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Old Japanese (上代日本語): phonetic (?) script and syllable doublets

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In Old Japanese, about half of the syllables have a Type A (甲類) and a Type B (乙類) version, for example ko, which is then transliterated as either ko1 and ko2. Similarly, there exists a mo1 and mo2 (in Kojiki only).
Now I won't ask why it is like that, because there are only theories on it (possibly they were pronounced differently), but my question is rather how they figured it out that most syllables have two versions. How can this distinction be recognized within the found Old Japanese texts? They're written in Classical Chinese (but presumably read in Japanese reading order [kanbun]), so how can they derive two distinct syllables from the Chinese characters? Where there like, two different hànzì which where expected to be pronounced roughly the same, so that they found that they must be two different kinds of syllables? If so, can someone maybe give me an example? How would the syllables ko1 and ko2 (or any other pairing) in Old Japanese be written?

Also, how did they even derive a transcription of the syllables if all they had were the Chinese characters in texts like Kojiki and Nihonshoki? Were there certain characters which were used phonetically (if there are such, it would probably also be possible to discover different characters for one syllable, hence the syllable pairings)? Did they already use something like man'yō-gana as in the Manyōshū 50 years later? Or how else could they distinguish between, for example, the different verb forms of a verb, e. g. in- "to go" > ina(ba) (Irrealis), ini (Adverbial), inu (Consclusive), inuru (Attributive), inure(ba) (Realis), ine (Imperative)? How would these different forms be written and distinguished in the Chinese script used in these texts? I doubt the writers only used one Chinese character with the meaning "to go" for all of them, instead there have to be other characters (similar to today's okurigana) that indicate what conjugation the verb is in. So how would these forms be written in Old Japanese?

(I hope there actually is somebody here who studied a bit of Old Japanese... :dead:)
 
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From my very basic understanding, the idea that there was such a thing as, i.e. ko1 and ko2, arises from the fact that in 上代特殊仮名遣 there were consistent patterns where "ko" in certain words would always be written with "ko1" and in others with "ko2".

Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(the Japanese version of this page, if you can read it, has more about arguments for/against the theories).

We're not talking about kanbun here. Manyōshū wasn't the first work to use man'yō-gana, it's merely called after it.
 
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Thanks! This already explained a lot!
Up until now I thought man'yō-gana were actual distinct characters and not just kanji used phonetically. (I probably confused them with hentaigana.)
That being said, is there a "complete" man'yō-gana list somewhere?

A word is consistently, without exception, written with syllables from a specific group.
Does that mean that, for example, ko1 and ko2 can never be in one word together? Or maybe ko1 and me2? Is it meant like that?

Also, why are there so many different man'yōgana for just one syllable? Wouldn't it be enough if they had used only one kanji for each syllable? How did they decide which one of the many to use in each word? Did they somehow also try to reflect the meaning of the word in the man'yō-gana used?

Also, did they only use that 上代特殊仮名遣 or were there also kanji used to indicate the meaning of words? The Wikipedia article on Old Japanese says the following:
The earliest texts found in Japan are written in Classical Chinese, although they may have been meant to be read as Japanese by the kanbun method.
Since Chinese is (obviously) dependent on the meaning of the characters, wouldn't that contradict the usage of man'yō-gana which are merely phonetical?
(And how come the article itself doesn't even mention 上代特殊仮名遣?) o_O
 
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Toritoribe

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That being said, is there a "complete" man'yō-gana list somewhere?
Google is your friend (or "ggrks" in Japanese slang).
万葉仮名 - Wikipedia

Does that mean that, for example, ko1 and ko2 can never be in one word together? Or maybe ko1 and me2? Is it meant like that?
The syllable "ko1" in a word is never written using the syllable "ko2", and vice versa.
e.g.
"Ki" in 秋 is always represented by ki1 (支, 吉, 岐, 来, 棄,,,) and never by ki2(己, 紀, 記, 忌, 氣,,,).
"Ki" in 月 is always represented by ki2 and never by ki1.

Also, why are there so many different man'yōgana for just one syllable? Wouldn't it be enough if they had used only one kanji for each syllable? How did they decide which one of the many to use in each word?
There are many kanji that have the same pronunciation. There were many writers, and they used each kanji by their rule. An organization standardized the use of characters? No, languages are not like that.

Did they somehow also try to reflect the meaning of the word in the man'yō-gana used?
Kana doesn't have any meanings just like あ or ア, since kana is a phonogram.

Also, did they only use that 上代特殊仮名遣 or were there also kanji used to indicate the meaning of words? The Wikipedia article on Old Japanese says the following:
Since Chinese is (obviously) dependent on the meaning of the characters, wouldn't that contradict the usage of man'yō-gana which are merely phonetical?
Written in only kana(phonogram), only kanji(ideogram) or mixture of them, all existed.

文字は漢字のみであり、平仮名・片仮名はまだなかった。従って漢字を用いて日本語を表記した。その際、漢字の意味を用いる方法と、漢字の音だけを用いる方法とがあり、後者は万葉仮名と呼ばれる用法である。両者は用途に応じて混用されることが多いが、万葉仮名のみで綴られた文章や万葉仮名を用いない変体漢文で綴られた文章もある。
上代日本語 - Wikipedia

Oh, by the way, did you finish translating the lyrics in your previous thread? Any response?
 
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Well, thank you very much! That lifted a bit of confusion (though not all of it)...
So a Type A character and a Type B character can be in the same word together (they just can't be swapped with their counterpart)?

Google is your friend (or "ggrks" in Japanese slang).
Sorry, but I'm not very adapt at googling. At least for resources written in Japanese (since I'm not a "fluent" reader).

An organization standardized the use of characters? No, languages are not like that.
Actually, they are. Nowadays, at least. :p

Written in only kana(phonogram), only kanji(ideogram) or mixture of them, all existed.
So what were Kojiki, Nihonshoki and Man'yōshū written in?

Oh, by the way, did you finish translating the lyrics in your previous thread?
Dude, I kinda feel stalked. ;D
No, haven't started yet. Guess I should do it, before my "client" starts nagging again. But thanks, now I know what I can do for the rest of the day. :)
 

Toritoribe

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So a Type A character and a Type B character can be in the same word together (they just can't be swapped with their counterpart)?
No.
オ列甲類音とオ列乙類音とは、同一結合単位内に共存することはない。
上代特殊仮名遣 - Wikipedia

Actually, they are. Nowadays, at least.
Nitpicking?

So what were Kojiki, Nihonshoki and Man'yōshū written in?
Mixture, in both meanings. (Unlike the main text, songs were written only in 万葉仮名 in 古事記, for instance).
万葉仮名のみを用いたものには、『古事記』『日本書紀』等の中にある歌謡や『万葉集』の一部、「正倉院仮名文書」と呼ばれる消息などがある。万葉仮名を用いないものには、『法隆寺薬師仏造像記』、『古事記』の本文などのほか、『万葉集』の「略体歌」と呼ばれる表記がある。
Do you know the difference between 古事記 and 日本書紀, btw? (I mean the style of writing.)

Dude, I kinda feel stalked.
Well, you don't seem to understand what I meant.
 
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