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Why is no marker used after 中 in this case:

厳しい寒さの、水中で綱を引き豊漁を祈願する伝統の神事が、福井県美浜町で行われました。

As far as I understand, the expression 寒さの中 means 'in the coldness', (where here 中 is read なか, or is it not?). It just seems a bit awkward to me to be written like this, i.e. with a comma right after it and no marker. What am I missing?

  • related japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/2503/… – macraf Jan 21 '17 at 23:36
  • The very common polite expressions such as 「忙しい中ありがとう」 and 「忙しい中すみません」also omit a marker, and there is no comma. Googling the expression 「戦争中」, it seems to be frequently (but not always) used with a comma instead of a marker. Whether to pronounce "naka" or "tyuu" is decided by the preceding words. – Craig Hicks Jan 22 '17 at 5:27
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「厳{きび}しい寒{さむ}さの中{なか}、水中{すいちゅう}で綱{あみ}を引{ひ}き豊漁{ほうりょう}を祈願{きがん}する伝統{でんとう}の神事{しんじ}が、福井県美浜町{ふくいけんみはまちょう}で行{おこな}われました。」

This sentence is perfect in every way.

If you inserted 「で」 after 「寒さの中」, the sentence would still be grammatical but it would sound a little more conversational when it clearly is not meant to be. 「で」 would be redundant in this context -- more so than you might think.

When talking about an event taking place in a meteorological condition, a general ambience or a psychological state in a non-conversational setting, using 「で」 would often make the sentence sound less than great.

The reason for using a comma after 「寒さの中」 should mainly be for clarity. It prevents us from having to see a funny-looking 「中水中」 in the 中 of the sentence. No 親父{おやじ}ギャグ intended.

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