Are there any explanations for the 五段動詞-specific イ音便 of 連用形+た/て that aren't based/dependent on the 子音語幹/母音語幹 explanation for the differences in 五段動詞/上一段動詞 conjugations?

For example, take 開く and 飽きる, setting aside the fact that they have completely different meanings and focusing only on their pronunciations. In 口語, the 過去形 of あく is あいた, due to the イ音便 of "あき+た". However, for the 上一段動詞 "あきる", this イ音便 doesn't occur, and so the past tense is "あきた".

I've heard explanations regarding 子音語幹 and 母音語幹. However, they don't seem able to explain why the イ音便, which occurs based on how difficult a word is to pronounce, would not occur indescriminately. Is anyone aware of any other explanations?

In other words, if the past tense of 開くwas reanalyzed as 開いた, why was the past tense of 飽きる never reanalyzed as 飽いた?

  • 5
    We do say 「飽いた」, too. Listen to this song. youtube.com/watch?v=9qUGhKg_UqM – l'électeur Oct 10 '19 at 12:25
  • 1
    That's really interesting! I never realized that was 飽いた! Are you aware of any other examples of the イ音便 of an 一段動詞 or the reason it never caught on? – sbkgs4686 Oct 10 '19 at 12:55
  • 5
    @sbkgs4686 The spoiler is that it's a conjugation of 飽く (godan), a relatively old-fashioned variant of 飽きる. – broccoli forest Oct 10 '19 at 13:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.