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U+B204, 누
Composition: +

Hangul Syllables

뇨 ←→ 눠



Revised Romanization?nu
Revised Romanization (translit.)?nu
Yale Romanization?nwu

Etymology 1[edit]

Korean reading of various Chinese characters.



  1. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu, lɨoX, ləuH))
  2. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu, ləuX))
  3. :
    (MC reading: (MC liuɪX))
  4. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨo, ləu))
  5. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨoH))
  6. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨoX, ləuX))
  7. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨo, ləu, lɨoX))
  8. :
    (MC reading: )
  9. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu))
  10. :
    (MC reading: (MC liuɪH))
  11. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləuH))
  12. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨo, ləuH))
  13. :
    (MC reading: (MC liuᴇX, liuᴇH))
  14. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨoX))
  15. :
    (MC reading: (MC nəuH, nuok̚))
  16. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu))
  17. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨo, ləu, lɨoX))
  18. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu))
  19. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu, lɨoX))
  20. :
    (MC reading: (MC lɨo, ləuH))
  21. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləuH))
  22. :
    (MC reading: (MC ləu))

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. (archaic or regional, including Gangwon, Gyeongnam) Synonym of 누구 (nugu, who, someone)
    • 2012 April 20, 이돈, “대추나무를 되찾은 오성의 재치”, in 한국구비문학대계[1], 경상북도 영양군 석보면:
      대감, 주먹 주먹이니껴?
      Daegamnim, i jumeog-i nu jumeog-inikkyeo?
      Prince, who's fist is this?

Middle Korean[edit]


It has been suggested since the 1950s that the basic Korean pronouns (na, I; me), (ne, you), and (nwu, who) (> modern 누구 (nugu)) were all formed from the same etymon via ablaut, which appears to have once been an extremely productive process in Korean, at some very ancient stage.[1][2] Given the very limited data on prehistoric Korean, this hypothesis cannot be proven for sure either way.



누〮 (nwú)

  1. (interrogative) who?
    • 14th century?, “滿殿春 (Manjeonchun)”, in 樂章歌詞 (Akjang gasa):
      벼기더시니 러시니ᅌᅵᆺ가 러시니ᅌᅵᆺ가
      pyekitesin_i nwu-ylesiningiska nwu-ylesiningiska
      Who was the one, who was the one who had made that vow?
    • 1459, Worin seokbo 月印釋譜 / 월인석보, page 8:86b—8.87a:
      아라〮 녀리〮 그츤〮 이〮런 이ᄫᅳᆫ〮 길헤〮 눌〯 보〯리라〮 우러〮곰〮 온다〮
      àlá nyèl_í kùchún ílèn ìWún kìlh-éy nwǔ-l pwǒlìlá wùlé-kwóm wòntá
      On this confounding trail where there are no longer those to know the way, who do you intend to see, that you come weeping thus?

Usage notes[edit]

In Middle Korean, the pronoun only had an interrogative sense and did not mean "somebody" as in Modern Korean. The word for "somebody" was 아모 (amwo) > Modern 아무 (amu).


Case Form
Isolated 누〮 (nwú)
Nominative 뉘〮 (nwúy)
Accusative 눌〯 (nwǔ-l), 누〮를〮 (nwú-lúl), 누〯를〮 (nwǔ-lúl)
Genitive 뉘〯 (nwǔy)

The Middle Korean pronouns have an irregular pitch inflection otherwise unusual in the language, and the origin of which is unknown.


  • Korean: (nu, who, someone) (archaic or dialectal)
  • Korean: 누구 (nugu, who, someone)
  • Korean: 누가 (nuga, who, someone, as subject)
  • Korean: (nwi, who, someone) (archaic)


  1. ^ 이근수 (1971), “()()()()()()()()()()()()()()으로 [Categories of semantic vowel alternation: Focusing on Middle Korean]”, in Gugeo gungmunhak, volume 54, pages 93—132
  2. ^ 이근수 (1975), “Ablaut ()() [A study of ablaut]”, in Eomunnonjip, volume 10, pages 85—100