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I apologize in advance for the poor title. I'm really not sure how to phrase my question. I often see in Japanese sentences structures like the following:


In the above, エホバに関する (let's call it 'A') seems to stand on it's own as some clause that, to my eye, doesn't seem clearly attached to the remainder of the sentence. Then we have どんな事実を強調しましたか ('B') that makes sense on it's own (e.g. 'B' meaning "What facts were highlighted?")

Is, エホバに関する, modifying どんな in this case?

In many Japanese sentences, I often see a clause ending in plain form that just sits before (or after) the rest of the sentence. But it's not joined to the remainder of the sentence with any particle like の, こと, ため, によって, etc. So it's simply "A + B" with no particle to join them and it doesn't always look like an adjectival clause.

Am I just confused? Is the above just an adjectival clause for どんな or is this a common structure I'm just not aware of?

(P.S. Please let me know if I need to provide more examples.)

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The title uses but the example sentence is . Presumably the title is the typo? –  istrasci Aug 2 '13 at 14:18
If you found the sentence you quoted, could you provide the preceding and following sentences as well as any provided translation, if there was one. –  yadokari Aug 2 '13 at 16:13
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In this case, エホバに関する is a relative clause, so it modifies the following noun phrase. Since どんな is not by itself a noun, we can conclude that it's part of a larger noun phrase. In this case, the only possible such noun phrase is どんな事実.

Note that unlike English, Japanese doesn't have a distinct class of words called determiners which terminate the expansion of a noun phrase. That is, in English you cannot say phrases like *the red this house, because the determiner this cannot be further modified by the string the red. In Japanese, however, you can place modifiers before words like どんな or あの without a problem.

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Is エホバに関する really modifying 事実? I ask because if you remove どんな I think the sentence does not make sense...but maybe my line of thinking is flawed. –  yadokari Aug 2 '13 at 14:26
@yadokari Yes, I think it is. It can be rephrased as エホバについての. –  Chocolate Aug 2 '13 at 14:31
@Chocolate, how would that work? This sounds wrong to me--エホバについての事実を強調しましたか。 Doesn't it need the どんな somewhere? –  yadokari Aug 2 '13 at 14:33
Oh... then 山田さんは、エホバに関するこんな事実を強調しました sounds alright, no? I think "In relation to Jehovah, what truth is emphasized?" would me more like エホバに関して/ついて、どんな事実を・・・ –  Chocolate Aug 2 '13 at 14:39
@user497745 Thanks for the translation. I said 関する can be replaced by について"の" (an adjectival phrase), not について, and について can be replaced by 関して(an adverbial phrase). –  Chocolate Aug 3 '13 at 20:18
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