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Consider these:

[A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろう

[B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに

Is in [A] related to the case particle ?

Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in mid-sentence?

Is it possible that their sentence ending usage originates from elision? I.e.,

[A'] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろう(Elided content)

[B'] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに(Elided content)

Or have I no choice but to learn them as another atomic concept?

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The in だろうに historically comes from the case particle , but in present Japanese, it should be considered a different thing. (Many things in Japanese that look like a particle actually do come from particles. Even the conjunction as in 食べてみたが、まずかった is originally the nominative case particle .)

In both cases, the continuing part is elided as you correctly suspected.


The reason it is usually elided is because its content can be reconstructed from the remaining part. Because the condition is a counterfactual condition, the continuing part, which is the reality, is simply the negation of the remaining part. The reason the condition is counterfactual is due to the use of past tense in the consequent of it. Past tense is usually used for facts that already happened, and cannot be changed in normal circumstances. Putting a past tense for a conseqnent to a condition implies that you are referring to a situation that had not happened. It is similar to how the English subjunctive past can mean a counterfactual event of a present time.

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For using them naturally, should I be consciously aware that there's elision or would it be better if I just treated them as a sentence ending pattern? –  Flaw Dec 16 '11 at 0:58
@Flaw If you care about the grammatical strudture, you can keep in mind that there is ellipsis, but for practical purposes, you can just consider them as sentence ending patterns. –  sawa Dec 16 '11 at 2:05
Conjunctive "ga" probably comes from the particle "ga" in the same way that "however" comes from "how" and "ever". :) –  Kaz Apr 24 '12 at 4:48
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I'm surprised it is hard to find an entry of in the dictionary that can fit the usage.

But finally I found this which is under the entry of だろう:

(In the form of だろうに) Saying some supposition that is different from the facts
If (you) try a little harder, you should have (succeeded).

It seems that we can even treat だろうに as a whole phrase.

I didn't find a source which give an origin of this usage. However, I don't think it is related to the case particle, nor that it is form from elision.

For the final use of the のに, it does come from the the conjunction use(source).

(from 準体助詞「の」+接続助詞「に」) Used after 連体形. To link two contradict statement, with a feeling of unexpectedness or unsatisfactory.
「東京は晴れなのに大阪は雨だ」Although it is sunny in Tokyo, it is raining in Osaka.
「九月だというのに真夏の暑さだ」Although it is September, it is as hot as in summer.

(From 1 when used at the end of sentence) Used after 連体形. Showing feeling of dissatisfaction, disapproval, bitterness, accusation.
「これで幸せになれると思ったのに」(I) thought (I) could be happy after this.

I think this use of のに can be treated as the latter half of the sentence elided.

NOTE: The translation of explanations and examples are made by myself.

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@Flaw: I'll try later. But currently I have to leave for a while. And I don't have that much confidence in my English :) –  fefe Dec 15 '11 at 10:20
@Flaw That's right. I think I should edit that. –  fefe Dec 15 '11 at 10:22
If there is elision, then what should follow after これで幸せになれると思ったのに... ? I'm guessing if the front half of the sentence presents a counterfactual supposition, then the second half must be its factual counterpart? I.e これで幸せになれると思ったのに(事実は違う・そうではない) –  Flaw Dec 15 '11 at 12:32
@Flaw I agree. And maybe it is because the latter part is only a state of current situation (which may be easily deduced from the first part) that it can elided. –  fefe Dec 15 '11 at 12:39
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