3

おはよう! 

I've been coming across this written construction more and more and while it probably doesn't change anything grammar-wise, I wonder what parts of the sentences are stressed by changing the sentence structure. It looks a literary device but I'm not sure what is being emphasized.

E.g.

取{と}り入{い}れた外気{がいき}は血液{けつえき}に。(1)

I assume the literal meaning is the same as

血液に取り入れた外気がある(ものだ)。(2)

(fairly neutral statement)

or

外気は血液に取り入れた。(3)

(more emphasis on 外気 because of は)

The difference between 2 and 3 is clear, but what about 1? は, the topic subject particle, stresses 外気 all the same. What changes between (1) and (3) (beyond just looking more 'try-hard' and bookish)?

Thank you! (edited out the misused Japanese phrase, thank you for the tip Mr. l'électeur!)

  • 2
    質問とは無関係ですが、気になったので一言・・ 英語を含む多くの他言語と異なり、日本語では、先にお礼を言う習慣はありません。他者に何かをしてもらった時点で初めてお礼を言うのが通常です。 – l'électeur Mar 11 '15 at 10:02
  • ご注意ありがとうございます。残念ながら、私の日本語が今苦手です。 それがあなたにとって難しくないならば、 私の誤りを将来に指摘してください。 – cirno Mar 11 '15 at 10:32
  • @cirno meta.stackexchange: Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts? and Why is saying "Thank you!" in question undesirable But nobody here's going to mind if you do though... – blutorange Mar 11 '15 at 11:14
  • @blutorange If I didn't risk saying Thank You in Japanese, though, I'd have never learned that it's inappropriate! Educational, hm! Just kidding, I'll stop. :( – cirno Mar 11 '15 at 11:34
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    @cirno It not a violation of the rules or anything, it's alright if you do greet/thank. I just wanted to mention that it isn't necessary, we're all willing to help :) – blutorange Mar 11 '15 at 11:39
2

I can't say assertively without seeing the context, but your interpretation of (1) seems wrong.

"取り入れた外気は血液に" is missing a verb. You are right. But what's missing here is, I guess, "送られる," "流れ込む," "吸収される,"or something. If so, this sentence is explaining how human body takes oxygen from the air into the blood.

Why do they omit verbs once in a while? One reason is to improve the rhythm of the writing. For example, from the top of my head, a paragraph including this sentence could be like this:

"血液循環の仕組みはこうだ。取り入れた外気は血液に。血液は全身に。血液の中の老廃物は尿に。(This is how blood circulation works: The air taken from outside is sent into the blood. The blood is brought to the entire body. The waste in the blood is discharged as urine.)"

Of course, you could write this sentence without any omission:

"血液循環の仕組みはこうだ。取り入れた外気は血液に吸収される。血液は全身に送られる。血液の中の老廃物は尿になって体外へ出る。"

Which do you like? I think the former looks cool because the three sentences in the paragraph end with "に," which is similar to the idea of rhyming. Makes sense?

  • By the way, 循環 is pronounced as "じゅんかん", 吸収 is "きゅうしゅう," 老廃物 is "ろうはいぶつ," 尿 is "にょう." – Kei Mar 11 '15 at 22:35
  • I'm afraid it is a full sentence in itself. It's taken from a fantasy novel and 外気 is implied to be マナ. With the sentence that follows, it goes like:  取り入れた外気は血液に。それが熱く焼けた鉛なら、起動した魔術刻印は茨の神経だ (which rhymes but not with the earlier sentence)。 Because the none of it is relevant to the general idea of this construct I decided not to include it. What I'm trying to figure out is the change in emphasis (?) that is achieved by changing the verb order within the sentence (taken by itself) so I may 'get' the what the author was trying to do beyond simple literal meaning. – cirno Mar 11 '15 at 23:30
  • Well, I guess the emphasis doesn't change that much by omitting a verb. Given the following sentence, the verb omitted should be "なる," meaning the full sentence should have been "取り入れた外気は血液になる." The reason the author omitted "なる" is probably it's self-evident. By omitting "なる," now we have an incomplete sentence, which gives variety to the writing and sometimes makes it look cool. – Kei Mar 12 '15 at 0:41
  • Is になる necessarily assumed with に at the end? Or only here, from the context? – cirno Mar 12 '15 at 1:07
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    I guess it is the case only here. As I suggested above, the omitted verb could be various. But, to be honest, I'm not confident with my answer because this is a fantasy novel where I can't even understand what the following sentence and マナ means. Each word should have a unique definition in this fantasy world. – Kei Mar 12 '15 at 6:30

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