Japanese edit

Kanji in this term

Grade: 2
Alternative spellings
云う (literary)

Etymology edit


From Old Japanese,[1] from Proto-Japonic *ipu. Compare Korean (ip, mouth).

Medial /p/ regularly changed from [p][ɸ][w]. Japanese never distinguished between /wu/ and /u/, so that automatically becomes [u]. The /w/ only surfaces in the negative form of iwanai, where the phoneme /wa/ exists. Surface forms /iwimasu/ and /iwemasu/ automatically became /iimasu/ and /iemasu/ since Japanese no longer distinguished /wi, we/ from /i, e/.

Pronunciation edit

  • Tokyo pitch accent of conjugated forms of "言う"
Source: Online Japanese Accent Dictionary
Stem forms
Terminal (終止形)
Attributive (連体形)
言う [ìú]
Imperative (命令形) 言え [ìé]
Key constructions
Passive 言われる われる [ìwárérú]
Causative 言わせる わせる [ìwásérú]
Potential 言える える [ìérú]
Volitional 言おう [ìóꜜò]
Negative 言わない わない [ìwánáí]
Negative perfective 言わなかった わなかった [ìwánáꜜkàttà]
Formal 言います いま [ìímáꜜsù]
Perfective 言った った [ìttá]
Conjunctive 言って って [ìtté]
Hypothetical conditional 言えば [ìéꜜbà]

Verb edit

() or () (iu or yuuいふ (ifu)?transitive godan (stem () (ii), past ()った (itta))

  1. to say, to tell somebody
    • c. 762, Shōsōin Man'yōgana Monjo:
      和可夜之奈比乃 可波利爾波 於保末之末須 美奈美乃末知奈流奴乎 宇氣與止 於保止己可都可佐乃比止伊布 之可流可由恵爾 序禮宇氣牟比止良 久流末毛太之米弖 末都利伊禮之米太末布日 與禮良毛伊太佐牟 之可毛己乃波古美於可牟毛 阿夜布可流 可由恵爾 波夜久末可利太末布日之 於保己可ツ可佐奈比氣奈波 比止乃太氣太可比止 □己止波宇氣都流
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 7)
      “Onoga nasanu ko nareba, kokoro ni mo jū hazu nan aru” to ihite, tsukihi sugusu.
      ‘Since I am not the one who birthed the child, I cannot do whatever I wish,’ he said as days went by.
    • c. 905, Ise Monogatari (chapter 6, page 84)
      “Anaya” to ihi keredo, kami naru sahagi ni e kikazarikeri.
      He called ‘Anaya,’ but it resounded like the gods crying out.
    Arisu wa watashi ni yasumitai to itta.
    Alice said to me that she wants to rest.
    Watashi ga iu yō ni shinasai.
    Do as I tell you.
    Kare wa hen da to iwareta.
    He was told that he was strange.
    Hitotsu itte ii?
    Can I just say one thing?
  2. to call, to name, to give a name
    • c. 890, Taketori Monogatari (page 3)
      Ima wa mukashi, Taketori no Okina to iu mono arikeri.
      Long ago now, there was one known as Taketori no Okina.
    Kono dōbutsu wa nihongo de nan to iimasu ka.
    What do you call this animal in Japanese?
    ピリオドは、stop(ストップ)  full(フル) stop(ストップ) ともいい(へい)(じょ)(ぶん)(めい)(れい)(ぶん)()わりに()ける。[1]
    Piriodo wa, sutoppu ya furu sutoppu to mo ii, heijobun meireibun no owari ni tsukeru.
    A period, also called a stop or full stop, attaches to the end of a declarative or imperative sentence.
  3. to cry, to call, to make a noise (such as an animal)
    nyānyā iu neko
    a mewing cat

Usage notes edit

As a transitive verb, this can take the usual accusative particle (o) after the object of the verb. However, it is much more common to see this with the quotative particle (to) instead.

Compared to other verbs such as (しゃべ) (shaberu), (はな) (hanasu) and (かた) (kataru), which refer specifically to speaking, this verb is abstract, and sometimes used like a copula, as in そういう, ああいう, こういう, っていうこと.[3]

Idioms edit

Conjugation edit

Synonyms edit

References edit

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 精選版 日本国語大辞典 [Selected edition: unabridged Japanese language dictionary] (in Japanese), Shogakukan, 2005