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From 時をかける少女

吾朗は気どってむずかしいことばを使おうとするくせがある。一夫は、あいかあらずぼんやりした目で自分より二十センチは低い吾朗を見おろした。

Is あいかあらず a variant of 相変わらず? I searched あいかあらず in google and I get lots of results related to 相変わらず. I'm not sure.

Also, I wonder if は in 二十センチは is related to this kind of は?

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The spelling is trying to visually transcribe a pronunciation that is sometimes cited as a characteristic of the younger speech with "loosened" articulation (incidentally, it was a hot topic on Twitter weeks ago).

Note that in this case, however, as an introspection of the "younger generation", what あいかあらず stands for is probably not literally like [[aikaːɾazɯ]] as it suggests, but [[aikaɰaɾazɯ]], which retains an approximant without the labial narrowing (in the prescriptive [[aikaβaɾazɯ]]). It is generally distinguishable among speakers who use this pronunciation from the strictly consonant-less variant, which is not unheard either in a casual speech.


Edit:

Also, I wonder if は in 二十センチは is related to this kind of は?

Yes, but the answers to the post don't seem right. You should instead see this one: Does は mean 'at least' in this sentence?

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  • 1
    +1: I found it interesting that this was found in a novel first published in the 1960s. The “younger generation” then must have been speaking like that, too.
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 5 at 6:04
  • @aguijonazo Thank you. In the link I cited, somebody says "40 yrs ago a professor said..." too. Considering that newer books apparently employ less of such spelling, it's possible that the articulation has become so normal that the few people find it strange. Aug 5 at 7:25
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Some people pronounce 相変わらず with a prolonged あ sound, dropping the /w/ sound, in casual speech. (It’s kind of like the opposite of 場合 becoming ばわい, where the /w/ sound is added.) あいかあらず in your novel may be the reproduction of that pronunciation intended to express casualness.

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  • What a great post. I'd been noticing in some youtube videos recently folks saying ばわい and I wasn't really sure I was hearing things correctly or what. I guess I should really trust my ear more. :-)
    – A.Ellett
    Aug 3 at 20:41

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