I was reading a light novel and saw this sentence describing how it feels like in a forest.


I understand every word in it, but I am confused as to what sounds can be heard.

To me, it is not clear what だけ modifies, does this mean:

  • 聞こえる音はただ一つ、緩やかな風で森がざわめく音だ or;
  • 他の音も聞こえるが、闇を飾るようにではなく、他のように聞こえる。つまり、緩やかな風で森がざわめく音だけが闇を飾る。他の音は闇を飾らない

Which interpretation is correct? Or are both correct?


Both interpretations are technically possible, but only the former seems natural to me. This is a dark and relatively silent forest, isn't it? 闇を飾るように is a fairly vague and poetic expression and I have never tried to distinguish sounds according to such a criterion. If it were something like 森がざわめく音だけが前から聞こえてくる, the sentence might seem ambiguous and there might be other sound sources behind you.

  • Ah, right. That makes sense. The sentences before the quoted sentence talks about how dark the forest is, but not how noisy it is.
    – Sweeper
    Aug 24 '18 at 7:58

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