See also: り゚ and ŋ

U+308A, り


Japanese edit

Stroke order

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

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

Syllable edit


  1. The hiragana syllable (ri). Its equivalent in katakana is (ri). It is the fortieth syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (ra-gyō i-dan, row ra, section i).
See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

Originally the classical copula verb あり (ari, it is) following a verb in the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form).[1]

The -i ending of the preceding verb stem contracted with the initial a- in ari to form -eri, which was reanalyzed as the 已然形 (izenkei, realis form, corresponding to the modern hypothetical form) or 命令形 (meireikei, imperative form) of the verb stem for 四段活用 (yodan katsuyō, quadrigrade conjugation) verbs, or the 未然形 (mizenkei, irrealis or incomplete form) for サ変動詞 (sa-hen dōshi, sa-irregular verbs), all of which ended in -e, with the final -ri then viewed as a suffix.[1][2]

Example: 降り (furi, continuative stem of 降る (furu)) + あり (ari)降れり (fureri), reanalyzed as 降れ (fure, realis or imperative form of 降る (furu)) + (-ri)

Research into 上代特殊仮名遣い (jōdai tokushu kanazukai, ancient special spellings) clarified the -e vowel value as ⟨e1, showing that the original form could not have been the 已然形 (izenkei, realis form) that ended in ⟨e2. Ancient ⟨e1 was also known to appear from fusion of -i and a-, and this revealed the much simpler original structure of a verb in the 連用形 (ren'yōkei, continuative or stem form) for either quadrigrade or sa-irregular verbs + あり (ari).[1]

Originally denoted ongoing state or action, or the resulting state of an action. The sense later shifted to indicate the completion of an action.[1][2] Compare the modern construction ある (~te aru).

Pronunciation edit

  • In Tokyo speech, the verb + (-ri) construction always has the accent on the penultimate mora, regardless of the underlying verb. This is also true if the suffix appears in the adnominal form (-ru).[3]

Suffix edit


  1. (archaic) Used to form the stative of verbs: did; have done
    shinsekai yori kitareri
    hath come from the new world
    zuhan o shōryaku seru chōrui mokuroku
    an ornithological catalogue with illustrations omitted
Usage notes edit

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

Attaches by changing the -u of godan verbs to -eri, suru to seri, and kuru to keri. The result can be further conjugated like an r-irregular verb; for example, the adnominal form ends in -eru.

The adnominal form of the ending, -eru, is easily confused with the potential ending for godan verbs. Note that the former is always accented, but the latter is only accented when the underlying verb is.

  • Unaccented verb () (/kàú/): stative /kàéꜜrù/, potential /kàérú/
  • Accented verb () (/yóꜜmù/): stative and potential /yòméꜜrù/

In Classical Japanese, this ending is usually not used on r-irregular verbs, because it is a contraction of -i + ari and r-irregular verbs already incorporate an etymological ari.

See also edit

Etymology 3 edit

Probably ultimately deriving from the classical copula verb あり (ari, it is), used adverbially to denote the state or manner of an action.

Used to form adverbs from some onomatopoeias or ideophones. Appears to have been productive up through the Early Middle Japanese of the late Heian period, possibly also in the early stages of the Late Middle Japanese of the Kamakura period. In the modern language, this suffix persists in existing words, but it is not used to form any new words.

Suffix edit


  1. (non-productive) adverb-forming suffix following some onomatopoeias or ideophones
    きら (kira)きらり (kirari)
    べた (beta)べたり (betari)べったり (bettari)
    ほの (hono)ほんのり (honnori)
Usage notes edit

Etymology 4 edit

Shortening of りょ (ryo), from shortening of (りょう)(かい) (ryōkai).

Noun edit


  1. (text messaging slang) short for 了解 (ryōkai, understand)

Etymology 5 edit

For pronunciation and definitions of – see the following entries.
[noun] a unit of distance:
[noun] under the 律令 (Ritsuryō) system, defined as equal to 300 (bu) or 1500 (shaku)
[noun] from the early modern until the end of the Edo period, defined as equal to 36 (chō), approximately between 3.6 to 4.2 kilometers
[noun] from the mid-Meiji period, defined as equal to 129,60033 meters, approximately 3.927 kilometers or 2.44 miles
[noun] (historical) under the 律令 (Ritsuryō) system, a unit of area for regional administration, equal to 50 (ko, houses)
[affix] village
[noun] reason, logic
[noun] profit, benefit, advantage
[verb] to benefit
(This term, , is the hiragana spelling of the above terms.)
For a list of all kanji read as , see Category:Japanese kanji read as り.)

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

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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. ^ Samuel E. Martin's A Reference Grammar of Japanese