The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research
Online ISSN : 2433-5622
Print ISSN : 0288-0008
ISSN-L : 0288-0008
“Subeki” or “Surubeki”? How Should We Spell “ Should” in Japanese?
From the 2018 Nationwide Survey on Changes in the Japanese Language
Takehiro Shioda
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2019 Volume 68 Issue 12 Pages 46-60


This paper reports on the findings from the “2018 Nationwide Survey on Changes in the Japanese Language,” centering on the following elements.- As to a choice of collocation “kansei shidai ” or “kansei shi shidai ” (gorenraku shimasu) [(I’ll let you know) as soon as it is completed], “kansei shi shidai ” has been regarded as the standard, but the survey reveals an overwhelming majority use only “kansei shidai.”- Both “furuku naru mae ni ” [before it becomes old] and “furuku naranai mae ni ” [before it will not become old] have been considered acceptable, but the more than half of respondents use only “furuku naru mae ni.” The percentages of those responding so were higher among men and younger generations.- Regarding “okita ” or “okotta ” [occurred], ‘using only “okita ”’ was the most common answer.- For “Kaiketsu subeki ” or “kaiketsu surubeki ” [It should be solved], ‘using only “kaiketsu subeki ”’ was the most common answer.- Regarding the collocation of the auxiliary verb “mai ” such as “suru mai ” or “shi mai ” [not intend/likely to do so], the conventional idea was shushikei (dictionary form) should be used for godan katsuyo (five-row) conjunction verbs, and mizenkei (imperfect form) for other verbs, but the survey found most common usage for sa-hen (sa-row irregular conjugation), ka-hen (ka-row irregular conjugation), and kami ichidan (i-row conjugation) was shushikei.- The highest percentage of the respondents (more than half) feel more uncomfortable about “tanoshime teiru ” [I’m able to be enjoying it] (potential expression + teiru) than “tanoshin deiru ” [I’m enjoying it]. The older, the higher percentage of respondents answered so.

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