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I'm attempting to read my first light novel and am unsure about whether I am misunderstanding the function completely, or if it is merely a literary usage. Here is an example:

不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われロレンスはたじろいでしまうが、ロレンスにとってホロが人であるかないかは実に重要な問題なのだ。

Why is the stem used, and not 問われ(た/る、など)

教えてくれてありがとうございます

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    Incidentally, 教えてくれてありがとう means "I appreciate that you TAUGHT me". And 問われ is not a verb stem because it includes a part that changes by conjugation. – user4092 Dec 8 '15 at 11:16
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The 問われ is not modifying the ロレンス.

連用形 of 用言 can be used to connect clauses or sentences like て形. Here the 連用形 「問われ」 is connecting two clauses/sentences: 「(ロレンスは)不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われ(る)」 and 「ロレンスはたじろいでしまう」.

You can replace the 連用形 「問われ」 with the て形 「問われ」 without changing the meaning:

不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われロレンスはたじろいでしまうが・・・
≒ 不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われ(、)ロレンスはたじろいでしまうが・・・

In this form, using 連用形 sounds more formal and literary than て形. You will see て形 more in casual speech and 連用形 more in formal speech and the written style.

Examples:

よく遊び、よく寝る (連用形)
≒よく遊んで、よく寝る (て形)

美しく機能的な生活用品 (連用形)
≒美しくて機能的な生活用品 (て形)

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  • I understand that 不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われ is not a relative clause, my question is based on the assumption that 不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われロレンスは is a nominal phrase. Is that wrong? Are you saying that the renyoukei can be used not only as a conjunction, but within clauses as modifiers? – ceg9988 Dec 8 '15 at 13:58
  • 不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われロレンスは is not a nominal phrase. (不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われロレンスは would be a nominal phrase, where 不機嫌な顔でまたも逆に問われ would be a relative clause modifying ロレンス.) I am saying that ren'yokei can be used as a conjunction, connecting clauses, like te-form. – Chocolate Dec 8 '15 at 15:55

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