I was reading 銀河鉄道の夜, and I’m confused on the choice of word order in the following sentence. I understand what the sentence means, but I do not understand why みんな isnt before が.
Let me know if more context is necessary.
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
For clarity, in the context of the 銀河鉄道の夜 the clause the question is about is meant as an answer to
— something the teacher asks the class while pointing to an illustration of the Milky Way, and it is part of a longer sentence that continues on like so:
With that out of the way, the reason みんな comes after が here is because it is used as an adverb (meaning "all, everything, wholly") rather than a noun.
たしかにあれがみんな星だと ...that (it is/they are) certainly all stars
みんな as a noun could not really have been used here, as would then refer to a group of people, while the sentence is about what the Milky Way is composed of.
木の葉はみんな落ちてしまった。The leaves have all fallen.
今回の不始末はみんな私の責任です This (case of) mismanagement is entirely my fault. (emphasis, second translation mine)
As adverbs cannot take the subject-marker が, the only way for this みんな to end up before it would be by being placed before あれが, but while (as neither a native speaker nor an advanced learner) I may be wrong on this and cannot properly explain it, to me it sounds incredibly weird and is most likely just incorrect.