From 時をかける少女


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?


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.


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?

  • 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

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.

  • 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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