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 Aikido, different dojos seem to latch on to using either dori or tori when describing grabbing attacks. For instance one dojo might say:

Katate Dori

Another would say:

Katate Tori

Each dojo will profess that their way of saying / spelling it is the more traditional and correct. Is there a difference between these two similar terms, and if so which one is more correct for denoting a grab?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

I know very little about Aikido and can only explain general facts about the Japanese language.

“Tori” and “dori” in these example are the noun form of the verb toru (取る; take, grab). In isolation, this noun form is read as “tori.”

Both Katate Tori and Katate Dori are compound words made of katate (片手; one hand) and tori. However, in Japanese, the first consonant of the second component of a compound word is often changed as k→g, s→z, t→d and h→b. This phenomenon is called rendaku (連濁). Note that I said “often,” not “always.” If rendaku occurs in your case, the compound word becomes Katate Dori. If not, it becomes Katate Tori.

There are some patterns when rendaku tends to occur and when it cannot occur as is explained in Wikipedia, but there is no absolute rule that explains everything. In the case of katate + tori, it is certainly possible to have rendaku here, so Katate Dori is a possible form. But this does not mean that rendaku must occur, so the form Katate Tori is also possible.

Often only one form survives and the other form dies out, in which case we can say that one form is correct and the other is incorrect in the modern language. In some cases, the version without rendaku and the version with rendaku both survive but mean different things. For example, both yamakawa and yamagawa are compound words made of yama (山; mountain) and kawa (川; river), but yamakawa means mountains and rivers whereas yamagawa means a river in a mountain.

But in your case, it seems that both forms are used in the same way judging from several webpages in English I found by web search. (I checked the pages in English because it is difficult to search this in Japanese, because when written in Japanese, both become 片手取り, as Andrew stated in his answer.) From this, I see no evidence that one is “more correct” than the other, whatever “more correct” means.

share|improve this answer
    
rendaku!!! I have been looking for that word since I took my linguistics class 8 years ago. Thank you. –  Jeshii Jun 9 '11 at 15:51
3  
It may be right that both forms are correct, but another possibility is that the rendaku version is correct, and the one without rendaku appeared as a compromise with English readers. I often see romanized words like "maki sushi", which is wrong and is supposed to be "maki-zushi", but is transcribed as such because an English native may not understand that "sushi" changes to "zushi" by rendaku. This kind of "consideration" is only harmful. –  sawa Oct 10 '11 at 15:05
2  
@sawa: Thank you for the remark. I admit that I did not consider the possibility of incorrect transcription. I know almost nothing about Aikido, and while I know that some people read 片手取り as かたてどり, I do not know whether anyone reads it as かたてとり. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 10 '11 at 15:59
1  
Your answer is completely fine. By harmful, I meant whomover first transcribed 巻き寿司 as "maki sushi", and similar people. –  sawa Oct 11 '11 at 2:29
    
According to Tsujimura in An Introduction to Japanese Linguistics, dvandva compounds such as やまかわ resist rendaku, while compounds in a modifier-head relationship such as やまがわ do not. So it seems that the distinction between the two may not be mere historical chance! –  snailboat Sep 21 '13 at 2:47
add comment

Looking at goo.ne.jp's dictionary (based off 大辞泉):

1 手の中におさめる。手に持つ。

Source: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/161480/m0u/%E5%8F%96%E3%82%8B/

With the last part of the definition meaning to hold in one's hand. This matches more closes with the definition of denoting a grab that you are referring to. I was not able to find どり denoting the same meaning, only a usage meant for the indication of volume:

(「…どり」の形で、数量を表す語に付けて用いる)

Source: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/jn2/160951/m0u/

I've also confirmed this in 大辞林, which lists definition 1 as:

手に持つ。

"Hold in hand"

share|improve this answer
add comment

The Japanese Wikipedia page for Aikido refers to the term as 片手取り, but doesn't give any information on how the word is read. The word also doesn't appear to show up in the dictionary.

So, essentially, there is a possibility that the ending is read -どり rather than -とり. A quick Google search brings up one or two results that explicitly say it's read as かたてどり, but nothing definitive. It seems clear, however, that there is no difference between かたてどり and かたてとり besides the one character in its spelling.

In my opinion, it would be read "dori", as it happens a lot in Japanese that consonants become voiced when used as a suffix like this.

share|improve this answer
1  
For me, かたてどり google.com/… 4530 results, かたてとり google.com/… a stunning 7 results.. –  Pacerier Apr 27 '12 at 8:46
add comment

Tori and Dori are the same word. Because Dori is the voiced version of Tori, to a Japanese speaker there would be no perceived difference. However, katate dori would probably be easier to be spoken for a native speaker and thus would appear that they may be the more correct answer.

another more famous example of this is when you combine Ao and Sora together you get AoZora.

share|improve this answer
3  
(1) /d/ is the voiced version of /t/. (2) I personally agree that katate dori is easier to pronounce than katate tori, but I do not know if this is a good reason to make a guess which form is “more correct.” At first, the repetition of /t/ sound obviously looked hard to pronounce, but after I noticed that the word 肩たたき katatataki (= kata + tataki; shoulder massage) is not katadataki, I fail to convince myself that my pronunciation preference toward katate dori means anything universal. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 9 '11 at 3:02
    
@ito thanx for the correction, always forget which is unvoiced. On the tataki point, are there other times in which that changes to dataki? And I've only heard "iu-tori" and "<street>-dori" so i'm wondering if it is a verb/noun in front that dictates where it is voiced or unvoiced. This is all just supposition though on my part. On the easily spoken part, i may be that because it is easily spoken by everyone that people just use dori pronounciation, but there may not be a fast stead rule to use dori over tori. –  Mark Hosang Jun 9 '11 at 3:10
2  
There is a word fukurodataki (袋叩き) which is a compound word of fukuro (袋; bag) and tataki (叩き; hitting; the same word as tataki in katatataki) and means “beat someone up by ganging up on” (translation from EDICT). I think that the reason iu-tori (言うとおり) does not cause rendaku is that it is not considered as a compound word but it is just a phrase of two words. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 9 '11 at 16:30
3  
To a Japanese speaker, there is a perceived difference between tori and dori. –  sawa Oct 10 '11 at 14:56
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.