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信じられないことに

zuotengdazuo

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声は素っ気ないままだったが、信じられないこと折紙が言葉を続けてきた。

Hi. Since 信じられないこと is the content of 言葉, I don’t understand why に is attached to 信じられないこと. What is the function of the に in red here?
Thank you.
 

Toritoribe

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信じられないこと is not the content of 言葉. ~ことに is attached to verbs/adjectives that express emotion, and is used to express previously what the speaker thinks about the following thing.
e.g.
驚いたことに
残念なことに
興味深いことに
恐ろしいことに
ありがたいことに

Some linguists call this に 注釈副詞, i.e., adverb for annotation, but this is not officially accepted. Anyway, ~ことに means "this (= what I'm going to say) is ~, but...", so it close to ~ことだが in meaning. Thus, your example means "this is unbelievable, but..."
 

zuotengdazuo

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e.g.
驚いたことに
残念なことに
興味深いことに
恐ろしいことに
ありがたいことに
Thank you. Yes, I know this usage. But my textbook only gives examples of ことに where there is a comma separating the ことに clause from the main clause. And it doesn’t say ない form can be used before ことに. I guess my textbook is not comprehensive enough to cover all the uses.
 

bentenmusume

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Thank you. Yes, I know this usage. But my textbook only gives examples of ことに where there is a comma separating the ことに clause from the main clause.
Japanese is not like English where the presence or absence of a comma can affect meaning or grammaticality. There is no such thing as a grammatically mandated comma in Japanese.

And it doesn’t say ない form can be used before ことに. I guess my textbook is not comprehensive enough to cover all the uses.
I'm assuming your book did show examples where ことに was modified by an -い adjective. Considering that ない form essentially functions as an -い adjective, I'm not sure why you'd assume it couldn't be used.
 
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