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So actually rather often in Japanese music, I see phrases like this:

汚れきった言葉を

with some sort of verb modifying the noun, and with the noun having the direct object particle, but no verb. I always assumed this was more of a sentence out of order than a noun with an attributive phrase, as in "The words were dirtied." But is it more of a noun with an attributive phrase, as in, "The dirty word?" Is it a sentence out of order, or simply a noun with a modifier and perhaps and inferred word?

Thank you for your help!

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I would say that this is a phrase where the final verb is omitted. We could expect the complete phrase to be something like 汚れきった言葉を言う. But here, the final verb is omitted, because the context of the previous sentences is clear enough, I guess.

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First, 汚れきる is an intransitive verb, and thus 言葉を汚れきる is ungrammatical and doesn't make sense in the first place. 言葉を汚しきる would make sense.

There is also hyperbaton in Japanese. In creative writings, you may say

汚しきった 言葉を
I dirtied the words.

ずっと見ている 私を
You keep an eye on me.

But note that there is a space (or a comma, a period, a sentence-end particle, or whatever) separating the two phrases. If it were not for such a separator, the phrase would be interpreted as a simple relative clause modifying the following noun. And it's also very common to make a final predicate left unsaid in Japanese. So:

汚しきった言葉を
.... the words which I dirtied (a noun phrase with an object marker, without a verb)

汚れきった言葉を
... the words that have dirtied (i.e., dirty words)

ずっと見ている私を
... I, the person who keeps watching [you]

Many sentence that ends with を has an omitted verb related to desire/wanting (see: Does the particle "を" (wo) have a special use when at the end of a sentence?). Apparently this is not the case in your example.


To translate such a sentences in lyrics, you have some options. If the omitted verb is clear from the context, go ahead and use it:

お金を!
Gimme money! / I need money!

いつまでも君を
I love you forever

Another option is to forget the verb and translate it as a noun phrase without a corresponding verb (like "Twinkle twinkle little star.") Yet another option is to rephrase it as a "normal" sentence, just as you have done so far:

私だけをただ見つめて微笑んでるあなた
(lit. "You who is gazing me and smiling at me")
You are merely gazing me and smiling at me.

心まで鋼鉄に武装する乙女
We are maidens with our hearts armed with steel.

Keep in mind that these are merely noun phrases without corresponding verbs, grammatically.

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  • 本当にどうでもいいことですが、「心まで鋼鉄に武装する乙女」は次の「悪を蹴散らして正義を示すのだ」の主語じゃないかと思いました。 – broccoli facemask - cloth Feb 22 '17 at 2:12
  • どちらかというと主語というよりvocativeのような気もしますが…。「愛の歌高らかに踊り出る天使たち」の方がよかったですかね(翻訳できない) – naruto Feb 22 '17 at 2:15
  • 確かに、呼格とみた方が通りがいいですね。その前の体言止めはなかなか文法的にひどいですね。二番も「虹の色染め上げて…」って……いえ、ネタなので別に気にしなくて大丈夫です(笑) – broccoli facemask - cloth Feb 22 '17 at 2:23

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