Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Wikipedia claims that Japanese verbs are a closed class and that loanwords from Chinese always use する. 信じる, 感じる seems to be an exception. Why aren't they 信をする and 感をする? Maybe because one kanji is too short?

Also, what is the origin of the ending じる used with these two borrowed verbs?

share|improve this question
There are also 略す, 愛す, etc. which are not of the form noun + を + する. Also, what's sometimes called する verb should not have the を, like 勉強する needn't be 勉強をする... –  Earthliŋ Mar 13 '13 at 0:30
愛す makes sense because in CJ the verb する was just す at the end of sentences right? So 愛する人 but 人は愛す? Probably a source of confusion when the two forms were merged, with somebody using the shorter す and others using する? –  user54609 Mar 13 '13 at 0:31
su is the original conclusive form (終止形) of the verb. suru is the attributive (連体形) form of it. Conclusive merged into attributive, so suru now the norm. –  Dono Mar 13 '13 at 0:33
ryaku su is the formal, classical form. It is a サ変 verb because su (and suru) is サ変. When conclusive merged into attributive (su -> suru), it too became ryaku suru. This is still a サ変 verb. In addition, ryaku su was re-analyzed as a single word ryakusu. As a result, it looses the サ変 conjugation and takes on 五段. In summary, there now three forms: 1) サ変 ryaku su, 2) サ変 ryaku suru, and 3) 五段 ryakusu. –  Dono Mar 13 '13 at 2:44
In some words (such as 閉じる), じる isn't from す(る). In these words, it's a respelling of ぢる, which, I think, comes from づ(る) (as in 閉づ). –  snailboat Mar 13 '13 at 5:51
show 3 more comments

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

-ziru is from -zuru, which in turn is verb -suru voiced due to compounding. zuru becomes ziru during the push to normalize verbs to 一段 class.

share|improve this answer
"the push to normalize verbs to 一段 class". Hmm that confused me a bit. So in a period of history, language teachers purposefully changed words to 一段? –  user54609 Mar 13 '13 at 0:30
Language teachers did not push it. Languages naturally change. I covered this topic earlier this week. –  Dono Mar 13 '13 at 0:31
"I covered this topic earlier this week." I'm even more puzzled ^_^ where are you covering this? Japanese historical phonology I like very much. –  user54609 Mar 13 '13 at 0:32
Link: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/11392/… –  Dono Mar 13 '13 at 0:34
@EricDong yes, I didn't explain that well. I'm treating 愛す(る) as a regular 五段 愛す with a suppleted 終止形・連体形 愛する. I believe that's the most common modern use. Treating it as サ変 would mean that the negative is 愛しない. I've never heard that (in modern use), but I could be wrong. –  dainichi Mar 18 '13 at 7:12
show 6 more comments

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.