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From a dictionary definition:

③ […] 引き続いて起こる事柄についての、 きっかけを表す。…すると。

First Question: Why is there a の followed by a comma after について? Is it equivalent to any of the following alternatives:

  1. […] 引き続いて起こる事柄についての[こと]は、 きっかけを表す
  2. […] 引き続いて起こる事柄について きっかけを表す
  3. […] 引き続いて起こる事柄についきっかけを表す
  4. […] 引き続いて起こる事柄についてきっかけを表す

Second Question: Grammatically, is ついて in て-form only because について is a fixed phrase (otherwise, would it just be in dictionary form につく were it a normal verb)?

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  • Does this answer your question? Grammatical Pattern : VerbてのNoun Mar 18 at 20:52
  • (The て in 〇〇について is not special grammatically; while the whole thing is a collocation, ついて is indeed just the て form of 就く(つく), and に is just the ordinary particle に. It's in て form because both grammar and semantics demand it. You could say これはそれにつく・つきます etc. but that isn't the idiom. Anyway, keep in mind that particles follow what they go with, so "につく" is not a meaningful grouping.) Mar 18 at 21:01
  • 〜につくのきっかけ in the dictionary form would be simply wrong.
    – aguijonazo
    Mar 18 at 22:46
  • @aguijonazo I meant as the main verb. Grammatically, 〜につくきっかけ (no の) makes sense to me, but does still look wrong. Mar 19 at 0:22
  • @KarlKnechtel - My comment was in reference to the OP's comment: "otherwise, would it just be in dictionary form につく were it a normal verb." As you say, 〜につくきっかけ still doesn't work (unlike 〜に対する[N] for 〜に対しての[N]).
    – aguijonazo
    Mar 19 at 0:29

1 Answer 1

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The comma doesn't affect the grammar. It's the same as #4.

I can understand why you might think につく would suffice, but I guess について is too fixed. There are other particles that can be combined with の, resulting in things like への, からの, and との. I see についての as comparable to these, although technically について is classified as a 連語 (compound) rather than a particle.

There is another example of の attaching to a te-form in the pattern あっての, meaning "which can exist solely due to the presence of."

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