことをいう
    -めかしい:(接尾語「めく」から)そのような状態を呈している意を表す。…らしい。…のようである。
    eg 艶かしい,古めかしい,態とがましい,予言めかしいことをいう


    PPS:
    - 横たわる: This may be of interest...
    http://homepage2.nifty.com/kodaijin-tamat/index.files/N67-69yokosuwatatu.htm
  • Much appreciated, as always!

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