What about these 子 readings?!

So ive been having trouble with some of the 子 readings, how I understand it, always after a の it reads ‘ko’ and when at the start of a word it always? reads ‘ko’ and seemingly in the middle of a compound it reads ‘shi’ but when ending a word it can be either. Can someone sort this out for me?

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That seems to be true.

No. 子孫, 子息 and 子宮 are just some examples where it reads as し when at the start of a word.

Not necessarily. In 羽子板 it has a ご reading and words like 様子次第 or 様子見 use す.

It can also be す as in 様子 or 扇子.

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So is it just totally random and we have to learn them? Or is it something we can get a feel for like rendaku?

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I doubt it’s random. I would expect that the specific on’yomi that a word uses is likely dependent on when the word was incorporated from Chinese, just like にん and じん for 人. But someone that has more etymology knowledge would have to weigh on that.

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In compounds it is best to learn them as they come, but in the case of 男の子、女の子 it is just two nouns connected by の, so kun’yomi is the way to go. No special reading or confusion there.

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Yea those are the easy ones, its pretty much all the rest that I usually mix up in reviews

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At some point you’ll get words like 椅子 and 扇子, where the kid doesn’t carry its meaning, but is rather a Chinese convention to differentiate between soundalikes. But those show up in the paradise levels, so don’t worry about that yet (though I suspect you already know the first one いす)

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