Characteristics of the Japanese language in AX Semantics

Fundamentals

Generally, Japanese has neither gender nor number for nouns. However, the AX NLG platform supports two numbers (singular and plural) for the usage of personal pronouns. Additionally, Japanese has around thirteen cases for nouns. They are expressed as particles and placed after the noun.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
number
(personal pronoun)
singular
[kare]
(he)
plural彼等
[karera]
(they)
cases (noun)nominative
[le]
(sky)
nominative subject家が古くなる。
[Iega furukunaru]
(The house-家が becomes old-古くなる.)
nominative topic家は古いです。
[Iewa furuidesu]
(The house-家は is old-古いです.)
genitive
[Ieno iro]
(color-色 of house-家)
dative家に来て
[Ieni kite]
(come-来て to the house-家に)
accusative家を塗る
[leo nuru]
(paint-塗る the house-家を)
lative家へ帰ろう
[lee kaerou]
(Let's go-帰ろう home-家へ.)
ablative家から
[lekara]
(from the house)
instrumental家でできる
[Iede dekiru]
(can be done-できる at home- 家で)
comitative家と
[Ieto]
(with the house)
comparative (yori)家より美しい
[Ieyori utsukushī]
(more beautiful-美しい than the house-家より)
until (made)家まで歩いて
[Iemade aruite]
(walk-歩いて to the house-家まで)
incomplete list (ya)家や不動産
[Ieya fudosan]
house and real estate
adjectives (noun)before nounかわいい犬
[kawaii inu]
(かわいい-cute/犬-dog)
verb tensesimperfective映画を見る
[Eiga o miru]
( watch a movie)
gerundive映画を見て
[Eiga o mite]
(is watching- a movie)
perfective映画を見た
[Eiga o mita]
(watched a movie)

The standard order of a noun phrase in Japanese is the following: determiner + numeral + noun + adjective + preposition. See for example:

この     3冊の     人気      書籍      について
[kono   sansatsu  ninki    shoseki  nitsuitsatsu]
these   three     popular  book     about
DET     NUM       ADJ      NOUN     PREP
"about these three popular books"

Lexicon

Nouns

Japanese nouns are marked by case particles, which are placed after the nouns.

Examples

The basic lexicon entry for 犬[inu] (dog) contains:

  • inflection table for case and number:
SingularPlural
Nominative
Nominative Subject
Nominative Topic
Genitive
Dative
Accusative
Lative
Ablativeからから
Instrumental
Comitative
Comparative (Yori)よりより
Until (Made)までまで
Incomplete List (Ya)

Adjectives

There is no need to have lexicon entries for adjectives because in Japanese they are not inflected. As for adjective position, the default is "before noun".

Verbs

Japanese verbs inflect for tense. The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects incorrectly, you should add it to the lexicon. If you need more tenses, please contact the support.

Container settings

Determiner

AX NLG platform supports demonstrative, distal, medial, and possessive determiners for Japanese.

Numerals

The noun will automatically agree with the numeral number when a numeral variable is used. Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit.

cardinalordinal
text九日
[Koko noka]
(nine -九 days-日)
九日目
[koko noka me]
(the ninth-九_目 day-日)
digit9日
[Koko noka]
(9 days)
9日目
[koko noka me]
(the 9th day)

Except for age, hour, date, month, and years, Japanese nouns sometimes need a classifier for cardinal numerals. Take “three cars” for example, you will need the classifier for machinery 台 (dai):

三台車
[san dai kuruma]
(three-三 classifier-台 cars-車)

For Japanese, cardinal and ordinal numerals are written out until 12 on the platform, otherwise (above 12) the output is in digit form. Below you can see an example with a cardinal numeral, which also includes a classifier:

十二匹猫
[juni bbiki neko]
(twelve-十二 classifier-匹 cats-猫)
vs.
13匹猫
[juzo bbiki neko]
(13 classifier-匹 cats-猫)

Writing System

The Japanese writing system uses a combination of 1) kanji, which are adopted Chinese characters 2) hiragana, which is used primarily for native Japanese words and 3) katakana, used primarily for foreign words and names. They are all supported by the AX NLG platform. Furthermore, there is no space in Japanese sentences except after non-Japanese punctuation or for foreign words.