sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.1. and

1.1.8. What is okurigana?

Okurigana (送り仮名) are kana characters accompanying kanji which show the grammatical functions of the word. For example, if a verb such as tsukau is written in kanji as 使う, the final u (う) kana is okurigana. Okurigana can be used for various purposes such as showing verb and adjective conjugations. They also help the reader to distinguish between various kun'yomi for the same kanji (see 1.2.7. Why do have several different pronunciations?). Okurigana are normally written in hiragana.

What okurigana to use with what kanji is fixed by certain rules of disambiguation, explained in the Japanese government's official rules. For example, the verb pair nogareru and nogasu are written as 逃れるand 逃す, but the verb pair nigeru and nogasu are written as 逃げるand 逃がす.

According to these rules, vowel-stem verbs (see 2.1.2. What are group I and group II (also consonant and vowel) verbs?) must be written with the vowel-stem kana visible, thus taberu, "to eat", is written 食る with a visible べ, rather than 食る×

External links


sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.1. Hiragana and katakana

Copyright © 1994-2014 Ben Bullock

If you have questions, corrections, or comments, please contact Ben Bullock or use the discussion forum / Privacy

Book reviews Convert<br>Japanese<br>numbers Handwritten<br>kanji<br>recognition Stroke order<br>diagrams Convert<br>Japanese<br>units
Dictionary of Japanese food Make comments automatically Recognize simplified Chinese characters Figlet - giant ascii letters Play reversi against the computer Unix manual pages in English, Korean, and Japanese. Turn numerals into English words