Sunday Soundcheck 32


So, today is a little odd. We are in the second pass through the ‘t’ column, with a sound change to a voiced consonant, which I’ll call the ‘d’ column. The second sound was ‘chi’, with the sound change it is usually expressed in Roman letters as ‘ji’. Long ago this was a different sound from the second character from the ‘s’ row with a voiced consonant, which is also expressed as ‘ji’; however, in modern times there is generally no difference between them.

This sound is written in hiragana as ぢ and katakana as ヂ, but in many words it is replaced with じ or ジ respectively. I have heard from some people that this somewhat deprecated character has an unsavory feeling, so the other is preferred.

To find words starting with this character one needs to dig around in classical dictionaries, which is outside the normal selection process form words in my soundcheck.

Sometimes we do find the character in the middle of words when there is a sound change for euphonics. For example, when we put the words hana (はな), nose, and chi (ち), blood, together to make the word for nosebleed the sound is represented as hanaji (はなぢ).

It seems that when English words like giraffe are written in katakana, they can be represented using either character for ‘ji’, but the harder, less attractive character is preferred. (i.e., ヂラフ is preferred over ジラフ)


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One Response to “Sunday Soundcheck 32”

  1. Sunday Soundcheck 33 « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] Soundcheck 33 By びっくり Our previous soundcheck on December 7th was a strange one. After a long break for holidays and, the ever-necessary, resting […]

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