So, I recently learned that there's this song called 「通りゃんせ」, which I guess would be familiar to all of you who have lived in Japan.

The grammatical form "通りゃんせ" (and later in the song, "[下]{くだ}しゃんせ") is completely unfamiliar to me. The Japanese Wikipedia article for the song gives 通りなさい as a translation, which is good to know, but I would like to know more about this form. I figure that it is either archaic or at least non-標準語, judging from the use of じゃ as a copula and 通しゃせぬ as the negation of, uh, I guess 通す or some related verb.

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    「通る」の連用形+「やんす」の命令形だと思います。 kotobank.jp/word/%E3%82%84%E3%82%93%E3%81%99-650011 – marasai Dec 29 '14 at 9:23
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    I would not call this auxiliary verb "archaic" because (1) it is found in any modern Japanese dictionary and (2) it is still used actively by quite a few people as a humorous sentence-ender 「~~でやんす」. In the imperative form, however, that song is just about the only place you will hear it. search.yahoo.co.jp/… – l'électeur Dec 29 '14 at 10:02
  • Ah, I see! I didn't think to view it as 通り plus やんせ because of how the り and や had become りゃ. That definitely answers my question, if either of you wants to post an answer. – senshin Dec 29 '14 at 10:53

"通りゃんせ" is a colloquial contraction of "通りやんせ", which is masu-stem(連用形) of "通る"="通り" with imperative form(命令形) of "やんす"="やんせ". Also, 下しゃんせ is "下す" with "やんす".

See やんす

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