1-8 Predicate「や」「にゃ」


1-8-1 Predicate「や」「じゃ」「にゃ」「ね(ん)」

When people from other places ask about Kansai-ben, the first thing that comes to mind is most probably the「や」as in「そう」「するん」etc.

Called a "predicate auxiliary", this word corresponds to the standard dialect「だ」as in「そう」「するん」etc.

This「や」&「だ」are the same not only in meaning but also in their process of formation, forming from「〜である」as shown below.

Table 1 「や」&「だ」Formation Process
AreaKamakura EraMuromachi EraEdo EraMeiji Era onward
Kyoto-Osaka & Outlying Areas である であ ぢゃ(じゃ)
Western Japan outside of Kinki ぢゃ(じゃ)〜や
Eastern Japan

As the word origin and formation process are the same, it goes without saying that「や」&「だ」have the same conjugation.

Table 2 「や」&「だ」Conjugation Comparison
Past Tense やった ○○○ だった
Conjecture やろう ●○○ * だろう

However, they differ in usage.

The most differing aspect is that「や」also attaches to polite forms「です・ます」with「の」in between. In the Tokyo dialect,「しますのだ」「そうですだろう」is not normally spoken, but in the Kyoto dialect:

are commonly used. That is to say, the standard dialect「だ」&「ます/です」are in conflict with each other, while in Kyo-kotoba 「や」&「ます/どす(です)」are not so.

Furthermore, this is a digression, but sentence-final「どすやろ・ですやろ/●●●○」is sometimes shortened to「どっしゃろ・でっしゃろ/●●●○」.

As the above formation process table shows,「じゃ」is the archaic form of「や」. However, even nowadays「や」is used for emphasis, mainly when one is upset or irritated.



 「にゃ」&「ね(ん)」can both replace the「のや/んや」parts (via sound change) of「〜するのや」「〜あるんや」etc., and so attach to verbs as in「何すんにゃ」「きっとこれから行くにゃわ」「これから出かけん」.

However, 「にゃ」and「ね(ん)」do not attach to past tense forms. Be careful to note that「したのや」can be said「したんや」or「してん」, but not「したにゃ」nor「したねん」.

Incidentally the 「やんか」in「美しいやんか」「見事やんか」is not related to predicate「や」. It results from the process「〜ではないか」→「〜じゃないか」→「〜やないか」→「〜やんか」and consequently simply receives the same pronunciation as「や」.

Furthermore, please see the lexical entry for「やん・やんか」 regarding「〜やんか」.

Now, because it appeared frequently earlier, there are probably people interested in the following. When endings beginning with the consonant "n" e.g.「の・んや・にゃ・ね(ん)」etc. attach to verbs ending in「る」、「る」becomes「ん」(Reference⇒「『る』Geminate Sound Change」).


「いね(ん)→いね(ん)」 「すにゃ→すにゃ」 「何見の?→何見の?」

However, in making use of this pronunciation trend, be careful to note that there can be cases where「うまいことできんなあ」takes the meaning of「できるなあ/●●●●○」or the meaning of「できぬなあ/●●●●○」.

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