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16 votes
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Are Japanese modifiers "greedy", "anti-greedy", or do they mean whatever people choose them to mean?

Unfortunately, there is no easy and clear rule to determine which parsing strategy is correct. The general rule is "Choose the shortest and simplest parsing strategy as long as it makes sense". It ...
naruto's user avatar
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11 votes
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まず、体を冷たくするスプレーを服を着た人形にかけました。

First of all, to answer the unasked question, this usage of を is acceptable. In English, as you are no doubt aware, sometimes we need a phrase to describe our nouns. For example: This is an air ...
ajsmart's user avatar
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10 votes
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How to say "that" as in "the cow that ate" in Japanese?

In addition to naruto's answer, I'd like to point out that the relative clause "that" that's used in English (even in this very sentence) doesn't exist in Japanese, simply because the ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
8 votes
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Meaning of もの in this title/name

[時]{とき}を[食]{く}らうもの, which is translated as "Time Devourer" As @bjorn says in the comment, the もの can be [者]{もの} "person/someone", as well as [物]{もの} "thing/object/something". It's (perhaps ...
chocolate's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is 誰か行きたい人 a form of double-headed relative clause?

I'd say it's not a double-headed relative clause, because it's actually 誰か[[[行きたい]人]いる]? That is to say, 誰か is modifying the full predicate of 「行きたい人いる?」. You can scramble to 「行きたい人誰かいる?」, which ...
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
8 votes

The meaning of ”あれは魔術師に与えられた祝福”

あれは魔術師に与えられた祝福(だ) is ambiguous. That is a blessing given to a sorcerer. (the same as あれは魔術師へ与えられた祝福だ, which is unambiguous) That is a blessing given by a sorcerer. (the same as あれは魔術師{から/より}与えられた祝福だ, ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes
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Can aru be used as an adjective?

Here ある is modifying 人材 as a relative clause. A very literal translation of 才能(が)ある人材 is "human resource where talent exists". ある is not the only verb that "works like an adjective"...
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is 猫 at the end of this sentence "目の色が違う猫"

目の色が違う猫 Here, Spanish is in an opposite order to Japanese. Where in Spanish you might say "Un gato con ojos de colores diferentes" (A cat with different colored eyes), Japanese normally places its ...
psosuna's user avatar
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7 votes
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Does 考えさせられる小説 make sense?

考えさせられる小説 is a correct Japanese expression, and it indeed means "a novel that makes you think (deeply)." (Note that させる/させられる is not necessarily forcible. The use of "force" is too strong.) ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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日本語における relative clause (関係詞節?) とは?

日本語にも関係節にあたるものは存在します。日本人が関係節を意識しないのは、単純にネイティブスピーカーは母語の文法なんて意識せずに使っているからです(特別なトレーニングを受けていない英語のネイティブスピーカーは a と the の区別をうまく説明できません)。Googleで検索しても日本語文法の情報が上位にヒットしないのは、...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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is this sentence gramatically correct? "ano ko ga futteita makka na sukaafu"

To add to psosuna's answer, it's worth noting that the line in question is not a sentence, grammatically speaking. It is a noun phrase, with スカーフ as the main or "head" noun and the preceding portions ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
6 votes
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Help understanding 警察犬をクビになったわんこ

Consider the comment by @jogloran 警察犬 and わんこ are not necessarily identical. If we were to literally translate 「警察犬をクビになったわんこ」, then we would have something along the lines of "dog that became fired ...
binom's user avatar
  • 140
6 votes
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What's the grammar behind ヤカンのある部屋?

The grammar behind this is explained in this question, although you may already know this: How does the の work in 「日本人の知らない日本語」? I personally think this sentence is perfectly fine and natural ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

Relative Clause Ambiguous

Japanese relative clauses are much simpler than the English equivalent, in that they do not specify the grammatical role of the modified noun using relative pronouns such as "where". They work by ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 320k
6 votes

まず、体を冷たくするスプレーを服を着た人形にかけました。

を is the object marker. 体を冷たくするスプレー is a noun phrase. 服を着た人形 is also a noun phrase. The basic structure of this sentence is AをBにかける. If you think A is 体を冷たくするスプレー and B is 服を着た人形 , the sentence is ...
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
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6 votes
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Clarification about how 惚れた should be translated

In this context, 惚れた女 clearly means "the woman whom he fell in love with" rather than "the woman who fell in love with someone". The subject of 惚れる is 男. Grammatically, this is an innate ambiguity of ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Nominalized verb and connection to noun after が particle

I think you've misunderstood the sentence because of the ambiguities in the form Aが好きなBだ. For example, 犬が好きな人だ can mean both that (I am) a person that likes dogs as well as (I am) a person that ...
Ringil's user avatar
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6 votes
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Will expression retain the same definition if particle is changed?

声を出す cannot take another object because 声 itself is the object of this transitive verb. What is said as a word is not important. 声に出す is an "incomplete" expression because it lacks a direct object. ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

Using prepositions in relative clauses?

Anyway, is this right? Unfortunately, no. The particle you need is を, not に. 下に would mean downwards. Making sense of transitive usage of 行く and 来る - 「を行く」 and 「を来る」 この道をまっすぐ行ってください。 Why を and not で?...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Object of a sentence ambiguity

This sentence can either mean "The one I want to protect is you" or it can mean "the one who wants to protect (someone else) is you". Yes, it can mean both. Any way to distinguish besides context? ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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Ambiguity when describing with verbs, e.g. 酒を飲ませる人

Yes, 酒を飲ませる人 is ambiguous. In general, this ambiguity can happen in Japanese relative clauses typically when a verb takes two or more human arguments (~が, ~に, ~を, etc). Here are similar questions: ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

Mixed modifiers with a noun

I think you can do it but it can get tricky when chaining multiple modifiers. There’s a famous garden-path sentence demonstrating this ambiguity in Japanese: 頭が赤い魚を食べた猫 It can be parsed in at least ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
5 votes
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Can 向こうに in 向こうに大きなビルが見える also be interpreted as a relative clause?

It's impossible to parse it as a relative clause because there is only one verb/adjective (ie, 見えます) in the whole sentence. As a rule, each sub-clause must have a verb/adjective. So the real question ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can 私の手伝いをするの mean "the help I do"?

One exception of so-called "ga-no conversion" is that you cannot use の in place of が if there is を. Such ~の will be taken not as the subject but as a modifier of the object marked with を. According to ...
naruto's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can a question directly modify a noun?

No, this 桜の花が今年いつごろ咲くか doesn't modify 発表 but the predicate. か-ending clause has not only function as nominal clause, but as adverbial too. Thus, 桜の花が今年いつごろ咲くか発表がありました。 An announcement was made ...
broccoli forest's user avatar

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