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Can someone explain what rules for が come in play that make the sentence:

発売延期となっていたネットワークレコーダー「nasne(ナスネ)」の発売が8月30日に決定しました

grammatically correct? I would have formulated it 「nasne(ナスネ)」の発売が8月30日に決定されました, or to keep the usage of しました-form: ソニーは「nasne(ナスネ)」の発売を8月30日に決定しました

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I've never actually seen a sentence like this, but しました and されました are the same verb (する). The former is the active voice conjugation, and the latter is the passive voice. So perhaps this is same as in English, when someone says "Holding a sale." as opposed to saying "A sale was held." –  Ataraxia Aug 7 '12 at 22:06
    
Funny, googling 「が決定した」shows other various similar usages. For example 「蓮田市マスコットキャラクターが決定しました!」(見出し), where as the main text is 「5月に蓮田市マスコットキャラクターの募集を行ったところ、212名のかたからご応募を頂き、258点の応募作品の中から東京都町田市在住の市原麻奈美様の作品「はすぴ‌​ぃ」に決定しました」。 I'm starting to wonder if it's common corrupted use of 決定する in Japanese... –  softbear Aug 7 '12 at 22:26

2 Answers 2

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が simply marks a subject of a sentence, but your question is not really about the use of が.

Note that 決定する has two usages: 〈人〉が〈事〉を決定する (transitive) and 〈事〉が決定する (intransitive). The former usage is similar to 決める, whereas the latter usage is similar to 決まる.

When we say something was decided without a focus on who did it, it is more natural to use 決定する intransitively rather than using it transitively in the passive form or with a subject omitted.

There are other verbs which can be used as both transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. Examples are:

  • [開]{ひら}く: 扉を[開]{ひら}く / 扉が[開]{ひら}く (cf. [開]{あ}ける / [開]{あ}く)
  • 移動する: 自動車を移動する / 自動車が移動する (cf. 動かす / 動く)
  • 開始する: 試合を開始する / 試合が開始する (cf. 始める / 始まる)
  • 分解する: 自転車を分解する / 自転車が分解する (cf. 分ける / 分かれる)
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It is the nominative case marker on an intransitive subject. The verb 決定する can be used transitively as you expected, or intransitively. You may not be able to do this with the corresponding verb decide in English, but other verbs in English have the same type of transitive alternation.

The family settled in New York.
The professor settled the test tube on a stand.

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