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Forums - The many forms of 「かえる」

Top > 日本語を勉強しましょう / Let's study Japanese! > Anything About Japanese



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So I've been looking at these many different ways to write 「かえる」 (the "return" meaning). This is what I've got so far from looking at various sources; the Japanese definitions are from Yahoo: [size=14pt]「る」[/size] = to return home, to the hotel, to a home country, or otherwise a return to a place of origin; 「めにいた、またはもといたにもどる」 [size=14pt]「る」[/size] = WWWJDIC lists this as an obsolete writing, and I can't easily find any uses of it on the Web. I believe that this was the Traditional Chinese character that got simplified into 「」 by the Japanese. Note that the Simplified Chinese character is now 「[size=14pt]「る」[/size] = seems to be used mostly with objects returning to their places of origin, for instance library books or borrowed money, but also with intangibles like favors or kindness; 「る」 [size=14pt]「る」[/size] = This one isn't listed as obsolete, and I see it being used online, in fact it is listed right next to 「る」 in the same entry in all of the online , so it seems that they have exactly the same meaning. I get the feeling, however, that it is on its way to being obsolete. Looking at the definition for the phrase 「る」, I see listed beside it 「る」, which has the same meaning. 「く」 is an outdated way to write 「く」, so perhaps this second form is an older way to write this phrase. If true, this would seem to indicate that 「る」 is in the process of fading out in favor of 「る」. Also a Traditional Chinese character, it has been simplified to 「」 in that language. [size=14pt]「る」[/size] = This form is what prompted me to do this investigation. I saw it as a vocabulary word that uses this kanji when I encountered it on a kanji quiz. Interestingly, you can't get this form to appear using IME by typing 「かえる」; I have to type 「そる」 to get it to parse to this form. But, Rikaichan does show 「かえる」 as a reading of it (albeit underneath 「そる」). Actually, Rikaichan lists 「る」 and 「る」 together under 「かえる」 possibilities, as if they are identical in meaning. 「る」 is not listed at all in my paper dictionaries; Wiktionary gives the meaning as [to turn over] but gives no additional information; Yahoo lists 「る」 and 「る」 together in a similar fashion as 「る」・「る」. Does this mean that 「る」 is obsolete - or on its way out the door, at least? If that's true, then I wonder what the reason was for "un-simplifying" it by adding a radical? Maybe it was an attempt to separate the "return" meanings from the many "reverse/opposite/anti" meanings that the kanji 「」 already possessed (and thus from confusion with verbs such as 「そる」)? At any rate, should we still consider 「る」 a modern reading of 「かえる」? It seems to have at least one foot in the grave.
1
10 years ago
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I'd speculate that, assuming they are synonymous variants, る would be preferred over る because its transitive counterpart す is so very common?
1
10 years ago
guest
Right, I mean there's no doubt that 「」 is preferred in both the transitive and intransitive verb forms - I didn't even know that 「る・す」 could be read as 「かえる・かえす」 until I saw the word on the related vocab list in a kanji quiz. What I'm wondering is: what is the purpose of 「る・かえる」 if everyone almost universally uses 「る・かえる」 in modern Japanese? Furthermore, what is the historical relationship between the two forms? Looking here, I just had an idea: Of course, the difference between these two kanji is the radical: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E2%BB%8C And we know that this radical can carry with it ideas of "walking" or "advancing forward." Since 「」 can mean opposite, perhaps adding the radical to it gave the character the feeling of literally "walking to the opposite," which could in some ways be seen as "returning" to the other side, so to speak. I mean, the kanji 「」 itself already has some ideas of "returning" in it, as can be seen in words like 「」 and 「」. But adding this radical may have given the kanji the "legs" it needed to fully satisfy the desired meaning of "to return (something)". So if this hypothesis is even somewhat accurate, it is easy for me to see how the 「る・かえる」 spelling came to be. But, this doesn't explain the current limbo status of 「る・かえる」. Was this the original version of 「る」, before the latter was created through adding the advance radical? I believe this may be what happened. That then begs the question though: is there a reason to use the 「かえる」 reading of 「る」 at all? It seems that the modern 「る」 already performs all of the functions of this "return" meaning, and I can't see a reason to use 「る」 for 「かえる」 at all (and apparently, neither does IME).
0
10 years ago (Edited 10 years ago.)
guest
I know you are all hanging on the edge of your seats about this topic, so I thought I would post a minor update. While by no means definitive, I managed to find a post by a native speaker that listed 「る・かえる」 as meaning [to turn over]. This matches the definition displayed on the Wiktionary entry here, and may have been directly copied from it, for all I know: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E3%81%8B%E3%81%88%E3%82%8B But then, I stumbled across a very interesting compound verb: [size=10pt]「る・そりかえる」[/size] = to warp; to bend backwards; to throw the head (or shoulders) back To me, this verb clearly shows that 「り」 is not expected to be read as 「かえり」, but rather 「そり」. Add that to the fact that I can't find a single modern instance of 「る」 having a 「かえる」 reading on the Web (aside from dictionaries and the like), and it just seems like the evidence is pointing in the direction of the death of the 「る・かえる」 reading. The critical question to me is still why the reading is left out of IME. Sure, IME has omissions on occasion, but they are pretty rare in my experience, and usually for words that are new or borderline slang. This is not a new or uncommon verb we are talking about here - why leave it out? Probably because no one uses it; when natives see 「る」 I bet they immediately think of 「そる」, not 「かえる」. And unless I discover something contrary to that line of thought, I think that I will, too. This whole thing reminds me of the word 「ほか」. When I first learned this word, I learned two different characters for it, 「」 and 「」. Later on, I asked some native speakers about it. They had no idea that 「ほか」 was a reading for 「」 - and they were Japanese of different ages, from different generations. I had to show them in the dictionary that it was a reading. I get the feeling that the 「る・かえる」 reading is in the same sinking ship.
4
10 years ago
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Well, I broke down and wrote a Lang-8 entry asking people to write the first verb that comes to mind when they see 「る」, and I got ton of useful information from the responses. First, the statistics: out of 15 responses, 13 people said that 「そる」 was the first verb that they thought of, while only 2 people thought of the 「かえる」 reading. Some of the responses were extraordinarily interesting. I will copy-paste some of them here for your viewing pleasure, along with my poor attempt at a translation: [quote]「かえる」というみもかでたようなもしますが、「そる」としかまないといます。 I feel like I've seen the 「かえる」 reading in books before, but I only read it as 「そる」。 [/quote] [quote]「もどる(る)」とか「かえる(る)」というかびました。 Verbs like 「もどる」 and 「かえる」 popped into my head.[/quote] [quote] 「る」のは「そる」なのですが、これをんで、まずかぶは、「そりかえる」とか、「のけぞる」とかですね。 The way that I read 「る」 is 「そる」, but when I read it the first verbs I thought of were ones like 「そりかえる」 and 「のけぞる」.[/quote] [quote]「(かえる)? いや、(そる)だよなー、やっぱり・・・」とおもいました。 I thought, "「かえる」? Nah, really it's 「そる」 after all, isn't it..."[/quote] [quote]なぜか、にパット「る。」のイメージがかびがってきました。をみると「もどる。」とはみませんね。わしいものです。 For some reason, the image of 「る」 flashed instantly into my mind. Though when I looked in the dictionary, 「もどる」 isn't listed there. It seems that even my basic knowledge of kanji can't be trusted. [/quote] [quote]どうしても2りのみがされる。「そる」と「かえる」。 あとうと「る」は「そる」と)がいとう。「かえる」というみは、ではまれにしかわないとう。 Ultimately, two ways to read it come to mind: 「そる」 and 「かえる」. Still, many people are going to read 「る」 as 「そる」. As for the 「かえる」 reading, it's seldom encountered in everyday modern Japanese.[/quote] As you can see, the results are for the most part as expected, with the bulk of people associating 「る」 with the 「そる」 reading. However, I was a little surprised to see that there were several people who still associate the word with ideas of "returning." I should note that the woman who quickly thought of 「る」 is elderly, which makes me wonder if members of her generation would be more likely to make this "return" association for the word 「る」. It's certainly an intriguing possibility. Finally, I'd like to share this section of text extracted from a kotobank.jp page that someone on Lang-8 showed me: [code] ]かえる ( ▽ ・▼ ) 「る」は“がもとにる。もとのる”の。「したる」「る」「る」「あきれる」 「る」は“きがになる”の。「る」ともく。「る」「る」 「る」は“もとのにもどる”の。「る」ともく。「る」「る」 「る」は“がひなになる”の。「った」「ひながる」[/code] http://kotobank.jp/word/%E8%BF%94%E3%82%8B%E3%83%BB%E5%8F%8D%E3%82%8B Here we have some fairly concrete evidence (Daijirin is a pretty authoritative source) of how to approach the 「かえる」 reading of 「る」. As mentioned in a previous post, this reading is used for ideas of "turning over" or "flipping over," although as the explanation notes 「る」 can also be used for this purpose. It would appear that which form to use for this meaning is at this time essentially a stylistic choice. Judging by the number of people who read 「る」 as 「そる」, though, perhaps it is best to steer away from 「かえる」 readings of 「る」 altogether, and instead use 「る」. While the intended meaning can almost always be deduced from context, sometimes for the sake of clarity and ease of reading one choice can be slightly preferred over the other (just as in English writing).
0
10 years ago
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Years Studied: 7
Studying: JLPT N3
Level: 1, : 192
Very interesting. I remember a few months ago you brought that particular verb up in another discussion. I think that く with its two possible meanings was brought up alongside it. I have to say, however, as late to the party as I am (new baby has kept me busy and Japanese study has been little and long between, if such a saying exists), that when I saw 「かえる」, the first thing that popped into my head was える, which I noticed wasn't even mentioned in the initial post. The reason for that is that in the 4th grade class I partake in daily, one of the first kanji they learned for this year was (へん), which included the 「かえる」 み. I also wanted to say, along with my infinitesimal Japanese knowledge, that another kanji with two readings which stands out for me is 「」. In maths (), the 「かく」reading is used (meaning "angle"), whereas is other situations, I'm sure that its 「かど」 reading would be more common (meaning "corner").
0
9 years ago
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Years Studied: since 2000
Studying: のため、だから
Level: 678, : 4,786
also has a third reading: つの (or 'horn,' as in on an animal's head) ;)
1
9 years ago
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Years Studied: 7
Studying: JLPT N3
Level: 1, : 192
mysticfive は
also has a third reading: つの (or 'horn,' as in on an animal's head) ;)
Ah yeah, I've come across that before, but at the time it never crossed my mind! Horn, antler, etc. Of course, it's a little easier to know whether someone is talking about a horn than it is whether they are talking about a corner or an angle. Of course, in maths it is often put together with , as in . Pretty sure that's not the "degrees of a horn". :p
1
9 years ago
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Years Studied: since 2000
Studying: のため、だから
Level: 678, : 4,786
it can also be すみ as in 'corner' too, forgot! :o
0
9 years ago
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