しょう vs. しょ which is more often found in common words?

Which is found more often in common words, しょう or しょ?

I tend to think しょう is found more often and is usually placed in the end of the word. On the contrary しょ seems to be placed at the start.

Are these assumptions correct?

2 Answers

Simply from etymology I would expect しょう to be far more frequent than しょ. This is because しょ was always しょ historically, while a ridiculously large amount of sounds merged to しょう:

せう　せふ　しゃう　しゃふ　しよ　etc

• Wow etymology definitely gives an interesting explanation of so many しょう. Thanks alot! – dimadesu Oct 29 '13 at 19:39

I don't know of any analysis which compares the frequency of しょ and しょう sounds. The suffices 書 and 所 (and 署) are quite frequent, though, and practically any kanji with reading しょう can come at the beginning of a word (e.g. [証書]{しょうしょ}).

The WWWJDIC "kanji" dictionary file contains 52 kanji with reading しょ and 238 with reading しょう, so that'd suggest that "しょう is more frequent than しょ, both at the beginning and at the end" is a better theory, but of course it ignores the above-mentioned suffices and all other kanji with reading しょ, so it can't be a very good theory.

• Thank you @Earthling so a number of kanjis with しょう is bigger. That is nice to know this kind of info. – dimadesu Oct 28 '13 at 8:18