In relation to the Classical Japanese orthography what are the Long vowel (長音 Chōon) rule and the Palatalized long vowel (開拗長音 Kaiyōchōon) rule?

What would be some examples of them?

  • I'm not sure what do you mean by "rule" here; can you write a bit more on where did you find this concept? It sounds like this may refer to how e.g. だう in the old kana orthography is now read as (-au changed to a long vowel, i.e. diphthong coalescence), and how e.g. きやう in the old kana orthography is now read as kyō (palatalized long vowel). Jun 19, 2017 at 11:00
  • As I remember, 開拗長音 corresponds to "palatalized long open vowel", doesn't it? Jun 19, 2017 at 17:11
  • @leoboiko They were mentioned in an article in Wikipedia : (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) I also thought they had something to do with the だう case you mentioned, (the second case seems to be the Y-row (ヤ行 Ya-gyō) rule, as they refer to it), but I couldn't find anything about them at all.
    – user18849
    Jun 19, 2017 at 18:50
  • @broccoliforest according to wikipedia at least, Japanese 開拗音 correspond to /j/-palatalization (kya/kyu/kyo), being opposed to 合拗音/円唇化 which is labialization (kwa/gwa). So the qualifier 開 doesn't seem to refer to open/close vowels in this case. Jun 20, 2017 at 8:11
  • Wow, that English Wikipedia article is a mess @user18849. I suggest you use Japanese sources on 旧仮名遣い/歴史的仮名遣い (like this), or check out Wixted's Handbook to Classical Japanese or Shirane's Classical Japanese. The English Wikipedia article makes it seem a lot more complex than it is. Jun 20, 2017 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


「古典的仮名遣い」あるいは「歴史的仮名遣い」と言われるものの質問と判断しました。 百人一首など日本語の古典や和歌を読むときに必要ですね。
I judged it as a question of what is said to be "classical kana orthography" or "historical kana orthography". It is necessary when reading Japanese classics and Japanese poetry such as Hyakunin Isshu.

As a reference, here is one as a reading material, but I think this one is gathered neatly as the rule of your choice.

I extracted the rule. It becomes as follows:

Historical kanaModern kana Example
orthography   orthography

  • 「ぢ」→「じ」     はぢ→はじ 恥
  • 「づ」→「ず」     めづらし→めずらし 珍し
  • 「む」→「ん」      かむなづき→かんなづき 神無月
  • 「ゐ」→「い」     ゐなか→いなか 田舎
  • 「ゑ」→「え」     こゑ→こえ 声
  • 「を」→「お」     をかし→おかし 可笑し
  • 「くわ」→「か」    くゎがく→かがく 科学
  • 「ぐわ」→「が」    ぐゎん→がん 雁
  • 語頭以外のハ行→ワ行  つはもの→つわもの 強者、いふ→いう 言う、にほひ→におい 匂い
  • 「ア段の音+う(ふ)」→「オ段+う」 かうべ→こうべ 首/頭
  • 「イ段の音+う(ふ)」→「イ段+ゅう」 きふ→きゅう 急
  • 「エ段の音+う(ふ)」→「イ段+ょう」 てふてふ→ちょうちょう 蝶々、けふ→きょう 今日
  • pseudonym は、「平仮名」などの「[仮名]{かな}」という意味ではなく、「[仮名]{かめい}」「偽名」という意味の語ですよ。
    – chocolate
    Jun 20, 2017 at 8:20

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