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A Reference Grammar of Japanese
Author Samuel E. Martin
Publisher Tuttle
CategoryGeneral grammar
ISBNs080481550X [COPAC, Webcatplus, Wikipedia]
0300018134 [COPAC, Webcatplus, Wikipedia]

Review by Nico A.F.M. Poppelier

Comprehensive explanations for particles, difficult nouns, sentence extensions, verb tenses, literary forms, negative forms - in short, everything concerned with the Japanese Language. Contains many referenced examples from modern literature and other sources, including the language's many dialects. Special sections on literary language, epistolary language, and other stylized or formal grammatical forms.

Review by Ben Bullock

This is a hard-to-read and hard-to-use book. It is written by a linguist for linguists in linguistic jargon. It also suffers from a confusing index and poorly designed page layout. The author uses Kunrei romanisation with phonetic symbols to write the Japanese.

Review by Sean Holland

It is dense, the romanization is difficult for those of us used to Hepburn roomaji, and it is very difficult to use as a casual reference. The times I have used it successfully usually involved a whole lot of searching, flipping and creative second-guessing of the index. If you are a serious egghead who doesn't mind wading through swamps of irrelevant minutiae to get to your target, this may be the book for you. If you are looking for a quick reference to use as you are reading or writing, this ain't it.

For questions, comments, or if you would like to add your review to the above list, please email Ben Bullock <> or use the discussion group for this web site.