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This is a follow up to this question regarding the difference between てある and ている.

So far I have come across two possible reasons to use てある:

てある and ている can both be used to show states, however with ている there is some ambiguity with action verbs as to whether it's the state or the action that is meant.

Would one of the uses of てある be to make clear that it's the state and not the action that is meant ? Does this discard the implication of an actor ?

Another reason for using てある would be it draws attention to the fact that there is someone who was responsible for the resulting state whereas ている is simply stating the state.

Why and when would someone want to draw attention to the actor of an action in such ?

Why is てある used in this case (top left panel):

Hatsume Hirameki Chapter 3

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    Since you understand it correctly, I don't really have something to add. But one thing that I should point out, if at all, is that what you call "another reason" is actually the main (or almost the only) reason. I don't sense I'd use it in order to get rid of ambiguity mentioned above. (In general, ambiguity is the least priority for native speakers.) The reason for the one used in the manga is the same. He isn't really thinking who put the box or how the agent did it, which are what ている refers to, but how the state of the room was in the moment. – user4092 Jul 25 '17 at 7:02
  • @user4092 But isn't the てある construction the one that draws more attention to "who put the box" there ? – TheComputerist Jul 25 '17 at 8:46
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    箱を置いている is "He has put a box" while 箱がおいてある is "There's a box left (by someone)". – user4092 Jul 25 '17 at 14:19
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    あいている as in 窓が開いている is intransitive. – user4092 Jul 25 '17 at 14:26
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てある and ている can both be used to show states,

with ている there is some ambiguity with action verbs as to whether it's the state or the action that is meant.

Right.

Would one of the uses of てある be to make clear that it's the state and not the action that is meant ?

I find you must be right that it seems only action verbs can make the てある form; we don't normally say (×)思ってある, nor (×)違ってある.

Does this(てある) discard the implication of an actor ?

Yes, grammatically, but I feel it's not quite that way psychologically.

Another reason for using てある would be it draws attention to the fact that there is someone who was responsible for the resulting state whereas ている is simply stating the state.

I can't think of every possibility.
花を[が]生けてある sounds just so right.
花を生けている sounds more like an action in progress to me.

Why and when would someone want to draw attention to the actor of an action in such ?

It's subjective, and I think when both てある and ている are possible, both most likely have the same degree of ability for drawing attention.

Why is てある used in this case (top left panel):

そういや昨日の夜 この位置に はこが置いてあったな…

My native sense tells me that to say ていた in place of the てあった, you have to rewrite it to はこ置いていたな.

The grammar doesn't allow はこ置いてあったto have the action maker. It doesn't mean that we can think of someone who did that. In fact, I feel very much an existence of someone who put that.

But はこ置いていたな sounds more like the subject, or the action maker, is being omitted; this is very much expected to state 'who' put the box.

  • So with ていたな it sounds more like you're unsure how that box got there as opposed of てあったな which sounds more like you're unsure if it was there ? – TheComputerist Jul 25 '17 at 8:59
  • Yes, the structure 箱を置いていたな needs a subject, and without it the reader feel uneasy, probably unless it's obvious from the context. There's no difference in the degree of sureness in both structures. そう言えば昨日ここに箱が置いてあったな is a complete sentence, and interestingly, I find all these adverbs are requirement (昨日 might be less required though); it's not natural to say only 箱が置いてあったな. – karlalou Jul 25 '17 at 15:04
  • Let me see if I understand correctly: In every sentence you want to have a actor, even if not explicitly mentioned but known by both parties, if the verb is transitive. In this case with ている you don't have that, so instead you would use てある because if fulfills the actor by a generic one, though still not explicitly mentioned. So in other words you need てある to make a more general statement here, i.e. The box is there (put by someone), whereas using ている would be the more specific: The box is there (left by you-know-who). – TheComputerist Jul 25 '17 at 15:17
  • I like the way you put them. Great comprehension. These things seem that way. :) – karlalou Jul 25 '17 at 16:43
  • There is however a remark in the thread I linked to in the question which seems to disagree with this a bit. Can we take it to the chat ? – TheComputerist Jul 25 '17 at 17:08

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