query: Where are you going?

Kaoru Horie horieling at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 3 00:41:16 UTC 2011

In standard/Tokyo Japanese, phrases such as _dotira-e_
(where-to), _dotira-made_ (where-up to),
literally meaning "Where to?", or _dotira-e/made o-dekake (desu ka)_
(where-to/up to honorific
prefix-go out (copula:polite  Q), meaning "Where are you going out to?, are
(said to be) used as a
greeting. (I personally don't use these phrases, and haven't heard them used
except in novels or
TV programs).

In response to such "questions", phrases such as _tyotto soko-made
(dekake-te ki-masu)_
(a bit that place-up to (go out-nonfinal come-Polite)), literally meaning
"I'll go out there a bit",
or _tyotto kaimono-ni_ (a bit shopping-to), literally meaning "To shopping a
bit", are used.

It seems to depend on various factors (e.g. region, age) how frequently this
type of greeting
is used. There is a useful link to this type of greeting
offered by the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics
http://www.ninjal.ac.jp/products-k/kokken_mado/18/01/ (in Japanese).

Kaoru Horie, Ph.D.
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Applied Linguistics
Graduate School of Languages and Cultures
Nagoya University
Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya-shi
464-8601 Japan
E-mail: horieling at gmail.com
HP: http://horie.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/
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