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I've been reading よつばと! and I'm on a chapter where Fuuka has a crush on a guy. She says this:

手ぇつないで歩いてたの

I assume the small e is just for emphasis/extension and it doesn't seem to serve a grammatical function (though I'd like to know that for sure), but that's not what poses a problem for me. I have no idea what つないで means. I can't find a definition for it, nor can I for つなぐ, つる, or つある, all of which it is possible inflections of. Can somebody define this for me?

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It is the verb つなぐ (in kanji, 繋ぐ). Note: つないで is not a possible inflection of つる (since つる must be a go-dan verb, as must all regular verbs whose dictionary form ends in -uru). –  senshin May 17 at 0:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yeah I love よつばと! too. The scene is Fuuka was broken-hearted, right?

The verb つなぐ, means "connect", "link", or "join".

In some cases especially in informal scene, post-positional particles like and are omitted.

Example:

これから[店]{みせ}へ[行]{い}く。 -> これから店行く。 (I'm gonna go shopping.)

ふーかはあしふといな! -> ふーかあしふといな! (Fuuka, your legs are thick!)

だれがうまいことをいえと! -> だれがうまいこといえと!
(Literally: Who asked you to say that well put thing!)
(Free: That's well put!)

As a result, [手]{て}ぇつないで[歩]{ある}いてたの can be translated like:

[手]{て}ぇつないで[歩]{ある}いてたの = 手をつないで歩いてたの -> He was walking hand in hand (with a girl).
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Perhaps "He was walking hand in hand with [someone given in the context of passage]", if not "We were walking hand in hand"? –  Tim May 17 at 2:33
    
@Tim Yes, she saw a guy she likes were walking hand in hand with his girlfriend in the beginning of this episode. She mentioned about that to Yotsuba. BTW If this 手ぇつないで歩いてたの were read literally, it'll import that she and someone were walking hand in hand. –  Takumi Sueda May 17 at 6:07

Not sure what dictionary you are using but according to プログレッシブ英和ー和英中辞典:

手をつないで歩く|walk hand in hand

You tell us this is spoken so the 手ぇ will be a colloquialism - see comment from Snail plane below - This lengthening applies to other short (monomoraic) words such as 歯 and 目. (I recently read about this and will add the reference when I find it...)

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Oooh, the を makes it all makes sense if つなぐ means "tied together". –  KingPumpkin May 17 at 0:21
6  
According to The Phonology of Japanese (Labrune 2012, p.52), lengthening sometimes occurs when a particle like を is dropped following a monomoraic word like 手. So that could explain the after . –  snailboat May 17 at 0:23

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