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なく vs なくて

zuotengdazuo

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ある研究者が、約19万本のコガネグもの糸を束ねて、長さ約10cm、太さ2.6mmのロープを作り、それで直径約8cmの輪を作った。そして、この輪で気にハンモックをつり下げ、自ら乗ってみた。すると、ハンモックは落ちることもなく、ぶらんこのように揺らしても、糸は少し伸びただけだったと言う。

Hi. Can we replace the red part with なくて without changing the original meaning? If not, why?
Thank you.
 

bentenmusume

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This is an adverbial usage of ない ("without X"), so it becomes なく without the て.

なくて is of course also a valid grammatical structure, but this would be a continuative form, so the nuance would be "he didn't fall, and..."
 

Toritoribe

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As bentenmusume-san wrote, なくて is the continuous usage of the -te form. The meaning is not so significantly different between "he didn't fall, and the threads only stretched a bit" and "the threads only stretched a bit without his falling down".

Another reason is that なくて sounds more colloquial, and なく more fits to the academic writing style of the text. The same goes to 作り vs. 作って or つり下げ vs. つり下げて.

As for 束ねて, this is not just simply listing two actions "gathered spider's threads, and made a rope" but more likely "made a rope by gathering spider's threads", so 束ねて is more appropriate. 束ね can work there, as same as "なく vs. なくて", though.
 

zuotengdazuo

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Thank you both!
But I was told somewhere else that なくて doesn’t work in the op example because なくて means something like "because.. not..". This just doesn't fit well with the context.
Does this argument make sense?
 

Toritoribe

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The explanation you got is simply inaccurate. Indeed, ~なくて can express "because ~ not...", but it's not always so.

The main function of the -te form is to connect clauses mostly in the temporal order, and the meaning differs depending on the relation in meaning between the clauses. It might be just "and", it can indicate the cause/reason of the main clause, or even can be adversative conjunction "but".

The same goes to ~なくて.
e.g.
彼女は中国人ではなくて、韓国人です。

This なくて is not "because", and is interchangeable with なく.

The one who explained you might be confusing this なくて with "verb + なくて". "Verb + なくて" is often (in other words, not always) used to indicate the cause/reason.
e.g.
財布が見つからなくて、買い物ができなかった。

見つからなくて can be rephrased with 見つからなかったから/ので, and 見つからなく can't work here. Instead, 見つからず is used.


This is another example of the reliability of online resources. The answers you get from someone on the net (including my answers, of course) might not be always correct. You need to double-check it, as you did here. (You can show my answer to the person who explained なくて to you, and can ask what they think about it.)
 

Toritoribe

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A supplemental explanation:

Your example sentence ハンモックは落ちることもなく、ぶらんこのように揺らしても、糸は少し伸びただけだった expresses two different results of the experiment; 1)(研究者が自らハンモックに乗っても)ハンモックは落ちることもなかった, and 2)(ハンモックを)ぶらんこのように揺らしても、糸は少し伸びただけだった. Notice that the researcher just got on the hammock, and the hammock was not swung yet in #1. This is not mentioned, but the sentence suggests that the rope did not stretch just by getting on the hammock. Thus, なく is used just to connect two clauses like "and", so it can be rephrased to なくて without changing the meaning.

On the other hand, a sentence ハンモックをぶらんこのように揺らしても、落ちることもなく、揺れ続けた。 expresses a single action. なく indicates manner/state of the action "the hammock kept swinging in a manner/state of not falling (= without falling)" here. In this case, なくて is hardly used since なくて doesn't have this function.
cf.
箸を使うことなく、すしを食べた。(×箸を使うことなくて、すしを食べた。)
誰かに相談することもなく、家を出た。(×誰かに相談することもなくて、家を出た。)

The context is the key, as always.
 

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