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I'm trying to figure out differences in meaning in nuance among all the ways to express X that Y.

As in:

こんなによく遅刻をするというのは問題ですよ。

"It's a problem that you're late this often," or "That you're late this often is a problem."

彼女が金を貸してくれたということは私は彼に信用されているということだ。

"The most interesting thing was that the main character was the criminal," or "That the main character was the criminal was the most interesting thing."

My questions:

  • Do these guidelines for choosing の/こと apply to the use of ということ and というの? If so, those guidelines don't seem to be followed in a lot of the example sentences I've read.
  • Am I overcomplicating this? I've read and heard suggestions it's as simple as: の and こと both correspond to "that" when used as complementizers, and the preceding という just serves to highlight or foreground the clause appearing before it. This answer seems to jive with that interpretation.
  • Building off the previous question, and at the risk of sounding like I'm requesting the shameful "word-for-word translation" -- could it be as simple as, こと and の (with their respective restrictions as nominalizers) correspond to "that," and という+nominalizer corresponds roughly to "the fact that"? As in: こんなによく遅刻をすることは... would mean that you are late this often..." and こんなによく遅刻をするということは... would mean the fact that you are late this often..." Is this correct?
  • Ultimately, what I'm trying to figure out is the differences in usage/meaning/nuance in the following sentences:

こんなによく遅刻をするというのは問題です。

こんなによく遅刻をするは問題です。

こんなによく遅刻をするということは問題です。

こんなによく遅刻をすることは問題です。

I know there must be a few dozen explanations on the internet, including a lot on stackexchange, but they often don't agree or they only cover phrases like "so that means..." rather than complementizers.

The most thorough explanation I've found is in the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar.

The way they it treat it is sort of convoluted, though.

Excerpt:

S to iu koto wa is used when the speaker / writer views the content of S at a
conceptual leve!・ Specifically, S to iu koto wa is used (1)when S is unlikely
or impossible (e.g・,KS(A) and Ex.(a)), or (2) when the speaker / writer
concludes or attempts to conclude s.t. from S (e.g., KS(B) and (C), and
Exs.(b)-(g))・
First, S koto cannot be used when S is unlikely to happen. In this case, S to
iu koto is used, as in [1].
[1]a.彼がこの集まりに来ない{という/*0 }ことは考えられない。
(=KS(A))
b.これだけ丁寧に説明すれば,分からない{という/*0! ことはあ
り得ない。(=Ex.(a))
Third, if S represents something likely to happen, both S koto and S to iu
koto are acceptable, as in [4], In this case the speaker / writer may view the
situation at either a concrete level or a conceptual level.
[4] 彼がこの集まりに来ない{0/という}ことは雜かだ。
(It is certain that he will not come to this meeting.)

I didn't see an explanation of exactly what the authors mean by "conceptual" and "concrete," and there doesn't seem to be a corresponding section for というの used to mean "that" or "the fact that."

Other explanations seem to disagree with the DIJG.

Interestingly, I've seen a number of questions on hinative about の/こと/というの/ということ used as complementizers, and a lot of the native answers are literally just "こと is natural." I feel like that has to be worth considering if it's straight from native speakers, but I wonder if it might fall short when you're trying to enable yourself to use Japanese for professional purposes in professional settings.

And then this answer from a native here on stackexchange suggests it's the other way around.

My current theory is that out of the examples above, こんなによく遅刻をするというのは問題です sounds most natural/is most grammatical because the addressee being late and that being a problem occur in concert (の) and because という foregrounds the phrase it nominalizes, which seems in keeping with the speaker's intent.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

1
+25

Do these guidelines for choosing の/こと apply to the use of ということ and というの? If so, those guidelines don't seem to be followed in a lot of the example sentences I've read.

In the sense that you should keep collocation with predicates, basically yes. In the sense that you can add という, no.

Am I overcomplicating this? I've read and heard suggestions it's as simple as: の and こと both correspond to "that" when used as complementizers, and the preceding という just serves to highlight or foreground the clause appearing before it. This answer seems to jive with that interpretation.

Technically yes, but practically, there's preference in usage depending on collocation.

  • 教えること:(1) things to teach (2) teaching / (the fact) that you teach

As long as the latter usage, it's semantically the same as 教えるということ. This is because the structure of AというB is interpreted as apposition. In this sense, you can say "technically yes". However, you practically don't really apply it to individual instances like こんなによく遅刻をするということ unless the predicate is the kind of …ということだ or …というわけだ meaning "(clause) means (clause)" or "you can infer that ... from the fact that ...".

And then this answer from a native here on stackexchange suggests it's the other way around.

You are applying it to a collocation with a different predicate.

こんなによく遅刻をするというのは問題です

This という seems a filler. In other words, it's more wordy than こんなによく遅刻をするのは問題です, which is the most plain and straightforward.

こんなによく遅刻をするということは問題です

As I said above, this could be a bit awkward, but we may say it nevertheless.

こんなによく遅刻をすることは問題です

This feels a bit more serious than 遅刻するのは for some reason.

S to iu koto wa is used when the speaker / writer views the content of S at a conceptual leve!

This seems to some extent reasonable.

[1]a.彼がこの集まりに来ない{という/*0 }ことは考えられない。

I disagree. φ seems fine to me.

これだけ丁寧に説明すれば,分からない{という/*0! ことはありえない

This is reasonable. φ seems to mean "there can't be anything unintelligible". Technically, という version can mean that too, though.

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  • Thanks for your reply. // So what I gather is that I cannot just add という to eitheror こと and expect similar meanings. I can add という to の or こと, but I need to keep in mind the rules for using one or the other. Am I correct? // I was surprised by this: "However, you practically don't really apply it to individual instances like こんなによく遅刻をするということ unless the predicate is the kind of …ということだ or …" Should I take this to mean that it's unnatural to use ということ unless it appears again later in the sentence? As in, "the fact that X means Y." But also that this is NOT the case with というの? Nov 27 '20 at 0:37
  • "This という seems a filler. In other words, it's more wordy than こんなによく遅刻をするのは問題です, which is the most plain and straightforward." Why is this wordy? Does という not add anything? // [1]a.彼がこの集まりに来ない{という/*0 }ことは考えられない → "I disagree. φ seems fine to me." Sorry, could you explain this a little more? // Thank you so much for your help. Nov 27 '20 at 0:37

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