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I heard the following phrase spoken in Osaka:

そう泣いてばかりではわかりゃあせん

Is it regional? Does it have any nuance to it?

Is it a more regular pattern or just an intonation of this particular phrase?

(Googling shows some わかりゃせん, but it also seems a spoken dialect; anyway I could not find any dictionary reference)

  • Just did some research - looks like this is Mikawa dialect spoken in Aichi Pref. – Collapsed PLUG Feb 25 '16 at 13:08
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    「わかりやしない」「わかるわけがない」みたいな感じですかね・・・ – Chocolate Feb 25 '16 at 13:27
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    この表現は、使用されている地域が広大すぎて、単純に「方言」と読んでよいものかどうか迷うところです。「非常にニュートラルな方言」、もしくは、「方言らしくない方言」とでも言いましょうか。 – l'électeur Feb 25 '16 at 14:24
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tl;dr It is regional speaking, and former has emphasis on it where latter doesn't.

Here's what I found. This wording can be found in 三河弁. Although this is spoken in Aichi, I (from Hyogo) do speak this sometimes.

In this dialect, 〜や(あ)せん in the regular form is 〜や しない.
So わかりゃあせん in regular form is わかりやしない.

Now, わかりません vs わかりやしない(わかりやしません) is slightly different.

We'll break わかりやしない into words...

わかり/や/し/ない

where is very interesting. is actually Engagement particle turned into casual speaking.

(Cf. http://lang-8.com/81029/journals/227496511358989883065326511567758757626)

So that being said, this phrase is originally わかりはしない, whose basic meaning is "わからない". This は emphasizes preceding word. So it can be interpreted as "I(we)'ll never know."

What about わかりません? It's simply "I don't know," no emphasis put. That's the difference between them.

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    As @l'électeur pointed out, this phrase is so widely used that it's a little bit hard to call it dialectal. As I mentioned in the answer, although this phrase can be found in Mikawa dialect which is spoken in Aichi, I from Kansai Area do use this phrase. Still, the meaning is the same. – Collapsed PLUG Feb 26 '16 at 0:25

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