In my textbook, the following phrase:


is derived from the following example sentence:


It is the phrase that confuses me. It appears to me that the section in bold is modifying にぎやか, and if this is indeed the case, I do not understand the meaning of this construct.

I would appreciate help understanding this phrase.


1 Answer 1


What to do you think about this parsing: (子どもたちが話している)(にぎやかな声). The verb phrase modifies にぎやかな声 as a whole.

The て form and 連体節 (modifying with a verb phrase) doesn't serve the same purpose. て tends to stream-line (one things after the other) whereas 連体節 modifies the things that follows.

(子どもたちが話していて)(にぎやかな声), the parenthesis can't be placed like that. At most, you can insert a comma : 子どもたちが話していて、にぎやかな声(…) but it doesn't really make sense if you don't complete the … part.

In (あったかくて) (おいしい料理), here again parenthesis can't be like that. あったかくて、おいしい料理 (The food is warm and and it is good/delicious) (another way to understand it would be: The food is warm and (because of that) it is good/delicious)

More information on how to parse sentence can be found in Appendix 8 of the book "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar". And if you're brave enough 連体節 are discussed in details here ;) (beware EUC-JP encoding)

  • That would make sense. However, I was not aware that that was valid Japanese. I thought you had to conjugate successive modifier phrases into a て form, as in (あったかくて) (おいしい料理). Then again, (子どもたちが話していて)(にぎやかな声) does appear odd.
    – seafood258
    Aug 26, 2015 at 15:17
  • I understand now. Thanks! I can't view either source easily, but I guess (あったかい) (おいしい料理) would be valid after all?
    – seafood258
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:00

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