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I read in that thread :

「自分{じぶん}は死{し}ぬ前{まえ}に一目{ひとめ}思{おも}う女{おんな}に逢{あ}いたいと云{い}った。」

in 夢十夜, 第五夜 :

"I explained that before I died, if only for a moment, I wanted to see the woman I loved."

My question is about「一目{ひとめ}」 : it's a noun functioning adverbially "because it expresses a frequency" as l'électeur explained.

But what about its place ? Since 「一目」 just modifies 「逢いたい」 and since 「一目会いたい」 is a common set phrase, I assume the normal way to write down the sentence would be :

「自分は死ぬ前に思う女に一目逢いたいと云った。」

Is there any semantical difference between Sōseki Natsume's version and the one I invented ? Is it something related to the rhythm of the sentence ?

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    Not directly related, but regarding the rhythm, it is interesting to observe that if you look up an adverb such as ゆっくりと in a corpus such as 少納言, about half of the results have got ゆっくりと followed by a verb directly (ゆっくりと話す), and about half have got a short part-of-speech inserted in-between (ゆっくりとコーヒーをすする). – blutorange Apr 19 '15 at 18:39
  • Thank you ! Any idea about such a distribution among Japanese speakers ? – suizokukan Apr 19 '15 at 19:28
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    I've never heard of this author. Is it a parody of 夏目漱石? – Earthliŋ Apr 19 '15 at 19:43
  • @Earthliŋ : I fixed the title, thank you very much. – suizokukan Apr 19 '15 at 20:08
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    I just looked up one word and it would require further investigation; but I found this study: link to pdf They measured the time it took people to understand sentences with the adverb placed at different positions. ゆっくり is an adverb of manner in people understood it the quickest directly next to rhe verb or with object in between (SAOV, SOAV); and slowest with an additional subject in between (ASOV). Not sure how to classify 一目, but placing adverbs not directly the verb is common and sometimes even preferred. – blutorange Apr 19 '15 at 20:40
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自分は死ぬ前に一目思う女に逢いたいと云った。
自分は死ぬ前に思う女に一目逢いたいと云った。

There is no difference in meaning and both are just as fine, since the two words 死ぬ前に and 一目 are just as strongly related as 一目 and 逢いたい, though the former sounds more dramatic and the latter sounds a little too plain to me. I think 一目 is more emphasized when placed right after 死ぬ前に.

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