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A sentence (highlighted below) from Asahi Shimbun:


Without any adverbs (e.g. いつも), how can it be decided whether the sentence is talking about a single occurrence or multiple ones? Is there a default value or does it simply depends on the context?

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Interesting question because from a native speaker's perspective, 「いつも」 is written all over the place in those lines. The last and the most definite one is the structure of 「終わるのだった」 instead of a plain 「終わった」. This had to happen all the time. –  l'électeur May 18 '14 at 10:23
@非回答者 Great comment! Could you please point out those less definite ones as well? :) –  Noir May 18 '14 at 12:00
1) The wording of the first sentence. Had this writing been about a one-time incident, a phrase like 「その日(の)」 or 「その時(の)」 would probably have been added. 2) The very fact that the author chose to quote his phrase about the father's way of expressing affection. Why think of a rather nice and poetic phrase and quote it if it only happened once and it ended in such a short time? –  l'électeur May 18 '14 at 13:12
@非回答者 Many thanks for the extra! Indeed! I guess the fact that the nice and poetic phrase ended with 「押し寄せる」instead of「押し寄せた」can serve as yet another clue. BTW, the quote is from a book written by the 「娘」. So it's actually HER phrase :) –  Noir May 18 '14 at 13:45

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