Saga dialect

Saga dialect

is a dialect of the Japanese language widely spoken in Saga prefecture and some other areas, such as Isahaya. It is influenced by Kyushu dialect and Hichiku dialect. Saga-ben is further derived into dialects that encompass individual towns.

Characteristics

Many of Saga's dialectical properties are variants, in particles or conjugations, of regular Japanese.
*Words are often repeated three times.
*The sentence-ending particle "よ" becomes "ばい" or "たい".
*The contrastive conjunction "ばってん" (somewhat equivalent to English's "however") replaces standard Japanese equivalents.
*The operative particle "を" is replaced with "ば".Ex.:手紙ば書いた=Wrote [a] letter.
*The particle "が", when referring to other people, is replaced with "の".Ex.:黒君の書いた=Kuro-kun wrote [it] .
*Traditional masu-form keigo is replaced by the suffix "~しんさっ", "~しんさる", "~しよんさっ", or "~しよんさる".Ex.:手紙をかきよんさった=Wrote [polite] [a] letter.
*The direction particles "に" and "へ" are replaced with "さい".Ex.:学校さい行く=Go to school.
*The explanatory "の" it replaced by "と".Ex.:手紙を書いたと?= Wrote [a] letter [explanation request] .
*The continuative conjugation "~ている" becomes "とっ".Ex.:書いとっ= [Someone is] writing.
*In the passive conjugation of a verb, "れ" is taken out and "る" becomes a long vowel, or doubles the next consonant.Ex.:書かれる (writing; passive voice) becomes replaced with 書かるう or 書かるっ.
*I-adjectives have their "い"s replaced with "か"s.Ex.: nihongo|cold|寒い becomes 寒か.
*Na-adjectives sometimes have a か added on, reminiscent of the above characteristic. This seems to happen more in the south.Ex.: じょうず becomes じょうずか.
*Pronunciation is similar to Hakata ben in the following: "sa, shi, su, se, so" become "sha, shii, shu, she, sho". In addition, Saga-ben also has the unique pronunciations of "za, zu, ze, da, ga," and "na" rendered as "jya, jyu, jye, jya, gya," and "nya", respectively. "Nya" sounds particularly cat-like.
*"~ない" conjugations become "ん" (the "ない" adjective itself becomes "なか"). This reflects the negative rude/casual conjugation in normal Japanese. For example, where as 食べん would be rude in most of Japan, in Saga-ben it is standard.Ex.:分からない becomes 分からん
*I-adjectives' "い"s become "さ" in when the speaker wants to add strong emphasis.
*I-adjectives' continuative form's "く" becomes a modifying "う" that elongates and possibly changes the vowel of the character before it.Ex.:nihongo|interesting (continuative)|おもしろく becomes "おもしろう"nihongo|fun (continuative)|楽しく becomes 楽しゅう.

これ, それ, あれ, どれ Series

The Demonstrative series is uniquely pronounced in Saga-dialect.
*The normal これ, それ, あれ, どれ series in Japanese (this, that, , and which respectively) has its れ sounds replaced with い. 俺 also follows this pattern, and becomes おい. Indeed, many words follow this pattern; even 誰 becomes だい.
*The related words どう, こう, and そう become どうがん, そうがん, and こうがん, respectively. An even more rustic conjugation set of these words is どうぎゃん, そうぎゃん, and こうぎゃん.

Vocabulary

Saga-ben contains lots of characteristic vocabulary. Examples are included (with standard Japanese, where applicable) in the following table:

Trivia

*Saga-ben was heavily spoken in the 2006 film, and now television series, "Gabai bā-chan" (lit. fantastic grandma). The title itself is in Saga-ben.
*A popular urban legend has it that two Saga-ben speakers met up in Tokyo and bystanders mistook their dialect for Chinese.

ee also

Japanese dialects


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