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My textbook contains the following sentence

参加するしないにかかわらず、必ず返事を葉書で出してください。
(Regardless of whether you participate or not, kindly make sure to RSVP by postcard.)

as an example of the expression 名詞+にかかわらず. While I get the whole sentence and the にかかわらず, I'm having trouble understanding this usage of しない. I know しない

  • as the ない形 of する
  • as in 市内 (within the city)
  • as in 竹刀 (bamboo sword)

but none of these three seem to make sense, and the first one isn't even a 名詞.

Could someone please explain しない in this context and the general pattern of how/when to use it?

Thanks!

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2 Answers

It's the negative of する、しない. The point missing in the textbook is that this pattern is either 'noun + にかかわらず' or 'verb + opposite verb + にかかわらず', e.g.

  • するしないにかかわらず
  • 来る来ないにかかわらず
  • etc.

See also Is "V Vないにかかわらず" grammatical? and http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/JLPT_Guide/JLPT_N2_Grammar (search for "にかかわらず").

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This しない is simply the negative of する; "don't do". The 参加するしない part of the sentence means, regardless (~にかかわらず) of if you participate (参加する) or if you don't participate (参加しない).

With this form for "regardless of" (~にかかわらず; also could be ~を問わず), if often takes contrasting or "opposite" ideas. So the 参加するしない is a compact way to list the two choices of participating or not. I think it would also be grammatically correct to say 参加するかしないかにかからわず, but I'm not 100% certain on that.

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Thanks, but I'm still confused why this is given explicitly to illustrate 'noun + にかかわらず'. How can a verbform be a noun? –  Tobias May 18 '13 at 18:19
    
Clearly it's not limited to nouns. I can only say that sometimes textbooks do things like that, that make you scratch your head. –  istrasci May 18 '13 at 18:27
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