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Arawareru, あらわれる: "to appear, to come in sight, to become visible, to materialize, to manifest."

It looks as if arawareru can be written: 現れる, 現われる, 表れる, 表われる, 顕れる, 顕われる (Readings: 現 = gen, ken, arawa, utsu; 顕 = ken, gen, ari, arawa; 表 = hyō, arawa, ara, omote)

Question: Why is 現われる or 顕われる read/voiced/understood as arawa-re-ru instead of arawa-wa-re-ru?

I note that 19th century ukiyo-e title cartouches are recorded as using arawaru 顕る and arawaruru 顕るゝ (顕るる), e.g. Picture of the Vengeful Spirits of the Heike Appearing at Daimotsu-no-ura in Sesshū, Sesshū Daimotsu-no-ura Heike no onryō arawaruru zu:

摂州大物浦平家怨霊顕るゝ圖

せっしゅうだいもつのうらへいけのおんりょうあらわるゝ[る]づ

Question: I assume that arawaru and arawaruru are simply more archaic ways of writing arawareru, presumably changing in the late 19th or early 20th century. But was/is there any significant difference/implication/contextual or formal reason for using arawaru (現る, 顕る, 表る, あらわる) or arawaruru (顕るゝ, あらわるる)?

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Question: I assume that arawaru and arawaruru are simply more archaic ways of writing arawareru, presumably changing in the late 19th or early 20th century. But was/is there any significant difference/implication/contextual or formal reason for using arawaru (現る, 顕る, 表る, あらわる) or arawaruru (顕るゝ, あらわるる)?

Your question touches on a common phenomenon in Japanese: the shift from the older 下【しも】二段【にだん】活用【かつよう】 or "lower bigrade conjugation" pattern to the modern 下【しも】一段【いちだん】活用【かつよう】 or "lower monograde conjugation" pattern, also described as "type 2" in English-language materials. The "lower" part refers to the vowel -- "lower" verbs had stems ending in -e, and 上【かみ】 or "upper" verbs had stems ending in -i.

In a nutshell, all the modern type-2 verbs ending in -eru used to end in -u in the 終止形【しゅうしけい】 or "terminal form" used to end a sentence, or used as the headword in a dictionary. So modern 食【た】べる used to be 食【た】ぶ as the plain form, and 顕【あらわ】れる in your example used to be 顕【あらわ】る.

But that's just for the 終止形【しゅうしけい】. The 連体形【れんたいけい】 or "attributive form" is used when the verb modifies a noun. In modern Japanese, the 終止形【しゅうしけい】 and the 連体形【れんたいけい】 are the same thing, but in Classical Japanese and older stages of the language, the 連体形【れんたいけい】 was a separate conjugation, formed by adding a る on the end of the 終止形【しゅうしけい】. So for 食【た】ぶ, the attributive was 食【た】ぶる, and for 顕【あらわ】る, the attributive was 顕【あらわ】るる. In your sample text above, 顕【あらわ】る is used to modify 圖【ず】, so the verb is conjugated in the attributive, as 顕【あらわ】るる.

Over time, the conjugation shifted, and various forms fused, so the -e stem ending came to be used as the basis for all forms: giving rise to modern stem forms 食【た】べ and 現【あらわ】れ, and fused terminal / attributive forms 食【た】べる and 現【あらわ】れる.

For more on the conjugation pattern, see the Japanese Wikipedia article. The box at the upper right of that page has links to the other classical and modern conjugation patterns, each with tables showing the different forms -- 未然形【みぜんけい】 (incomplete), 連用形【れんようけい】 (continuative or stem), 終止形【しゅうしけい】 (terminal), etc.

Question: Why is 現われる or 顕われる read/voiced/understood as arawa-re-ru instead of arawa-wa-re-ru?

This has to do with spelling conventions, and some looseness over time in what sounds were regarded as 送【おく】り仮名【がな】, the kana that typically follow the kanji to show inflectionary endings.

The verb arawareru, as shown above, comes from older form arawaru. The conjugating portion of the older form is clearly just the -ru on the end, which becomes -reru in various conjugations, and the modern 送【おく】り仮名【がな】 convention is to spell the term as 現れる, with the -wa- internal to the kanji and the classically conjugating -reru spelled out explicitly (even though, in modern Japanese, again only the -ru on the end changes at all; including the れ in the kana might help avoid ambiguity). However, this is only a convention, and not carved in stone, and older spelling conventions usually spell out the -wa-, as 現われる. My copies of Daijirin and the Kokugo Dai Jiten both list both spellings, with the -wa- either explicitly spelled out in kana, or left implicit.

Consequently, both 現れる and 現われる are considered to be valid spellings of arawareru. Don't add an extra -wa-. :)

A little speculation:

Monolingual dictionaries show that the older pre-20th-century-reform spelling was あらはる. If you dig around in etymologies enough, you'll notice that the はる ending here sometimes suggests a derivation from an older verb form ending in ふ. We find that あらふ is the pre-reform kana spelling of modern 洗【あら】う, and sure enough, one of the less-common senses of this verb is "to bring something hidden into clear view". The passive conjugation of 洗【あら】う is 洗【あら】われる, and the meaning is "to be brought into clear view [as of something hidden". This is quite close to 現【あらわ】れる, "to become evident, to be discovered". I suspect that 洗【あら】う is the root of 現【あらわ】れる, and as such, the -wa- would actually be part of the conjugable portion -- which might explain why older spellings explicitly spell out the わ in kana.

But again, this last part is only my own speculation, and is not listed as the derivation in any of the dictionaries I have to hand.

  • Thanks Eiríkr Ú, a very thorough response... a night-time language geek indeed! ... and also thanks @naruto, good to have the extra links. Will reflect on this info more over the next couple of days, and shape it into some personal 'footnotes'... have been looking at quite a few prints with arawaruru in the title. Cheers. – musha Mar 20 '18 at 13:11
  • @musha, cheers, hope it's good food for thought. :) Re-reading my post, I see a couple ambiguities, which I'm about to edit to clear up. – Eiríkr Útlendi Mar 20 '18 at 16:29
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Q1: This is just a variation of okurigana. Okurigana was not very standardized in the past, and people often used (and still occasionally use) 生れる【うまれる】, 明かるい【あかるい】, 聞える【きこえる】, 断わる【ことわる】, etc. 現われる is still あらわれる.

Q2: あらわる and あらわるる are the same verb in archaic/classical Japanese. あらわる is the archaic equivalent of modern あらわれる, and あらわるる is the attributive form (連体形) of あらわる. Historically, 辞書形/終止形 of a verb was different from 連体形, and あらわる had to be inflected to あらわるる to modify the following noun ("図"). See this chart. あらわる is a ラ行下二段活用 verb.

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