What's new

eeky

先輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,431
Ratings
21
Hi,

スミス夫人は美人で有名だった。

In this sentence, how do we tell whether で means she was famous because of her beauty, or whether it is just a linking form of the copula, linking the two statements that (i) she was a beautiful person and (ii) she was famous?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,517
Ratings
1 237
I'm trying to think of some counter examples but I think when で is used like this there is always some implication of a causal relationship. All the generic linking forms that come to my mind have the meaning of "and then." You could say 彼はデブで早い for example but I don't think you'd normally hear that in real life but it's counter intuitive to the implied causal relationship. In this case, I'd probably say 彼はデブなのに早い.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
14,837
Ratings
2 1,539
~で有名 is a typical structure to express "to be famous because of~/to be well known as~". Plus, unlike 有名な歌手, 作家, 医者 or like that, which clearly states "well-known in the field", just 有名な人 is not so common. (有名人 would be used instead in that case.)

The reason デブで速い sonds awkward is because the relationship of the two words is actually an adversative conjunction "but nevertheless", not a natural conjunction "and then".
an example of で as "~ and then ..."
彼女は美人で聡明だった。
She was beautiful and intelligent.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
14,837
Ratings
2 1,539

eeky

先輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2010
Messages
2,431
Ratings
21
で is a conjugation of copula in my example sentence, but it's the particle to indicates the cause/reason/grounds/basis in the original one.
I think you may have mentioned before (correct me if I'm wrong) that these two meanings ultimately have the same etymology. Do they seem like "different words" to you, or is more like different shades of meaning/usage of what is fundamentally the same word? As usual, I'm sorry if I have asked a similar question before. I cannot always remember everything or locate particular threads.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
14,837
Ratings
2 1,539
Yes, the etymology is the same (particle に+ particle て). I, either, can't find the thread, though.
~で有名 works almost as a set phrase. For instance, 静かで有名な観光地 can mean both "because of" and "and then", but で requires that the preceding word must be a noun (静かなこと/ので有名 or 静かさで有名), so it's clearly recognized that this で is always the particle, and not the continuous usage of copula. Thus, they are different words in this case.
 
Top