Invisible/hidden の
  • Can anyone tell me the reasoning behind the following:

    山手線 = やまてせん
    淡輪駅 = たんわえき
    富海駅 = とみえき
    合歓木 = ねむ

    Is it an archaism or something? There are plenty of place/station names with の "hidden" somewhere in the reading.
  • Weird, I was just talking about this with someone today, when I pointed out that his surname (井上・いのうえ) didn't have a の in it.

    I think it's just a thing left over from the past when there actually would have been a の there, and it's just been contracted out over time.
  • But why only in the written form if it's still pronounced with a の?

    Interestingly, 伊右衛門 (いえもん) still has an extra kanji in the written form, but is pronounced without 右 (う).
  • This phenomenon is called: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity

    Or, in this case, to be more precise, Ateji: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ateji

    Also, the following page should be interesting: http://f7.aaa.livedoor.jp/~kanji/long.html It lists a few rare kanji that possess a long reading.

    Further, consider 弄ぶ, why not 持て遊ぶ??? 承る, why not 受け賜る??? 戦う, why not 叩合う (which is the etymology of tatakau)??? 傾く, why not 方向ける??? The list goes on.

    The point in case is, assigning a (Chinese) kanji with (Japanese) on-readings or even phrases can still be clearly seen. Non-standard readings are called ateji. And why not be more creative with names?

    More examples, names of deities:
    伊奘諾尊 いざなき の みこと
    素戔鳴尊 すさのお の みこと
    大日孁貴 おおひるめ の むち

    More:
    孁 read as おんあ の あざな
    米 read as メートル
    頁 read as ページ
    粁 read as キロメートル

    It's just a "non-standard" reading...
  • But is this really an example of ateji? Ateji are stripped away of their meaning and are only used for their phonetic value (寿司 = すし). Jukujikun is the reverse process where the meaning is used and the reading is stripped away (五十 = い). With the の examples, neither the meanings nor the readings are stripped away; they are exactly the same, with the exception of particle の being shoved between somehow. It doesn't fall under gairaigo either. I suppose I could settle with it just being a non-standard reading, but I'm still wondering about the reasoning behind it. I just find it odd.

    Additionally, how is 香具師 = やし (charlatan, trickster, huckster)? Three kanji, two mora, meaning not evident. Is this a jukujikun somehow?
  • I suppose the reasoning is something like that の is hiragana, and therefore not an important part of the name in the way that kanji is, in the same spirit that kanbun doesn't include the hiragana that joins the kanji together.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanbun

    I know that の can be written as kanji, but that might be seen as a different way of getting round the problem of not wanting to have hiragana in something as important as a name. Of course, nowadays people think differently, and it's perfectly normal to have hiragana in a given name and even some place names.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiragana_cities
  • All right, it's settled then. The lack of の is just an orthographic convention, or as blutorange put it, creativity. I find it interesting that it can be seen in 井上, which is one of the most common Japanese surnames.
  • In some cases you can see this pattern for kun-readings even for words where the kanji is entirely different, e.g.
    くだもの = く(木)のもの  (similarly けだもの = 毛のもの = 獣)
    きのこ = 木の子 but is written 茸

    The kanji for くだもの was changed a couple times:
    http://gogen-allguide.com/ku/kudamono.html

    Or consider this, where 無 in 水無月・神無月 , read な, is said to actually come from の, giving it rather the opposite original meaning than the kanji might suggest:
    http://gogen-allguide.com/mi/minazuki.html

    Remember that in many cases, the word/name came first, the kanji for it later. Lists of "standard" readings came even later when somebody thought they ought to make a list of them. It's interesting to note that in trying to simplify things and limit kanji readings, the toyo list over-restricted things, for example leaving out さかな as a reading for 魚:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_script_reform

    Japanese wikipedia also has this regarding "難読地名":
    通常の音訓の間に「の」「が」などが入っていることがある(例: 「尼崎」 = 「あまがさき」、「一宮」 = 「いちのみや」)。

    So look out for examples with が as well.
  • One should note that が had almost the same meaning as の in classical Japanese.

    (Hence, the word 我が, btw.)

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