I assumed not, but I saw


Translated as "something inexpressibly sweet", as if 言い知れぬ modified 甘美な. Is it just a quirk of translation and both the adjective 言い知れぬ and 形容動詞 modify もの (that is, lit: something inexpressible and sweet), or does 言い知れぬ modify 形容動詞 here somehow?

  • I changed the question, feel free to edit it but I'm not familiar with the term 連体詞 and I don't know if it modifies other 品詞 any different from 形容詞 (does it?) so I hesitated to add it.
    – user10216
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 12:19
  • That's okay. It looks like an answer will have to address your notion of adjective anyway, so we might as well leave that part of the question the way it is :-)
    – user1478
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


言い知れぬ is an expression that is used like an adjective, but is actually a negative verb. Basically, it's an archaic way of saying 言い知れない. In this case, don't think of 言い知れぬ as modifying the na-adjective. Think of it as modifying the noun which has already been modified by the na-adjective. The "sweetness" isn't what's indescribable; the "sweet thing" is.

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