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Kanji in this term
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kun’yomi goon kan’on

Compound of 下二段 (shimo nidan, lower bigrade) +‎ 活用 (katsuyō, conjugation).[1][2]

Historically, lower bigrade verbs eventually change into 下一段活用 (shimo ichidan katsuyō, lower monograde conjugation) verbs. “Lower” refers to the -e ending of the verb stem and contrasts with the -i ending for 上二段活用 (kami nidan katsuyō, upper bigrade conjugation) verbs. “Bigrade” refers to the two vowel endings for verb stem forms, either -e/-u for lower, or -i/-u for upper.


  • (Tokyo) もにだんかつよー [shìmó nídáń káꜜtsùyòò] (Nakadaka – [6])[2]
  • IPA(key): [ɕimo̞ ɲ̟idã̠ŋ ka̠t͡sɨᵝjo̞ː]


下二段活用 (hiragana しもにだんかつよう, rōmaji shimo nidan katsuyō, historical hiragana しもにだんくわつよう)

  1. (grammar) lower bigrade conjugation, a verbal conjugation class with the following inflections: e | e | u | uru | ure | e[yo]. Examples:
Imperfective (未然形) Continuative (連用形) Terminal (終止形) Attributive (連体形) Realis (已然形)
(modern Hypothetical (仮定形))
Imperative (命令形)
uk- "to receive" uk-e2 uk-e2 uk-u uk-uru uk-ure uk-e2[yo2]
nig- "to flee" nig-e2 nig-e2 nig-u nig-uru nig-ure nig-e2[yo2]
tab- "to eat" tab-e2 tab-e2 tab-u tab-uru tab-ure tab-e2[yo2]

The subscripts in the table above indicate differences in vowel class that were already being lost in Old Japanese. It remains unclear what those different vowel classes may have meant. See the Syllables section in the Wikipedia article on Old Japanese for more details.

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  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