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にて is older form of で, and now has literary or archaic nuance. にて itself was created by adding suffix て to に, which is form of copular verb n-.

Traditional interpretation (e.g. here) is that 2 main functions of で are:

  • Copula form (連用形/Continuative): "is ... and"

  • Locative / instrumental case particle

  1. 私はペンで静かに手紙を書いている

  2. 私はペンで静かにて手紙を書いている

  3. 私はペンで静かで手紙を書いている

  4. 私はペンで静かと手紙を書いている

  5. 私は森で丸腰に歩いている

  6. 私は森で丸腰にて歩いている

  7. 私は森で丸腰で歩いている

  8. 私は森で丸腰と歩いている

  9. 私はあなたと一緒に働いている

  10. 私はあなたと一緒にて働いている

  11. 私はあなたと一緒で働いている

  12. 私はあなたと一緒と働いている

  13. 彼は突然に来た

  14. 彼は突然にて来た

  15. 彼は突然で来た

  16. 彼は突然と来た

My analysis is that:

  • All these sentences are grammatically correct, although variants with と may be rare or unnatural.

  • 静か, 丸腰, 一緒, 突然 in these sentences are adjectives, not nouns.

  • にて and で have additional function as adverbializer, similarly to に and と (although で as adverbializer is probably rarer than に as adverbializer). (Also adverbializer is actually subfunction of copula.)

    静かに = 静かで = "quietly"

    丸腰に = 丸腰で = "unarmedly"

    一緒に = 一緒で = "combinedly, together"

    突然に = 突然で = "suddenly"

  • で in ペンで is locative / instrumental case particle (格助詞) (here instrumental function), and ペン is noun.

  • で in 森で is locative / instrumental case particle (格助詞) (here locative function), and 森 is noun.

Are there any good counterarguments for this analysis of にて / で?

(Fixed expressions with adjective+に (e.g. 〜になる, 〜にする) are not really counterargument.)

(Partially related to discussion in 丸腰を見る and no-adjectives)

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    Only 1. 私はペンで静かに手紙を書いている 7. 私は森で丸腰で歩いている 9. 私はあなたと一緒に働いている 13. 彼は突然に来た, or more commonly 彼は突然来た sound correct to my native ears. 「ペンで静かで手紙を書いている」「静かと手紙を書いている」「丸腰に歩いている」とか言わないです。「あなたと一緒で働いている」は意味が違います
    – chocolate
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:17
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    Different words require different particles. There is even a specialized dictionary though native speakers hardly need it. Not counter argument, but has more than locative/instrumental/copula, so you are just oversimplifying and what you're asking is not clear.
    – sundowner
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:26
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    「あなたと一緒で働いている」 - I think this can only be parsed as a coordination of (私は)あなたと一緒だ and (私は)働いている. It doesn't say whether they work together or not. Oct 3, 2023 at 15:05
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    Non-native speaker, but I must say that I agree with @chocolate here -- many of your sample sentences are grammatically incorrect. I will add that I've never seen にて・で described as an adverbializer; that function lies in particle に, but not にて・で. Oct 3, 2023 at 17:07
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    This question is based on the wrong assumptions (that these sentences are all grammatical) and it's not clear what to counter.
    – aguijonazo
    Oct 3, 2023 at 23:08

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