I've been reading a light novel called Slayers, and I noticed something interesting: the author usually writes
じゃあない and not
じゃない. I'm curious if there are any differences between the two. (I think it's clear that they have the same basic meaning, so I'm mainly asking about differences other than meaning, like style/formality/dialect.)
Not long ago, I read a post on sci.lang.japan by the linguist Bart Mathias, which I'd like to quote here. He describes the contraction from ては to ちゃ:
Because Japanese is length sensitive, it took time to get the two moras of "-te-wa" compressed from "-chaa" to "-cha," and the earlier form still survives as an option.
My guess is that the same thing happened with じゃ:
では → じゃあ → じゃ
That is to say, I guess that じゃあ is older than じゃ. If that's right, I also guess that the combination じゃあない is older than じゃない, and since I usually hear the shorter form, I'm guessing that じゃあない might sound a bit old-fashioned. I'm curious if this is correct, so I decided to ask here.
Anyway, here are my guesses about じゃあない:
じゃあないsounds like an older way of talking than
じゃあないsounds a bit closer to
ではない(making it slightly less informal than
じゃあないis a dialectal variation of
- Perhaps the author just likes the sound of
じゃあない, and there's no real difference.
So tell me, is there any difference between the two? Or are they totally the same?