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Why is 積もる (base form) used in 彼女は積もる恨みを述べたてた。 ?

Davide92

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Hello,

why is the dictionary form of 積もる used in 彼女は積もる恨みを述べたてた。? This sentence is from goo辞書. They translate it as: "She gave full vent to her 「pent-up resentments [store of grudges].".

I'd expect 積もった or 積もっていた instead. I know that sometimes in novels and such the present is used instead of the past to give vividness to the story, but I don't think this is the case here as the main clause has a past tense.

Also, it seems clear that the order of events is 1) She repressed her anger 2) She vented it.

Is this a usage I'm not aware of? Is this somehow related to this thread Non-past verbs in past から clauses ?

Thanks!
 

bentenmusume

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First, to start off, there's one fundamental point. Japanese tense isn't "past" and "present" the way we understand it in English, but rather "perfect" and "imperfect".

"What's the difference?", you might say. The difference is that past/present focuses on whether on not an action occurred at a previous point in the timeline with respect to now. Perfect/imperfect specifies whether or not the action was complete or not from the given point in time. When you see a "past tense" (actually perfect) verb in Japanese, think "complete (finished) action". When you see a "present tense" (imperfect) one, think "incomplete (ongoing) action".

This is why Japanese tenses can sometimes function in ways that are unintuitive to native English speakers. You can get sentences like:

インターネット通信販売サイトを利用した詐欺にご注意ください!

You might think, "Why is it past tense? It even hasn't happened yet!" But the idea is, by the time is becomes a case of fraud (i.e. one that you can and should watch out for) the "using" of the net shopping site on the part of the perpetrator has already happened.

The same goes for something like:

沖縄旅行に行く時に買いました。

...which has a similar meaning to 「沖縄旅行に行く前に買いました。」It suggests that you bought something (i.e. a new bathing suit) before/as you were about to go on the trip.

So, what does that mean for the example you gave?

彼女は積もる恨みを述べたてた。

Here, you can interpret the sentence in question simply as having the nuance that the grudges hadn't finished piling up, but were still in the process of piling up when she vented them all out. (Note too that while you say "she repressed her anger", 積もる isn't a transitive verb meaning "to repress" like the English, but rather an intransitive verb meaning "to accumulate". It's the same verb used to talk about snow accumulating.) It's not that 積もっていた would be wrong per se, it would just give it a different nuance, i.e. that they'd already piled up and that was that.
 

Davide92

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Thank you so much Bentenmusume-san! This isn't very intuitive, your examples really helped.

I think the issue is further complicated by the ている form, which can express action in progress, a resulting state, in some cases habitual aspect...

According to my grammar book, a sentence with a verb expressing change such as 時代は変化している is fundamentally ambiguous and allows for two interpretations: action in progress or resulting state.

From what I understand, and plese correct me if I'm wrong, such ambiguity also exists with the ていた form, so 時代は変化していた could mean 'The times were changing' (action in progress in the past) or 'The times had changed' (a result in the past).

Going back to my original sentence, I would like to try and compare a few variations. I'll try my best to make sense of them, based on my (still poor) understanding.

A few different forms of 積もる, main clause in the past:

1 彼女は積もる恨みを述べたてた
2 彼女は積もっている恨みを述べたてた
3 彼女は積もった恨みを述べたてた
4彼女は積もっていた恨みを述べたてた

Same forms as above for 積もる, main clause with verb in dictionary form. Let's assume the main clause expresses a future action (she will give full vent..):

5 彼女は積もる恨みを述べたてる
6 彼女は積もっている恨みを述べたてる
7 彼女は積もった恨みを述べたてる
8彼女は積もっていた恨みを述べたてる

Same forms as above for 積もる, main clause expressing habitual action:

9 彼女は毎月積もる恨みを述べたてる
10 彼女は毎月積もっている恨みを述べたてる
11 彼女は毎月積もった恨みを述べたてる
12 彼女は毎月積もっていた恨みを述べたてる

As for 1-4, I now know that 1 and 4 are correct, and what the difference is (to quote from your post, 1 = 'the grudges hadn't finished piling up, but were still in the process of piling up when she vented them all out.' (ation not complete); 4 = 'they'd already piled up and that was that.' (action complete).

I wonder if 2 and 3 are also possible, and if the nuance would be different. I guess with 3 the focus would be more on the action/process of piling up (an action/process perceived as 'completed') and less on the resulting state of them being piled up.

5 and 7 look fine to me. Maybe 7 is the more temporally precise of the two (it reminds me a lot of your example about online scams). I think 8 is the strangest one here : 'she will give full vent to the resentments that had piled up'.

9 and 11 look fine to me. Maybe in 9 積もる could express habit just like the main verb (resentments that pile up periodically). 11 reminds me of your 'scam' example, just like 7. Finally, I think 12 is wrong. -ていた as subordinate verb is mostly used when the main clause is in the past, right?

One last question: I have so far assumed that 積もっている and 積もっていた express a resulting state . Could they also express action in progress (resentments that are/were piling up), just like in my 時代は変化している example?

I'm sorry this is so long! It's quite a broad topic - one I can't really get my head around. Any corrections / additional input to what I wrote are really appreciated.
 

Toritoribe

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Indeed it's related to から/ので you linked, or とき as bentenmusume-san mentioned. The temporal order of the two events differs depending on the type of the verbs(punctual, durative or state), both the modifying verb and main verb, not only the tense of them.
e.g.
走っている: on-going action
〇走る列車から飛び降りた。
×走った列車から飛び降りた。
〇走っている列車から飛び降りた。
〇走っていた列車から飛び降りた。

止まっている: resulting state
×止まる列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まった列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まっている列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まっていた列車から飛び降りた。

Back to your original examples, yes, 積もっている can be both on-going action and state.
e.g.
雪がどんどん積もっている。: on-going action
雪が30センチ積もっている。: resulting state

Therefore #1~4 are all correct. The difference indeed exists among them, as you wrote, but I think it would be subtle.
As for #8 and 12, they can be correct. 積もっていた恨み would refer to "action that was completed in the past". The word order 恨みを毎月述べたてる is more appropriate for a habitual action of 述べたてる, though.
 

healer

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走っている: on-going action
〇走る列車から飛び降りた。
×走った列車から飛び降りた。
〇走っている列車から飛び降りた。
〇走っていた列車から飛び降りた。
Do I understand correctly that the last two have the same meaning? While the main action is in the past the verb describing the train could be either ている or ていた. If it is 飛び降りる instead of 飛び降りた then 走っている only can be used, can’t it?

What could be the difference between 走る列車 and 走っている列車 in this case? Could they be identical without any subtle difference?

止まっている: resulting state
×止まる列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まった列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まっている列車から飛び降りた。
〇止まっていた列車から飛び降りた。
I guess 止まった列車 and 止まっている列車 and 止まっていた列車 are all identical in meaning here since 止まる is a punctual verb. Am I right?
 

Toritoribe

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Do I understand correctly that the last two have the same meaning? While the main action is in the past the verb describing the train could be either ている or ていた. If it is 飛び降りる instead of 飛び降りた then 走っている only can be used, can’t it?

What could be the difference between 走る列車 and 走っている列車 in this case? Could they be identical without any subtle difference?
走る, 走っている and 走っていた are the same in meaning in this example. If the main verb is 飛び降りる, 走った and 走っていた can be interpreted that the action 走る is completed before 飛び降りる, i.e., the train will already stop at the time (when the subject will jump off). Sounds a bit awkward, though.

As I wrote in my previous post, the temporal order of the two events differs depending not only on the tense of the verbs. What the verbs express, i.e., the context also affects the meaning.
e.g.
A. 東京大阪間を走る列車を修理した。
走る is a habitual action or future, i.e., repair --> run. Notice that this 走る can be past ("run" before it's written/said).

B. 東京大阪間を走った列車を修理した。
走った is a completed action. The temporal order is run --> repair.

C. 東京大阪間を走っている列車を修理した。
走っている is a habitual or on-going action.

D. 東京大阪間を走っていた列車を修理した。
走っていた is a habitual, on-going or completed action.

I guess 止まった列車 and 止まっている列車 and 止まっていた列車 are all identical in meaning here since 止まる is a punctual verb. Am I right?
Yes.
 

healer

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Notice that this 走る can be past ("run" before it's written/said).
You seemed to say something different or in addition, which I'm not sure, from the next example you gave.
Are you saying that 東京大阪間を走った列車を修理した which had run before repair as you wrote can also simply mean the run had happened before this sentence was said without suggesting whether the run was before the repair?

東京大阪間
How to read 間 here?
I've found あいだ and あわい for space between, gap, interval, distance while ま for time, pause, space, room.
The suffix かん seems to be for interval and period of time only.
 

Toritoribe

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You seemed to say something different or in addition, which I'm not sure, from the next example you gave.
Are you saying that 東京大阪間を走った列車を修理した which had run before repair as you wrote can also simply mean the run had happened before this sentence was said without suggesting whether the run was before the repair?
I meant "past action/tense" by "past", not "past form". It has nothing to do with 東京大阪間を走った列車を修理した.
Also, "future" doesn't mean "not run yet when it's written/said". It means "run is done after(= future of) repair".

How to read 間 here?
かん

The suffix かん seems to be for interval and period of time only.
No, that's wrong.
 

healer

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I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Just in case I don’t get to talk to you again before Christmas.

メリークリスマス
明けましておめでとうございます
 

bentenmusume

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Just FYI, 明けましておめでとうございます isn't said until after the New Year has actually arrived.
Wishing someone a happy new year in advance is usually expressed as よいお年を (short for よいお年をお迎えください).

Also, in case you didn't know, for the vast majority of Japan (there are some Japanese Christians, but they're a minority), Christmas isn't really the major holiday it is in the West. It's more like a winter version of Valentine's day where couples go out for romantic dinners.

(I realize this isn't particularly relevant to this thread, but I thought you might be interested in knowing.)
 

healer

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明けましておめでとうございます
Thanks for the info! I’m glad you let me know what it’s like in Japan. Learning about the culture I believe is equally important. Though it is more important to focus on the language at this stage. When I looked up the dictionary I saw so many ways of saying good wishes in Japan for the New Year. I used 明けましておめでとうございます because that is taught in a textbook and I didn’t know that is only used when the new year arrives. Here in Australia or even in other Asian countries they all celebrate Christmas and New year whether one is Christian or not, including Chinese or other Asians who usually celebrate Lunar New Year. I was surprised to learn that Japanese people celebrate New Year on the western calendar not the lunar calendar.
 

Davide92

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Thanks Toritoribe-san and Bentenmusume-san, as well as Healer-san for asking some of the questions I wanted to ask myself! I'm sorry for the late reply, these have been busy days. I read your replies but I will read them again more carefully and let you know if I understand everything. I hope you enjoy this festive period!
 
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