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記憶を刈るという部分がメアを彷彿とさせる

the part (of the story) where memories were reaped, resembles Mare.

ファインダーを覗いてレンズをあちこちに巡らせるが、円盤の光は影を潜めている。

(operating a camera) while he peeked at the finder and looked around with the lens, the disk's light had vanished.

メアの頭を巣にしていたドラゴン(?)が、翼をはためかせて浮遊した。

the dragon (?) nesting on Mare's head flapped it's wing and floated.

Is there some additional purpose of the causative form beyond making/allowing?

thank you

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    to begin with はためく is intransitive, so you need a causative to get "flap its wings". similarly with 巡る, it's intransitive and needs to be made causative to say "rotate the lens"... i'm not sure where there's a question about the use of causative. your summary translations also seem to show you understand the passage. perhaps you could try explaining where the confusion is.
    – A.Ellett
    Jul 11, 2017 at 0:57
  • i guess, it's be there no really other way to read the sentence. However,if there was no causitive, i probably wouldn't read it any differently since i wouldn't know that those new words were inherently intransitive. I knew the causitive was used with intransitive suru verbs to turn them into transitive ones, but was not aware of it for other words as well. The 彷彿とさせる one is still a bit of a mystery though.
    – charu
    Jul 11, 2017 at 1:43
  • 彷彿とさせる part doesn't make much sense to me hence i haven't given an answer. but the causative isn't the problem for me. just i'm not sure what "those parts cutting memory resemble Mare" is supposed to mean. that makes me think i'm parsing it wrong. in fact i really want to read it as "are made to resemble" but there's no passive there.
    – A.Ellett
    Jul 11, 2017 at 1:52

2 Answers 2

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記憶を刈るという部分が[人々に]メアを彷彿とさせる

The "source of causation" is 記憶を刈るという部分. The agent ("causee") is unspecified, but it's "generic you" (one/you/people/人/人々/etc). 彷彿(と)する means "to have (something you've seen before) in mind", "to imagine (something) vividly". The sentence literally means "The memory-reaping part makes people imagine メア," or less literally, "The memory-reaping part reminds us of メア."

[彼は]ファインダーを覗いてレンズをあちこちに巡らせる

The "source of causation" is the user of the camera, the implied subject of the sentence. The agent is レンズ. 巡る is an intransitive verb meaning "to move around". The causative part literally means "[He] makes the lens move around".

メアの頭を巣にしていたドラゴン(?)が、翼をはためかせて浮遊した。

The "source of causation" is 'ドラゴン(?)', and the agent is 翼. はためく is an intransitive verb meaning "to flap". The causative part literally means "The dragon made the wings flap". English flap works both transitively and intransitively, but はためく is only intransitive, so you'll need はためかせる.

In case you're not sure why the agent is marked either by に or を, please read this. The point is that 彷彿(と)する is transitive, but 巡る and はためく are intransitive.

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  • I guess under this pretext, it feels like whenever one does any actions, you could percieve it as "causitive" even if its just a plain term, I see that this is more of a consequence of default intransitivity.
    – charu
    Jul 11, 2017 at 2:12
  • are you saying something like メアを彷彿とさせる=メアのイメージが浮かべさせられる?
    – A.Ellett
    Jul 11, 2017 at 2:14
  • @charu i think part of what's confusing ypu is english's ease of blurring the lines between transitive and intransitive. in japanese to make an intransitive verb into something that takes an object you'll have to use the causative.
    – A.Ellett
    Jul 11, 2017 at 2:18
  • @charu What do you mean "it's just a plain term"? Lots of Japanese verbs has transitive/intransitive pairs (eg 始める/始まる, 流す/流れる) and you have to make a clear distinction. But 巡る and はためく don't have the transitive counterpart. In such cases, using 巡らせる/巡らす/はためかせる/はためかす are just fine.
    – naruto
    Jul 11, 2017 at 2:19
  • @naruto , what i mean is like a generic transitive verb in the plain form, ie 頭を振る。I'm still "causing" my head to shake. But the causative form is only used if some external source is "causing me to do it". But in these cases i see that the causative is used for transitivity instead
    – charu
    Jul 11, 2017 at 2:28
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I find all your sentences normal causative.

記憶を刈るという部分メアを 彷彿とさせる

部分が is the cause and makes メア reminded.

ファインダーを覗いてレンズあちこちに巡らせるが、円盤の光は影を潜めている。

The cause is not written here, but is the same as the subject of 覗いて. That someone makes the lens go around.

メアの頭を巣にしていたドラゴン(?)、翼を はためかせて浮遊した。

ドラゴン is the cause, and makes its own wings flap.

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    makes メア reminded は 「メアさんに(何かを)思い出させる」・・
    – chocolate
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:27
  • Well, I belive to mean メアさんに何かを思い出させる that would be makes メア remind of something. Isn't it?
    – karlalou
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:31
  • My dictionary, which is quite old by now, says "What made him respected? どいうわけで彼は人から尊敬されたのか." I'm actually quite confused these participles right now.
    – karlalou
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:37
  • あのね・・・ 「remind 思い出す人 of 思い出される物」だからさ・・ "makes メア remind of something "はだめよ~  remind は「思い出す」じゃなくて「思い出させる」だから。"makes メア remind 山田さん of something" なら「メアに、『山田さんに何かを思い出させる』という行為をさせる」になるけど・・ 「remind 読者 of メア」を、メアを主語にした受け身にしたらどうなる? of 消しちゃダメでしょ
    – chocolate
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:37
  • I don't see how "makes メア reminded" could mean メアさんに(何かを)思い出させる.
    – karlalou
    Jul 11, 2017 at 3:43

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