Please help me understand this たる!


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  • Possible duplicate of Meaning of る in 問われたる
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 10:47
  • I've read the post you suggested before creating this question, but still 焼きた 在りた is not past tense of 焼く 在る as 問われた.
    – Narutokage
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


They are the same as 焼いた人器 and いた時, respectively, but said in an archaic fashion.

Several things happening here. First, ある is used instead of いる because ある could safely be used with animate objects in archaic Japanese.

人あり。 (archaic)
≒ 人がいる。 (modern Japanese)
≒ There is a person.

たる is the attributive form of the Japanese archaic auxiliary verb たり, which describes the perfect aspect or the continuation of state (not past tense, strictly speaking). Attributive form is a verb form used to modify the following noun.

声を聞きたり。 (archaic)
≒ 声を聞いた。 (modern Japanese)
≒ I have heard a voice.

聞きたる声 (archaic)
≒ 聞いた声 (modern Japanese)
≒ the voice which I (have) heard

While たり/たる works very similarly to so-called ta-form in modern Japanese, one exception is that it follows the masu-stem of verbs. In archaic Japanese, so-called "te-form" or "ta-form" did not exist. What we know as "te-form" or "ta-form" today is a result of relatively recent sound changes called 音便(おんびん). See this chart for details. In fact, in Japanese school grammar, 焼き and 焼い or 在り and 在っ are treated as the same conjugation form called 連用形 ("continuative form").

BTW, I feel the latter example, 在りたる時, may not be quite natural from the historical standpoint. It may have to be 在りし時 using し, the attributive form of the archaic auxiliary verb き denoting past. I'd like to see opinions from other people who are better at archaic Japanese.

  • Another question, is it ok to say like this: "在っている時" ?
    – Narutokage
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:31
  • why did you think 在りたる時 not natural ?
    – Narutokage
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:34
  • @Narutokage 1. ある/いる are already state verbs and they don't accept ~ている. (The same reason why you don't say "I am knowing it" in English.) 2. The old lady seems to be talking about something that happened long ago, and I somehow feel it doesn't go well with たる (The same reason why you don't usually say "When you have gone to Hawaii 30 years ago..." in English.) But I may be wrong on this.
    – naruto
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 13:58
  • I agree that ありしとき would be more natural; たり(たる) shows 完了/存続/perfect, and し(き) shows 過去/past. Here ありしとき would be more accurate cos the line is supposed to mean "昔 long ago この世に in this world ありしとき when you were present..." rather than "~~ ありたるとき when you have been here..."
    – chocolate
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 14:01
  • 糞リプ(笑)すると構文自体がすでに現代的っていうか、実際は「この世なる間に…葬り去りけるとや」という感じだと思う。あと、主節が伝聞情報な時に「し」が使えるかどうか、そこまで詳しくないのでわからない。
    – user4092
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 17:17

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