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A friend and I are slowly translating a Japanese novel (夢魔 by 森村誠一)together for practice/fun, and we've found something weird (to us) in this sentence:

「丘陵状の山が波のようにたたなわり、山腹に民家が点在している。」

We couldn't find anything for the 「なわり」, but I did come across 「畳なはり」. Which wasn't in our dictionary, but means "Tatami needle" according to the oh-so-reliable Google Translate, ...which doesn't really make sense. The 「(たた)なわり」 needs to be a verb doesn't it?

So I looked around some more and saw 「畳なばり」 (Tatami needle), and 「畳まる」, a verb meaning to fold.

As of right now, we're going with that verb, which makes our translation something like "The hill-shaped mountain folds like a wave, and the mountainside is dotted with private houses." It basically makes sense, and the sound-change seems reasonable, but...

If anyone could tell us what this verb(?) is, or if our speculation seems reasonable, we'd appreciate it...

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It's a verb たたなわる. 広辞苑 defines it as "かさなりあってつらなる".

Anyway it's a very rare word. I can't remember any instance I actually heard/read this word. Perhaps I never did.

  • Correct. Very rare. FYI blogs.yahoo.co.jp/jintoku510/45649248.html たたなはる羽州の山をまなかひに山の葡萄を口にふふみつ Translation : How wonderful it is to chaw piecies of grape viewing the vast Ushuu mountain ridge in front of me. – Kentaro Feb 27 '15 at 6:25
  • As far as I know, I also never across someone who used the word in Japan in my life. Probably my family members, or friends, anybody neither. Since as you can see it is used in case of making 短歌 ( short poem? ) for probably to make sound modification or some sort of that kind of moderation. ( I think ). – Kentaro Feb 28 '15 at 0:05

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