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What's wrong with hiragana?

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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby spin13 » Sat 10.13.2007 4:06 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
...stereotypical male writing was all kanji + katakana, and females wrote in mostly hiragana with some kanji (since hiragana developed out of an attempt to represent native Japanese, that was associated with women). This continued as late as World War II, when official government documents were still written in a kanji and katakana combination.


Is this why certain place names use katakana to connect kanji (examples: 虎ノ門, 丸ノ内, 四ツ谷)?

And perhaps a little off topic, what was the origin and reason for use of ヶ in place names and counting duration in months (examples: 霞ヶ関, 市ヶ谷, 一ヶ月)? I have seen it both half-size (ヶ) and full-size (ケ), making it appear like katakana 'ke.'

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
...the represents the particle の (this time explicitly stated)...


When did the kanji 之 come into use for the particle の?

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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Shirasagi » Sat 10.13.2007 7:02 am

spin13 wrote:
And perhaps a little off topic, what was the origin and reason for use of ヶ in place names and counting duration in months (examples: 霞ヶ関, 市ヶ谷, 一ヶ月)? I have seen it both half-size (ヶ) and full-size (ケ), making it appear like katakana 'ke.'


It's generally believed that there was 箇, and from the 竹 radical came 个, which eventually became ヶ. The half-size version is (relatively) recent.

When did the kanji 之 come into use for the particle の?

-Eric


That's a relic from kanbun-kundoku. 之 was a literary "possessive" in Chinese. If you read Chinese in Japanese style, it naturally matches up with の.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 10.13.2007 9:31 am

And actually if you look at other Manyoshu poems, they use 之 for the particle "no" as well, and also for "ga" (since they were basically interchangeable). Manyougana was not a 1-to-1 correspondence, unfortunately. 乃 is another kanji used for "no".

Poem 90 is a good example (one of the characters is not in the JIS set):
君之行 気長久成奴 山多豆乃 迎乎将往    待?者不待
君が行 け長くなりぬ 山だつの 迎えを行かむ  待つには待たじ

In this case there are two examples of an additional problem; classical Chinese style invading the manyougana. 不待 is Chinese word order, and has to be inverted to come up with 待たじ. Same with 将往 and 行かむ.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby hyperconjugated » Sat 10.13.2007 9:36 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
And actually if you look at other Manyoshu poems, they use 之 for the particle "no" as well, and also for "ga" (since they were basically interchangeable). Manyougana was not a 1-to-1 correspondence, unfortunately. 乃 is another kanji used for "no".

This is quite interesting page on the subject I think:
http://www6.airnet.ne.jp/manyo/main/notes/kana/home.html
It lists some of the kanjies that were used as manyougana.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby everdream » Mon 11.12.2007 5:21 pm

Wasn't there a period, after world war two, where the government did try to change the writing system (To all hiragana I think), But it wouldn't/didn't work out, so scraped that idea?
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 11.12.2007 5:47 pm

the following links are very insightful. one thing mentioned in a few of them is that katakana was derived from the kanji itself based on the sounds of certain characters. men were the literate people at the time and women were not allowed to be educated in that manner.

In fact I believe hiragana loosely means the females hand or the lesser hand or something like that. Women, originally were not allowed to use Kanji at all, so hiragana was their only way to write.

Males scorned hiragana as they considered themselved "cultured" and hiragana was considered uncultured.

the first link is a visual of how the kana was derived from the kanji, it's not a course on making kana from hentai. (just in case the perves are lurking, you will find nothing adult in that description)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hentaigana

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27y%C5%8Dgana

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_hiragana.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_katakana.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese.htm#origin

http://www.asahi.ch/english/japanese_writing_system.php

http://mmtaylor.net/Literacy_Book/DOCS/19.html

http://www.ancientscripts.com/japanese.html

http://watanabesato.co.jp/jpculture/letters/letters.html
Last edited by two_heads_talking on Mon 11.12.2007 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby I-samu » Thu 11.22.2007 7:39 pm

すべてはひらがなだったらにほんごをよめるのがかんたになるだなぁ。
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby doinkies » Thu 11.22.2007 11:59 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
the following links are very insightful. one thing mentioned in a few of them is that katakana was derived from the kanji itself based on the sounds of certain characters. men were the literate people at the time and women were not allowed to be educated in that manner.

In fact I believe hiragana loosely means the females hand or the lesser hand or something like that. Women, originally were not allowed to use Kanji at all, so hiragana was their only way to write.

Males scorned hiragana as they considered themselved "cultured" and hiragana was considered uncultured.

the first link is a visual of how the kana was derived from the kanji, it's not a course on making kana from hentai. (just in case the perves are lurking, you will find nothing adult in that description)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hentaigana

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27y%C5%8Dgana

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_hiragana.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_katakana.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese.htm#origin

http://www.asahi.ch/english/japanese_writing_system.php

http://mmtaylor.net/Literacy_Book/DOCS/19.html

http://www.ancientscripts.com/japanese.html

http://watanabesato.co.jp/jpculture/letters/letters.html


[nitpicky doink]Actually, the word "hiragana" (平仮名) means something like "broad kana" or "flat kana"...you may be thinking of an alternate name for hiragana, 女手(おんなで) which does literally mean "woman's hand".[/nitpicky doink]
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 11.26.2007 11:00 am

actually doinky, if you checked the link, you would see what I was talking about.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 11.26.2007 11:24 am

everdream wrote:
Wasn't there a period, after world war two, where the government did try to change the writing system (To all hiragana I think), But it wouldn't/didn't work out, so scraped that idea?


I answered this in another thread, but I'll repeat the essentials here. Both after the Meiji Restoration and after World War 2, there were proposals for modifying the writing system. Romaji was one suggestion, all kana was another, and a completely new set of symbols was another. They eventually were not adopted, but the ultimate reason wasn't because Japanese could not be represented in those ways. Issues of writing systems tend to be much more political and cultural than anything else. (It's not a coincidence at all that the two major writing reform periods both came after a sudden "humiliation", so to speak, of the Japanese.)

The major thing stopping a switch to all-kana or romaji is simply inertia. It's very, very hard to change the writing system of an entire country, especially one with widespread literacy (I'm not talking about the dubious 99% number, but just a country with more than a tiny elite that can write.) The time and cost is simply too great.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby hungryhotei » Mon 11.26.2007 6:57 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
actually doinky, if you checked the link, you would see what I was talking about.


But even your link on hiragana backs up what Doinkies says, so her nitpick was perfectly valid.
Hiragana were originally called onnade or 'women's hand'

This is clearly different from the loose meaning of hiragana being 'females hand' as you said in your post.
Last edited by hungryhotei on Mon 11.26.2007 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Gundaetiapo » Mon 11.26.2007 8:51 pm

Converting the US to the metric system is an excellent example of this kind of phenomenon.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Noob » Mon 11.26.2007 9:57 pm

I don't think we can say much as english speakers.Our writing style hasn't changed at all. Our vocabulary has changed, but we still use the same alphabet the Romans did.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby Wakannai » Mon 11.26.2007 10:03 pm

We don't use it the same way the romans did, or even the same way the Colonists did.
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RE: What's wrong with hiragana?

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 11.27.2007 10:19 am

hungryhotei wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote:
actually doinky, if you checked the link, you would see what I was talking about.


But even your link on hiragana backs up what Doinkies says, so her nitpick was perfectly valid.
Hiragana were originally called onnade or 'women's hand'

This is clearly different from the loose meaning of hiragana being 'females hand' as you said in your post.


If you recollect, as I do, I said, IIRC it was females hand, I was trying to remember the kanji rather than the direct translation.. women's hand/females hand isn't really all that big a nit to pick. however, if it scratches, go ahead and rub it raw..

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