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Question 名詞文 Versus 動詞文

xminus1

Kouhai
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Hello, friends:

A chapter in my Minna reader contains a story about a Mr. Akashige, who is a collector of old clocks. The story is followed by several questions, among which are these:
赤繁さんはどうして時計を集めているのですか。​
赤繁さんはどうして手が痛いのですか。​
時計が鳴っても、耳が痛くならないのですか。​
These are very neat, compact constructions. I think the の is used here as a pronoun, the antecedent in the first two sentences being 赤繁さん. The 手 is implicity 赤繁さんの手, and the 耳 could be 赤繁さんの耳 from the context, but it could also possibly be a generic あなたの耳 or "anyone's ears".

Ok, so if my understanding is correct so far, I'd like to move on to my big question, it's one of sentence style/choice: why would the author prefer 名詞文 type sentences over 動詞文 sentences, such as "赤繁さんはどうして時計を集めていますか。Are 名詞文 more appropriate for point-form like questions or is there another interpretation in meaning?
 

Toritoribe

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の is the explanatory の, and どうして~のですか is the most common expression to ask the reason.

どうして can mean "how" in どうして時計を集めていますか, i.e., it's also used when asking the means/way(s) to collect clocks. どうやって is more common for this meaning, though.
 

xminus1

Kouhai
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Oh dear!! :eek:

It seems every time I come up with an elaborate alternative explanation for の, the correct explanation is always "explanatory の"! Sigh. Will I ever learn?

I hope this public shaming will force my mind from now on to see ~のです in the same way as ~んです. 🤯

Thank you for your patience, Toritoribe-san!
 
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