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.

In Classical Japanese (correct me if I'm wrong; all my CJ was from Wikipedia and linguistic papers), the 已然形 could attach a lot of things: ど, ば, ども, etc. So I would be able to say 会へども話せず rather than 会うけれど話せない?

Anyways, where does the ker- part come from in all these supplanted forms of the 已然形? Is there once some helping 四段 verb ける? If so, what would it mean?

share|improve this question
    
I think I know what you are talking about, but can you clarify what ければ is? –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 20 '13 at 1:11
    
The suffix ければ on 形容詞. –  user54609 Oct 20 '13 at 1:22
    
I was not clear enough. By “clarify”, I meant “clarify by editing the question.” By the way, I hope that by now you understand that けれど and ければ are syntactically quite different in Modern Japanese. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 20 '13 at 1:28
    
@user54609 〜けれ on adjectives is just the usual 已然形 suffix. –  Zhen Lin Oct 20 '13 at 8:20
1  
会うけれど話せない=>会ふが話せず。会へども話せず=>会っても話せない。-- though I'm not certain. –  jovanni Oct 20 '13 at 10:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

They are conjugational endings from (sh)i-Adjectives:

We can derive verbs from adjectives by adding あり:

赤し -> 赤く+あり -> 赤かり

And conjugate them further:

  • 赤かれ+ば
  • 赤けれ+ど(も)
  • 赤からず (negation)
  • ...

This conjugational suffix got reanalyzed as a word on its own, yielding けれども, which was shortened to けれど, けども, and けど.

Even けれ by itself was used in the meaning of けれども by the same process.

日本国語大辞典

けれ:この助詞が現れたのは、文語の形容詞の「数こそ多けれ、すぐれたるは少し」の_「多けれ」のような用法から、「けれ」そのものに「が」「けれども」の意がある_と考えたためであろうといわれる。〔徳川時代言語の研究=湯沢幸吉郎〕

share|improve this answer
    
Why is it 赤けれど rather than 赤かれば? あれど あれば seem to be the forms for あり, not えれど and あれば. –  user54609 Oct 20 '13 at 23:06
    
赤く+あり->赤かり, but 赤く+あれど -> 赤けれど and 赤く+あれば-> 赤ければ –  blutorange Oct 21 '13 at 6:37
    
Yeah, why. Is there some sort of a/e alternation in Old Japanese? –  user54609 Oct 21 '13 at 10:48
1  
Since no one has addressed the disagreement between the two answers, I'll try my best. There are two similar looking things here, 形容詞活用の已然形語尾「けれ」 (described in this answer, apparently derived from く+あれ, from which modern けれども・けれど and ultimately けど are derived) and 助動詞「けり」の已然形「けれ」 (mentioned in Tokyo Nagoya's answer, derived from き+あり). According to Wikipedia, 「く+あれ」 also contracted to 「かれ」 in pre-Edo era Japanese. –  snailboat Oct 22 '13 at 20:18
1  
@user54609 One book blutorange often quotes, Sansom's 1928 An Historical Grammar of Japanese, says on page 205: "This change is easy to understand, for the final e of kare influences the preceding vowel a, by a tendency which is common in Japanese." (That's the only explanation I've found for けれ so far.) –  snailboat Oct 30 '13 at 9:31

It should be the auxiliary verb けり that you are discussing, not ける. Or is it the origin of けり that you are trying to find out? If so, I do not think anyone could answer.

share|improve this answer
    
What does けり mean? Sorry, as I said, I've never systematically learned CJ. –  user54609 Oct 20 '13 at 1:52
    
けり can express a few different things. 1. Restrospective heresay "Once upon a time, there lived a ~~~." 2. Equivalent of the present perfect progressive in English. "(Something) has been done this way for centuries." 3. Exclamatory. "Oh, what a fool I have become!" 4. Objective statement of a fact. –  非回答者 Oct 20 '13 at 3:00
    
Regarding けり, I believe there are two theories for its etymology: (1) The kahen verb ku "to come" in 連用形 plus ari, or (2) the recollective ki plus ari. (きあり⇒けり in both cases.) My understanding is that theory 1 is much accepted than 2. –  Darius Jahandarie Oct 20 '13 at 4:30
    
And since it was not mentioned, けり is in its 已然形 for けれど, and ど is the concessive conjunctive particle. –  Darius Jahandarie Oct 20 '13 at 4:38
    
@DariusJahandarie, FWIW Shogakukan's Kokugo Dai Jiten lists the recollective き + あり as the first explanation, and 来{き} + あり as the second. –  Eiríkr Útlendi May 17 at 8:19

Your Answer

 
discard

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.