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表す reading

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Up until today i've always read 表す as あらわす, but now i begin to doubt it. Are あらわす and ひょうす essentially the same and interchangeable in their "express, indicate" meeaning? Any nuances?
 

Mike Cash

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When I look in 大辞林 it says ひょうす is a variant of 表する(ひょうする) and when I look up 表する the first definition given is あらわす.

The key is the okurigana. 表わす makes it clear which reading is intended, and since it is part of a transitive-intransitive verb pair with 表れる I suspect that 表わす is the preferred or "correct" rendition and 表す(あらわす) a non-standard variant.
 
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When I look in 大辞林 it says ひょうす is a variant of 表する(ひょうする) and when I look up 表する the first definition given is あらわす.

The key is the okurigana. 表わす makes it clear which reading is intended, and since it is part of a transitive-intransitive verb pair with 表れる I suspect that 表わす is the preferred or "correct" rendition and 表す(あらわす) a non-standard variant.
I don't think this is the case. It's hardly definitive, but a test I like to do is to check the J-E dictionary at goo or yahoo... it's just a midsized dictionary, so by nature it leaves out a lot of uncommon words or spellings. What I find is that the okurigana of あらわす is always す (the kanji can vary, although in some cases that's a different word).
あらわすで始まる言葉 - goo辞書 英和和英

Also in my reading, I really never see 表わす but I see 表す very often.

Spoken language is clear about what pronunciation is being used, and as best I can tell あらわす is by far the more common; ひょうす・ひょうする are sometimes used in formal settings. (Of course my sample is biased since most of what I hear is fictional dialogue in various media.)

Checking the 国語辞典 for completeness, I find it notates:
あらわ・す〔あらはす〕【現す〔現わす〕/表す〔表わす〕/▽顕す】
あらわす【現す〔現わす〕/表す〔表わす〕/顕す】の意味 - goo国語辞書

I think the parentheses indicate the less-preferred spelling.
 
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Thanks for your input Mike. On the one hand i hardly ever seen it written with わす okurigana. On the other hand i don't reckon ever hearing ひょうす(る). May be one of those expressions used primarily in writing like にて for で, or maybe i should listen more carefully.
 
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@SomeCallMeChris Thanks for the information. It consolidates my guesswork. To sum it up: ひょうす(る)is probably used in formal settings (which i called "expressions used in writing" in my previous post). Perhaps i should not hesitate reading 表す as あらわす no more.
 
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@SomeCallMeChris Thanks for the information. It consolidates my guesswork. To sum it up: ひょうす(る)is probably used in formal settings (which i called "expressions used in writing" in my previous post). Perhaps i should not hesitate reading 表す as あらわす no more.
Yeah, I went through this puzzle a couple years ago and came to the same conclusion then as now.

As a general rule I read 表す as あらわす in normal speech, and as ひょうする if the speaker is using keigo. This is not 100% correct, I know from times when I have both written and spoken versions of the dialogue, but I haven't been bothered to understand the subtleties. It's 'often enough' right that I can read my books and still not mess up my expectations too badly when listening to audio which I guess is good enough to be going on with.
 

Toritoribe

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Up until today i've always read 表す as あらわす, but now i begin to doubt it. Are あらわす and ひょうす essentially the same and interchangeable in their "express, indicate" meeaning? Any nuances?
あらわす and ひょうす(る) are not always interchangeable. The former one is broader in meaning. ひょうす(る) is basically used for "to express one's thoughts/opinion/will in words", and usually not used for other meanings of あらわす such like "to represent/denote/indicate". ひょうす(る) is interchangeable with 表明する in most cases.
e.g.
感謝の意を表す。 (both あらわす and ひょうす are possible)
to declare gratitude

この地図記号は学校を表している。(あらわしている, not ひょうしている)
This map symbol represents school.


As for 送り仮名, there is a guideline settled by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
文化庁 | 国語施策・日本語教育 | 国語施策情報 | 内閣告示・内閣訓令 | 送り仮名の付け方
(all in Japanese)

summary
Okurigana is for conjugation suffix, i.e., other part than non-conjugated stem. It's relatively easy to understand for godan verbs that don't have the transitive-intransitive counterpart.
e.g.
はな
はなした
はなさない

The stem is はな, and okurigana is す, so it's 話す.

As for ichidan verbs, for instance たべる, the stem is seemingly たべ in modern Japanese.
たべ
たべ
たべない

But actually, the classical form is たぶ, so the stem is た and okurigana is べる; 食べる.
classical conjugation

べり
べず
ぶれば


It's similar to transitive-intransitive pair verbs. おとす is a godan verb, so the stem seems like to be おと.
e.g.
おと
おとした
おとさない

But actually, the intransitive counterpart おちる exists, and these two verbs are both derived form a classical verb おつ, therefore the stem is お and okurigana is とす/ちる; 落とす/落ちる. (The guideline says that 落す is also acceptable for おとす since this godan verb is never read おす.)

あらわ is a godan verb, and the intransitive counterpart is あらわれる. These two verbs are both from あらわ, so the stem is あらわ, and therefore okurigana is usually just す. However, 表わす is acceptable to avoid being confused with ひょうす. These verbs are classified as exceptions in the guideline, as same as 行なう. The stem of this verb is おこな, but the past form 行った(おこなった) is seemingly the same form as 行った(いった); the past of 行く. This is the same reason as 落とす vs. 落す in a sense. Well, confusing enough, indeed.
 
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Thanks Toritoribeさん for taking the time to explain all that. That makes it a lot easier to understand the readings of 表すs that I encounter, certainly!

I think I'm still going to check the dictionary when I want to see what the correct spelling is, but it's certainly interesting to see how the rules work. (It'll also help to think about these rules in reverse to identify classical verbs when I'm trying to make sense of antiquated speech.)
 

Toritoribe

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It's very simple. There is no problem with reading あらわす for all cases, including formal situations (except 表す and its inflections, of course:)).
 
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