可愛い

JapaneseEdit

Kanji in this term
Grade: 5 Grade: 4

Etymology 1Edit

From kawayui (see below).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ka.wa.i.i/, [kä.ɰᵝä.iː]

Usage notesEdit

Often spelled in hiragana.

AdjectiveEdit

可愛い (-i inflection, hiragana かわいい, historical hiragana かはいい, romaji kawaii)

  1. lovable, adorable, cute
InflectionEdit
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

A contraction of 顔映し /kahahayushi/ > /kahayushi/. Medial /ha/ becomes [wa] via synchronic phonological processes. It is unclear if the word before contraction was initially realized as *[kahahayushi] or as *[kawawayushi].

The kanji spelling 可愛い is an example of ateji, and uses an irregular reading of 愛. The phonological resemblance to Chinese 可愛 ("lovable") is coincidental. Note that the medial -w- here is not an excrescence added between ka () and ai (), since the word is not formed from these morphemes.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /kawajui/, [kä.ɰᵝä.jɯᵝ.i]

AdjectiveEdit

可愛い (-i inflection, hiragana かわゆい, historical hiragana かはゆい, romaji kawayui)

  1. embarrassed, having a guilty conscience: see 顔映し (kawahayushi).
  2. (obsolete) pitiable, pitiful
    • 1632, Diego Collado, Dictionarium sive thesauri linguae Iaponicae compendium
      Miſerabilis, e: coſa que cauſa laſtima, cavaij.
      (Latin:) Wretched; (Spanish:) thing that causes pity, kawaii.
  3. lovable, adorable, cute
InflectionEdit
Last modified on 14 April 2014, at 16:44