Languages

Middle Japanese

Fact corner

  • Language: Middle Japanese
  • Alternate names: 中世日本語, chūsei nihongo
  • SIL-code: -
  • Language family: Japonic
  • Number of speakers: Extinct
  • Script: Hiragana, Katakana, and Han

Introduction

Middle Japanese is a stage of the Japanese language following Late Old Japanese and proceeding Early Modern Japanese. It is a period of transition in which the language sheds many of its archaic features and becomes closer to its modern form.

The verb

The 9 verbal conjugations in Middle 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) -i -i -iru -iru -ire -i(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

Throughout the Middle Japanese period bigrade verbs gradually change into monogrades. This process comes to a completion during Early Modern Japanese.

This is in part a result of the merging of the conclusive (terminal) and attributive forms. The distinction is still existing in Okinawan.

Categories: Japonic | Extinct | Language

Verb Wiki

Verbix Website

edit SideBar

Copyright Verbix 1995-2016