Questions tagged [obsolete-kana]

歴史的仮名遣. Kana no longer in common use.

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2
votes
1answer
153 views

Is ょう still one single word/助動詞 in the expression しましょう?

Kuromoji is a Japanese tokenizer. When using it on the expression しましょう, it gave the following analysis: Surface form Part-of-Speech Base form Reading Pronunciation し 動詞,自立,*,* ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Is まはりて an archaic form of 廻って, and how is it broken down grammatically?

I came across a cover version of "Bad Apple", where the singer uses a more traditional style than the original song, including a translation of the (modern) lyrics into more archaic/poetic language. ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

‘Nanpū’ (難風), ‘Bōrei’ (亡霊) and other matters

A couple of questions, including the use of the word ‘nanpū’ 難風. I am looking at (and transliterating) a cartouche with a combination of hiragana, hentaigana, and kanji, some in sōsho, however, there ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Questions about 絵本 by 林芙美子

I'm reading several short texts as a part of a university course that's starting this fall, but I'm having problem understand parts of this one text. It's called 絵本 and is written by 林芙美子 http://www....
11
votes
2answers
325 views

戦前はどうやってしりとりをしていたのですか?

(日本語でもしてみむとて) 現在遊ばれている「しりとり」は基本的に終わりの一文字をつないでやるものだと思いますが、例えば「がっこう」なら(東京の発音ではガッコーですが)次は「う」、「こうてい」(コーテー)なら「い」というルールになると思います。 これを旧かな遣いで考えると「杖(つゑ)」は「ゑ」、「家(いへ)」は「へ」でないといけないと思います。...
2
votes
1answer
528 views

Japanese words with を in shiritori?

I've been playing some しりとり recently at http://www.shiritori.org/ and was wondering why no words with を show up. siritori.net suggests there are quite a few nouns starting with を: を をかし ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

Are there words still containing を either officially or colloquially?

I used to work in a Japanese restaurant where the owner and his wife always wrote 「かつを」 rather than 「かつお」. I thought this was kind of cool, so I looked it up. The only information I could find was ...
3
votes
2answers
326 views

Can ゐ/ヰ be combined with ゃゅょ/ャュョ?

I'm writing a program which replaces kana characters with romaji, so that りょかん becomes ryokan etc. I thus need to handle cases where ゃゅょ (or ャュョ) combine with the preceding character. My ...
10
votes
1answer
508 views

Orthography at the turn of the previous century

A couple of days ago I purchased an old book published in 1908. It uses a strange orthography I haven't encountered before. Everything that is not in kanji is written in katakana, including particles,...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is katakana /va/ normally written ヴァ rather than ヷ?

Even though there is a katakana character ヷ, most of the time when I see something that is transcribed into Japanese as /va/, it is in the form ヴァ (say, for example, in the title of the anime series ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

Why has を been spared but ゐ and ゑ been deemed obsolete?

According to When is the katakana form of wo (ヲ) used?, を is almost always used only for the particle, and is usually pronounced o (お). There are some dialects where を is pronounced with a "w", but ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Modern names of the obsolete kana ゑ and ゐ

In modern Japanese, the kana ゑ/ヱ (we) and ゐ/ヰ (wi) are largely obsolete. Words formerly containing them now are pronounced with /e/ and /i/, so they were replaced by え and い, respectively. But when ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

When did the “wu” character drop out of use?

In the last century, the ゐ and ゑ characters were eliminated from common use. But it seems like there used to also be a "wu" character that has since been lost. Given that it's a lot harder to find ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can anyone explain the obsolete, non-phonetic use of hiragana from pre war times?

At university our most learned lecturer in Japanese once mentioned there were non-phonetic usages of hiragana at the end of kanji verbs and adjectives pre WWII. Apparently books printed prewar used ...
60
votes
1answer
4k views

Why were ゐ and ゑ eliminated?

Sometime in the early 20th century, usage of the now-historical kana ゐ and ゑ (and their katakana equivalents) dropped off, being replaced with い and え in modern Japanese. What exactly happened here ...