Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 year ago

The Philippines needs to add the definitive article but Japan needs not do. So why ?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    I interpret that you're asking the question meaning that in English, 'the' is commonly used before 'Philippines'. I think that's often there because it's short for the older 'the Philippine Islands'. Languages aren't consistent even when dealing with usages or only one language, English in this case. (The Hawaiian Islands is the full phrase for that place in English; 'the Hawaiians' (back in history..) means only the native people there and not the islands, and Hawaii, like Japan, has no article. There's no real reasoning that out -- it is just an acquired English habit for naming that place, and 'Hawaii' is the shortest form, but not 'the Hawaiians,' to mean the place.) When speaking German, there are about 5-6 countries where the Germans have to use the definite article every time with the country name, but no one rule in German covers all those cases or 'forces' that rule in German either. There are lots of inconsistencies in lots of languages and their 'rules' ... probably particularly when it comes to 'exotic' place names...

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    No nation or language "needs" to do anything. They are what they are.

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    1. Tagalog does not need to add the definite article (what's a definitive article?). Definiteness is indirectly indicated by focus/trigger, affixes to the verb that encode the thematic role of the noun that is marked by a direct case particle.

    Certain roles are typically viewed as definite and others as indefinite.

    2. Japanese has a topic/comment structure and emphatic/topic particles. Those are concepts many languages, such as English, lack. They are not a direct replacement of definiteness, but to some degree they do make it superfluous.

    3. There are exceedingly few grammatical concepts that have to exist. Most are inventions of the human mind and consequently unnecessary. Definiteness does not have to exist.

    4. Japanese and Tagalog are in two separate language families. There is no reason why they would match each other (although a few features happen to be similar, in concept, but not in detail).

    5. Being different is why there are separate languages.

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