Thread: tori vs. dori
View Single Post
Old 04-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
Josh Reyer
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: tori vs. dori

Bob Blackburn wrote: View Post
One hand = katate
Grab = toraeru (tori)
Close. Try "toru", "to take".

Japanese will often change the syllable of the second word for easier pronunciation. i.e. flower = hana, ikibana is flower arranging. 'h' changes to 'b' since they are related in hiragana their phonetic alphabet. Same with 'to' and 'do'.

I asked my Japanese friends and they say they just know.
There are a few rules of thumb. Katate-dori uses "-dori" because "katate-tori" would be difficult to say at natural speed even for native speakers. Unvoiced syllables often become voiced following a syllable made up of an unvoiced syllable, and retain their usual sound when following a voiced syllable. They also often become voiced following the "-n" sound. And I believe intonation plays a role, as well, as it makes some combinations easier (or harder) to say than others. There are many exceptions, though.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote