I feel like I’m missing something obvious, but I haven’t made progress on my own. Why does one of these use 隣の町, and the other 隣町?
Is there some reason 隣の町 is inappropriate in the second example? Or the other way around? Is there something significant going on with adjective vs noun here I don’t understand yet, or is it just choice of words?
Perfectly happy to accept reading material as an answer
Preemptively calling myself stupid because it is going to be something simple like “There is no reason. It just sounds natural, and you have to figure out when to use one or the other through exposure alone.”
That’s what I meant with a difference in tone. Of course the comparison doesn’t 100%, but in Japanese it is not completely ridiculous to 隣の町. Maybe a fancy person would say 隣町, while your loose and cool friend with sunglasses might say 隣の町.
To me this is however complete conjecture and I have no idea if this is correct.
I asked my girlfriend, and she said that if there’s a difference in usage or nuance, it’s not large enough that she’s consciously aware of it.
That was my initial thought as well, since both words are kunyomi. So it’s not like 隣の人 and 隣人, which sound quite different in register despite being essentially equivalent in meaning (with regard to a neighbor).