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There's a common abbreviation system in dictionaries and I'm wondering how they're read and used.

Here's an example:
dictionary abbreviations

I'm guessing it has something to do with how to fill in the blanks in the example sentences, but hoping you can save me the detective work.

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1  
For future reference, all the explanatory notes for the dictionaries at Yahoo are online here. –  nkjt Jul 1 '12 at 18:24
    
Great, thank you. Found it. –  Louis Jul 1 '12 at 18:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted
  • 動 is 動詞, verb.
  • ラ means the verb conjugates on the r-.
  • 下一 (shimo ichi) and 下二 (shimo ni) are abbreviations for 下一段 (shimo ichidan "lower monograde") and 下二段 (shimo nidan "lower bigrade"). These are verb conjugation types. There are other conjugation types: 四段 (yodan), 五段 (godan), 上一段 (kami ichidan), 上二段 (kami nidan), サ変 (sa-hen), カ変 (ka-hen), ナ変 (na-hen), and ラ変 (ra-hen).
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動 stands for 動詞, and means it is a verb. ラ means that the last consonant of the stem is "r" (belongs to ラ row), which does not have significance in modern account for this type of verbs. 下一 stands for 下一段活用, a terminology used in traditional grammar. In modern terms, it means the stem ends with "e". I.e., the stem is "otozure-". 下ニ stands for 下ニ段活用, a terminology in traditional grammar for classical Japanese.

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