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... かれ、その老夫の答へ申ししく、「あは、国つ神大山津見の神の子ぞ」。わが名は足名椎と言ひ、妻が名は手名椎と言ひ、娘が名は櫛名田比売と言ふ。 ―「古事記」の「八俣の大蛇」より

「申し」の終止形は「申す」のようです、この「申し」は連用形だと思います。

質問は、動詞の連用形の後に「しく」を付けて、何の意味か表現を表しているのですか?

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    「ク語法」という活用形について聞かれたことはありますか。ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%AF%E8%AA%9E%E6%B3%95
    – user4032
    Jan 9 at 6:38
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    @l'électeur 「ク語法」がむずくてわからないので、解答をお願いします~🙏😁
    – Chocolate
    Jan 11 at 2:57

1 Answer 1

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Summary

This particular しく is not the 連用形【れんようけい】 of adjective ending し (modern しい). Instead, this is past recollective auxiliary き in the 連体形【れんたいけい】 + the ク語法【ごほう】, a.k.a. "-ku nominalization" pattern similar to uses of modern こと, seen in Old Japanese and persisting in certain set expressions even into modern usage, such as 曰【いわ】く ("history; reasons, background", literally something like "that which is said [about something]") or 恐【おそ】らく (originally "that which is frightening", used in modern Japanese to mean "probably"; compare English "I'm afraid it's the case that...").

⇒ So 申【もう】ししく is ultimately equivalent to modern 申【もう】したこと.

Grammar

Let's look more closely at your problem word, 申【もう】ししく. This breaks down as follows:

  • 申し
    This is the 連用形【れんようけい】 ("continuative or stem form") of verb 申【もう】す, the humble form of 言【い】う ("to say").

  • This is the 連体形【れんたいけい】 ("attributive form") of past-recollective auxiliary き. This attaches to the 連用形【れんようけい】 of the preceding verb or auxiliary.

  • This is the so-called ク語法【ごほう】 suffix. Historical linguistic research indicates that this derived from an earlier formal noun あく referring to 「所、事」, and possibly related to the locative suffix ~こ in words like ここ, or ~か in words like 住処【すみか】. This attaches to the 連体形【れんたいけい】 of the preceding verb or auxiliary, but the resulting [VOWEL]+[VOWEL] diphthong was not allowed in Old Japanese phonology, so either one vowel eclipses the other, or the two fuse.
    For instance, the 連体形【れんたいけい】 of Old and Classical Japanese 言【い】ふ is 言【い】ふ. This plus あく results in いふあく, and the vowel fusion of //u// + //a// resulted in the //a// winning out, producing いはく, sound shifting to modern いわく.
    Phonologically, we would expect し + あく to fuse into せく, but one theory is that the //i// here may have been //i2//, which resisted fusion and resulted in しく instead. Alternatively, this may be a case where the locative suffix ~く attached directly, rather than あく.

References

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    Nice answer. Is this related to the ending in 長らく? I'm unsure, because that seems to have an adverbial function in the modern language, while the construction you've outlined here seems to be a nominalisation (although 恐らく has an adverbial function too).
    – jogloran
    Jan 12 at 0:35
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    @jogloran: Ya, 長【なが】らく is a bit of an oddball. The KDJ entry lists a first citation of 1867, far too late for this to be an Old Japanese development. There is a nominalizing suffix ~らく, also used adverbially, which this might be, but I can't tell what conjugations this attached to. Alternatively, 長【なが】らく could have been created by analogy to 恐【おそ】らく. I think the latter might be more likely, considering the late date of appearance. Jan 12 at 0:48
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    Wow, surprisingly late if that really is the first citation...
    – jogloran
    Jan 12 at 1:51

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