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What is the meaning of 腹んばい and 腹んばいになって?

Also, is it read 「はらんばい」?

I understand that 腹んばい悪い seems to mean 'get mad' (腹が立つ), but this other usage seems like it isn't about anger.

Here is the context from Akutagawa's Nyotai:

楊某 {ようぼう} と云う支那人が、ある夏の夜、あまり蒸暑いのに眼がさめて、頬杖をつきながら腹んばいになって、とりとめのない妄想 {もうぞう} に耽っていると、ふと一匹の 虱 {しらみ} が寝床の 縁{ふち} を這っているのに気がついた。

From googling, this word still seems to be in use. I can't find this word in my kokugo dictionaries, which includes daijisen and genius (mac dictionary/goo). Why is that?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

腹{はら}ん這{ば}いになって is an 音変化{おんへんか} (shift in sound) of 腹{はら}這{ば}いになって "flat on one's belly".

In a similar way, 四{よ}つん這{ば}い is an 音変化 of 四{よ}つ這{ば}い for example.

See also the Yahoo J-E article for 腹這い.

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great, thanks, I was struggling with this. –  jlptnone Jan 26 '12 at 7:23

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