Nagoya dialect


November 28, 2021

Nagoya dialect is a Japanese dialect spoken in the western part of Aichi prefecture (Owari province) in Japan. Like the Mino dialect in Gifu prefecture, it belongs to the Gifu-Aichi dialect (Gear dialect) group of the Tokai-Higashiyama dialect. In a narrow sense, it refers to a dialect spoken in the center of Nagoya City, but in a broader sense, it includes the Owari dialect and Chita dialect spoken in the surrounding area. This section focuses on the Owari dialect among the Nagoya dialects in a broad sense. Even in the same Aichi prefecture, the dialect spoken in the eastern part (former Mikawa province or former Nukata prefecture) is the Mikawa dialect, and there are many differences in accent and expression from the Nagoya dialect. On the other hand, the Nagoya dialect has much in common with the Mino dialect. The Nagoya dialect has a history in common with the Tokyo dialect, which was established in the Edo period by mixing the dialects of residents who flowed in from all over the country in the emerging cities of Nagoya and Edo. The basis of grammar is the same as common words, and general grammatical terms and classifications for common words can be applied as they are, so this section also applies. Accents are categorized as inner ring Tokyo style, but grammar has many Kansai elements. The grammar of the common language is also Kansai-like compared to the traditional Western Kanto dialect near Tokyo, but that of the Nagoya dialect is somewhat more Kansai-like. The dialect of Aichi Prefecture is the boundary between the Western Japanese dialect and the Eastern Japanese dialect, and has the characteristics of Western Japanese in grammar and Eastern Japanese in phonology and accent.


One of the characteristics of the pronunciation of the Nagoya dialect is that the continuous vowels "ai" or "ae" (continuous vowels) in the common language extend the vowels (near-open front unrounded vowels) that fall between a and e. It can be replaced with "Eh" (International Phonetic Alphabet: [æː]). This is a long vowel that is a long extension of the English "can" and "cat" vowels ([æ]), and is a sound that is not found in common languages. For example, "not" is often written as "nyaa" or "nyaa" ([ɳjaː]), but it is actually a different sound from the common language yoon. For example, in the sentence "Cat is screaming", the first and second "Nyaa" have the same notation but different sounds. The former is the same as the common word "nyaa" ([ɳjaː]), and the latter is "nee" ([næː]) between "hey" and "naa". In this section, in order to distinguish between the two, the latter sound will be referred to as "Edan no Kana + a". That is, in the previous example, it is written as "cat is crazy."

Types of Nagoya dialect

There are various types of Nagoya dialect. On this page, I will focus on the most commonly used downtown language.

Uwamachi Words

It is characterized by the heavy use of honorifics such as "Namo, Emo" and "Play", giving an elegant impression. Originally, it was spoken in the area of ​​Goban-wari around the castle of Nagoya, where the wealthy merchants who moved to Nagoya when they crossed Kiyosu lived. It was taken over until the Showa period, but due to the effects of the war damage caused by the bombing of Nagoya in the air and the collapse of the local community due to the bold postwar reconstruction, it has now declined significantly and has been replaced by the downtown language. Currently, the only speakers are the elderly.

Downtown dialect

The biggest feature is to use "Gaya, Gane". It is said to be crude compared to Uemachi's language. Originally used in the residential areas of the common people where craftsmen, small merchants and farmers live. With Owari language as the main axis, the language of each region brought in by migrants from the surrounding rural areas, Mikawa, Mino, etc. is fused, and in the complicated interpersonal relationship of urban life, it is different from the language of the surrounding rural areas. Unique words come out

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