The Japanese language prefers even numbers to odd numbers… (2)

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The Japanese language prefers even numbers to odd numbers… (2)

The Japanese language prefers even numbers to odd numbers… (2)

Take other examples from Haiku. Consider:「古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音」. What number of moras is this Haiku composed of? Well, almost all Japanese people would say “five-seven-five,” right? But from a purely linguistic point of view, it is erroneous! It comprises, strictly speaking, “eight-eight-eight”!!!—“What?!?!?!?!?!?! (interrobangs!!! ^^)” you should probably say, I presume.

OK. Let me explain. For clarity, let us indicate a mora「1拍」as「⚪︎」or「●」(, where「●」= 無音、ポーズ but still「1拍」).

Almost all Japanese people’s analysis: 「古池や⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎ / 蛙飛び込む⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎ / 水の音⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎」
“five-seven-five” (all odd numbers)

The linguist’s analysis: 「古池や⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎●●● / 蛙飛び込む●⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎ / 水の音⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎●●●」
“eight-eight-eight”!!! (all even numbers)
(In passing, in the Japanese language and culture,「間(ま)」=「●」= 無音、ポーズ is vitally important, so that ‘lacking’「間(ま)」is deemed to be「間抜け a simpleton」!)

Another example:「赤信号 みんなで渡れば 怖くない」. This case should be even more striking in that it contains「字余り」, the concept which in linguistics deserves ‘no special treatment’ at all!

Most Japanese people’s analysis: 「赤信号⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎(字余り)/ みんなで渡れば⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎ (字余り)/ 怖くない⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎」
“six-eight-five” (as opposed to regular “five-seven-five,” so that「字余り」are said to result)

The linguist’s analysis: 「赤信号⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎●● / みんなで渡れば⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎ / 怖くない⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎⚪︎●●●」
“eight-eight-eight”!!! (all even numbers)

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