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The text of the haiku is 千年の / 煤もはらはず / 仏だち.

Is -dachi in 仏だち hotoke-dachi intended, with the same meaning as 達 -tachi, or is this an error in the transcription?

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  • While this doesn't answer your question, perhaps it's of interest: What's the meaning behind this haiku
    – A.Ellett
    Commented Jun 3 at 21:04
  • Thanks A.Ellett, I did read that answer in my research. As you surmised, I don't think it really answers the question, but it does suggest that the expression is not a typo, since it's quoted in the answer: "「仏だち」、と表現することで、単に「仏像」というよりも人間味を感じさせるものになっており、静かな人の立ち入っていない空間で、ただ仏のみが黙って並んでいる様子が伝わってきます。人が入っていないのでさびれているのでしょうが、どこか静かな神聖さというか、趣深い情趣を感じます。"
    – jogloran
    Commented Jun 3 at 21:33
  • I'm a little confused by your question. Are you asking if だち is a typo for 達? Or do you expect some other suffix or word to come in its place? Commented Jun 3 at 22:00
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    The question: is -だち an alternate reading of 達 with the same meaning as -たち? Or is it something else? Obviously, 友達 is another word where this is the case, but what is the morpheme -だち and is it just rendaku of -たち with an identical meaning?
    – jogloran
    Commented Jun 3 at 22:38
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    I've heard of that slang item — but I'd guess that it postdates this poem (Masaoka Shiki lived 1867–1902), let alone being an odd compound with the austere statues of the Buddha?
    – jogloran
    Commented Jun 4 at 22:00

1 Answer 1

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As you may know, the haiku language still has a strong tendency to retain the classical grammar. While the plural suffix is no longer pronounced だち, it had a voiced variant.

-たち 【達】
接尾語
…方(がた)。多くの…。「だち」とも。▽神および尊敬する人を表す名詞の下に付き、複数である意を表す。

Incidentally, when I searched 青空文庫, a collection of public domain literature, I did (surprisingly) find quite a few examples of だち in early 20th century works, so this form might have not been uncommon at that times.

この中には嫡子光貞のように江戸にいたり、また京都、そのほか遠国にいる人だちもあるが、それがのちに知らせを受けて歎いたのと違って、熊本の館にいた限りの人だちの歎きは、わけて痛切なものであった。(森鷗外『阿部一族』)

さう言ひながら村の若い者だちは由藏をやかせて怒らせることを面白がつた。(下村千秋『泥の雨』)

若い彼女だちは、みな憧憬の瞳を輝かして、新らしい先生を見た。そして、自分だちの若い心がのびのびとその先生の心にとゞき、生長することが出来るだらうと期待した。彼女もまた、そう思った。しかしひそかに、森本先生が生徒だちに讃美されなかったら、どうしやうと、辰子は気づかった。[……]そしてまた他の先生だちに比して、知識も浅いやうに見えた。それで、一時間の授業は、混雑した。生徒だちは、わづかのうち、森本先生を軽蔑してしまった。(素木しづ『嫂』)

正岡子規 seemed to use this suffix multiple times, but only when in classical style, at least within the scope of the collection.

俗人だちが歌を善悪の間、俗界の中に求むるはそもそも誤れり。(『人々に答ふ』)

手桶薬缶抔を提げたる人だち我も我もと押し掛くる(『従軍紀事』)

送火や朦朧として佛だち(『寒山落木 卷一』)

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  • "While the plural suffix is no longer pronounced だち" But the kanji surely is, e.g. as in 友達, yeah? Commented Jun 7 at 17:37
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    @KarlKnechtel Yes, in a sense. You can also count 公達 or 先達 in. The kanji 達 is completely an ateji for the plural suffix, and 友達 is no more plural today. Commented Jun 8 at 1:24

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