So I stumbled upon 大文字 in my lessons, and the reading of this word, as described in the lesson, is an exception. 大 uses the kun’yomi reading, and 文字 both use the on’yomi readings. However, it seems that the reading of 文 is just も, not もん, despite the fact that the on’yomi reading for it is もん. The question is: why? Is this just another exception? In the lesson itself it only says that 大’s reading is an exception, there is nothing about 文’s reading. I think I’ve seen similar oddities in vocabulary before, but only now have I decided to ask this question.
文字 is usually read もじ, not もんじ. Since you already learned 文字 two levels before 大文字, they probably don’t need to explain that completely. But it’s a little misleading to say “everything else is just on’yomi” since the も for 文 is an exception.
If you email them to explain this, they’ll probably update the explanation to reference back to 文字.
So essentially the reason why 大 uses kun’yomi reading is that 大文字 is actually 2 separate words (literally — big letter) or something like that?
I don’t think you can necessarily say there’s a “reason” for it. Exceptions exist in various ways, so even if there was a reason it would get violated by other words. The reading だいもんじ also exists in the dictionary. I’ve never seen it before, but it makes sense why it exists.
だいもんじ usually refers to the big letters lit up on the mountains around Kyoto in August, in a festival called 五山送り火 (Gozan no Okuribi). So while the reading exists, it’s only used for this rather special case.
I am always amazed at the amount of random, awesome detail that people on this forum know about different niches of the Japanese language.
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