In the final comic of the web series 百日後に死ぬワニ ("The Crocodile Who Dies After 100 Days"), which you can access here if you don't mind the spoiler, the crocodile receives this final message:

The message

How should I understand「よくね」? How would the meaning differ if it was 「いいね」 instead (the translation I would expect)?


よくね? = よくない? = "Isn't it nice?"

As for this particular word form, it is a relatively recent slang in casual speech. This ね was developed from ~ない? which functions as tag question "isn't it?", thus always carries a mild to acute uptalk intonation, whether or not written with a question mark.

Its grammatical construction follows the etymology. That is, [noun/na-adj] + じゃね?, [i-adj] + くね?, and [verb]-未然(nai-stem) + ね? (in which case means "why don't —?").

The most remarkable feature of this expression which is not predictable from its origin is the completely flattened phrasal accent.

いいんじゃね{LHHHHH}? vs いいんじゃない{HLLLLLL}?
やばくね{LHHH}? vs やばくない{LHLLL}?
かえらね{LHHH}? vs かえらない{LHHLL}?
(the effect of question intonation is excluded; all examples have a rise in the last syllable)

This effectively yields a straightly upward phonetic realization, very much close to that of an English yes-no question sentence.

  • Fascinating that it has an unusual pitch accent. – jogloran Mar 23 '20 at 18:19

This よくね is not よく + sentence ending particle ね, but よく + ない, with the dialectal pronunciation ねえ shortened to ね.

  • That's what I thought. I've not seen this kind of shortening before, what dialect group is it characteristic of? – jogloran Mar 22 '20 at 23:32
  • @jogloran This is another example of /ai/-to-/ee/ contraction. – naruto Mar 23 '20 at 1:06
  • It's the shortening which I was more interested in. – jogloran Mar 23 '20 at 3:09

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