良 reading ... ろう?


#1

I am currently researching phonetic components, and I am puzzled by 良.

There are lots of phonetic compounds, and they all have the same (main) ON reading.
浪、狼、莨、郎、桹、朗、琅、硠、筤、蜋、閬、鋃

Problem: the reading is ろう! This reading only appears as number seven in jisho Japanese name readings, not so convincing for “let’s just read everything that way”.

Side note: 良 was also the basis for hiragana and katakana … ら and ラ (???)

Does anyone know whats wrong with 良?


#2

I think it’s pretty clear how りょう and ろう are similar.

Basically, ろう is an older Go’on reading, and it exists for 良 as well, it just isn’t used really in modern Japanese. Many of the older Go’on readings were replaced on purpose during later importations of the Kanji as well as a result of people going over to China and saying, “This is how this is really produced.”


#3

Replaced … except for all other kanji? Some are not that rare.


#4

There’s no real simple way to explain this, it wasn’t done systematically, and in the grand scheme of things, 13 Kanji don’t make a dent in the thousands that underwent these various processes. But, the words that are most common in the language, such as いい tend to be the ones that end up with exceptions.


#5

I was reviewing maybe 500 kanji for phonetic compounds until now, and this one is extremely unusual. Also, I only see リョウ(漢音、呉音). You have a source for the Go’on reading? I probably need more authoritative resources to look stuff up.


#6

It’s in Wikitionary: https://ja.wiktionary.org/wiki/良

It’s on the English page too. When I am at work tomorrow I can check my copy of 新字源 and see if it says anything useful.


#7

Thanks, this even has 慣用音 : ラ! I was checking 5 (native) online dictionaries and it only included りょう. Any recommendation for best paper dictionary or app?


#8

It’s likely because it’s not a reading that’s really used in modern Japanese anywhere. The Joyo list did make some readings “official” and others “unofficial”, such as why 米 in 米国 is べい when in 亜米利加 it is め.

As far as just Kanji readings, Wikitionary is pretty complete. I don’t really have a suggestion beyond that, you just have to realize that you’ll get readings that aren’t ever used


#9

I think for the phonetic components this info is very helpful. Maybe not a perfect fit, but for example 迷 = めい, hard to explain otherwise. Learning one or two unusual reading and sometimes getting 5 kanji for free may be worth it.