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I'm reading Murakami Haruki's ノルウェイの森 and, although I've come across many sentences I haven't been able to grasp too clearly, I recently came across one that was also funny to pronounce. Can anyone help me make sense of why Murakami might have written the following sentence as he did?


I understand the general meaning/feeling of that sentence, but cannot seem to understand why he would have written 「出てったって待ってて」.

From what I can gather it should be something like: 出て行ったって待っていて but that rases a question, what's that extra って doing next to the 行った? Normally that would imply that someone else referred it to the speaker (eg. 出て行ったと言って待っていて) but this does not seem to be the case here.

Would someone be so kind as to break it down for me please?


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up vote 8 down vote accepted

That is 100% correct and natural; It just uses colloquial contractions. This sentence is written very informally as you could tell from the multiple し's.

出てった = 出ていった

って = とて (とて means the same thing as としても = "even if".) This is not the quotative 「って」.

待ってて = 待っていて

私がここを出てったって待っててくれる人もいないし = "Even if I left here, there would be no one waiting for me ...."

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You're right that it's shortened from 出て行ったって待っていて. There are two parts to the sentence:

(私がここを出てったって) + (待っててくれる人もいないし... etc. etc.)

The first part means "even if I leave here". This type of construction is formed by taking the past (た) and adding って. For an i-adjective like たかい, it would be たかくたって. You can also make it with nouns or na-adjectives by adding だって or だったって. From "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar":

-tatte (conjunction) even if someone did something or something were in some state (the desired result would not come about) or even if someone or something is in some state.

The second part is 待っててくれる人もいないし, which means there isn't (or won't be, or wouldn't be) anybody waiting for me. So together, it means something like "Even if I went out, there's nobody waiting for me." Then the sentence goes on listing a bunch of other reasons not to leave.

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I'm not sure "went out" would be the most accurate way to say this.. of course it depends on context, but I think we can probably intuit that the speaker is talking about something bigger than something like leaving a building – ssb Apr 6 '14 at 13:48
Maybe "left" is a better word choice. – ogicu8abruok Apr 6 '14 at 13:50

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