Mixed kana in a single word? (Chrono Trigger)


#1

So, even though it’s rather above my reading level I’m starting to hack my way through Chrono Trigger. One thing I’ve noticed a couple times is what looks like a mix of hiragana and katakana within single words:

そうねェ。。。。。。

Pretty obvious what that’s saying, but why is there just the small ェ?

ワシゃ東の大陸に住んどる。

I can make out the gist of this sentence, but I don’t understand what’s going on with “ワシゃ” at all. Any help?

Almost 3 hours in, and I’m still talking to NPCs at the Millennial Fair ^^; But it’s been very educational so far.


#2

It’s being used for inflection/dialect. In the case of the first sentence, the speaker is drawing the “ne” for a long period of time. In the second sentence, ワシ is an archaic pronoun used by older men usually. Because the other meanings of pronouns’ kanji, especially the uncommon ones, pronouns are sometimes written in katakana. The “や” is effectively a slurred dialectal replacement for は I think and would normally be in katakana. But because the pronoun was written in katakana, the small hiragana had to be used to avoid producing “washa.” So by normal effect you’d see 私ャ陸に住んどる. The dialect is further enforced by the use of どる instead of でいる.


#3

small katakana ェ・ァ etc are common in manga to extend, sometimes followed by っ to show an abrupt end to the drawn out vowel sound :slight_smile:


#4

Just to add to that, 住んどる is a contraction of 住んでおる. おる is a synonym of いる that I believe is mostly used in western Japan.


#5

おる is also the humble (謙譲語)form of いる