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Does anyone know what to call the outdated, high form of language which will say for example "ならぬ" rather than "ならない" or more accurately "だめだ"?

Specifically, I would like to know if there is a name for the dialect used by Kuchiki Byakuya from the anime Bleach so that I can research it and learn it. Features that I have noticed about the way he speaks:

  • Particles like "は" or "を" are never dropped, and ~ている never becomes ~てる even in fast or casual speech (not that I've ever heard him speak casually).

  • ~ない → ~ぬ.

  • ないだろう → なかろう.

  • そんなことはない → そんなことあるまい、そうはあるまい.

  • いい → よい.

  • お前、君 → 卿(けい).

  • 質問する → 問う.

I realize all of these things can be put down to simply old or overly formal language, but I want to be able to study it so as not to make non-native-speaker errors when writing (I intend to write a fictional character who uses such language). Thus, if anyone knows what to call this type of language (in Japanese), I would really like to know. Alternatively, if anyone is fluent enough to correct my usage, that would be equally helpful. Thank you in advance.

  • It's an imitation of classical/literary Japanese (文語). – Zhen Lin Sep 19 '14 at 23:48
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    @Zhen Lin No, you do not call what has remained naturally from an old time "an imitation". – l'électeur Sep 20 '14 at 0:59
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"Does anyone know what to call the outdated, high form of language which will say for example "ならぬ" rather than "ならない" or more accurately "だめだ"?"

We call it 「[文語体]{ぶんごたい}」 or 「文語[調]{ちょう}」("Literary style") as opposed to 「[口語体]{こうごたい}」 or 「口語調」 ("Colloquial style").

"Specifically, I would like to know if there is a name for the dialect used by Kuchiki Byakuya from the anime Bleach so that I can research it and learn it. "

I just watched a YouTube video and he speaks 100% Standard.

"Alternatively, if anyone is fluent enough to correct my usage, that would be equally helpful."

Native speaker here. All of your conversions look good except for 「そんなことあるまい」, which sounds like a combination of 口語体 and 文語体 in that order. You would want to stick with 「そうはあるまい」 or 「そのようなことはあるまい」. 「そんな」 is just plain colloquial.

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Technically ぬ is preferred when modifying a nominal (attributive/連体形) and ず elsewhere (fundamentally predicative/終止形). Nowadays under the merger of these two forms in regular verbs and adjectives, using ぬ to end a sentence seems to have become acceptable as well, but you still don't use ず with nouns or ぬ with adverbial conjunctions (*ぬに/*ぬして), I suppose.

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I think what you are talking about is old or antiquated forms of Japanese expression, either written or spoken in or before Meiji era.

It’s an issue of antiquity vs recency, i.e, 古語 vs 現代語, not the difference of "style" between 文語体 (literary style) and 口語体 (spoken style).

The samples of words you quoted can be rephrased in various ways in old, now obsolete style, for examples:

• ~ない → ~あらぬ(あらざりき)、(聞か)ぬ(聞かざりき)、(見)ぬ(見ざりき)、(言わ)ぬ(言わざりき)、(語ら)ぬ(語らざりき)、(持た)ぬ(持たざりき)、(来たら〉ず(来たらざりき)、去(い)なぬ(云なざりき)- don’t go away, etc.

• ないだろう → なからん、なかる(あらざる)べし、.

• そんなことはない → 左様なことはあるまじき (ありて然らず)

• いい → よい、よかろう、(下がりても)よし - You may go..

• お前、君 → 貴様、お主、貴殿、御身、そなた、そこ許(もと). You don't call your friend "卿,” which means “aristocrat” or “my lord.”

・質問する → 問う、訊く、訊ねる.

  • あらず has a strict auxiliary use with words without a distinct 未然形. I don't think it ever stands alone in lieu of existential ない/なし, or ず as after a regular verb. – Derpius Apr 23 '16 at 1:59
  • まじき is a 連体形 and the corresponding 終止形 is just まじ or its unstressed variant まい. – Derpius Apr 23 '16 at 2:05

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