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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai NU.png
U+306C, ぬ
HIRAGANA LETTER NU

[U+306B]
Hiragana
[U+306D]

Japanese[edit]

Stroke order
2 strokes

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.

Syllable[edit]

(romaji nu)

  1. The hiragana syllable (nu). Its equivalent in katakana is (nu). It is the twenty-third syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (na-gyō u-dan, row na, section u).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Originally the 連体形 (rentaikei, attributive form) of Classical Japanese negative particle (zu). In modern Japanese, the 終止形 (shūshikei, terminal form) (lemma, originally (zu)) assimilated to (nu).

Suffix[edit]

(-nu

  1. (archaic) (after the 未然形 (mizenkei, incomplete form) of a verb) the negative: indicates negation of the action, ending without starting or occurring: not
    (かぜ)()
    kaze ga tatanu
    the wind does not rise / does not pick up
    予期(よき)エラー発生(はっせい)しました。
    Yoki senu erā ga hassei shimashita.
    An unexpected error has occurred.

Conjugation[edit]

  • For classical conjugation, see .

Usage notes[edit]

  • This word is morphologically an inflectional suffix. It is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar.

Synonyms[edit]

(negative verb ending):

  • (very casual, also archaic, also dialectal) (n)
  • (casual) ない (nai)
  • (formal) ません (masen)
  • (written formal) (zu)
  • (Kansai) へん (hen)

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Japanese.[1][2][3]

Many monolingual Japanese dictionaries[1][2][3] derive this as a contraction of Old Japanese 往ぬ (inu, to go away; to pass (such as time); to pass away, to die); however, the meaning does not seem to make sense in the context of the verb ending -nu.

More recent work by Bjarke Frellesvig and others suggests that -nu may have originated from an ancient copular or stative verb.

Suffix[edit]

(-nu

  1. (after the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form) of verb) the perfective: indicates completion of the action, ending after starting or occurring: has done, has happened
    (かぜ)()
    kaze ga tachinu
    the wind has risen / has picked up

Conjugation[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

  • In Old Japanese and continuing in classical and later Japanese, the ending (nu) and the ending (tsu) have both been used to mark the completion of an action. (nu) was used mainly for verbs that indicated intransitive, naturally occurring, or unintentional actions, while (tsu) was used mainly for verbs that indicated transitive or intentional actions. In the shift to modern Japanese, this distinction was lost, and Classical (tsu) was superseded by (ta).
  • In classical Japanese, perfective (nu) is different from negative (nu) ( (zu)) as shown in the following table:
Negative (nu) ( (zu)) Perfective (nu)
Terminal (終止形) (zu) (nu)
Attributive (連体形) (nu) ぬる (nuru)
  • In modern Japanese, (nu) is rarely encountered, and it often imparts a formal or archaic sense.
  • This word is morphologically an inflectional suffix. It is classified as 助動詞 (jodōshi, auxiliary verb) in traditional Japanese grammar.

Synonyms[edit]

(perfective verb ending):

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. 3.0 3.1 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, →ISBN

Kunigami[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Japanese (no).

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

(romaji nu)

  1. possessive particle

Miyako[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Japanese (no).

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

(romaji nu)

  1. possessive particle

Okinawan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Ryukyuan *no, from Proto-Japonic *nə (nominative and genitive case marker). Cognate with Japanese (no).

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

(rōmaji nu)

  1. genitive case marker
    1. Indicates possession: of, -'s
      那覇(なーふぁ)天気(てぃんち)
      Nāfa-nu tinchi
      Naha's weather
  2. nominative case marker
    1. Indicates the subject of a sentence.
      天道(てぃーだ)()がゆん。
      Tīda-nu agayun.
      The sun rises.
      (とぅい)()ちゅん。
      Tui-nu nachun.
      The birds sing.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (ga) is used for personal names or pronouns, (nu) is used otherwise. See *no for details.

References[edit]

  • ” in Okinawa Center of Language Study, Shuri-Naha Dialect Dictionary.

Yaeyama[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Japanese (no).

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

(romaji nu)

  1. possessive particle

Yonaguni[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Japanese (no).

Pronunciation[edit]

Particle[edit]

(romaji nu)

  1. possessive particle