#1275. 標準英語の発生と社会・経済[standardisation][sociolinguistics][london]


 標準英語の発生と発展を論じる上で,ロンドンを主とするイングランド諸都市の社会史の知識が欠かせないと痛感させられる Keene の論文を読んだ.Keene は,言語学者ではなく歴史学者の視点から,ロンドンがイングランドの中心として地位を固めてゆく過程を,多くの図表を用いて描き,英語の標準化に関わる経済,社会,政治的な背景を概説している.
 Keene (101) は,10世紀後半までにロンドンの中心的な地位は固まったが,ことに13世紀後半の Edward I の治世において "the prime focus of English identity and civilisation" および "the capital in something like the modern sense of that term" (101) としての地位が揺るぎないものとなったとしている.地方から人々を引きつけるロンドンの力は以前よりあったが,1300年以前および16世紀には主として雇用と救済を求めての "subsistence migration" であり,生活水準が上昇した1400年前後の時期には主として機会と技術の鍛錬を求めての "betterment migration" であった.この差は,ロンドンへ流入する人々の質に関わるため,その言語的な出力にも差をもたらしただろうとの指摘は,社会言語学的な観点から意味深長である (105) .
 この点だけでなく,Keene の視点は,論文全体にわたって社会言語学的な示唆を与えている.経済,社会,政治という観点から標準英語の発生の問題を論じながら,Keene は次のような結論を導く.

London is likely to have had an influence in the emergence of Standard English not primarily as a site of government and power but rather as an engine of communication and exchange which enabled ideas and information to be distributed and business to be done across an increasingly extensive, complex and varied field. Key processes to consider would include the establishment of fellowship, trust and norms which fostered understanding and an ability quickly to conclude deals in acknowledged and repeatable ways. In the speech of modern economists, such forms of standardisation would have reduced transaction costs. It is no coincidence, therefore, that some of the earliest evidence for the force of London in processes of standardisation concerns matters of measurement which were vital to trade. Another useful concept from the world of economics concerns integration between markets --- between London and other places, and around certain focal points within the city --- leading to uniformity in prices, products and practice. Integration could be a spontaneous process, but it could also be facilitated by a framework imposed by state authority, the king's peace as it was called in the earlier Middle Ages. The search for peace, with a view to promoting harmony, exchange and prosperous cities, was a profound influence on those who wielded power. (111--12)


 ・ Keene, Derek. "Metropolitan Values: Migration, Mobility and Cultural Norms, London 1100--1700." The Development of Standard English, 1300--1800. Ed. Laura Wright. Cambridge: CUP, 2000. 93--114.

Referrer (Inside): [2022-05-26-1] [2017-01-07-1]

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