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The following is an extract from 窓際のトットちゃん.

..ひいては、劣等意識を持たさないのに役立つのではないか..

Interestingly, jisho.org doesn't seem to have an entry for 持たす but other dictionaries like goo, do.

「持たせる」に同じ, 「もたせる」の文語形

I understand that it's used only in a literary context. Even so, is it considered less acceptable in a literary context now than it was earlier? Or is it just a case of jisho.org not carrying this word?

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「持たせる」に同じ, 「もたせる」の文語形

You found wrong one. In dictionaries, 文語 does not stand for "literary" or "written", but Classical Japanese. The true one you are looking for is less likely found in dictionaries, because it is a colloquial conjugation.

The legitimate descendant of the "old" 持たす is 持たせる (which conjugates in ichidan), and the "new" 持たす is a more recent "short" form (godan) probably inferred from its dictionary form.

Classical ---> Modern       |   Colloquial
持たす         持たせる     |   持たす
持たせず       持たせない   |   持たさない
持たせらる     持たせられる |   持たされる
持たせたり     持たせた     |   持たした
持たせて       持たせて     |   持たして
持たすれば     持たせれば   |   持たせば

The usage of this new form is already linked in a comment:

In my personal opinion, they are quite widespread as long as in conversation, but may raise eyebrows of some people, and not usable in writing or formal speech.

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Since I can't add a comment, I'll add to the answer above.

Context is important

The original line came from a thought by a character in the book (at least from the limited snippet I could find via Google先生):

そういう子供達の羞恥心を取り除き、ひいては、务等意識を持たさないの に役立つのではないか、と、校長先生は、こんなことも考えていたのだった。

The principal had thought that it would be useful to remove shame from the children, and therefore would help prevent them from having a inferiority complex.

So not a problem in this particular instance.

-- Starfox

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