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~たり~たり without する

raikado

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Hello,

In the next paragraph, I encountered two instances of Aたり/Bたり/C, where the final verb doesn't end in ~たりする. I know this is usually the same thing as Aたり/Bたり/C(たりする), but according to this (mirka's answer), it can also be Aたり/Bたり(するなど)/C. (or Aたり/Bたり(して)/C)

The text is:
しかし、今まで私がかまっていない間は家の中をウロウロしたり漠然と時間をつぶしていたアゲハだったが、最近私のそばを離れようとしなくなってしまった。私がアゲハに構わずパソコンに向かったり作業をしている間もずっと私の傍で私を観察している。 (アゲハ is the name of some alien-looking thing that the speaker ended up taking care of)

How are the two AたりB in my example interpreted?
The first one (ウロウロしたり漠然と時間をつぶしていた) seems to be ウロウロしたりして漠然と時間をつぶしていた.
The second one (パソコンに向かったり作業をしている) seems like it could be both パソコンに向かったりして作業をしている and パソコンに向かったり作業をしたりしている. The guy works from home, so the former one makes more sense to me.
 
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Mike Cash

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You may also have noticed that they are not 〜たり 〜たり but simply a single 〜たり.

This is a rather common usage. It is entirely possible I just noticed it not that long ago, but I think it is something which has come into increased usage over the last few years. It is essentially just a throwaway filler, similar to "you know", "and stuff", etc in English. In Japanese, just as in any other language, probably, there are periodic changes in popular speech patterns, phrases, vocabulary, etc. (Consider the number of English speakers who can't open their mouths without "So..." flying out or who are constantly over/mis-using "obviously").

What you're seeing here is related to the 〜たり〜たりする construction that we learn, but is just "and stuff" meaningless fluff that can safely be ignored for the most part.
 

raikado

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Something like this?

今まで私がかまっていない間は家の中をウロウロしたり漠然と時間をつぶしていたアゲハだった = "Until now, when I wasn't giving her attention, she was randomly killing time (walking aimlessly around the house and stuff like that)"
私がアゲハに構わずパソコンに向かったり作業をしている間 = "While I was working without paying her attention (working at the computer and stuff) ..."

The point that I am focusing on is that the action before ~たり is an example of what comes after ~たり. I added the brackets just to make this clear.
 

Mike Cash

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I believe you have it correct.
 
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