歴史的仮名遣. Kana no longer in common use.

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44
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1answer
2k views

Why were ゐ and ゑ eliminated?

Sometime in the early 20th century, usage of the now-historical kana ゐ and ゑ (and their katakana equivalents) dropped off, being replaced with い and え in modern Japanese. What exactly happened here ...
21
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5answers
922 views

Modern names of the obsolete kana ゑ and ゐ

In modern Japanese, the kana ゑ/ヱ (we) and ゐ/ヰ (wi) are largely obsolete. Words formerly containing them now are pronounced with /e/ and /i/, so they were replaced by え and い, respectively. But when ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

When did the “wu” character drop out of use?

In the last century, the ゐ and ゑ characters were eliminated from common use. But it seems like there used to also be a "wu" character that has since been lost. Given that it's a lot harder to find ...
11
votes
1answer
963 views

Why has を been spared but ゐ and ゑ been deemed obsolete?

According to When is the katakana form of wo (ヲ) used?-ヲ-used, を is almost always used only for the particle, and is usually pronounced o (お). There are some dialects where を is pronounced with a "w",...
10
votes
3answers
761 views

What does “齓” mean?

I've found this kanji during Shodo practice. My teacher (Japanese) didn't know the meaning (she recognized the Tooth bushu/radical but not the "word"). I tried to look it up on the electronic ...
8
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2answers
187 views

戦前はどうやってしりとりをしていたのですか?

(日本語でもしてみむとて) 現在遊ばれている「しりとり」は基本的に終わりの一文字をつないでやるものだと思いますが、例えば「がっこう」なら(東京の発音ではガッコーですが)次は「う」、「こうてい」(コーテー)なら「い」というルールになると思います。 これを旧かな遣いで考えると「杖(つゑ)」は「ゑ」、「家(いへ)」は「へ」でないといけないと思います。...
7
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2answers
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Can anyone explain the obsolete, non-phonetic use of hiragana from pre war times?

At university our most learned lecturer in Japanese once mentioned there were non-phonetic usages of hiragana at the end of kanji verbs and adjectives pre WWII. Apparently books printed prewar used ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is katakana /va/ normally written ヴァ rather than ヷ?

Even though there is a katakana character ヷ, most of the time when I see something that is transcribed into Japanese as /va/, it is in the form ヴァ (say, for example, in the title of the anime series ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

Can ゐ/ヰ be combined with ゃゅょ/ャュョ?

I'm writing a program which replaces kana characters with romaji, so that りょかん becomes ryokan etc. I thus need to handle cases where ゃゅょ (or ャュョ) combine with the preceding character. My ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Japanese words with を in shiritori?

I've been playing some しりとり recently at http://www.shiritori.org/ and was wondering why no words with を show up. siritori.net suggests there are quite a few nouns starting with を: を をかし ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Are there words still containing を either officially or colloquially?

I used to work in a Japanese restaurant where the owner and his wife always wrote 「かつを」 rather than 「かつお」. I thought this was kind of cool, so I looked it up. The only information I could find was ...