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「神{かみ}のみぞ知{し}るセカイ」 is the title of a manga/anime series but I'm not asking about the anime. I'm just curious about the 「ぞ」 part in the title.

I know there is a ぞ particle that is similar to よ, such that 行{い}くぞ is similar to 行くよ. But I have never encountered よ nor ぞ in the middle of a sentence/clause before, so this made me curious.

Which part of speech is that ぞ? What connotation does it bring and how do we use it in a sentence?

p/s: I know the ぞ is not a part of のみぞ because when I entered のみぞ in my Japanese dictionary software it only returned のみ = “only" so I deduced that the ぞ is a separate word.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you look at koujien's entry for ぞ there are several uses (mostly outdated), but I think the one which applies here is: 一つの事柄を特に指定し強調する。 In other words, it places emphasis on something specific. So in reguards to this light novel/anime series title I think it places emphasis on the fact that the/a world which ONLY GOD knows about.

Also, this reminded me of a famous quote of Sakamoto Ryouma 世の人はわれは何ともいはばいへ わがなすことは我のみぞ知る something like "No matter what society says, I know the meaning to my own actions" basically, screw what society says, because I know the path I want to go down.

I believe he's emphasizing that what matters is that HE knows what he should be doing.

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It's an emphatic particle from old Japanese. Only God/Gods. There's another one used with questions to show more uncertainty. "どこぞで休んでいくか" (デジタル大辞泉)

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Is this still the same emphatic particle we see at the end of speech nowadays? やるぞ! – makdad Jun 1 '11 at 3:16
They are considered different particles in the standard grammar. – Gradius Aug 26 '12 at 1:41

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