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Friday, April 15, 2022

~ku ~く Adverbial Copula

In Japanese, ~ku is the ending of i-adjectives when conjugated to their ren'youkei 連用形, i.e. it's the adverbial form of the ~i ~い copula. It's similar to the "~ly" suffix that turns adjectives in adverbs in English, e.g. if sugoi すごい means "incredible," then sugoku すご means "incredibly," although it may translate to the bare form when it expresses the final state of a process. It can also be used to connect multiple adjectives to each other. In rare cases, ~ku is used in a manner similar to a noun describable by the adjective. For example:

  • {karuku} takaku
    叩く
    To hit [something] {lightly}.
    To hit [something] {in a way that is light}.
    (process modification.)
    • karui
      軽い
      Light. As in not "heavy," omoi 重い. Not to be confused with a sparkling "light," hikari 光.
  • {karuku} naru
    なる
    To become {light}.
    (final state.)
  • {{takaku} hayai} kuruma
    速い車
    A car that {{is expensive and} fast}.
    (connective copula.)
    • takai
      高い
      High. (height.)
      Expensive. (price.)
  • tooku φ e nigeru
    逃げる
    To escape to [a place that] is far away.
    (noun-like usage.)
    • tooi
      遠い
      Far. Antonym of chikai 近い, "near."
おねーちゃん こっちも生中2つね ガヤガヤ おねーちゃん!?気やすく呼びおって!我を誰だとおもっている 生中2つな ピピ 我は魔界No.2(ナンバーツー)のジャヒーさ・・・ ねーちゃんこっちもー あっ!?はい!
Manga: Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!, ジャヒー様はくじけない! (Chapter 0.1, ジャヒー様とすまいる)

Grammar

See the article about i-adjectives for general grammar about i-adjectives, conjugation. This article is mainly about the suffix found in the ren'youkei.

Adverbial Copula

The ~ku ~く morpheme has a function analogous to the ni に adverbial copula, which would be the ren'youkei of the da だ copula used with na-adjectives and no-adjectives (nouns), therefore, it follows that ~ku is an adverbial copula, too. Observe:

shuushikei 終止形 ren'youkei 連用形
i-adjective Tarou ga hayai
太郎が速
Tarou is quick.
{hayaku} hashiru
走る
To run {quickly}.
na-adjective Tarou ga shoujiki da
太郎が正直
Tarou is frank.
{shoujiki ni} iu
正直言う
To speak {frankly}.
no-adjective Tarou ga koukousei da
太郎が高校生
Tarou is a high-schooler.
{koukousei ni} naru
高校生なる
To become {a high-schooler}.

If a phrase seems difficult to understand, generally you can paraphrase it as "to do something in a way that is...," e.g. "to run {in a way that is fast}."

おねーちゃん こっちも生中2つね ガヤガヤ おねーちゃん!?気やすく呼びおって!我を誰だとおもっている 生中2つな ピピ 我は魔界No.2(ナンバーツー)のジャヒーさ・・・ ねーちゃんこっちもー あっ!?はい!
Manga: Jahy-sama wa Kujikenai!, ジャヒー様はくじけない! (Chapter 0.1, ジャヒー様とすまいる)
  • Context: Jahy-sama works as a waitress.
  • oneechan, kocchi mo nama-chuu futatsu ne
    おねーちゃん こっちも生中2つね
    Missy, two beers here, too.
  • gaya gaya
    ガヤガヤ
    *noisy crowd.*
    (mimetic word.)
  • oneechan!? {ki-yasuku} yobi-otte! ware wo dare da to omotte-iru
    おねーちゃん!?気やす呼びおって!我を誰だとおもっている
    Missy?! Calling [me] so casually! Who does [he] think I am?
    • ki-yasui - relaxed, familiar, casual, as opposed to formal.
    • yobi-otte - te-form of yobi-oru 呼びおる.
    • ~oru suffixed to the ren'youkei 連用形 of a verb works similarly to ~yagaru ~やがる, used to say someone "dares" to do something to you, expressing angers or amazement.
    • {ki-yasuku} yobu - to call [her] {in a way that is relaxed, familiar, casual}.
  • nama-chuu futatsu na
    生中2つな
    Two beers, right?
  • pi, pi
    ピピ
    *writing down.*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • ware wa makai nanbaa tsuu no Jahii-sa...
    我は魔界No.2ナンバーツーのジャヒーさ・・・
    I['m] the demon world's number two, Jahy-sa...
    (incomplete sentence.)
    • Here, Jahy was about to call herself Jahy-sama. You don't normally use honorific suffixes toward yourself, specially the respectful ~sama ~様, as it sounds pompous. This is typically done by characters that are extremely proud, over-confident, or bossy.
    • nanbaa tsuu, the katakanization of "number two," was used as furigana for its abbreviation.
  • neechan, kocchi mo~
    ねーちゃんこっちも
    Missy, here too~
  • a'!? hai!
    !?はい!
    Ah? [One second]!
    • hai - "yes," used as an affirmative response in general.

This is particularly clear in the ergative verb pair naru なる and suru する, "to become" and "to make become," respectively, where the phrases ~ni naru ~になる and ~ni suru ~にする used with na-adjectives and no-adjectives have ~ku naru ~くなる and ~ku suru ~くする counterparts for i-adjectives.

  • kuruma ga {hayaku} naru
    車が速くなる
    The car becomes {quick}.
    The car becomes {fast}.
  • kuruma wo {hayaku} suru
    車を速くする
    To make a car become {fast}.
    To make a car go vrooom.
    • kuruma wo {hayaku} dekiru
      車を速くできる
      To be able to make the car become {fast}.
      (potential form of suru.)

Note that ~ku doesn't translate to the bare form (i.e. as a flat adverb) in English only with naru and suru.

  • {atsuku} moeru
    燃える
    To burn {hot}. (to end up hot by burning.)
  • {fukaku} shizumu
    沈む
    To sink {deep}. (to end up deep by sinking.)

At Sentence End

When a sentence ends in ~ku ~く, it's most likely an incomplete sentence ending in the adverb and missing its main verb, which is likely naru, but could be something else. For example:

効かねェからだよ 今度ァてつてつがチンチンだよオイ・・・!! シュウウ ※一部地域で“熱々”のことだからね! 熱で赤く・・・!
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia, 僕のヒーローアカデミア (Chapter 204, チューニング)
  • Context: Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu 鉄哲徹鐵, whose body turns into "iron," tetsu 鉄, explains why he is the one to face Todoroki Shouto 轟焦凍 in battle, who can use fire.
  • kikanee kara da yo
    効かねからだよ
    Because [it] doesn't have effect!
    Because the fire doesn't work on me!
    • kiku
      効く
      To have effect.
  • kondo a Tetsutetsu ga chinchin da yo oi...!!
    今度てつてつチンチンだよオイ・・・!!
    Tetsutetsu is chinchin(※see note below) now, oy...!!
  • shuuu
    シュウウ
    *vapor fuming*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • ichibu chiiki de "atsu-atsu" no koto da kara ne!
    ※一部地域“熱”のことだから
    ※In a certain region [it] means "atsu-atsu" [you see]!
  • netsu de {akaku} [natta]...!
    熱で赤・・・!
    [He] [became] {red} with heat...!
    (incomplete sentence.)

Alternatively, it could be a dislocation:

  • hashire! {motto {hayaku}}!!!
    走れ!もっと速!!!
    *Run! {More {fast}}!!! (literally.)
    Run! Faster!!!
    (right-dislocated sentence.)
    • {motto {hayaku}} hashire
      もっと速く走れ
      ?Run {more {fast}}!!!
      (same meaning.)

Some adverbs commonly used without verbs:

  • yoroshiku
    よろしく
    Used to say "nice to meet you," or "I'm happy to be working with you" when greeting someone for the first time (yoroshiku onegai shimasu よろしくおねがいします). From yoroshii よろしい, "good."
  • shikata naku
    仕方なく
    It couldn't be helped. From shikata ga nai 仕方がない, "there is no way to do [it]."
  • mattaku
    全く
    Good grief. From mattai 全い, meaning "complete."

Derived Forms

The past form of i-adjectives derives from the ~ku ren'youkei modifying the irregular verb aru ある.(Fujiyoshi, 1982:89) This derivation isn't obvious at first glance due to changes in pronunciation merging the resulting phrase. Observe:

  • hayakatta
    かった
    [It] was fast.
    • The unchanged stem would be:
    • {hayaku} atta
      あった
      It existed {in a way that was fast}. (literally.)

The negative form derives similarly from nai ない, which is the irregular negative form of aru.

  • hayakunai
    ない
    [It] isn't fast.
    • hayaku plus ~nai.
  • hayakunakatta
    かった
    [It] wasn't fast.
    • Stem: hayaku naku atta.

Syntactically, the ~aru (~nai) of ~ku aru ~くある (~ku nai ~くない) is a hojo-doushi 補助動詞 (auxiliary verb). Similar syntax for the da だ copula is found in de aru である (de nai でない), a difference being that de is the te-form of da, while ~ku isn't the te-form of ~i.

The te-form of i-adjectives is ~kute ~くて. It's possible that this is derived from ~ku, too, but I haven't been able to confirm it.

Before Particle

Like de aru and other hojo-doushi phrases, ~ku aru can be split into ~ku, some particle, then ~aru. Usually the wa は particle (e.g. ~ku wa aru ~くはある), or the mo も particle (e.g. ~ku mo nai ~くもない).

  • hayaku wa aru ga, yasuku wa nai
    速くはあるが、安くはない
    Fast, [it] is, but cheap, [it] is not.
    It's fast, but not cheap.
    (contrastive wa.)
    • c.f.:
    • kirei de wa aru ga hitsuyou de wa nai
      綺麗ではあるが必要ではない
      Pretty, [it] is, but necessary, [it] is not.
      It's pretty, but unnecessary.
  • sabishiku mo nai
    寂しくもない
    [I] am not even lonely.
    [I] am not lonely, either.
    • c.f.:
    • mijime de mo nai
      惨めでもない
      [I] am not even miserable.
      [I] am not miserable, either.
  • yoku mo waruku mo nani mo nai
    良くも悪くも何もない
    Not good nor bad nor anything.

Connective Copula

The ren'youkei can sometimes be used to connect multiple adjectives, like the te-form.

  • {{chiisaku} kawaii} doubutsu
    小さかわいい動物
    An animal [that] {{is small and} cute}.
    A small, cute animal.
    • {{chiisakute} kawaii} doubutsu
      小さくてかわいい動物
      (same meaning.)

Note that the last adjective must end in ~i, it can't end in ~ku. On the other hand, ~i can also be used to be used to chain multiple adjectives to a single noun.(Larson & Yamakido, 2003:3)

  • ookii takai akai kuruma
    大き
    Big, expensive, red car.
  • ookiku takai akai kuruma
    大きく高い赤い車
    (same meaning.)
  • ookiku takaku akai kuruma
    大き赤い車
    (same meaning.)
  • *ookiku takaku akaku kuruma
    大き
    (wrong.)

Noun-Like Usage

Sometimes, a word ending in ~ku ~く appears to be used as a noun describable by the adjective. For example:(Larson & Yamakido, 2003:2, 5)

  • Tarou ga {tooi} basho e itta
    太郎が遠い場所へ行った
    Tarou went to a place [that] {is far}.
  • Tarou ga tooku e itta
    太郎が遠へ行った
    (same meaning.)
  • kono densetsu ga {furui} jidai kara aru
    この伝説が古時代からある
    This legend exists since times [that] {are old}.
    This legend exists since old times.
  • kono densetsu ga furuku kara aru
    この伝説が古からある
    (same meaning.)
  • Hanako ni hagemashi no tegami ga ooku kara yoserareta
    花子に励ましの手紙が多くから寄せられた
    Letters of encouragement were sent to Hanako from many [people].
    • ooi 多い, "many."

This usage isn't allowed with just any adjective. It has many restrictions. Only adjectives regarding time or space are allowed (e.g. chikai 近い, "near," asai 深い, "shallow," hikui 低い, "low," osoi 遅い, "late," wakai 若い, "young," and their antonyms).(Larson & Yamakido, 2003:3–4) Similarly, the noun-like ~ku only occurs marked by a spatiotemporal particle, such as kara から, "since," "from," made まで, "up to," "until," ni, "to," or e, "toward."(ibid:5) Considering this, it's not a form of nominalization, instead, it's as if a spatiotemporal noun (e.g. basho, jidai) was omitted (elided), i.e. there's a spatiotemporal null pronoun after the word.(ibid:2) Exceptions exist: tooku 遠く and chikaku 近く can be marked as subject and object by the ga and wo, respectively, and by the no の particle to become no-adjectives (genitive case);(ibid:6) and ooku 多く, "many," can used like a noun, including with ga, wo, no, despite not being spatiotemporal, likely because the linguistic phenomenon allowing ooku to work is different from the one that allows tooku and furuku to work.(ibid:6, 13)

  • sono paathii de ooku φ ga yopparatta
    そのパーティーで多くが酔っ払った
    Many [people] were drunk at that party.
    Many φ were drunk at that party.
    • φ - a symbol representing the null pronoun.
    • Note that in English we can say "many were drunk" to mean "many PEOPLE were drunk."
    • Many languages, including English, allow nominal ellipsis (the noun, e.g. "people," is omitted) with the words "many" and "much."(ibid:13, citing Sleeman, 1996)
    • When you read a sentence like "the needs of many outweigh the needs of few" for some reason you always think "many people" and "few people," even though it could be "many rabbits," for example.
  • Hanako ga sore ni tsuite ooku φ wo kataranakatta
    花子がそれについて多くを語らなかった
    Hanako didn't speak much about that.
  • *Tarou ga utsukushiku e itta
    太郎が美しくへ行った
    Intended: Tarou went to a beautiful place.
    • This is wrong because utsukushii 美しい, "beautiful," isn't a spatiotemporal adjective.
  • *kono densetsu ga kuraku kara aru
    この伝説が暗くからある
    Intended: this legend exists since dark times.
    • This is wrong because kurai 暗い, "dark," isn't a spatiotemporal adjective.
  • *Tarou ga hayaku no meethingu e itta
    太郎が早くのミーティングへ行った
    (wrong.)
    • This is wrong because the genitive case marker no の can't come after hayaku, c.f.:
    • Tarou ga {hayai} jikan no meechingu e itta
      太郎が早い時間のミーティングへ行った
      Tarou went to the meeting of the time [that] {is early}.
      Tarou went to an {early} meeting.
  • tooku φ no machi
    遠くの街
    A town of a far [place].
    • This is allowed because the genitive case marker no の can come after tooku.
  • chikaku φ no eki
    近くの駅
    The station of a nearby [place].
    • It's not the station that is near, it's the place where the station is located at that is near, which, naturally, consequently means that the station is near. Sounds a bit roundabout, doesn't it?

Homonyms

Some godan verbs end in ~ku ~く in their nonpast form, making their ending homonymous with the ~ku adverbial copula.

おまえ・・・・・・つまんないウソつくね
Manga: World Trigger, ワールドトリガー (Chapter 6, 嵐山隊)
  • Context: Kuga Yuuma 空閑遊真 knows your habits.
  • omae...... tsuman'nai uso φ tsuku ne
    おまえ・・・・・・つまんないウソ つく
    You...... tell boring lies, [don't you]?
    • tsuman'nai - a contraction of tsumaranai つまらない.
    • tsuku - "to spew," "to tell [lies]," a godan verb, not the ren'youkei of some *tsui つい i-adjective.

Some contractions can be mistaken for the ~ku copula: ~teku ~てく (~deku ~でく), from ~te-iku ていく (~de-iku ~でいく), and ~toku ~とく (~doku ~どく), from ~te-oku ~ておく (~de-oku でおく).

何でしたら入り次第お宅へお届けいたしましょうか そうしてくれる? 代金はその場で払うようにしとくから
Manga: Historie, ヒストリエ (Chapter 6, 図書室・2)
  • Context: a boy wants to buy a book, but it's out of stock.
  • nandeshitara hairi shidai otaku e otodoke itashimashou ka
    何でしたら入り次第お宅お届けいたしましょうか
    [If you want] [I] will deliver [it] to [your] house [as soon as] [it] enters [stock].
    • shidai
      次第
      Depending on. In this case, when he delivers the book depends on when it enters stock. As soon as.
  • sou shite kureru?
    そうしてくれる
    [You] will do so for [me]?
  • daikin wa {{sono ba de harau} you ni} shitoku kara
    代金はその場で払うようにしとくから
    As for the payment, [I] will make [it] {so [that] {[it] is paid there}}.
    • i.e. the payment will be ready at his home for when it arrives.
    • ~you ni suru ~ようにする, "to make it so that [something happens]."
    • ~you ni shite-oku ~ようにしておく, "to make it so that [something happens] in preparation for [something else]," e.g. he'll give his servants the money and instructions to pay the book so that when it arrives there it can be paid for there.

References

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