Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Study Tosa-ben with us! ②

This time we focus on the difference between “…chuu” and “…yuu” which you often hear at the end of tosa-ben sentences. By the end of this article you will completely understand the basic usage of these two suffixes!

“Shukudai o shi chuu” and “Shukudai o shi yuu”. Can you tell the difference of the meaning of these two sentences? In the standard Japanese, both are replaced by “Shukudai o shite(i)ru”, and are not distinct.

Whereas in tosa-ben, the two are completely different: The former sentence means “I have already done my homework”, and the latter means “I am doing my homework now (not finished)”.

To put it in a grammatical manner, “…chuu” represents present perfect tense, and “…yuu” expresses present progressive tense. This is the basic difference between these two suffixes.

Some verbs cannot be connected with “…yuu” even if they are used with “…chuu”. State verbs like “shiru” (know), “ikiru” (live) and “motsu” (have) cannot be used with the “…yuu” ending. You can say “Sore shitt chuu” (I know it), but you cannot say “Sore shiri yuu”, which is a nonsensical phrase to tosa-ben native speakers.

In the Hata region, “…chō” and “…yō” are used instead of “…chuu” and “…yuu”.

Taken from vol.22 (February & March, 2008. Forest Environment Tax in Kochi)

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