Why do these two sentences take different particles (に and で) despite being broadly similar?

Japanese Language Asked by nath9 on October 25, 2021



These two sentences (which are not in sequence) come from a text from the Tobira Gateway to Advanced Japanese textbook. They both seem broadly similar to me in structure, therefore I don’t understand why 日本人の会話 takes に, while 日本語の会話 takes で as particle.

I’m unsure if the difference come from the particles themselves or from 見られる. I had supposed maybe they used different particles because in the first one, the passive 見られる has 日本人の会話 as indirect object, and in the second one, 日本語の会話で is used with a potential 見られる, and japanese conversations are where 文の倒置 can bee seen. But I believe my logic might be overly complicated.

I have seen other questions in regards to に and で and their differences, and I do think I comprehend how they differ when it comes to "action happening in physical location", but as this isn’t the case, I could not figure it out more from those questions.

So, why do they take different particles, despite the structure of these sentences being seemingly close to each other?

One Answer

In the above two cases, 「に」and「で」are exchangeable with very little changes in nuance. You can say 「日本人の会話では下の例のように...」or「日本語の会話には、文の倒置も...」.

When you say「AにはB」, you are just describing that A has the attribute B. On the other hand, by saying「AではB」, you are distinguishing A from other subjects by the fact B is established in A.

If you think that "「~けど」や「~から」や「し」..." is a property unique to 「日本人の会話」 and not the property of such as「フランス人の会話」,「中国人の会話」and so on, you could say 「日本人の会話では...」. However, you don't need to distinguish 「日本人の会話」by "「〜けど」...", because「〜けど」is Japanese and already unique to the Japanese language. I think this is because simply「には」is used.

On the other hand,「文の等置も見られます」may be applicable to other languages and in such a case, you may use「では」if you want to distinguish 「日本語の会話」from others. When you just want to say that inversion often appears in Japanese conversations, you can say 「日本語の会話には、...」.

Answered by Yuto Ichinohe on October 25, 2021

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