What's the difference in connotation between さみしい and さびしい? Until yesterday, I thought that さみしい was just a colloquialism, a corruption in the pronunciation of さびしい but apparently they're both legitimate readings.
I think さみしい is colliquial expression or dialect of さびしい。
I don't think there is much difference in meaning.
To answering to your question, I think it for a while.
And I tell you the difference.
さびしい is formal expression and usud by adults.
さみしい is usud by children.
If a woman says to her boyfriend that she is さびしい on the phone,
he replys her, "Why don't you watch TV?"
If a woman says to her boyfriend that she is さみしい on the phone,
he replys her, "You're such a baby! I'll come to you right now! Just wait for me."
If a person says to another person that he/she feels lonely, there is two meaning.
No.1 is just a description of the fact that she is lonely.
No.2 is a indirect request to be her lover or to be her lover, or to meet her, or to make love with her.
I analyse that さみしい might have the nuance of No.2.
If a woman uses さみしい, she seems childish (not being indipendent adult) and a man wants to protect her, meet her, instinctively.
And さびしい have the nuance of No.1 because it is formal word, and it seems to refuse help, somehow.
Usually I think there is no difference, but to answering sekaijuuni, I think above.
And I don't know I am right or wrong.
Thanks for your responses, Wishfull and shiwonly! I understand now.
Do you know if either of these is used more often in the Kansai dialect? I don't think I really heard さみしい until I studied there, where I heard it all the time. But maybe I just talked with lots of whiny, childish people, haha!