3

A man says this to someone that attacks him and his family:

妻にも娘にも手は出させん!

AもBも means both A and B / neither A nor B, so I get that part. And 手は出す means touch here I think. I'm not sure about the tense though. It might be a shortened version of the negative of the causative form of 出す (出させない). If that is correct, then it would make sense that the "let s.o. do X" meaning of the causative is used here, and not the "make s.o. do X" meaning.

So then it would mean something like:

I won't let you touch my wife and daughter!

Even though it's not really a difficult sentence, in the sense that you can guess based on the context what he's trying to say, I would like to know if I interpreted the use of the causative correctly or not (if it is indeed a shortened version of the negative causative).

3

「妻{つま}にも娘{むすめ}にも手{て}は出{だ}させん!」

Your understanding is in deed accurate except for the "shortened version" part.

「出させん」 is a more literary, manly and dramatic way of saying 「出させない」. It could not be called a "shorter version" just because it is physically shorter by one kana than the "dictionary" form.

It would be more natural for a man to use 「出させん」 than 「出させない」 in a situation where someone might be trying to (seriously) hurt his wife and daughter.

「出させん」 is in the present tense as far as grammar goes but it refers to the immediate future; therefore, your TL of "I won't let you touch ~~~!" is good.

I would hate to sound nitpicky but your statement "'手出す' means touch here I think." is a little off. It is 「手出す」 that means "to touch", "to hurt", etc.

「は」 is used here because it is used for emphasis in a negative causative sentence.

  • Although I agree with your interpretation here, it might also be good to add that ん instead of ない is very common for both genders and in any situation, in Western Japanese dialects. – bjorn Nov 1 '17 at 14:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.