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Question の as a replacement for people...?

xminus1

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Edit: Just after posting the message below, I realized that の at a sentence's end with rising tone indicates a question. So that would seem to be the answer to my question.

In the same dialogue, there was another sentence with の that I wasn't sure about: 「船に乗ったの?」. Initially I thought the の was superfluous, but now I understand it is simply a question marker.

I don't understand why Minna has never explained this either in vocabulary lists or in a grammar section. The authors quite frequently want to stretch their readers' cognitive abilities :oops: They have a devilish sense of humour!

____

Hello, friends:​
My Minna textbook says: "の can be used as a replacement for things, but NOT for people".​
With that in mind, I'm not quite sure how の is being used in a Minna dialogue.​
A grandson and grandfather are having a conversation. Grandpa has told the boy a story about sowing his wild oats as a young man in France. The boy in turn expresses curiosity about his grandfather's international romantic interests and their connection to his grandmother. He fires off a few questions:​
フランス人の彼女は?​
どうして結婚式しなかった?​
おばあちゃんは、いつ会った?​
The last two uses of の (in bold) interest me. Is の here being used as a replacement for フランス人? If so, does this violate the rule about の not being used as a replacement for people?​
Thanks for any help!​
 
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Toritoribe

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I seem to post my reply while you were editting.😅

My Minna textbook says: "の can be used as a replacement for things, but NOT for people".
Actually, の can be used as a pronoun for people. I don't know why the textbook says so.
e.g.
あそこにいるのが父です。
The one over there is my father.

青いシャツを着ているのがチームメイトです。
The ones wearing a blue shirt are our team members.
 

xminus1

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Hi, Toritoribe:

Thanks as always for your reply! 🙏 Yes, it was funny that I was editing my post when you were responding for the first time. I had second thoughts immediately, and you were very fast to write your reply to help me!

Ok, now back to our grammar discussion. It's definitely good to know that の is used as a pronoun for people. The Minna explanation is in Chapter 2, (page 21), of the beginner level series, second edition.
ミラさんはIMCの社員ですか。Does Mr. Miller work at IMC?​
はい、IMCの社員です。Yes, he does.​
はい、IMCのです。X Incorrect use of の. の is used as a replacement for things but not for people.​

Looking at this example again just now, I don't I think the textbook has defined or illustrated this rule very clearly? It left me with the wrong impression.

Turning to your earlier explanation of "explanatory の", Toritoribe, what do you think of my idea that "の at a sentence's end with rising tone indicates a question"? Actually, I just looked の up on Jisho.org and this is one of the definitions.

Your "explanatory の" answer, however, has got me thinking. If the conversation between the grandfather and grandson had been in polite style, the "explanatory の" question would be something like: 「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったんですか? 」. In the direct style, though, we can expect to lose the か question marker, and also the だ ending the question. So we'd be left with just the ん: いつ会った. Would の replace the ん? いつ会った. Minna says の is used for writing, and ん is used in speech, and this was the reason I had originally discounted the possibility of いつ会った being "explanatory の".

This was a wordy reply, so I do hope your forgive me and offer your thoughts in return at your leisure.

Thanks again!
 

mdchachi

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So we'd be left with just the ん: いつ会った. Would の replace the ん? いつ会った.
Yes. But I don't think you ever end with the . It's basically like a contraction that naturally arose from speech. For example He's vs. He is.
But you would never say:
Is he Japanese?
Yes, he's.
 

Toritoribe

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Ok, now back to our grammar discussion. It's definitely good to know that の is used as a pronoun for people. The Minna explanation is in Chapter 2, (page 21), of the beginner level series, second edition.
ミラさんはIMCの社員ですか。Does Mr. Miller work at IMC?はい、IMCの社員です。Yes, he does.はい、IMCのです。X Incorrect use of の. の is used as a replacement for things but not for people.
Looking at this example again just now, I don't I think the textbook has defined or illustrated this rule very clearly? It left me with the wrong impression.
I think the term "replacement" is a cause of the confusion.
Your textbook explains a rule that Noun B can be omitted in the construction "Noun A の Noun B" except when Noun B is people. The possession particle の is necessary also in the original construction, so it would be hard to say that の is replaced with the modified noun. I think it's more likely "omission" rather than "replacement" in this case.

A: これはIMCの製品ですか。
B: はい、IMCの製品です。/はい、IMCのです。
A: Is this a product of IMC?
B: Yes, it is a product of IMC.


When the noun is modified by an adjective or attributive phrase/clause, の is a pronoun, so it can be said "replacement".

A: 本を貸してくれませんか。
B: どんな本がいいですか。/どんなのがいいですか。
A: 面白い本がいいです。/面白いのがいいです。
A: Can you lend me some books?
B: What kind of books do you like?
A: I like interesting ones.


A': そこにある本を貸してください。/そこにあるのを貸してください。
A': Lend me the one over there.

This の can be used also for people, as in the examples in my previous post.

Turning to your earlier explanation of "explanatory の", Toritoribe, what do you think of my idea that "の at a sentence's end with rising tone indicates a question"? Actually, I just looked の up on Jisho.org and this is one of the definitions.

Your "explanatory の" answer, however, has got me thinking. If the conversation between the grandfather and grandson had been in polite style, the "explanatory の" question would be something like: 「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったんですか? 」. In the direct style, though, we can expect to lose the か question marker, and also the だ ending the question. So we'd be left with just the ん: いつ会った. Would の replace the ん? いつ会った. Minna says の is used for writing, and ん is used in speech, and this was the reason I had originally discounted the possibility of いつ会った being "explanatory の".
Yes, your interpretation is correct. の is originally from "explanatory の", but it's also treated as a sentence ending particle in those usages. んですか is just a contruction of のですか, as mdchachi-san pointed out. The meanings are the same, but ん is more colloquial/friendly, thus, いつ会ったのですか sound more polite/formal.
However, の is not contructed when put right end of a sentence in standard Japanese. いつ会ったん is used in dialects, for instance in Kansai region, though.

This was a wordy reply, so I do hope your forgive me and offer your thoughts in return at your leisure.
No need to hesitate about asking questions. Being able to reply means that I have enough time at that time.;)
 

xminus1

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mdchachi-sama and toritoribe-sama, thank you so much for your very instructive replies to my questions! Your expert knowledge is much appreciated!

I took some time to read the answers given in this thread pretty carefully and to make sure I understand the explanations. Here is my recap of the main points:

1. の can be used as a pronomial adjective denoting possession/origin, and when used in this way, certain nouns, (which can be understood from the context), can be omitted:​
A: これはIMCの製品ですか。​
B: はい、IMCの製品です。/ はい、IMCのです。​
i) Here, の functions as a pronomial adjective indicating the origin of the product, (i.e. from IMC); 製品 "product" is omitted entirely as it is understood from context.​
ii) Note that の here is NOT functioning as a pronoun; it is indicating the point of origin of an omitted noun which is to be understood from context.]​

2. When の functions as a pronomial adjective as in #1 above, only nouns representing things (and not people) can be omitted from sentences:​
ミラさんはIMCの社員ですか。 (Does Mr. Miller work at IMC?)​
はい、IMCの社員です。 ("Yes, he does.")​
はい、IMCのです。X
i) の here is not a pronoun, but a pronomial adjective indicating the origin of Mr. Miller's employment (i.e. IMC).​
ii) The noun 社員, however, represents a person, not a thing, and cannot be omitted from the sentence, unlike 製品 which was omitted in the example of #1 above.​

3. When a noun is modified by an adjective or attributive phrase/clause, の can replace that noun as a pronoun:​
A: 本を貸してくれませんか。​
B: どんな本がいいですか。/どんながいいですか。​
A: 面白い本がいいです。/面白いのがいいです。​
i) の is a pronoun substituting for "books", and is modified by adjective いい​
ii) No possession or point of origin is implied in this use.​

4. の at a sentence's end with rising tone indicates a question; this usage is derived (ultimately) from the "explanatory の + です" construction​
5. the ん of "explanatory の + です" is a convenient contraction used in speech, but is not used as a sentence ending in standard Japanese, in the same way that "he is" would never be replaced by "he's" as a sentence ending in English.​
6. As an example of #5, we recall the plain/direct style sentence in the Minna dialogue (quoted in the first thread above):​
「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったの?」.​
i) Had this sentence been in formal/polite style, we would have had: 「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったんですか?」​
ii) Dropping the か and だ of the polite style to render into plain style, we would be left with いつ会ったん as the sentence ending, which (outside of dialect), would be rendered いつ会ったの, which is what we do indeed find in the Minna dialogue.​

Phew! That seems like a lot to process for what I had thought initially was a fairly insignificant observation in my studies.

Please, if I've misinterpreted the original answers in my restatement here, please do let me know.

I am learning a lot here. I'm so grateful to the good people of JRef who apparently think that there are no stupid questions. :geek:

Thanks very much for being so generous with your expert knowledge!

28195
 

Majestic

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I think you digested it pretty well. Allow me to be picky (or maybe just pendantic)
6. As an example of #5, we recall the plain/direct style sentence in the Minna dialogue (quoted in the first thread above):「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったの?」.i) Had this sentence been in formal/polite style, we would have had: 「おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったんですか?」
In the polite, formal style, you would have had おばあちゃんは、いつ会ったのですか? (or, いつ会ったのでしょうか?)
Your answer isn't wrong, but I wanted to point out the even more polite form, and I think these are also preferred in written Japanese (unless just chatting or writing dialog).

And allow me to be super picky... Miller = ミラー (bar at the end extending the ラ sound)

Edit: I see Toritoribe-san has already discussed the formal いつ会ったのですか in his post above.
 

xminus1

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Hi, Majestic! Thanks for your kind reply. Please permit me to disagree with you about one thing: I don't think you were being picky at all! I think all careful learners, (I would aspire to be one myself), appreciate preciseness and erudition, and you generously demonstrated that yourself! Thank you for the correction and clarification.

Thanks again to all on this thread: (y)(y)(y)
 

Toritoribe

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As for #1~3, actually, it's more simple. Only the construction/form affects whether it's "omission" or "replacement", not the meaning of の. See the following examples.

A: これはIMCの製品ですか。
B1: いいえ、IMCが作っている製品はこっちです。
B1': いいえ、IMCが作っているのはこっちです。
B2: いいえ、IMCの製品はこっちです。
B2': いいえ、IMCのはこっちです。

The attributive clause IMCが作っている indicates "the origin of the product", as same as MCの.

C: 赤い服は好きですか。
D1: いいえ、黄色い服が好きです。
D1': いいえ、黄色いのが好きです。
D2: いいえ、黄色の服が好きです。
D2': いいえ、黄色のが好きです。

Both 黄色い and 黄色の indicates the state/characteristics of the modified noun 服. の is not for possession or point of origin. Only the difference between the answers by D1 and D2 is that 黄色い is an adjective, but 黄色の is "noun + の".

I used the term "omission" for convenience sake, but の in IMCの製品は belongs to particle, whereas の in IMCのは is classified into 準体助詞/形式名詞 in Japanese grammar, so, strictly speaking, it's "seemingly omission". There is no proble to think it's just "omission", though.

B: どんな本がいいですか。/どんながいいですか。A: 面白い本がいいです。/面白いのがいいです。i) の is a pronoun substituting for "books", and is modified by adjective いい
本 or the pronoun の is modified by どんな or 面白い, not いい here. 面白い is an adjective, and どんな is an attributive(連体詞). You can think どんな (or こんな/そんな/あんな, この/その/あの/どの 大きな/小さな, etc.) is a kind of uninflected adjective.
 

xminus1

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Both 黄色い and 黄色の indicates the state/characteristics of the modified noun 服. の is not for possession or point of origin. Only the difference between the answers by D1 and D2 is that 黄色い is an adjective, but 黄色の is "noun + の".
That is really interesting. Thanks for correcting my error about の -- it's the construction rather than the meaning of の that is governing the usage in question. I will need to amend my notes! :oops:
本 or the pronoun の is modified by どんな or 面白い, not いい here. 面白い is an adjective, and どんな is an attributive(連体詞). You can think どんな (or こんな/そんな/あんな, この/その/あの/どの 大きな/小さな, etc.) is a kind of uninflected adjective.
Another important correction! Thank you. If I am able to learn from all my mistakes, I should be learning a lot :LOL:

You are very kind to be helping out my ignorance like this...thank you so much! 🙏
 
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