Classical Verbs II 古典文法に於ける上一段・下一段活用動詞

第08課: Regular Verbs II: Upper/Lower One-Grade Conjugations

Both the upper and lower one-grade conjugations are unique in how their stems (語幹) end in vowels. If the stem ends in /i/, the verb is said to be upper one-grade (kami-ichidan katsuyō 上一段活用). If the stem ends in /e/, the verb is said to be lower one-grade (shimo-ichidan katsuyō 下一段活用).

Although they are treated as regular verbs (seikaku katsuyō dōshi 正格活用動詞), the sheer lack of examples in Classical Japanese makes them look like the exception rather than the norm. In fact, when one excludes compound verbs and counts homophones as the same example, there are only 11 unique examples of one-grade conjugating verbs.

Upper One-Grade Conjugating Verbs 上一段活用動詞

Of the two one-grade conjugating classes, the upper one-grade class (kami-ichidan katsuyō 上一段活用) of verbs has the most examples. Including homophonous pairs and important compound examples, the entirety of this class of verbs is composed of the following verbs. 

基本形 未然形連用形終止形連体形已然形命令形
To wear
To resemble
To boil
To dry up
To winnow
ひ ひるひるひれひよ
To sneeze
To see
To look after
To reflect on
To attempt
To shoot
To cast
いる いるいれいよ
ヤ行  沃る
To dowse
いる いるいれいよ
ワ行 居る
To sit
To lead
To spearhead
ワ行用ゐる**To utilizeもちゐもちゐもちゐるもちゐるもちゐれもちゐよ

*: The verb 嚔る comes from the compound はなひる, which is the verbal form of 洟 (sniffles) with ふ being the original ending–はなふ. This verb was originally an upper two-grade conjugating verb (上二段活用動詞) in Old Japanese (上代日本語), but it had simplified into the upper one-grade class by Middle Japanese.
*: The same can be said for the verb 干る, which was also an upper two-grade verb in Old Japanese as 干(ふ). 

**: 用ゐる is a compound verb composed of 持つ (to hold) and 率る (to lead/bring along), but even its oldest attestations in Old Japanese, its conjugation class had been in flux, sometimes being seen in the upper two-grade forms 用ふ and 用ゆ up until Modern Japanese in which its upper one-grade form became standard.
**: One genre in which 用ゐる was almost always seen in its upper two-grade form was 漢文訓読(※). In this genre, there were a handful of other verbs with altered verb classes. Another such example is 試みる, which could be seen as an upper two-grade verb as 試む. 

※”Kanbun Kundoku” as it is even referred to in English is the literary creole language between Japanese and Classical Chinese which preserved the semantic choices in Kanji of Classical Chinese while being altered to fit Japanese syntax.

The name “upper one-grade” comes from the fact that their vowel-ending stems end in/i/, which is a ‘high’ vowel in phonetics. The –ru (終止形・連体形), –re (已然形), and –yo (命令形) seen in their respective bases are affixes used to create them. 

1. 春は藤波(ふぢなみ)を見る。(終止形)
In spring, one looks at the waves of wisteria.
From the 方丈記.

2. 月な給ひそ。(連用形+給ふ)
Don’t look at the moon.
From the 竹取物語.

3. 又、いさゝか覚束なくおぼえて、頼むにもあらず、頼まずもあらで、案じゐたる人あり。(連用形+たり)
Moreover, there are those who are somewhat doubtful, neither trusting nor not trusting, who ponder.

From the 徒然草.

4. まして、明らかならん人の、惑へる我等を見んこと、掌の上の物を見んが如し。(未然形+ん)
To say nothing of it, a clear-headed person trying to look at bewildered people such as ourselves would be no different than trying to look at something in the palm of their hands. 

From the 徒然草.

5. 魚(いを)と鳥とのありさまを見よ。(命令形)
Look at how the fish and birds are.
From the 方丈記.

6. その澤のほとりの木の陰に下り居て、 餉(かれいひ)食ひけり。(連用形+て)
They got off (their horses) and sat down in the shade of a tree on the edge of the marsh, where they then ate some dried rice.
From the 伊勢物語.

7. 同じき四日、病(やまひ)に責められ、せめての事に板に水をいて、それに伏し転(まろ)び給へども、助かる心地もし給はず。(連用形+て)

On the fourth day of the same (month), while plagued by illness, he tried to at least dowse the floor with water and laid down, but not even this felt like it helped.
From the 平家物語.

8. あまりに供米の不法にて、ただ糠(ぬか)のみ多く候へば、それをひさせむとて置きたるものをば、いかでか取り捨て候ふべき。(未然形+さす)
Why should you through out rice put down to sift out excess bran just because it had too much stuck in it to be used as an offering?  
From the  古今著聞集.

9.   消えかへり露もまだひぬ袖の上に今朝はしぐるる空もわりなし。(未然形+ず)

This morning, the sky has no way to dispel the rain though my sleeves have yet to dry even a drop of my tears, having (spent the night)  feeling as if my soul were fading. 
From the 蜻蛉日記.

Lower-One Grade Conjugating Verb 下一段活用動詞

There is only one lower one-grade conjugating verb ( shimo-ichidan katsuyō 下一段活用動詞). This verb is 蹴(け)る, meaning “to kick,” which is odd considering that it has since transformed into a 五段活用動詞 in Modern Japanese. Nonetheless, its bases were as follows. 


10. かの典薬の助けは蹴られたりしを (連用形+らる)
That assistant director of the Medical Ministry was kicked…
From the 落窪物語.

11. この尻蹴よ。(命令形)
Kick these buttocks!
From the 宇治拾遺物語.

12. 頭わられ… (連用形+割る)
 Their heads were kicked and split open…
From the 平家物語.

13. 鞠を蹴る事か。(連体形)
Do you mean kick the ball?
From the 浮世物語.

14. 尻蹴んとする相撲 (未然形+ん)
 The sumo wrestler aiming to kick the buttocks
From the 宇治拾遺物語.

15. さと寄りて一足づつ蹴る。(終止形)
He quickly approached and kicked with each foot.
From the 落窪物語.

16. 円子川蹴ればぞ波はあがりける。(已然形+ば)
 When I kicked through Mariko River, a wave rose.
From the 源平盛衰記.