A lot of Japanese subject/無数にある日本語の主語

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May 13, 2012 01:43 Japanese Language Culture
In Modern English, only "I" is used as a first-person singular nominative.

By contrast, there is many first-person singular nominatives in Japanese.

In past, there was a urban legend that language of Inuit have a lot of words to explain snow.

But, Japanese really have more than 50 first-person singular nominatives. It might 100.

I will try to make a list as a trial:

1. わ(wa)
2. 私(watashi/わたし)
3. 私(watakushi/わたくし)
4. 我 or 吾(ware/われ)
5. 我輩(wagahai/わがはい)
6. あたし(atashi)
7. 俺(ore/おれ)
8. 自分(jibun/じぶん)
9. 僕(boku/ぼく)
10. あっし(assi)
11. わちき(wachiki)
12. 小職(syousyoku/しょうしょく)
13. 当方(touhou/とうほう)
14. 筆者(hissya/ひっしゃ)
15. 作者(sakusya/さくしゃ)
16. 本官(honkan/ほんかん)
17. 本職(honsyokuほんしょく)
18. 愚僧(gusou/ぐそう)
19. 拙僧(sessou/せっそう)
20. それがし(soregashi)
21. 朕(chin/ちん)
22. 麿(maro/まろ)
23. 予(yo/よ)
24. 此方(konata/こなた)
25. 手前(temae/てまえ)

mmm... I can recall only 25 words. But, it is clear that there should exist many other words.

In addition, in some context, their own name also used instead of first-person nominative.

For example, in a TV drama, 伊藤博文(Hirobumi Itou, the first Prime Minister of Japan) say like this:

「伊藤は日英同盟には反対である」("I have an objection to Anglo-Japanese Alliance")

Likewise, many words corresponds "you" in English too.
同様に、英語の"you" に対応する単語もたくさんあります。

It is because nominative in Japanese close to proper or common noun that there is many nominative.

I think there are many interesting examples in other Language - like Japanese nominative.

Do you know anything?