村はずれの山に近い所にある小さな社{やしろ}が、がけくずれで流されたのだ。
The small shrine located in a place near the mountains on the edge of town had been washed away by a landslide.

I can't decide how to parse the part in bold. I can see two ways:

1) (山に近い所)にある社
2) (山に)(近い所に)ある社

For 1) I'm translating as "Shrine located in a place which is near to the mountains." i.e the place is near the mountains but not in the mountains.

For 2) I'm translating as "Shrine which is located in a nearby place, and is located in the mountains." i.e. the nearby place is in the mountains.

Is the sentence ambiguous or is one of these obviously wrong? And why?

I'm guessing at option 1) since I'm not sure you can have the structure AにBにある. But I think many shrines are located in the mountains so 2) seems possible.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This sentence should be parsed like option 1. Grammatically, it's very similar to a sentence like

(私は)駅に近い所に住んでいる (I live in a place that is near the station)

I think it can't be the option 2 because you would need to have 近い before the part about 山に. So something like 近い山にある

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.