U+3080, む
HIRAGANA LETTER MU

[U+307F]
Hiragana
[U+3081]

Japanese edit

Stroke order
 

Etymology 1 edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Syllable edit

(mu

  1. The hiragana syllable (mu). Its equivalent in katakana is (mu). It is the thirty-third syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (ma-gyō u-dan, row ma, section u).
See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

Onomatopoeia.

Pronunciation edit

Interjection edit

(mu

  1. Used to indicate a mumbling sound.

Etymology 3 edit

From Old Japanese. First cited in the Kojiki of 712.[2]

The pronunciation shifted from /mu/ to just nasal /m/ and then to the generalized nasal /ɴ/ by the mid-Heian period (794–1185), leading some writers to use (n) instead to write this suffix.[2] The kana (n) itself evolved out of a hentaigana (alternative kana form) for (mu) based on the cursive for kanji (mu). In Classical Japanese texts, the practice now is to pronounce final (-mu) as (-n) instead.

As a separate phonological shift, /mu/ retained the vowel but lost the consonant, becoming a nasalized /ũ/ and then plain /u/. This then often fused with the preceding vowel, ultimately leading to the development of the modern volitional / suppositional /oː/ ending in modern Japanese.[2] See よう#Japanese:_suffix for more detail.

Variously described as suppositional ("seems like"), volitional ("I will"), or hortative ("let's). Ultimately, all of these senses arise from an apparent base meaning of "seem, appear, look like". May be cognate with (me, eye), 見る (miru, to see; to look at), びる (-biru, to look like, to seem like, to behave like).

Suffix edit

(-muyodan

  1. (Classical Japanese, after mizenkei) used to form the suppositional / volitional / hortative form of verbs, equivalent to modern (-u > -ō) / よう (-yō); also used as a mild imperative
    • c. late 9th–mid-10th century, Taketori Monogatari
      (われ)こそ()
      Ware koso shiname.
      I would rather die myself.
    • ()(たか)し。()()
      Nari takashi. Nari yamamu.
      You are too noisy. Be quiet
Conjugation edit
  • Resembling yodan conjugation, but defective.
Derived terms edit

Etymology 4 edit

Native Japanese kun’yomi pronunciation of various Chinese characters.

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
1
[noun] six
3
[noun] (only in compounds) a body
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as む.)

Etymology 5 edit

Middle Chinese-derived on’yomi pronunciation of various Chinese characters.

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
4
[noun] nothing, nothingness
[noun] (Buddhism) mu; the null set: neither yes nor no (in response to a koan or other question that mistakenly assumes an affirmative or negative answer).
[prefix] non-, un-
Alternative spelling
5
[affix] dream
[affix] illusion
[affix] vision
[affix] fantasy
5
[affix] military, martial
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as む.)

(The following entries are uncreated: , , , , .)

References edit

  1. ^ Matsumura, Akira, editor (2006), 大辞林 [Daijirin] (in Japanese), Third edition, Tokyo: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ”, in 日本国語大辞典 (Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, Nihon Kokugo Daijiten)[1] (in Japanese), concise edition, Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 2000