What is the subject of this following sentence:実際問題として、不倫が原因で家庭が崩壊したり、離婚に至る例も少なくないです。


Can it be 不倫の原因で家庭が崩壊したり? What's the main clause and what is a subordinate clause?


Posted 2011-08-05T07:06:48.560

Reputation: 389



The subject is


The main clause is your whole citation.

The subordinate clause is:


which is an object/complement of .


is further a subordinate clause of this clause.


Posted 2011-08-05T07:06:48.560


What is the grammatical structure of 不倫が原因で家庭が崩壊したり? Can it be 不倫の原因で家庭が崩壊したり? – Steven – 2011-08-05T07:30:01.423

不倫が原因で is a clause modifying 家庭が崩壊したり、離婚に至る. In this case, is attached to a clause 不倫が原因 instead of a noun. – None – 2011-08-05T07:34:59.307


I break it down like this:


  • Clause: 実際問題として

    This is just setting the scene.

  • Topic phrase: 不倫が原因で家庭が崩壊したり、離婚に至る例も

    • The head of the noun phrase is 例. (Technically も is the head of the topic phrase, but we will ignore that to simplify matters.)

    • Complement clause: 不倫が原因で家庭が崩壊したり、離婚に至る

      • Clause: 不倫が原因で

      • Clause: 家庭が崩壊したり

      • Main verb phrase: 離婚に至る

  • Main predicate: 少なくないです

I think this is a nice example of a quintessentially Japanese pattern of sentence construction: the bulk of the sentence is a large topic phrase containing a complex relative clause modifying a noun, and the actual comment is just a simple verb.

Zhen Lin

Posted 2011-08-05T07:06:48.560

Reputation: 4 982


  • 実際問題として is not a clause. It is a postposition phrase. 2. Calling as a topic marker is at least not standard. is rather close to a focus marker. 3. 不倫が原因で家庭が崩壊したり、離婚に至る is not a relative clause as there is no gap that can fill in. 4. 少なくないです is the main predicate + conjugation, but is not a verb.
  • < – None – 2011-08-05T07:41:30.160

    @sawa: I did say it was my analysis. (I'm not a trained linguist.) 1. I think it is a clause, because it is a conjunctive form of the sentence 「実際問題とする」. I would also call it a clause even if it were 「……とすると」 instead. But I don't disagree that it is a postposition phrase. (The question then is, what is the head of this PP, として, or null?) 2. I agree. I'm not sure how to describe も succinctly, but it seems to me to function syntactically enough like は. 3. Hmmm. Yes, that does seem to be a problem. I tend to automatically call clauses using a 連体形 to modify a noun a relative clause. [...] – Zhen Lin – 2011-08-05T07:48:57.483

    What do you suggest this should be called instead? 4. Calling it a verb is indeed a simplification. On the other hand I don't want to call it a verb phrase (even though it is). What should it be called? – Zhen Lin – 2011-08-05T07:49:39.077


  • The head is として. 3. Just call it a clause. More precisely, this is a complement clause. 4. Call it a predicate.
  • < – None – 2011-08-05T13:37:02.787