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Consider

夏から秋にかけて台風がよく来ます。

Typhoons frequently come from summer to autumn.

I know that 夏から秋にかけて effectively means "from summer to autumn". But more literally I assume it means "from summer to autumn, (something) hangs".

Does anyone know what "hangs" though (as in, what is the implied subject missing from 夏から秋にかける)? Is it something like 時?

時が夏から秋にかける

Time hangs from summer to autumn.

Or is it the subject of the main clause (in this case: typhoons)?

台風が夏から秋にかける

Typhoons hang from summer to autumn.

I understand this might be an odd curiosity for some, but my goal is to understand why 掛ける is being used to convey some notion of "time over some period".

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  • 夏から秋にかける Are you seeing this somewhere? Or are you logically creating this as an example?
    – istrasci
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 20:36
  • I created the example using the dictionary form (夏から秋にかける). The te-form originally came from here here and here.
    – George
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 20:39
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    Maybe "the flow of events" that hangs (like a bridge as ysuzuki19 stated) from summer to autumn. Time is an abstraction that must come after the idea of psychically hanging, so I doubt the subject is time.
    – 0149234
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 15:52

2 Answers 2

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If I'm incorrect in this, someone please correct me. But as far as I'm aware, ~から~にかけて is a set phrase, and かける is never used in the dictionary form as in the example you created. I think a natural English translation would be "(_____) spanning (from) ~ to ~"; I wouldn't try to think of it in terms of "hanging". Also, in this pattern, it's typically (always?) written in hiragana. So it's not necessarily 掛ける (although not necessarily NOT 掛ける either).

The subject should be pretty obvious depending on the context, but it won't be explicitly stated. So your example would be "the time period spanning from summer to autumn", but you won't see 時(間)が. As you'll see in my example below, it could be a physical area/space as well.

A few things to note with this pattern. The first is that the start and end points are not exact or definite. You can see that summer and autumn are not exact points in time, but a general period.

Next is that the second clause is not something that is a one-time thing/occurrence, but something that is continual/continuous or recurring. In your case, typhoons occurring often.

Here is an excerpt from my grammar book:

~から~にかけて 【~から~までの間】

[👉]{ポイント} 「~から~まで」は始まりと終わりがはっきりしていて、その間ずっと同じ状態が続いてることを表す。「~から~にかけて」は始まりと終わりがそれほどはっきりしていない。後の文は一回だけのことではなく、連続的なこと。

× A駅からB駅にかけて、わたしのアパートがあります。
○ A駅からB駅にかけてアパートがたくさん並んでいる。

× [夜中]{よ・なか}から明け[方]{がた}にかけて、チンさんが訪ねてきた。
○ 夜中から明け方にかけて弱い地震が数回あった。

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I'm Japanese, but I have never thought about it. It's just my personal opinion.

The 「かけて」 seems to specify "it is a range or period". It's similar to 「渡{わた}って」.

These evoke a connected bridge.

I thought it turned into that meaning.

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