If one were to look at the 万葉仮名 article on Wikipedia, they would find that no specific marks were added to represent the bunch, that is, the ザダガバ 行, with there having been different representations given to the sounds. However, excepting those kanji, there does not seem to have been anything that could represent those sounds per se.

Why would none of them ever be reduced to kana? Was there some factor that led to this preference in using diacritic marks to distinguish them?

  • If I recall in the past they simply used the basic kana for both voiced and unvoiced sounds with no modification
    – Angelos
    Mar 14, 2022 at 21:28
  • Maybe they knew about 連濁 and saw it as a variation within one sound, rather than a switch between two different sounds?
    – aguijonazo
    Mar 15, 2022 at 5:25
  • Possibly relevant:ggb03124.o.oo7.jp/gokon/kana_dak.htm
    – sundowner
    Mar 15, 2022 at 8:55
  • @sundowner the link is broken
    – jarmanso7
    Apr 20, 2022 at 17:17
  • @jarmanso7 Ah, the site seems to be gone. This article titled 濁音の問題 looks like discussing the matter.
    – sundowner
    Apr 20, 2022 at 23:20


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