2

What is the etymology of verbs like [安]{やす}らぐ, [和]{やわ}らぐ, [薄]{うす}らぐ, [平]{たひ}らぐ, etc.? I know they all come from adjectives, but where does the 〜ぐ come from?

Maybe [揺]{ゆ}らぐ could also fit into this question, but I read it comes from the verb [揺]{ゆ}る and it was initially [揺]{ゆ}らく that softened into [揺]{ゆ}らぐ, so it might be different.

1 Answer 1

4

I found several people who think らぐ is some kind of suffix, but looks like this is not explicitly listed in dictionaries as a standalone suffix. If らぐ is a suffix, it should be similar in purpose to English -ate used to turn words into verbs (e.g., formulate, activate).

  • https://kogani.com/text/japanese/arekore_11.html

    動詞には接尾辞を伴った(ように思える)言葉があります。例としては"なう"、"しむ"、"らぐ"、"めく"などがあります。
    やすらぐ(安らぐ)、やわらぐ(和らぐ)、たいらぐ(平らぐ)、ゆらぐ(揺らぐ)、うすらぐ(薄らぐ)など

  • https://hoshinahouse.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-1226.html

    「はららぐ」

    それから二十何年後か後の初夏、まったく人気のない浅間山の中腹を登っていた。道がくのj字に折れる所へきて、折れてびっくり、声をあげた。狭い道の両側から卯の花と茨の花が、たわわに咲き重なって真っ白く、あたり一面が濃く匂って、森閑と静寂、とき折りひとりでに花ははららいでこぼれ落ちていた。(「川と山のにおい」P16)

    「はらはら」の「はら」に接尾語「らぐ」が付いたもの。「安らぐ」「薄らぐ」「和らぐ」など、「らぐ」の付く語はあるけれども、擬態語に付くのは珍しい気がする。

You may be interested in this research paper (PDF, in Japanese) which attempted to categorize "suffix-like" verb endings (e.g., まる as in 高まる, 固まる, 太まる; める as in 丸める, 細める, 緩める).

1
  • 1
    Interesting! I was also thinking - considering words like 柔ら, 薄ら, 平ら are already adjectives/adverbs by themselves, could it be that instead of the suffix 〜らぐ, it's 〜ぐ attached onto these? Especially considering 平らぐ - there is no [平]{たい} by itself as the たい reading specifically comes from た + ひら. Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 16:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .