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I found this on my favorite seiyuu's IG. She's talking about a book.

もちろん未知なお話だけど、もしかしたらユリゴコロは誰でも胸の中に眠っているのではないのか、など共感出来る部分もあったり。

My understanding of the sentence above is despite the book is unheard of, she wants to tell us that the book (the content, the story, the feeling) is actually in our heart and we can sympathize with it. But why she chose to use ではない there? Or is it related to のか or など?

Also, what's the translation of that sentence? Thanks!

  • 「ではない」 is indeed related to 「のか」, which hints a suggestion or possible outcome. What follows after that is a comma and 「など」, which means "et cetera". For details, I may write a proper answer. – clearkimura Sep 6 '17 at 2:59
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ではないのか is one phrase. It means "wonder","suspect". もしかしたら~ではないのか means "I wonder that maybe ~."

  • Ah, I see. Thanks! One more question. What など mean if it's in the middle of a sentence like my example above? The only など I know is the one at the end of a sentence. – user25646 Sep 6 '17 at 1:05
  • など means "and so on" and can be used in the middle of a sentence like 私は、数学、音楽、英語などが好きだ。 – Yuuichi Tam Sep 6 '17 at 8:00
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These two phrases are different: ではない, ではないのか.

How different

The former phrase ではない means to negate or deny something. The phrase is a direct expression. See the following example.

好きではない

Not like; Dislike

The latter phrase ではないのか, usually in the form of ではないか, changes the direct expression to an indirect expression that hints a suggestion or possible outcome. See adapted examples.

好きではないのか

Does [one] not like?

子供は本を好きではないのか。

Don't children like books?

As a result, the last sentence is now open to more than one possibility of answer: the children like books, the children dislike books, the children neither like nor dislike books. The direct expression earlier is now being questioned and the answer could be any one of those.

What phrase after that

Japanese sentences could omit spacing between words and phrases, which makes a sentence difficult to be identified by parts. Consider the quoted part of sentence from above question.

○○ではないのか、など○○

What comes after 「○○ではないのか」 is a comma and 「など」 that means "et cetera". So the word など is related to the preceding phrase and not related to phrases after that. One could have noticed this, if 「など○○」 had spacing in between.

In Japanese, the word 「など」 is often found in middle of a sentence, and seldom found at the end of a sentence. The trend is opposite in English, in which the word "et cetera" is often found at the end of sentences.

What seiyuu says and why

Now returning to the quoted sentence from the seiyuu, followed by the translation in English. Except for the word ユリゴコロ, this would be explained afterwards.

もちろん未知なお話だけど、もしかしたらユリゴコロは誰でも胸の中に眠っているのではないのか、など共感出来る部分もあったり。

The story was certainly new (unknown) however, there have had parts that [one] can feel sympathy [in which] perhaps ユリゴコロ does exist (dormant) in the heart of anyone, et cetera.

The seiyuu expressed her opinion by using the phrase 「ではないのか」 to suggest a possibility that ユリゴコロ does exist. But this phrase by itself does not necessarily mean ユリゴコロ actually exist; The fact something that was certain before is now made questionable.

What is ユリゴコロ

The word 「ユリゴコロ」 is invalid (not found in dictionary) and has no definite meaning. Also, the translated title "Nan-Core" does not make sense and has no definite meaning either. Those who actually read and review the book may figure out the intended meaning.

There is an opinion that suggest 「ユリゴコロ」 is a wordplay for 「拠り所」, which literally means "place to depend on". The interpretation may differ, as noted by a thread on Yahoo!知恵袋.

Q: [...] 拠り所をユリゴコロと聞き違えていますが、それがイコールではないですよね?

A: 「拠り所の聞き違え」という一応の説明がありますが、質問者さんのおっしゃるとおりで、この物語に触れた人によっていくつも解釈ができるようになっていると感じました。なので、質問者さんが殺人衝動だと感じたなら、それもアリなのではないでしょうか。正解がないですもんね。 [...]

In short, ユリゴコロ is not equal to 拠り所; There is no correct interpretation to this. That being said, 「○○ではないのか」 is expressing an opinion about ユリゴコロ and the seiyuu may have other related opinions as indicated by 「など」.

References

  1. では無い on Jisho.org
  2. では無いか on Jisho.org
  3. など #sentences on Jisho.org
  4. など。 #sentences on Jisho.org (Note the period)
  5. ユリゴコロ by Mahokaru Numata on Goodreads.com
  6. Nan-Core by Mahokaru Numata on Goodreads.com
  7. 沼田まほからさんの「ユリゴコロ」を読まれた方に... on Yahoo!知恵袋
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    Despite what (word) dictionaries state, it's pretty rare that a single など would translate to "etc." in English. More often to "for example", "such as", "like", "including". などなど at the end of a sentence is more likely to correspond to "etc.", so I don't think the remark about an "opposite trend" is valid. – macraf Sep 6 '17 at 8:12
  • And the example sentences, which you referenced, prove the above - only a few use "etc." and on top of that, in many cases it's still placed in the middle of the English sentence, not at the end. – macraf Sep 6 '17 at 8:32
  • Is 未知な本 the appropriate way to refer to a "new" book in Japanese? I would have guessed 新しい本. – G-Cam Sep 6 '17 at 12:39
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    @G-Cam See this old answer that has mentioned 「未知の」, which is interpreted as "[something] you haven't seen". The word "new" is relative to the user. Perhaps better to ask that as new question instead. – clearkimura Sep 13 '17 at 7:43

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