Languages

Late Old Japanese

Fact corner

  • Language: Old Japanese
  • Alternate names: 中古日本語, chūko nihongo
  • SIL-code: -
  • Language family: Japonic
  • Number of speakers: Extinct
  • Script: Hiragana, Katakana, and Han

Introduction

Late Old Japanese is a stage of the Japanese language used between 794 and 1185, a time known as the Heian Period. It is the successor to Old Japanese. Late Old Japanese further evolved to Middle Japanese.

The verb

The 9 verbal conjugations in Old Japanese

Lower Monograde (下一段) was introduced in Late Old Japanese

Verb Class Irrealis
未然形
Adverbial
連用形
Conclusive
終止形
Attributive
連体形
Realis
已然形
Imperative
命令形
Quadrigrade (四段) -a -i -u -u -e -e
Upper Monograde(上一段) - - -ru -ru -re -(yo)
Upper Bigrade (上二段) -i -i -u -uru -ure -i(yo)
Lower Monograde (下一段) -e -e -eru -eru -ere -e(yo)
Lower Bigrade (下二段) -e -e -u -uru -ure -e(yo)
K-irregular (カ変) -o -i -u -uru -ure -o
S-irregular (サ変) -e -i -u -uru -ure -e(yo)
N-irregular (ナ変) -a -i -u -uru -ure -e
R-irregular (ラ変) -a -i -i -u -e -e

Consonant / vowel stem

Verbs having a base that ends in a consonant are known as consonant-stem. These are exhibited by the following conjugation classes: Quadrigrade, Upper Bigrade, Lower Monograde, Lower Bigrade, S-irregular, R-irregular, K-irregular, and N-irregular.

Verbs having a base that ends in a vowel are known as vowel-stem. These are exhibited by the following conjugation classes: Upper Monograde.

Irregular verbs

There are several verbs with irregular conjugations.

  • K-irregular: k- "come"
  • S-irregular: s- "do"
  • N-irregular: sin- "die", in- "go, die"
  • R-irregular: ar- "be, exist", wor- "be, exist"

The conjugation class for each is named after the final stem consonant.

Categories: Japonic | Extinct | Language

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