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夏目漱石の「坊っちゃん」から

大工の兼公【かねこう】と肴屋【さかなや】の角【かく】をつれて、茂作【もさく】の人参畠【にんじんばたけ】をあらした事がある。人参の芽が出揃【でそろ】わぬ処【ところ】へ藁【わら】が一面に敷【し】いてあったから、その上で三人が半日[相撲]【すもう】をとりつづけに取ったら、人参がみんな踏【ふ】みつぶされてしまった。

Regarding the phrase in bold.

...半日[相撲]【すもう】をとりつづけに取ったら...

I assume とりつづけ is the verb stem of 取り続ける, whose definition can be inferred from the alc results to mean "to keep up", or "to maintain". Thus, I first thought upon seeing とりつづけに取る was something like, "to compete (in wrestling) to keep up (something)". However, that sounds rather strange to me. It appears to make more sense when you treat it as an adverbial phrase.

My questions:

  • What is the definition of 取り続ける (if that is indeed the word used), and how does it differ from 続ける? Or should I perhaps treat it as 取って続ける?
  • Is 「三人が半日相撲をとりつづけに取ったら」 parsed as 三人が [ 半日相撲をとりつづけに ] 取ったら?
  • Does 「半日相撲をとりつづける」 mean "to continue wrestling for half a day"?
  • If the above are correct, could 「半日相撲をとりつづけにとる」then be interpreted as "to wrestle continuously for half a day"?
  • What would be the difference in meaning between 「とりつづけに取ったら」 and 「とりつづけたら」 in the passage?

Apologies for the barrage of questions. I suppose what I am really asking is for a step-by-step confirmation of my thinking process. While I believe I am on the right track, my understanding of the sentence still feels somewhat "iffy".

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What is the definition of 取り続ける (if that is indeed the word used), and how does it differ from 続ける? Or should I perhaps treat it as 取って続ける?

続ける is a 補助動詞 here, which attaches to another verb to make it mean "continue to V" (see here). And 取る is the verb we use for "fight wrestling", so effectively 相撲を取る equals to "to wrestle (a bout)".

Is 「三人が半日相撲をとりつづけに取ったら」 parsed as 三人が [ 半日相撲をとりつづけに ] 取ったら?

I don't quite understand this part, but it's true that 三人が is the subject and 取った(ら) is the corresponding predicate.

Does 「半日相撲をとりつづける」 mean "to continue wrestling for half a day"?

Yes, you're right.

If the above are correct, could 「半日相撲をとりつづけにとる」then be interpreted as "to wrestle continuously for half a day"?

Kind of. In fact, I don't feel it's a natural wording, though comprehensible, from today's perspective. But indeed 漱石 has used this construction at least for a several times.

この間中みたように、降り続けに降られると困るが、もう天気も好くなったから(『』)

四十年間やかましい小言{こごと}を吐き続けに吐いた顔はこれだなと思う。(『カーライル博物館』)

その日はちょうど内にいて、食事中例の気作{きさく}な話をし続けにしたため(『彼岸過迄』)

Maybe it's a style that was popular at his times, or his own.

What would be the difference in meaning between 「とりつづけに取ったら」 and 「とりつづけたら」 in the passage?

I can only guess, but I think the nuance of 「とりつづけに取ったら」 wouldn't be too far from the combination of "continuously" (取り続ける) and "exhaustively; intensively" (取りに取る), so after all it should mean "wrestled as much as we want without a break".

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond to each question one-by-one! I will take a look at the referenced article. – seafood258 Jun 7 '15 at 18:43
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I think it's one verbal phrase とり続けにとる. Repeating the same verb using the "VにV" pattern (e.g. 笑いに笑う, 泣きに泣く, 食べに食べて飲みに飲む) is one way to emphasize the verb. It describes something is done intensively for a long time.

So if the phrase in question were "半日相撲をとりにとったら", the sentence would be very natural and the answer would be very simple.

The sentence actually says "とり続けにとったら", and I admit I haven't seen the same "V続けにV" pattern before ("泣き続けに泣く" sounds weird). That said, I think we can reasonably interpret this as a variation of the pattern above. So it means the same as 半日相撲をとりつづけたら (to continue wrestling for half a day), but with the emphasis on the fact that they enjoyed wrestling for a long time.

  • Thanks! Together with broccoli forest's answer, your answer helped clear my understanding quite a bit. – seafood258 Jun 7 '15 at 18:45

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