All of my studies so far have suggested that i-adjectives never take だ (です can be used to make the sentence polite). Then I came across this sentence:


I'm the greatest in the world??

I'm not really comfortable with what the って is doing at the end here and I don't understand why だ is needed. How does this grammar work and how does the nuance differ from



There is nothing incorrect or ungrammatical about the sentence:


because this is different from saying:

「私が世界で一番偉い。」, which is ungrammatical.

「だって」 in the sentence in question is placed after a quote, is it not?

私が世界で一番偉いだって?? =


Depending on the context, it may be:


This 「だって」 expresses one's surprise, criticism, etc. toward the statement that is being quoted. The fact that the quoted statement happens to end in an i-adjective has no effect on the validity of 「だって」. 

Since that is a valid usage, you can find it in dictionaries, too. (Not sure about bilingual dictionaries as I almost never use them.)

See definition 三 here:


「私が世界で一番偉いか??」 feels very different because it is a plain yes-no question and it does not express the surprise or criticism that I mentioned above which 「だって」 as a sentence-ender expresses.

I think I should mention this before I go. This 「だって」 is pronounced VERY differently than 「だって」 that means "because" as in 「だって女の子だもん!」.

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