I'm reading this story and am trying to understand the structure of this sentence:


In the second part, 話 is used with the direct object particle を as I would have expected. But in the first part, where I would also have expected 話をして, there's no を. Why is that? Apparently ばかり is also a particle (says this page) – does it displace を, like は sometimes does? But this page says that ばかり can be combined with が and を.

  • 2
    I think this possibly answers your question: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/3151
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 25 at 19:53
  • @EddieKal: The accepted answer there says that omitting particles makes a sentence informal. My impression (which may well be wrong) was that while the dialogue in the story is sometimes informal, the narration is formal. Would you say that the sentence I quoted is somewhat informal and would require を after 話 in formal language?
    – joriki
    Nov 26 at 19:30
  • 1
    I think ばかり is a particle in its own right, as you point out in the question, so it's somewhere between a simple case of particle dropping and a swap, which might contribute to its being less informal. I am under the impression that 自分の話をばかりする is less formal than 自分の話をばかりをする, but not exactly informal. That's just my opinion. I upvoted (+1) your question when I first read it because I wasn't 100% sure either.
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 26 at 19:39
  • 1
    @EddieKal: Thanks for the explanation! Did you mean to have two を in the second expression? Or did you mean just 自分の話ばかりをする? (I was under the impression that there can't be two を in a sentence.)
    – joriki
    Nov 26 at 19:44
  • Oh sorry, my bad. Nice catch! 自分の話ばかりをする is what I meant to say. I bungled it and accidentally put two を's when multitasking (juggling writing that comment with editing another post)
    – Eddie Kal
    Nov 26 at 19:53

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