Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Story from 宇治拾遺物語 (Part 2)

此児、「定めて驚かさんずらん」と待ちゐたるに、僧の、「物申しさぶらはむ。驚かせ給へ」といふを、うれしとは思へ ども、「ただ一度にいらへんも、待ちけるかともぞ思ふ」とて、「今一声呼ばれていらん」と念じて寝たるたり程に、「や、な起し奉りそ。幼き人は寝入り給ひ にけり」といふ声のしければ、あなわびしと思ひて、「今一度起せかし」と思ひ寝に聞けば、ひしひしとただ食ひに食ふ音のしければ、ずちなくて、無期の後 に、「えい」といらへたりければ、僧たち笑ふ事限りなし。

This acolyte waited, thinking that certainly they'd rouse him, when he heard a monk say "Let's call 'hello' to him to wake him up." He was happy, but, thinking to himself "If I answer after just one call, they'll think I was waiting. I'll answer after they call again," he just stuck it out and continued to pretend to sleep. Then, when he heard a voice say, "Don't wake him up. The kid fell asleep on us," he thought he was in a bad spot. "Wake me up again," he was thinking as he continued to sleep and listen hopefully. Then there was a "chomp chomp" sound. With no choice left and having waited so long, he answered, "Yes?" The monks all laughed without stopping.
I broke down and found a modern Japanese translation of this to sankou suru. This part has some real marathon sentences as well which I just had to chop up to get semi-readable English. Can anyone tell me how this しければ works?


Azuma said...

A quick one before I run off to school this fine...Sunday.
しければ is す + けり + ば(已然形), thus,
"声のしければ"= "when a voice did (i.e. said) ..."
The の here is like modern が, subject marker.

amida said...

D'oh! Of course-- thanks. I got confused by thinking of the modern "kereba." Maybe someone can tell me what that derived from.

I guess my train under Kogoland got lost there.

Working on Sundays, and probably for something silly and unpaid... ahh the pleasures of Japan. Soak in the culture, ganbare!

Matt said...

Oh snap! You posted between when I read the post and clicked on "comment"! ;) But I agree. To make this comment worthwhile, I'll mention a book I read (and took notes from): "The action-qualifying particles no and ga in the subordinate clauses of classical Japanese" by Ellegiers Daniel. The key sentence is "We find the qualifying particles _no_ and _ga_ performing different functions in practically every sentence" (a bit out of context, but still entertaining)

Their conclusion was that in general, "ga" was used for high-status phenomena (humans, esp. beloved ones and superiors) and "no" for everything else, so it makes sense that it'd be "no" after "koe".

amida said...

Wait a second there-- why the izenkei? Wouldn't "koe no shitarite" work just as well there?

Azuma said...

I don't think so, no. First, though my field of read classical texts is a pretty small part of the corpus, out on a long, creaking limb, I'm going to say I don't think "sitarite" exists. Just like in modern Japanese there is no "te" form for the simple past tense. (though you do hear "site ite", so if it does exist, I'm going to bet it's only when "tari" has a perfective meaning)

Also, the izenkei for ba means "when", as opposed to the sequential "te (doing X, ...)

Lastly, "keri" is the neutral narrative past tense. "tari", as far as I understand, is aspectual, referring to an action completed within a certain time-frame reference. (Even if that be merely in reference to the present, which would become a simple past tense in English.)

Is it possible that you could ask your professor if I'm right about the non-existence of -tarite? Having said that on the spur, I'm suddely fanatically curious.