Grammar · Japanese

Word Order in Japanese: Adverbs #2

This is a sequel to the previous entry.

We’ve talked about the first two rules in the previous entry.
Here is the third one:
An adverb should appear closer to the word(s) it is modifying. 

Let’s look at the first picture. (Click it to see a bigger picture.)

I used some dashed arrows with すこし, “a little”. It could come in the beginning if you want to emphasise it, but it is not very natural. It should come closer to the word “wine” or “drink” because it shows the amount of wine or how much you do the action.
It is not because that word is less important than the preceding words but because it has stronger connection to the latter words “wine” or “drink”.

Perhaps you may wonder why すこし can come before こうえん. Okay, let’s look at the second picture.

Grammatically speaking, the adjective form of すこし should be すこしの.
(e.g. すこしのワイン)
However, when used to modify a noun with a verb as in the sentences in the picture, すこし is more natural. This is because, in my personal sense of the language, the noun is perceived as a part of the predicative word-group. It can be said that “a little” is not modifying the noun “the park” but the phrase “to run in the park”.

The adjective すこしの sounds like a written word. We often omit particles in casual lines, and as for すこしの, it is natural to omit the の even in formal lines.

I hope this explanation makes sense!

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