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くらいなら

UsoToChinmoku

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何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にするくらいなら
諦めて捨ててしまうのだろう
今 手にしている関係さえも

I'm a bit confused regarding the usage of くらいなら here. This structure is usually used to express "I'd rather", right? For example 屈服するくらいなら死ぬ.

According to goo:

(多く「くらいなら」の形で)事実・状態を示して、程度を軽いもの、または重いものとして強く主張する意を表す。「簡単に否決される―なら、提案しなければよかった」

So is it  軽いもの in this case? As in (いくつも犠牲にするくらいだけで済むなら)"if all it takes is to sacrifice a lot of things" So, even making a lot of sacrifices is trivial compared to the importance of protecting something?

1) "If in order to protect something all it takes is to make a lot of sacrifices, you'll even give up on and throw away my current relationships."?

Or is it 重いもの:
2) "You'd rather just give up and throw away even your current relationships than sacrifice so much in order to protect something"

Can it be interpreted both ways depending on the context?
 
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Toritoribe

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#2 is the only correct interpretation. (The subject can be I, he, she or they depending on the context, though.)
 

UsoToChinmoku

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(I messed up the pronouns a bit in 1) *your current relationships)

But according to goo the ぐらいなら structure can be used to express the extent as both 軽いもの and 重いもの.  For example:
金を貸すぐらいならいくらでも貸してやる。
話ぐらいならいくらでも聞く。

So why is the 1st interpretation invalid? Because いくつも emphasizes that it's not a 軽いもの?
 
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UsoToChinmoku

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Sorry for double posting, can't edit anymore.

Forgot to ask: so what is the modifier of くらいなら ? 「何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にする」 or just 「いくつも犠牲にする」?
I mean the 2nd and 3rd lines are still about 何かを守るために or is it strictly limited to the first line?
((何かを守るために)今 手にしている関係さえも諦めて捨ててしまうのだろう)?

1) She gives up on current relationships (instead of sacrificing a lot of things) TO protect something?
Or
2)She gives up on current relationships so that she doesn't need to protect something that would cause a lot of sacrifices?

#1 makes more sense :/
 
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Toritoribe

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That's 「何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にする」くらいなら because of 守るために (or the position of なら). 何かを守るためなら is more common when 何かを守る is the main purpose.

Notice that two different things are compared in your example sentence. In this case, the main clause is always worth than the clause preceding くらい.

簡単に否決されるくらいなら、提案しなければよかった。
(提案しない is better than (提案して)簡単に否決される.)

彼に金を貸すぐらいならドブに捨てた方がいい。
(ドブに捨てる is better than 彼に金を貸す.)

話すくらいなら死ぬ。
(死ぬ is better than 話す.)

いくつも犠牲にするくらいなら諦めて捨ててしまうだろう。
(諦めて捨ててしまう is possible than いくつも犠牲にする.)

When くらい is attached to a noun, as in 話ぐらいならいくらでも聞く, it can't have this meaning. As for 金を貸すぐらいならいくらでもしてやる, the two clauses are talking about the same thing, not comparing two different things.
 

UsoToChinmoku

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Thank you for the detailed explanation.

So to reiterate: when ぐらい(なら) is attached to verb clause where no comparison is made or a noun it always expresses understatement/trivialization as in 程度を軽いものとして主張する, and when it is attached to a verb clause where different things are being compared it always expresses "I'd rather~" as in 程度を重いものとして主張する. Right?

OK, so it's clear to me now that the sentence means 諦めて捨ててしまう is better than いくつも犠牲にする. But I'm still confused about whether it's:

1)何かを守るために諦めて捨ててしまう
or simply
2)諦めて捨ててしまう for the sake of avoiding the whole 「何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にする」?

She'd rather protect "something" using one method (諦めて捨てる) instead of another (犠牲にする)?
Or
She'd rather not protect "something" (which would result in sacrifice) so she throws the relationship(s) away?

Since you said that 「何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にする」 is the modifier, that means 「何かを守るために」 is limited to the first clause and is not related to the 2nd clause directly? Which means it's #2?
 

Toritoribe

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So to reiterate: when ぐらい(なら) is attached to verb clause where no comparison is made or a noun it always expresses understatement/trivialization as in 程度を軽いものとして主張する, and when it is attached to a verb clause where different things are being compared it always expresses "I'd rather~" as in 程度を重いものとして主張する. Right?
When two different things are compared, なら can't be omitted since the meaning is from なら. Instead, くらい can be omitted.

○簡単に否決されるなら、提案しなければよかった。
×簡単に否決されるくらい、提案しなければよかった。

○彼に金を貸すならドブに捨てた方がいい。
×彼に金を貸すぐらいドブに捨てた方がいい。

○話すなら死ぬ。(This sentence also can have other meanings, e.g., 話してくれたら死ぬ.)
×話すくらい死ぬ。

○いくつも犠牲にするなら諦めて捨ててしまうだろう。
×いくつも犠牲にするくらい諦めて捨ててしまうだろう。

In contrast, なら can be omitted from 話ぐらいならいくらでも聞く and 金を貸すぐらいならいくらでもしてやる.

○話ぐらいいくらでも聞く
○話ならいくらでも聞く
(The nuance is different between these sentences, but the meaning is basically the same.)

○金を貸すぐらいいくらでもしてやる
×金を貸すならいくらでもしてやる(This sentence is valid, but the meaning is completely different from the original.)

And see how 金を貸すこと changes the meaning.
○金を貸すことぐらいならいくらでもしてやる
○金を貸すことぐらいいくらでもしてやる
○金を貸すことならいくらでもしてやる

EDIT:
I found that 大辞林 has more detailed explanation. 話ぐらいならいくらでも聞く and 金を貸すぐらいならいくらでもしてやる are the definition #2.

くらい
2 ある事柄を示し,その程度が軽いもの,弱いものとして表す。 「酒-飲んだっていいよ」 「ご飯-たけるよ」
5 ある事柄を示し,それがひどく悪いもの,嫌うべきものとして表す。「くらいなら」の形をとることが多い。 「降参する-なら死んだ方がましだ」
くらい(くらい)とは - コトバンク

Incidentally, なら in 話ぐらいなら and 金を貸すことぐらいなら is this なら.
なら
[副助]《断定の助動詞「なり」の未然形から》体言に付く。話題となるものを取り上げて示す。…について言えば。「母―間もなく帰ると思います」
なら[副助並助]の意味 - 国語辞書 - goo辞書

Since you said that 「何かを守るためにいくつも犠牲にする」 is the modifier, that means 「何かを守るために」 is limited to the first clause and is not related to the 2nd clause directly?
Yes.
 
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UsoToChinmoku

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Once more, thank you for the detailed break-down/explanation.

And see how 金を貸すこと changes the meaning.
○金を貸すことぐらいならいくらでもしてやる
○金を貸すことぐらいいくらでもしてやる
○金を貸すことならいくらでもしてやる

Are all of them supposed to be different from the verb versions? Because I only notice a difference between:

金を貸すことならいくらでもしてやる ≠ 金を貸すならいくらでもしてやる - The first なら just 話題となるものを取り上げる and the second is a conditional.

But the other examples are the same, no?

金を貸すことぐらいならいくらでもしてやる = 金を貸すぐらいならいくらでもしてやる
金を貸すことぐらいいくらでもしてやる = 金を貸すぐらいいくらでもしてやる
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, the meanings of all those こと examples are the same. I meant 金を貸すこと can never be conditional even with なら, unlike 金を貸す. (金を貸すぐらいのこと sounds more natural, though.)
 
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