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I recently saw 「やってもた」 used in a Japanese conversation, I don't remember the context exactly, it was something like:


After asking my Japanese friend, it turns out to be some kind of Osaka-ben expression used instead of 「やってしまった」. Where the 「も」 stands for 「しまう」. My friend couldn't give me another use of this so I'm here asking two questions:

1) Is my explanation 「やってもた」 for accurate?

2) Can we extract from this example a generic grammatical rule that can be applied to most situation?

I seek to learn Osaka-ben and I'm trying to replace my old habits, so I would be very grateful if you can provide some external resources about this or at least mention your sources.

Thank you very much.

I've always heard 〜てもた used as an abbreviation of 〜てもらった. –  istrasci Nov 9 '11 at 15:58
Interesting, would that be a colloquial abbreviation or used only in Osaka? –  Aki Nov 9 '11 at 16:01
Not sure. My abilities in Osaka-ben are minimal at best. –  istrasci Nov 9 '11 at 16:12
That might be abbreviation of 〜しもった。 that I heard on Kansai-area before. –  YOU Nov 9 '11 at 16:12
@istrasci: I used to hear and read もろた instead. –  Axioplase Nov 10 '11 at 3:15

1 Answer 1

1) It is "やってもうた" or "やってしもた".
2) The form "もうた" or "しもた" are shortened forms of "しもうた". The (auxiliary) verb "しまう" has a stem ending with the glide "w": "simaw-", and underwent different developments in Kansai and Kantoo regarding inflection. In Kantoo, the "w" was interpreted as a consonant, and was used to trigger gemination (a.k.a. [促]{そく}[音]{おん}[便]{びん}) in past tense:

simaw-ta → simatta

On the other hand, in Kansai, the "w" (back glide) was turned into "u" (high back vowel), and then underwent further change of vowels (k.a. ウ音便):

simaw-ta → simauta → simouta

If you are expecting external materials on these sound changes, you may want to study about ウ音便 and 促音便.

I assume that my japanese friends from Osaka who I talked to yesterday knew what that were talking about with their friends. I was just looking at their conversation and I think it's safe to assume they understand each others. Your answer is quite interesting anyhow, there's always more to learn. BTW, it was indeed やってもた and it's probably not good written Japanese. –  Aki Nov 10 '11 at 7:00
Most young Osakans will probably drop the う when writing (usually text messages), hence becoming もた. They still pronounce it もうた though. –  syockit Nov 14 '11 at 19:18

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