Hiragana

Last updated
Hiragana
平仮名
ひらがな
hi Jiao Ke Shu Ti .svg
Script type
Time period
~800 AD to the present
Directiontop-to-bottom, left-to-right  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Languages Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages
Related scripts
Parent systems
Sister systems
Katakana, Hentaigana
ISO 15924
ISO 15924 Hira, 410  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg ,Hiragana
Unicode
Unicode alias
Hiragana
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.For the distinction between [ ], / / and  , see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Hiragana ( 平仮名,ひらがな , Japanese pronunciation:  [çiɾaɡaꜜna] ) [note 1] is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana , kanji and in some cases Latin script. It is a phonetic lettering system. The word hiragana literally means "ordinary" or "simple" kana ("simple" originally as contrasted with kanji). [1] [2]

Contents

Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems. With one or two minor exceptions, each syllable in the Japanese language (strictly, each mora) is represented by one character (or one digraph) in each system. This may be either a vowel such as "a" (hiragana ); a consonant followed by a vowel such as "ka" (); or "n" (), a nasal sonorant which, depending on the context, sounds either like English m, n or ng ([ ŋ ]) when syllable-final or like the nasal vowels of French, Portuguese or Polish. Because the characters of the kana do not represent single consonants (except in the case of ん "n"), the kana are referred to as syllabic symbols and not alphabetic letters. [3]

Hiragana is used to write okurigana (kana suffixes following a kanji root, for example to inflect verbs and adjectives), various grammatical and function words including particles, as well as miscellaneous other native words for which there are no kanji or whose kanji form is obscure or too formal for the writing purpose. [4] Words that do have common kanji renditions may also sometimes be written instead in hiragana, according to an individual author's preference, for example to impart an informal feel. Hiragana is also used to write furigana , a reading aid that shows the pronunciation of kanji characters.

There are two main systems of ordering hiragana: the old-fashioned iroha ordering and the more prevalent gojūon ordering.

Writing system

Hiragana characters
aiueo
k
g
s
z
t
d
n
h
b
p
m
y [5] [5]
r
w [5]
(n)
Functional marks
and diacritics
  Unused or obsolete

The modern hiragana syllabary consists of 46 base characters:

These are conceived as a 5×10 grid ( gojūon , 五十音, "Fifty Sounds"), as illustrated in the adjacent table, read あ (a),い (i),う (u),え (e),お (o),か (ka),き (ki),く (ku),け (ke),こ (ko) and so forth, with the singular consonant ん (n) appended to the end. Of the 50 theoretically possible combinations, yi and wu do not exist in the language and ye, wi and we are obsolete (or virtually obsolete) in modern Japanese. wo (を) is usually pronounced as a vowel (o) in modern Japanese and is preserved in only one use, as a particle.

These basic characters can be modified in various ways. By adding a dakuten marker ( ゛), a voiceless consonant is turned into a voiced consonant: kg, ts/sz, td, hb and ch/shj. For example, か (ka) becomes が (ga). Hiragana beginning with an h sound can also add a handakuten marker ( ゜) changing the h to a p. For example, は (ha) becomes ぱ (pa).

A small version of the hiragana for ya, yu, or yo (ゃ, ゅ or ょ respectively) may be added to hiragana ending in i. This changes the i vowel sound to a glide (palatalization) to a, u or o. For example, き (ki) plus ゃ (small ya) becomes きゃ (kya). Addition of the small y kana is called yōon .

A small tsu っ, called a sokuon , indicates that the following consonant is geminated (doubled). In Japanese this is an important distinction in pronunciation; for example, compare さか, saka, "hill" with さっか, sakka, "author". The sokuon also sometimes appears at the end of utterances, where it denotes a glottal stop, as in いてっ! ( [iteʔ] , Ouch!). However, it cannot be used to double the na, ni, nu, ne, no syllables' consonants – to double these, the singular n (ん) is added in front of the syllable, as in みんな (minna, "all").

Hiragana usually spells long vowels with the addition of a second vowel kana; for example, おかあさん (o-ka-a-sa-n, "mother"). The chōonpu (long vowel mark) (ー) used in katakana is rarely used with hiragana, for example in the word らーめん, rāmen , but this usage is considered non-standard in Japanese. However, the Okinawan language uses chōonpu with hiragana. In informal writing, small versions of the five vowel kana are sometimes used to represent trailing off sounds (はぁ, haa, ねぇ, nee). Standard and voiced iteration marks are written in hiragana as ゝ and ゞ respectively.

Table of hiragana

The following table shows the complete hiragana together with the Hepburn romanization and IPA transcription in the gojūon order. [6] Hiragana with dakuten or handakuten follow the gojūon kana without them, with the yōon kana following. Obsolete and normally unused kana are shown in brackets and  gray . Those in bold do not use the initial sound for that row. For all syllables besides ん, the pronunciation indicated is for word-initial syllables, for mid-word pronunciations see below.

Spelling–phonology correspondence

In the middle of words, the g sound (normally [ɡ]) may turn into a velar nasal [ŋ] or velar fricative [ɣ]. An exception to this is numerals; 15 jūgo is considered[ citation needed ] to be one word, but is pronounced as if it was and go stacked end to end: [d͡ʑɯːɡo].

In many accents, the j and z sounds are pronounced as affricates ([d͡ʑ] and [d͡z], respectively) at the beginning of utterances and fricatives [ʑ, z] in the middle of words. For example, すうじsūji[sɯːʑi] 'number', ざっしzasshi[d͡zaɕɕi] 'magazine'.

In archaic forms of Japanese, there existed the kwa (くゎ [kʷa] ) and gwa (ぐゎ [ɡʷa] ) digraphs. In modern Japanese, these phonemes have been phased out of usage and only exist in the extended katakana digraphs for approximating foreign language words.

The singular n is pronounced [n] before t, ch, ts, n, r, z, j and d, [m] before m, b and p, [ŋ] before k and g, [ɴ] at the end of utterances, and some kind of high nasal vowel [ɰ̃] before vowels, palatal approximants (y), and fricative consonants (s, sh, h, f and w).

In kanji readings, the diphthongs ou and ei are today usually pronounced [oː] (long o) and [eː] (long e) respectively. For example, とうきょう (lit. toukyou) is pronounced [toːkʲoː] 'Tokyo', and せんせいsensei is [seɯ̃seː] 'teacher'. However, とうtou is pronounced [toɯ] 'to inquire', because the o and u are considered distinct, u being the verb ending in the dictionary form. Similarly, しているshite iru is pronounced [ɕiteiɾɯ] 'is doing'.

For a more thorough discussion on the sounds of Japanese, please refer to Japanese phonology.

Obsolete Kana

Hentaigana

Polysyllabic kana

Yi, Ye and Wu

An early, now obsolete, hiragana-esque form of ye may have existed (𛀁 [je] [8] ) in pre-Classical Japanese (prior to the advent of kana), but is generally represented for purposes of reconstruction by the kanji 江, and its hiragana form is not present in any known orthography. In modern orthography, ye can also be written as いぇ (イェ in katakana).

It is true that in early periods of kana, hiragana and katakana letters for "ye" were used, but soon after the distinction between /ye/ and /e/ went away, and letters and glyphs were not established.

Hiragana𛀁
Katakana𛀀

Though ye did appear in some textbooks during the Meiji period along with another kana for yi in the form of cursive 以. Today it is considered a Hentaigana by scholars and is encoded in Unicode 10 [9] (𛀆) [10] [11] This kana could have a colloquial use, to convert the combo yui (ゆい) into yii (𛀆い), due to other Japanese words having a similar change. [12]

Hiragana wu also appeared in different Meiji-era textbooks ( Hiragana WU 2.svg ). [13] [14] Although there are several possible source kanji, it is likely to have been derived from a cursive form of the man'yōgana, although a related variant sometimes listed ( Yu kana.svg ) is from a cursive form of . [15] However, it was never commonly used. [16] In the future, this character will be encoded into Unicode as HIRAGANA LETTER ARCHAIC WU. [12]

Spelling rules

With a few exceptions for sentence particles は, を, and へ (normally ha, wo, and he, but instead pronounced as wa, o, and e, respectively), and a few other arbitrary rules, Japanese, when written in kana, is phonemically orthographic, i.e. there is a one-to-one correspondence between kana characters and sounds, leaving only words' pitch accent unrepresented. This has not always been the case: a previous system of spelling, now referred to as historical kana usage, differed substantially from pronunciation; the three above-mentioned exceptions in modern usage are the legacy of that system.

There are two hiragana pronounced ji (じ and ぢ) and two hiragana pronounced zu (ず and づ), but to distinguish them, particularly when typing Japanese, sometimes is written as di and is written as du. These pairs are not interchangeable. Usually, ji is written as じ and zu is written as ず. There are some exceptions. If the first two syllables of a word consist of one syllable without a dakuten and the same syllable with a dakuten, the same hiragana is used to write the sounds. For example, chijimeru ('to boil down' or 'to shrink') is spelled ちぢめる and tsuzuku ('to continue') is つづく. For compound words where the dakuten reflects rendaku voicing, the original hiragana is used. For example, chi ( 'blood') is spelled ち in plain hiragana. When hana ('nose') and chi ('blood') combine to make hanaji (鼻血 'nose bleed'), the sound of changes from chi to ji. So hanaji is spelled はなぢ according to ち: the basic hiragana used to transcribe . Similarly, tsukau (使う/遣う; 'to use') is spelled つかう in hiragana, so kanazukai (仮名遣い; 'kana use', or 'kana orthography') is spelled かなづかい in hiragana.

However, this does not apply when kanji are used phonetically to write words that do not relate directly to the meaning of the kanji (see also ateji). The Japanese word for 'lightning', for example, is inazuma (稲妻). The component means 'rice plant', is written いな in hiragana and is pronounced: ina. The component means 'wife' and is pronounced tsuma (つま) when written in isolation—or frequently as zuma(ずま) when it features after another syllable. Neither of these components have anything to do with 'lightning', but together they do when they compose the word for 'lightning'. In this case, the default spelling in hiragana いなずま rather than いなづま is used.[ disputed ]

Officially, ぢ and づ do not occur word-initially pursuant to modern spelling rules. There were words such as ぢばんjiban 'ground' in the historical kana usage, but they were unified under じ in the modern kana usage in 1946, so today it is spelled exclusively じばん. However, づらzura 'wig' (from かつらkatsura) and づけzuke (a sushi term for lean tuna soaked in soy sauce) are examples of word-initial づ today. Some people write the word for hemorrhoids as ぢ (normally じ) for emphasis.

No standard Japanese words begin with the kana ん (n). This is the basis of the word game shiritori. ん n is normally treated as its own syllable and is separate from the other n-based kana (na, ni etc.).

ん is sometimes directly followed by a vowel (a, i, u, e or o) or a palatal approximant (ya, yu or yo). These are clearly distinct from the na, ni etc. syllables, and there are minimal pairs such as きんえんkin'en 'smoking forbidden', きねんkinen 'commemoration', きんねんkinnen 'recent years'. In Hepburn romanization, they are distinguished with an apostrophe, but not all romanization methods make the distinction. For example, past prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's first name is actually じゅんいちろうJun'ichirō pronounced [d͡ʑu͍ũ͍it͡ɕiɾoː]

There are a few hiragana that are rarely used. ゐ wi and ゑ we are obsolete outside of Okinawan orthography. 𛀁 e was an alternate version of え e before spelling reform, and was briefly reused for ye during initial spelling reforms, but is now completely obsolete. ゔ vu is a modern addition used to represent the /v/ sound in foreign languages such as English, but since Japanese from a phonological standpoint does not have a /v/ sound, it is pronounced as /b/ and mostly serves as a more accurate indicator of a word's pronunciation in its original language. However, it is rarely seen because loanwords and transliterated words are usually written in katakana, where the corresponding character would be written as ヴ. ぢゃ, ぢゅ, ぢょ for ja/ju/jo are theoretically possible in rendaku, but are practically never used. For example, 日本中 'throughout Japan' could be written にほんぢゅう, but is practically always にほんじゅう.

The みゅmyu kana is extremely rare in originally Japanese words; linguist Haruhiko Kindaichi raises the example of the Japanese family name Omamyūda (小豆生田) and claims it is the only occurrence amongst pure Japanese words. Its katakana counterpart is used in many loanwords, however.

History

Hiragana characters' shapes were derived from the Chinese cursive script (sosho). Shown here is a sample of the cursive script by Chinese Tang Dynasty calligrapher Sun Guoting, from the late 7th century. Note the character Wei  (wei) that the red arrow points to closely resembles the hiragana character wi (wi). Treatise on calligraphy 1.png
Hiragana characters' shapes were derived from the Chinese cursive script (sōsho). Shown here is a sample of the cursive script by Chinese Tang Dynasty calligrapher Sun Guoting, from the late 7th century. Note the character 為 (wei) that the red arrow points to closely resembles the hiragana character ゐ (wi).

Hiragana developed from man'yōgana , Chinese characters used for their pronunciations, a practice that started in the 5th century. [17] The oldest examples of Man'yōgana include the Inariyama Sword, an iron sword excavated at the Inariyama Kofun in 1968. This sword is thought to be made in the year 辛亥年 (most commonly taken to be A.D. 471). [18] The forms of the hiragana originate from the cursive script style of Chinese calligraphy. The figure below shows the derivation of hiragana from manyōgana via cursive script. The upper part shows the character in the regular script form, the center character in red shows the cursive script form of the character, and the bottom shows the equivalent hiragana. The cursive script forms are not strictly confined to those in the illustration.

Origin of Hiragana .png

When it was first developed, hiragana was not accepted by everyone. The educated or elites preferred to use only the kanji system. Historically, in Japan, the regular script (kaisho) form of the characters was used by men and called otokode ( 男手 ), "men's writing", while the cursive script (sōsho) form of the kanji was used by women. Hence hiragana first gained popularity among women, who were generally not allowed access to the same levels of education as men. And thus hiragana was first widely used among court women in the writing of personal communications and literature. [19] From this comes the alternative name of onnade ( 女手 ) "women's writing". [20] For example, The Tale of Genji and other early novels by female authors used hiragana extensively or exclusively. Even today, hiragana is felt to have a feminine quality. [21]

Male authors came to write literature using hiragana. Hiragana was used for unofficial writing such as personal letters, while katakana and Chinese were used for official documents. In modern times, the usage of hiragana has become mixed with katakana writing. Katakana is now relegated to special uses such as recently borrowed words (i.e., since the 19th century), names in transliteration, the names of animals, in telegrams, and for emphasis.

Originally, for all syllables there was more than one possible hiragana. In 1900, the system was simplified so each syllable had only one hiragana. The deprecated hiragana are now known as hentaigana (変体仮名).

The pangram poem Iroha-uta ("ABC song/poem"), which dates to the 10th century, uses every hiragana once (except n ん, which was just a variant of む before the Muromachi era).

Stroke order and direction

The following table shows the method for writing each hiragana character. The table is arranged in a traditional manner, beginning top right and reading columns down. The numbers and arrows indicate the stroke order and direction respectively.

Table hiragana.svg

Unicode

Hiragana was added to the Unicode Standard in October, 1991 with the release of version 1.0.

The Unicode block for Hiragana is U+3040U+309F:

Hiragana [1] [2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
 0123456789ABCDEF
U+304x
U+305x
U+306x
U+307x
U+308x
U+309x
Notes
1. ^ As of Unicode version 13.0
2. ^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The Unicode hiragana block contains precomposed characters for all hiragana in the modern set, including small vowels and yōon kana for compound syllables, plus the archaic ゐ wi and ゑ we and the rare ゔ vu; the archaic 𛀁 ye is included in plane 1 at U+1B001 (see below). All combinations of hiragana with dakuten and handakuten used in modern Japanese are available as precomposed characters, and can also be produced by using a base hiragana followed by the combining dakuten and handakuten characters (U+3099 and U+309A, respectively). This method is used to add the diacritics to kana that are not normally used with them, for example applying the dakuten to a pure vowel or the handakuten to a kana not in the h-group.

Characters U+3095 and U+3096 are small か (ka) and small け (ke), respectively. U+309F is a ligature of より (yori) occasionally used in vertical text. U+309B and U+309C are spacing (non-combining) equivalents to the combining dakuten and handakuten characters, respectively.

Historic and variant forms of Japanese kana characters were first added to the Unicode Standard in October, 2010 with the release of version 6.0, with significantly more added in 2017 as part of Unicode 10.

The Unicode block for Kana Supplement is U+1B000U+1B0FF, and is immediately followed by the Kana Extended-A block (U+1B100U+1B12F). These blocks include mainly hentaigana (historic or variant hiragana):

Kana Supplement [1]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
 0123456789ABCDEF
U+1B00x𛀀𛀁𛀂𛀃𛀄𛀅𛀆𛀇𛀈𛀉𛀊𛀋𛀌𛀍𛀎𛀏
U+1B01x𛀐𛀑𛀒𛀓𛀔𛀕𛀖𛀗𛀘𛀙𛀚𛀛𛀜𛀝𛀞𛀟
U+1B02x𛀠𛀡𛀢𛀣𛀤𛀥𛀦𛀧𛀨𛀩𛀪𛀫𛀬𛀭𛀮𛀯
U+1B03x𛀰𛀱𛀲𛀳𛀴𛀵𛀶𛀷𛀸𛀹𛀺𛀻𛀼𛀽𛀾𛀿
U+1B04x𛁀𛁁𛁂𛁃𛁄𛁅𛁆𛁇𛁈𛁉𛁊𛁋𛁌𛁍𛁎𛁏
U+1B05x𛁐𛁑𛁒𛁓𛁔𛁕𛁖𛁗𛁘𛁙𛁚𛁛𛁜𛁝𛁞𛁟
U+1B06x𛁠𛁡𛁢𛁣𛁤𛁥𛁦𛁧𛁨𛁩𛁪𛁫𛁬𛁭𛁮𛁯
U+1B07x𛁰𛁱𛁲𛁳𛁴𛁵𛁶𛁷𛁸𛁹𛁺𛁻𛁼𛁽𛁾𛁿
U+1B08x𛂀𛂁𛂂𛂃𛂄𛂅𛂆𛂇𛂈𛂉𛂊𛂋𛂌𛂍𛂎𛂏
U+1B09x𛂐𛂑𛂒𛂓𛂔𛂕𛂖𛂗𛂘𛂙𛂚𛂛𛂜𛂝𛂞𛂟
U+1B0Ax𛂠𛂡𛂢𛂣𛂤𛂥𛂦𛂧𛂨𛂩𛂪𛂫𛂬𛂭𛂮𛂯
U+1B0Bx𛂰𛂱𛂲𛂳𛂴𛂵𛂶𛂷𛂸𛂹𛂺𛂻𛂼𛂽𛂾𛂿
U+1B0Cx𛃀𛃁𛃂𛃃𛃄𛃅𛃆𛃇𛃈𛃉𛃊𛃋𛃌𛃍𛃎𛃏
U+1B0Dx𛃐𛃑𛃒𛃓𛃔𛃕𛃖𛃗𛃘𛃙𛃚𛃛𛃜𛃝𛃞𛃟
U+1B0Ex𛃠𛃡𛃢𛃣𛃤𛃥𛃦𛃧𛃨𛃩𛃪𛃫𛃬𛃭𛃮𛃯
U+1B0Fx𛃰𛃱𛃲𛃳𛃴𛃵𛃶𛃷𛃸𛃹𛃺𛃻𛃼𛃽𛃾𛃿
Notes
1. ^ As of Unicode version 13.0
Kana Extended-A [1] [2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
 0123456789ABCDEF
U+1B10x𛄀𛄁𛄂𛄃𛄄𛄅𛄆𛄇𛄈𛄉𛄊𛄋𛄌𛄍𛄎𛄏
U+1B11x𛄐𛄑𛄒𛄓𛄔𛄕𛄖𛄗𛄘𛄙𛄚𛄛𛄜𛄝𛄞
U+1B12x
Notes
1. ^ As of Unicode version 13.0
2. ^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The Unicode block for Small Kana Extension is U+1B130U+1B16F:

Small Kana Extension [1] [2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
 0123456789ABCDEF
U+1B13x
U+1B14x
U+1B15x𛅐𛅑𛅒
U+1B16x𛅤𛅥𛅦𛅧
Notes
1. ^ As of Unicode version 13.0
2. ^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

In the following character sequences a kana from the /k/ row is modified by a handakuten combining mark to indicate that a syllable starts with an initial nasal, known as bidakuon . As of Unicode 13.0, these character combinations are explicitly called out as Named Sequences:

Hiragana named sequences
Unicode Named Character Sequences Database
Sequence nameCodepointsGlyph
HIRAGANA LETTER BIDAKUON NGAU+304BU+309Aか゚
HIRAGANA LETTER BIDAKUON NGIU+304DU+309Aき゚
HIRAGANA LETTER BIDAKUON NGUU+304FU+309Aく゚
HIRAGANA LETTER BIDAKUON NGEU+3051U+309Aけ゚
HIRAGANA LETTER BIDAKUON NGOU+3053U+309Aこ゚

See also

Notes

  1. Also Japanese pronunciation:  [çiɾaɡana] , Japanese pronunciation:  [çiɾaɡanaꜜ]

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Japanese input methods are used to input Japanese characters on a computer.

Chōonpu

The chōonpu, also known as chōonkigō (長音記号), onbiki (音引き), bōbiki (棒引き), or Katakana-Hiragana Prolonged Sound Mark by the Unicode Consortium, is a Japanese symbol that indicates a chōon, or a long vowel of two morae in length. Its form is a horizontal or vertical line in the center of the text with the width of one kanji or kana character. It is written horizontally in horizontal text and vertically in vertical text. The chōonpu is usually used to indicate a long vowel sound in katakana writing, rarely in hiragana writing, and never in romanized Japanese. The chōonpu is a distinct mark from the dash, and in most Japanese typefaces it can easily be distinguished. In horizontal writing it is similar in appearance to, but should not be confused with, the kanji character 一 ("one").

U is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represents one mora. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, they occupy the third place in the modern Gojūon (五十音) system of collating kana. In the Iroha, they occupied the 24th position, between む and ゐ. In the Gojūon chart, う lies in the first column and the third row. Both represent the sound. In the Ainu language, the small katakana ゥ represents a diphthong, and is written as w in the Latin alphabet.

, in hiragana or in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, which each represent one mora. Both represent and their shapes come from the kanji 久.

, in hiragana, or in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, which each represent one mora. Both are phonemically, although, for phonological reasons, the actual pronunciation is [t͡ɕi](listen).

Tsu is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represents one mora. Both are phonemically although for phonological reasons, the actual pronunciation is [tsɯ](listen).

, in hiragana, or in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represents one mora. The hiragana is made in four strokes, while the katakana in one. It represents the phoneme, although for phonological reasons, the actual pronunciation is [ɸɯ](listen), which is why it is romanized fu in Hepburn romanization instead of hu. Written with a dakuten, they both represent a "bu" sound, and written with handakuten they both represent a "pu" sound.

Wi is a nearly-obsolete Japanese kana, each written variant of which represent one mora. The combination of an W-column kana letter with ゐ゙ in hiragana was introduced to represent [vi] in the 19th century and 20th century. It is presumed that 'ゐ' represented [ɰi](listen), and that 'ゐ' and 'い' represented distinct pronunciations before merging to some time between the Kamakura and Taishō periods. Along with the kana for we, this kana was deemed obsolete in Japanese with the orthographic reforms of 1946, to be replaced 'い/イ' in all contexts. It is now rare in everyday usage; in onomatopoeia and foreign words, the katakana form 'ウィ' (U-[small-i]) is preferred.

, in hiragana or in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, which each represent one mora. ん is the only kana that does not end in a vowel sound. The kana for mu, む/ム, was originally used for the n sound as well, while ん was originally a hentaigana used for both n and mu. In the 1900 Japanese script reforms, hentaigana were officially declared obsolete and ん was officially declared a kana to represent the n sound.

Taiwanese kana

Taiwanese kana is a katakana-based writing system that was used to write Taiwanese Hokkien when the island of Taiwan was under Japanese rule. It functioned as a phonetic guide to hanzi, much like furigana in Japanese or Zhuyin fuhao in Chinese. There were similar systems for other languages in Taiwan as well, including Hakka and Formosan languages.

In contemporary Japanese writing, foreign-language loanwords and foreign names are normally written in the katakana script, which is one component of the Japanese writing system. As far as possible, sounds in the source language are matched to the nearest sounds in the Japanese language, and the result is transcribed using standard katakana characters, each of which represents one syllable. For example, America is written アメリカ (A-me-ri-ka). To accommodate various foreign-language sounds not present in Japanese, a system of extended katakana has also developed to augment standard katakana.

References

Citations

  1. Dual 大辞林
    「平」とは平凡な、やさしいという意で、当時普通に使用する文字体系であったことを意味する。 漢字は書簡文や重要な文章などを書く場合に用いる公的な文字であるのに対して、 平仮名は漢字の知識に乏しい人々などが用いる私的な性格のものであった。
    Translation: 平 [the "hira" part of "hiragana"] means "ordinary" or "simple" since at that time [the time that the name was given] it was a writing system for everyday use. While kanji was the official system used for letter-writing and important texts, hiragana was for personal use by people who had limited knowledge of kanji.
  2. "Japanese calligraphy". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  3. Richard Bowring; Haruko Uryu Laurie (2004). An Introduction to Modern Japanese: Book 1 . United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p.  9. ISBN   978-0521548878.
  4. Liu, Xuexin (2009). "Japanese Simplification of Chinese Characters in Perspective". Southeast Review of Asian Studies. 31.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 See obsolete kana
  6. NHK, WORLD. "The Japanese Syllabaries (Hiragana)" (PDF). www.nhk.or.jp.
  7. "Romanization variants".
  8. "Unicode Kana Supplement" (PDF). unicode.org.
  9. "Unicode 10 Extended Kana Block" (PDF).
  10. Walter & Walter 1998.
  11. 伊豆での収穫 : 日本国語学史上比類なき変体仮名. geocities.jp (in Japanese).
  12. 1 2 Gross, Abraham (2020-01-05). "Proposal to Encode Missing Japanese Kana" (PDF).
  13. "Glyphwiki Hiraga Wu Reconstructed".
  14. "仮名遣". 1891.
  15. Iannacone, Jake (2020). "Reply to The Origin of Hiragana /wu/ 平仮名のわ行うの字源に対する新たな発見"
  16. "Japanese full 50 kana: yi,ye,wu".
  17. Yookoso! An Invitation to Contemporary Japanese 1st edition McGraw-Hill, page 13 "Linguistic Note: The Origins of Hiragana and Katakana"
  18. Seeley (2000:19-23)
  19. Richard Bowring; Haruko Uryu Laurie (2004). An Introduction to Modern Japanese: Book 1 . United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p.  8. ISBN   978-0521548878.
  20. Hatasa, Yukiko Abe; Kazumi Hatasa; Seiichi Makino (2010). Nakama 1: Introductory Japanese: Communication, Culture, Context 2nd ed. Heinle. p. 2. ISBN   978-0495798187.
  21. p. 108. Kataoka, Kuniyoshi. 1997. Affect and letter writing: unconventional conventions in casual writing by young Japanese women. Language in Society 26:103-136.

Sources

  • "The Art of Japanese Calligraphy", Yujiro Nakata, ISBN   0-8348-1013-1, gives details of the development of onode and onnade.