Words about sleeping

Pop quiz, hot shot: name the common modern Japanese verb X which had an older root/related form Y such that:

X : Y :: deru (出る) : idu (出づ)

Give up? neru. Both idu and inu were shimo-2-dan verbs, meaning they conjugated like this:

ide, ide, idu, iduru, idure, ideyo
ine, ine, inu, inuru, inure, ineyo

And, today, both neru and deru are vowel-stem verbs that conjugate like... well, like in the table I just linked to.

The difference is that the dictionaries are quite happy calling deru a contraction of idu, but the relationship between neru and inu isn't quite so clear cut. It seems that the ne is a root meaning "lie down"* and i is a separate root meaning, specifically, "sleep". So it's quite possible that the words started out independent and became synonymous/merged later on, rather than having a clear ancestor/descendent relationship.

i lives on in only one word that I know of: igitanai, describing someone who sleeps too much, and composed of i + kitanai (in this case, "~ in an unreasonable way, ~ like a fool"). I thought maybe inemuri was another example, but apparently it used to be winemuri, so probably not. Anyone know any others?

* nemuru, the other common Japanese word for sleep, was originally neburu, so it might be from ne (lie down) + buru (act in a certain way).

Popularity factor: 5


Gyott, you linked to that?! Maybe the Part 2 chart (?p=233) would be a better illustration of the "conjugation"?

i seems to have been a free-standing noun when not bound in compounds like asa.i 朝寝 (...which I'll probably be indulging in later this). Maybe inu developed from a lil sompin-sompin like i wo nu 寝を寝 (from Iwanami)?

she slept a sleep of sediment, of stratification of dreams


Whoops, missed! Thanks.

寝を寝 looks really redundant when you write it in kanji.


I think that's the only one. I did a search on my pocket in Koenji, and out of the whole dictonary, the only ones that came up besides igitanai asai and inuwere:

安寝 asa-i peaceful sleep一寝 hito-i a nap夜寝 yo-i a night's sleep寝覚 i-same waking from sleep寝聡い i-zatoi quick to wake

None of which was also in my modern dictionary, and all of which were justified by citations, mostly from the Manyoshu. That's very cool, though. I wonder if there are any traces of nu's original meaning of "lie down"? I thought of 塗る, but my Kojien doesn't list any promising older senses of the word, so I guess not.


izatoi! That's a good one. I'm gonna use that next time someone asks me what my "type" is.


I wonder if there are any traces of nu's original meaning of "lie down"? I thought of 塗る...

But that would be "lay down", no? (A layer of something, on the surface of something else)

: )

Y'all are WAY more up on your kogo than I am, but with nu being shimo-nidan, wouldn't any remnants (in compounds, derived verbs) be more likely to appear in the ren'you ne?

(But I'm going to add izatoi to my list of words to confuse students with. 「あの先生って変な日本語ばかり使うよね」)

Comment season is closed.