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This sentence (from a song) has bothered me forever:

何ヶ月か分のわたしが床に落っこちたのを見た。

Just how much time have I watched go by since I fell onto the floor?

I guess I can understand the translation, but I just can't get the grammar to work.

The part that I don't understand is 「か分の」. I have no idea about what「分」means in this context, and「か」could mean a couple of different things. Is「か分」actually「過分」? I am also not sure about the function of 「の」...

Also, is it correct that the「のを」at the end is a nominalizing「の」and then「を」refers to the whole sentence before?

Here are the rest of the lyrics with a translation: http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/shippuuden/jitensha.htm.

Thanks.

  • 「何ヶ月か分」sounds awkward to me. I'd use 「数か月分」but the author could have some intention in making the choice. – nodakai Jul 24 '16 at 18:28
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I would say that fan-translation is incorrect.

As you guessed, the の before を nominalizes the whole thing before it. So the basic structure of this sentence is like this:

何ヶ月か分のわたしが床に落っこちたのを見た。
I saw "何ヶ月か分の私" fell on the floor.

  • 何ヶ月か: "some months", "several months". This か is the same か as in 何か (something), 誰か (someone), 何回か (several times), 何百ドルか (some hundred dollars) etc. See the third definition here.
  • ~分【ぶん】の: "... equivalent to ~", "~ worth of ..."

For example, 2ヶ月分の給料 means "two month's salary", and 何ヶ月か分の在庫 means "some months worth of stock".

Here, 何ヶ月か分の私 literally means "several months worth of me" or "myself which is equivalent to several months". It's certainly a bizarre expression even to a native speaker, but it's used as the metonym for her hair that was cut. Obviously, it's not her body itself but her hair that fell on the floor in that context (at a barber shop).

So after removing the metaphor, the line basically says "I saw my hair, which had grown in the last few months, fell on the floor."

  • Ahh, that makes so much sense! I had thought that 何ヶ月か could mean several months, but I hadn't met the construction 〜分の before. Thanks very much. – Milten Jul 24 '16 at 11:35

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