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.

There are a few words, which are written with Kanji imported from China, but where the intended native Japanese meaning would prefer a different choice of Kanji. My favourite examples are

雷 vs. 神鳴り (cf. 海鳴り)
鶏 vs. 庭鳥
向日葵 vs. 日回り

Does there already exist a list of these words? If not, can anybody come up with more examples?

P.S. Any suggestions for a better title?

share|improve this question
    
I voted to close because this seems so broad that I doubt an exhaustive list could reasonably be constructed. I touched on a few examples here. Maybe you should narrow down the scope of your questions to something more concrete. –  istrasci Aug 24 '12 at 0:45
1  
@istrasci: I agree that we cannot hope for an exhaustive list, but I do not think that that is a good reason to close the question. Rather, I think that “we cannot hope for an exhaustive list” (with a reason) is a good answer. And the reason is already hinted by Dono’s list. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 24 '12 at 1:39
    
Seems close enough to something that can be made as a community Wiki. I converted it: feel free to improve question and answer formatting. –  Dave Aug 24 '12 at 8:28
    
This question has prompted me to find out what a morpheme is, but for us non-linguists, who had to read >50% of this before we understood the question, I would suggest "Japanese compound words taking one kanji (eg 心見る->試みる)" –  Tim Aug 24 '12 at 13:22
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 20 down vote accepted

A few years ago I began to create a list. It is incomplete, but you can build from here.

  • 湖 -> 水海
  • 京 -> 宮処
  • 暁(あかとき) -> 明時
  • 曙 -> 明け仄
  • 喉 -> 飲門
  • 銅 -> 赤金
  • 胡床 -> 足座
  • 羹 -> 熱物
  • 鐙 -> 足踏み
  • 雷(いかずち) -> 厳(いか)つ霊(ち)
  • 泉 -> 出づ水
  • 営む -> 暇無(いと)む
  • 猪(いのしし) -> 猪(い)の猪(しし)
  • 妹 -> 妹(いも)人
  • 甍 -> 苛処
  • 驢 -> 兎馬
  • 鬣(うながみ) -> 項(うな)髪
  • 頷く -> 項(うな)突く
  • 厩 -> 馬屋
  • 狼 -> 大神
  • 概 -> 大旨
  • 公 -> 大宅
  • 幼い -> 長(おさ)無い
  • 一昨日(おとつい) -> 遠つ日
  • 弟(おとうと) -> 弟(おと)人
  • 男 -> 復(お)と子 (cf 復つ)
  • 乙女 -> 復(お)と女(め)
  • 俤 -> 面影
  • 赴く -> 面向く
  • 大蛇(おろち) -> 峰ろ霊
  • 蚕(かいこ) -> 飼い蚕(こ)
  • 象る -> 形(かた)取る
  • 刀 -> 片刃
  • 傾く -> 片向く
  • 鹿(かのしし) -> 鹿(か)の猪(しし)
  • 雷(かみなり) -> 神鳴り
  • 頑張る -> 我(が)に張る
  • 厠 -> 川屋
  • 碓 -> 唐臼
  • 犂 -> 唐鋤
  • 餉 -> 乾(かれ)飯(いい)
  • 築(きず)く -> 城(き)築(つ)く
  • 牙(きば) -> 牙(き)歯
  • 轡 -> 口輪
  • 果物 -> 木だ物 (cf kedamono)
  • 獣(けだもの) -> 毛だ物 (cf kudamono)
  • 獣 -> 毛物
  • 鉄 -> 黒金
  • 餔(けこと) -> 食(け)事
  • 志 -> 心指し
  • 試みる -> 心見る
  • 梢 -> 木(こ)末(ずえ)
  • 遮る(さえぎる) < さいぎる < 先(さき)切(き)る
  • 杯(さかずき) -> 酒(さか)杯(ずき) < 酒(さか)杯(づき)
  • 魚 -> 酒菜
  • 遡る -> 逆(さか)上(のぼ)る
  • 幸せ -> 仕合せ
  • 僕(しもべ) -> 下(しも)部(べ)
  • 銀 -> 白金
  • 黄昏 -> 誰(た)そ彼
  • 戦う -> 叩かう
  • 相撲 -> 争ふ(すまふ)
  • 躓く -> 爪(つま)突く
  • 忽ち -> 立ち待ち
  • 岐 -> 道股
  • 鋼 -> 刃金
    • 東 < ひんがし < ひむかし < 日向風(ひむかし)
  • 聖 -> 日知り
  • 彦 -> 日子
  • 姫 -> 日女(め)
  • 炎 -> 火(ほ)の穂
  • 鶏 -> 庭鳥
  • 前 -> 目(ま)方(え) < 目(ま)方(へ)
  • 真 -> 真言 or 真事
  • 瞬く -> 目(ま)叩く
  • 睫 -> 目(ま)つ毛(げ)
  • 瞼 -> 目(ま)蓋(ぶた)
  • 眶 -> 目(ま)縁(ぶち)
  • 蝮 -> 真(ま)虫
  • 峰(みね) -> 御峰(ね)
  • 娶る -> 女(め)取る
  • 社(やしろ) -> 屋代
share|improve this answer
    
Marvellous, many thanks. –  Earthliŋ Aug 24 '12 at 0:39
1  
−1, it is incomplete. (kidding) –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 24 '12 at 0:41
1  
oh wow that is pretty cool. I don't understand the "kunyomi spaning multiple morphemes" though. how does this work? can anyone write a formal transformational rule? –  taylor Aug 24 '12 at 1:10
    
@taylor, what do you mean by a transformational rule? –  dainichi Aug 24 '12 at 2:54
3  
@taylor, what's not formal about the above rules? If you mean a complete grammar, I don't think it's easy to make one. Language evolution and the choice of kanji aren't predictable, these transformations aren't productive. –  dainichi Aug 24 '12 at 8:13
show 1 more comment

Better title? I guess "Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes (which each have kanji of their own)" might be more precise, but better... not sure.

Lots of verbs too.

顧みる/省みる vs 返り見る
試みる vs 心見る
陥る/陥れる vs 落ち入る/落とし入れる
弄ぶ vs 持て遊ぶ
承る vs 受け賜わる

There are cases where the etymology is unclear, or at least not obvious, too. I'm sure 翻す and 覆す are something+返す, but I don't know the etymology of ひる and くつ in these combinations.

share|improve this answer
    
Great, thank you. –  Earthliŋ Aug 24 '12 at 0:11
1  
“Kun-yomi spanning multiple morphemes” might not be better as a title, but it is a good description of the question. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 24 '12 at 0:40
    
Yes - perhaps "Kun-yomi spanning multiple morphemes(eg 心見る->試みる)" would work as an alternative? I appreciate this list because it is something that often crossed my mind when learning kanji. –  Tim Aug 24 '12 at 23:27
add comment

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.