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In the sentence below, does 外からは apply only to the part of the sentence up to 見られずに, or does it apply to the entire sentence?

あれなら外からは姿を見られずにテレビ局内に入れますね。

In other words, which one of these is it:
(1) あれなら外からは <姿を見られずにテレビ局内に入れます> ね
(2) あれなら <外からは姿を見られずに> テレビ局内に入れますね

Even if (1) is correct, are there any examples where は only applies to part of a sentence, instead of the whole sentence? Like perhaps when a sentence uses something like たら to connect two thoughts?

sotokaraha

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    It's (2). The は is used to mark the focus of a partial negation. It's like a set phrase of ~~は~~(せ)ず(に) or ~~は~~(し)ない(で).
    – user1016
    Jul 22, 2012 at 1:31
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    I'm surprised! I was leaning towards (1)!
    – Axe
    Jul 22, 2012 at 1:36
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    (^^) So, L is saying Ukita-san might not have been seen from outside the TV station = 「外からは見られずに」, but might have been seen from inside the station =「キラが局内から見ていた可能性も高い」
    – user1016
    Jul 22, 2012 at 3:51

1 Answer 1

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Syntactically, without considering the meaning, it is ambiguous, but in this context, it is clearly (2) as Chocolate comments. 入る 'go in' is always done 'from outside' (外から), and in (1), it does not make sense to contrast 'going inside from outside' with other types of 'going inside'.

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