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https://i.stack.imgur.com/yQU9l.jpg What does the ぞな mean here? I thought it could be a masculine emohasis. But it's also used with な.

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  • Looks like some Western Japan dialect but which one, I'm not sure (it may not even be a specific one)
    – Angelos
    Apr 3, 2023 at 14:38
  • The old lady is definitely speaking in a dialect, although I do not know which one. The way she talks is not the standard language at all, but still comprehensible to those who speak the standard language.
    – dvx2718
    Apr 3, 2023 at 14:41

1 Answer 1

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This is a prototypical Iyo dialect populaized by Soseki's bestselling novel, to the point that it's disproportionately well known to Japanese people compared to the population who actually speak the dialect, which is dying.

I don't think Kiyohiko Azuma, the writer, specifically set an Iyo (Ehime) background for this old lady. (He is not known for doing that kind of detailed research.) My guess is he simply found the sound of the dialect interesting and wanted to create an exotic atmosphere by having the lady speak it.

Online sources suggest that ぞなもし breaks down into ぞ + な + もし where もし is probably synonymous with 申し (as in 申します). In any case, the local Iyo people are known to add this word to the end of sentences to mean "isn't it?" or "don't you think?".

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