I learned that the reason why て and た forms conjugate the way they do is because of a phenomenon known as 音便. And I know that 音便 happens because it's easier to say the word this way.

However, what is easier to say with 音便? For example, 使って has been 音便される, right? S what would it have been if 音便 did not occur?

My guess is that it must be one of the six forms (連体、連用、終止、未然、仮定、命令) + て, with the 連体 and 連用 being the most probable. My guess would be something like 使いて or 使うて. Are my guesses right?

  • heh. yeah, I thought about deleting my "answer" myself, once I realized that @naruto had answered it by posting a relevant link in the comments... Still getting used to how this community 'works' ... Searching for questions that "haven't been answered" leads to too many where there's an answer, but it's in the comments, so I fail to notice it sometimes. Apr 22 '18 at 22:23
  • @ericfromabeno I also hate "unanswered" questions that actually have an answer in the comment section, but a single link is not considered a complete answer, and I sometimes do this when I don't have enough time to write an answer.
    – naruto
    Apr 23 '18 at 7:03

Please see this chart for the non-音便 version. As you can see, this type of 音便 appears in the te/ta-form of most consonant-stem (aka godan) verbs.

Actually these non-音便 version was commonly used in classical Japanese, and is still used as part of the polite masu-form. For example, 使って was 使て in classical Japanese (or 使ひて in the historical kana orthography). This 使っ is a 連用形 of 使う. Japanese people think 使い and 使っ are the two variations of 連用形, the latter being the 音便 version of the former. See this question for more details.

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