#1335. Bloomfield による青年文法学派の擁護[neogrammarian][phonetics][borrowing][wave_theory][geography][methodology][dialect]


 Bloomfield は,青年文法学派 (Neogrammarians) による音声変化の仮説(Ausnahmslose Lautgesetze "sound laws without exception")には様々な批判が浴びせられてきたが,畢竟,現代の言語学者はみな Neogrammarian であるとして,同学派の業績を高く評価している.批判の最たるものとして,音声変化に取り残された数々の residue の存在をどのように説明づけるのかという問題があるが,Bloomfield はむしろその問題に光を投げかけたのは,ほかならぬ同仮説であるとして,この批判に反論する.Language では関連する言及が散在しているが,そのうちの2カ所を引用しよう.

The occurrence of sound-change, as defined by the neo-grammarians, is not a fact of direct observation, but an assumption. The neo-grammarians believe that this assumption is correct, because it alone has enabled linguists to find order in the factual data, and because it alone has led to a plausible formulation of other factors of linguistic change. (364)

The neo-grammarians claim that the assumption of phonetic change leaves residues which show striking correlations and allow us to understand the factors of linguistic change other than sound-change. The opponents of the neo-grammarian hypothesis imply that a different assumption concerning sound-change will leave a more intelligible residue, but they have never tested this by re-classifying the data. (392--93)

 青年文法学派の批判者は,同学派が借用 (borrowing) や類推 (analogy) を,自説によって説明できない事例を投げ込むゴミ箱として悪用していることをしばしば指摘するが,Bloomfield に言わせれば,むしろ青年文法学派は借用や類推に理論的な地位を与えることに貢献したのだということになる.
 Bloomfield は,次の疑問に関しても,青年文法学派擁護論を展開する.ある音声変化が,地点Aにおいては一群の語にもれなく作用したが,すぐ隣の地点Bにおいてはある単語にだけ作用していないようなケースにおいて,青年文法学派はこの residue たる単語をどのように説明するのか.

[A]n irregular distribution shows that the new forms, in a part or in all of the area, are due not to sound-change, but to borrowing. The sound-change took place in some one center, and after this, forms which had undergone the change spread from this center by linguistic borrowing. In other cases, a community may have made a sound-change, but the changed forms may in part be superseded by unchanged forms which spread from a center which has not made the change. (362)


Students of dialect geography make this inference and base on it their reconstruction of linguistic and cultural movements, but many of these students at the same profess to reject the assumption of regular phonetic change. If they stopped to examine the implications of this, they would soon see that their work is based on the supposition that sound-change is regular, for, if we admit the possibility of irregular sound-change, then the use of [hy:s] beside [mu:s] in a Dutch dialect, or of [ˈraðr] rather beside [ˈgɛðr] gather in standard English, would justify no deductions about linguistic borrowing. (362)

 Bloomfield の議論を読みながら,青年文法学派の仮説が批判されやすいのは,むしろ仮説として手堅いからこそなのかもしれないと思えてきた.

 ・ Bloomfield, Leonard. Language. 1933. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1984.

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