涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱: Week 4 Discussion

As alluded in my post, I view ゆえん (or more specifically, xたるゆえん) more akin to “grounds,” because I find it hard to translate any more literally. So “Haruhi’s grounds for being Haruhi.” But I’m not a linguist, not even a fake one :woman_shrugging:


I just tried googling around for it, and it’s… unclear. :sweat_smile: People just seem to confirm that XがYのZたるゆえん means “X is the reason Y is Z”, but that doesn’t really help us.

In the BCCWJ, I find 4 examples (out of 37) of XがYがZたるゆえん, which would seem to indicate that at least some people parse it as I do Xが[Y{が/の}Zたる]ゆえん, but I’ll readily admit that it’s not clear cut at all, and both seem plausible to me.

In fact, it’s actually not unreasonable at all that there would be confusion between の as a genetive and as a nominative (subject) marker. IIRC, some people explain the fact that の can replace が in relatives as being similar to 's in English gerunds: ハルヒ の ハルヒ たる = Haruhi’s being Haruhi. This is because in the classical language the attributive form of verbs was also a nominal form, so you could literally not tell whether it was “(that) Haruhi is Haruhi” or “Haruhi’s being Haruhi”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Lastly, I have a classical bias, as you’ve problably noticed by now, so I suspect modern speakers who don’t know how たる worked in the literary/classical language might tend to parse it exactly as you did, regardless.

P.S.: Anyway, it’s nice that people bring up those questions! Otherwise, I end up reading the sentences, never questioning my (single) parse. :no_mouth: …by the way I’m not finished with this week’s section, actually… been pretty busy. :frowning:


Yeah I often don’t put a lot of thought into something unless someone asks!



:exploding_head: what.


Like record (noun) and record (verb) as QuackingShoe said.




Languages are weird. And so is our ability to internalize them.


Maybe I’m just being obtuse, but is there a functional difference between ‘Y which is (as) X’ and ‘X = Y’? The focus lies on the latter word, of course.

Edit: Just saw @QuackingShoe’s post up there, seem to have skipped over it. I think I get the nuance that I was missing before now. :slight_smile:

I don’t see the difference at all :sob: aren’t those sentences the same except that the clauses are switched around? The meaning seems the same to me. :scream:

Really appreciate your attempts at making this understandable, even if /especially as it’s taking me a while. :sweat_smile: :+1:


I was just commenting on the syntax, not the meaning. I.e., that it is not limited to relatives / attribute positions. Sorry if that was obvious, but given the confusiong between @QuackingShoe’s and my interpretation, I thought I’d point it out. :zipper_mouth_face:

Meaning-wise, it’s basically X = Y, yes; in the classical language, たり / たる is sometimes said to carry a ‘subjective’ flavour of judgement while なり / なる (> にてある > である) should be ‘objective’. This has led to the specialised present usage, as QuackingShoe quoted, where たる means essentially “has the quality of”; so it’s not literally, objectively “is” but rather “qualify as”, “is worthy of being”, “has the hallmarks of”, etc. are possible translations.

Again, that was just syntax. You’re right the meaning doesn’t change.

I actually thought about it some more, and dug up some old papers about の/が conversion, and, I’m not sure whether it is the issue here, but, as far back as 1971, Harada already remarked in “Ga-No Conversion and Idiolectal Variations in Japanese” that the language was perhaps shifting and that の was not universally accepted in sentences such as the following, particularly among younger people:

titioya ga/(?)no dai-ongakka de-atta buturigakusya

So it’s quite possible that in ハルヒのハルヒたるゆえん, some people would be troubled by の as a subject marker—in that case, the reduction from ハルヒの [ [ ハルヒがハルヒたる ] ゆえん ], by deletion of the redundant subject, should still be available, yielding exactly your parse. (In fact, Harada touches upon this exact possibility in a follow-up paper, “Ga-No Conversion Revisited” (1976).) As I mentioned above, however, the meaning doesn’t change substantially, I guess.

Anyway, I hope it clears it up for @Belerith… you’re lucky: you got two interpretations for the price of one. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway, sorry if my analysis was more confusing than helpful. I didn’t expect it would be controversial. :sweat_smile: I guess that, in spite of what @Naphthalene said about my reading more analytically than her, that’s in fact not quite true—I too tend to accept my intuitive first parse as the only one, after all.

P.S.: In summary X が ハルヒ の ハルヒ たる ゆえん である could be either:

  1. X が ハルヒ の [ハルヒ たる ゆえん] である “X is Haruhi’s [reason she is Haruhi]” (or substitute a better word for “reason”)
  2. X が [ハルヒ の ハルヒ たる] ゆえん である “X is the reason [Haruhi is Haruhi]”

With number 2 being possibly rejected by some speakers. So I guess stick to number 1 if you want to be safe.


Thank you both~ :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think I gained a pretty good some understanding now. Just gotta see and recognize it in a couple other contexts now so it sticks. :stuck_out_tongue:

Technically I got 2 interpretations for free… :eyes: psst. :shushing_face:

That’s the danger with nerdy types like me: I always feel that I can never give a straight-forward answer… So many variables, so many possibilities, so much doubt… /o\

BTW I just had the chance to ask a native speaker and they picked #2 above (XのXたる) ゆえん but said they weren’t sure about the grammar, and that it was just an expression. :woman_shrugging: Well, as expected I guess.


I’ve been noticing lately that when I read the book, I’m only focussing on sounding it aloud and not at all thinking about grammar or translation…

Almost wondering if we should conduct the next live reading in English. :stuck_out_tongue:


Lately when I read, there are too many words I don’t know that I don’t feel like looking up, so I literally can’t sound it out :innocent:


Finally finished with this. That last part was painful to read. I remembered there was something like that in the anime but I didn’t remember it being that bad. I guess this was acceptable humor? Just…no.
Really hoping this is a one time thing and not a recurring “gag” or whatever.


2006 (for the anime) was a very different time. I think a lot of specific real-world things have happened that have lowered our threshold for fictional things.

I think we accept a lot of fictional bad stuff when we don’t think there’s much of that stuff happening in real life.


The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.


Just finished this part myself. That scene was quite too much. I kind of spoiled myself in the thread before (and I guess the images in the first pages do their part), but this was really more than I had expected. And it took this much for our protag to step in? Also, what’s wrong with Haruhi? Why did 朝比奈 agree to join the club this quickly?

I mean, I get that they’re all caricatures of tropes or something, but still.

Ugh. Don’t really feel like continuing with the next part right now. :confused:

Ideally this was the lowest point and it’s uphill from here.


Rest assured, there is a reason she joined so easily, and it’s related to the overall story arc. I feel you should continue reading so that you can find out the reason for yourself, but if you honestly can’t face it any more, I can just tell you what happens. Tiny hint:

The fact that she joins immediately after noticing Yuki in the room is important. Though perhaps not for the reason you might suspect.

Uh. Mostly uphill. Though the absolute lowest point doesn’t happen until the next book. Though at least at that point, Kyon actually grows enough guts to step in.


Ah. At least it’s the lowest point in this volume then? That’s worth something! Also, plot. :sweat_smile:

Thanks for the mostly non spoilery spoilers - appreciate that!

I’m fully intending to keep reading, just… Not just now. I think I’ll switch over to other books for a couple days and let Haruhi rest, is what I meant to say. I forget I’m the only one privy to all that context in my head. :stuck_out_tongue:


Short answer: YES. And Belerith is on point with the idea that “Haruhi is Haruhi”. The anime used that phrase at least a few times, I believe… So weird as it looks, it might come up again.

I like QuackingShoe’s take on that, too.


Starting this book half a year late but enjoying the spoilers from someone who has a better knowledge of the whole story. Going to keep this in the back of my head and hopefully catch it when it appears in the book. Looking forward to more spoilers if you’ve posted any in future weeks.

Been watching the anime to confirm my reading since my book’s font is smaller and does not line up with the reading pages. Right now at the end of episode 1.