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#1 2010-07-18 22:53:47

xelxebar
Member

と As an adverbial?

Hello,

I know this has been talked about a few times before; however, may I ask for a bit of clarification in some example sentences?

夏目の文:腕組をして枕元に座っていると、仰向に寝た女が、静かな声でもう死にますと言う。

私の文:私は扇風機の前に座っていると、千さんは元気かな、何をしているかなと考えています。

So the first sentence is Written by 夏目漱石 in part of the opening lines to his short story 第一夜. The second is my own. In Sōseki's sentence, could you talk about how the と is being used? I have read about the adverbial と and thought I understood; however, when my Japanese friend read the second sentence, he understood the と to be the conditional ("if").

He said that the important thing was the differing subjects between the と clause and the rest. In Sōseki's sentence he is doing the sitting while the woman is doing the talking, and in my sentence I am doing both the sitting and thinking, which causes the problem. What is your input on this?

Could you also explain in general a bit about the adverbial と?

As a note, I think this と should be in the guide if indeed it is a different と.

よろしくお願いします。

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#2 2010-07-19 03:13:09

spin13
Member

Re: と As an adverbial?

腕組をして枕元に座っている、仰向に寝た女が、静かな声でもう死にます言う。

In this example, the first と is conditional, the second と is adverbial (quotation).

While grammarians, Japanese or otherwise, may break these down differently, I see there being three と's.

The first is the inclusive と.  It is used in inclusive lists and to indicate with whom something is done.  It attaches to nouns.

The second is the conditional と.  It expresses natural consequences.  It attaches to verbs.

The third is the multipurpose adverbial と.  Tae Kim talks about it as the subordinating と, breaking it down to the direct and interpreted quotation particle.  He goes on to describe how と+いう can define and describe things.

When you get into the details, this と isn't always making things an adverb, but in a general sense it allows any word, phrase, or clause to modify a different part of the sentence.  Even direct and interpreted quotes in some way describe the how or what of their respective verbs (言う, 思う, etc.), which is the basic function of adverbs.  We also see と used as ~ように, directly attached to adverbs (ゆっくりと, 生き生きと), and in a host of other constructions such as: ~として、~へと~、~しようとする, and more.

If you want to be exact, maybe "adverbial と" is too broad, too general, but I think it makes things simpler.  Each construct has its nuances but grouping them all together allows us to look at sentences who's direct transliterations don't always make sense in a new way.

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#3 2010-07-19 04:10:13

xelxebar
Member

Re: と As an adverbial?

Thank you very much spin13.

That's sort of the understanding I had when my native Japanese speaker friend read these sentences. He said that he understands first と (I didn't even think about the second) in Sōseki's sentence not as a conditional but more along the lines of an adverbial. That's sort of where the hang up is for me.

Why then, in the second sentence (自分の文) is the same friend interpreting the と as the conditional? Or is the second sentence just terribly written all around?

よろしくお願いします

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#4 2010-07-19 04:56:34

spin13
Member

Re: と As an adverbial?

I still think Soseki's と is the conditional, but it's more "when" than "if."  It gives me the feeling of "I was sitting by the pillow when..." more so than "When I was sitting by the pillow..." 

I think who is thinking in your sentence is ambiguous.  Soseki's is not because he is using an implied subject and が, while you are using two は's.

Do keep in mind that Soseki wrote 100+ years ago.  The Japanese he uses is modern but still different from 21st century authors.  One simple example that comes to mind is his preference of へ where contemporary writers would use に.

EDIT: I'm going through my copy of 夢十夜 and things clicked when I came across the phrase すると, which functions exactly like the と in 坐っていると.  Looking it up, it's the 接続助詞「と」.  As I said, my "three と's" explanation is overly simple but I think it works as a stepping stone.

Reading on there are lots of other fun と's in even just 第一夜.  「じゃ、私の顔が見えるかいと一心に聞くと、見えるかいって、そら、そこに、写っているじゃありませんかと、にこりと笑って見せた。」 One sentence, 5 と's (if you also count って).

Last edited by spin13 (2010-07-19 05:09:32)

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#5 2010-07-19 05:38:07

irankarapte
Member

Re: と As an adverbial?

The Soseki's sentence is as spin13 said and not off from modern sense.

xerxeber wrote:

私は扇風機の前に座っていると、千さんは元気かな、何をしているかなと考えています。

He said that the important thing was the differing subjects between the と clause and the rest. In Sōseki's sentence he is doing the sitting while the woman is doing the talking, and in my sentence I am doing both the sitting and thinking, which causes the problem. What is your input on this?

If you fix the 座っていると, what your friend said is right. But if you fix the 私, you can say the problem is the 座っている. Though it's not a big deal to say terribly written all around.
If you change it to 座る, you get a correct sentence that says 'Each time I sit in front of the fan, I am thinking "is Sen_san fine, what is he doing?" '.

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#6 2010-07-19 08:16:24

xelxebar
Member

Re: と As an adverbial?

spin13さん、irankarapteさん、説明ありがとうございました。I feel a bit clearer about this now. spin13さん, isn't Sōseki enjoyable, though the stories are a bit dark.

May I give another shot at my sentence to see if I'm feeling it correctly?

私は扇風機の前に座っていると、千さん元気かな、何をしてるかな、という思考が頭をよぎります。

How's that? If it's still strange, would you mind providing an example? I'm shooting for something that feels kind of like like "Sitting in front of the fan, I'm wondering how you are doing and what you are up to." The "you" here being 千さん. Maybe this is better?

私は扇風機の前に座っていて、千さんは元気かな、何をしてるかな、と考えています。

However, that circumvents the whole me-trying-to-use-this-kind-of-と thing, so...

よろしくお願いします!

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