#1466. Smith による言語変化の3段階と3機構[language_change][causation][variation][contact][systemic_regulation]


 Glasgow 大学の Jeremy Smith 先生がいつも述べている,言語変化の3段階と3機構について.
 まず,3段階から.どの言語変化も必ず経る3段階がある.「#275. 現代英語の三人称単数共性代名詞」 ([2010-01-27-1]) で少し触れたのだが,それは (1) potential for change, (2) implementation, (3) diffusion である.ソシュール言語学の立場から厳密にいえば,(1) は言語変化の前段階であり,(2) の段階で初めて「言語変化」と呼ぶことができる.Smith 先生に直接語ってもらう (7) .

The distinction may be made between potential for change, implementation (itself including triggering or actuation) and diffusion. The potential for change exists when a particular speaker or group of speakers makes a particular linguistic choice at a particular time; implementation takes place when that choice becomes selected as part of a linguistic system; and diffusion takes place when the change is imitated beyond its site of origin, whether in terms of geographical or of social distribution. Strictly speaking, the first of these phenomena is not to be included as part of the typology of change. The continual flux of living languages means that new variant forms are constantly being created in a given linguistic state. However, these variants are not themselves linguistic changes; rather, they constitute the raw material which is a prerequisite for linguistic change. A linguistic change happens only when a particular variable is selected and a systemic development follows. In that sense, language change begins with implementation; when implementation of potential for change is for some reason triggered in a linguistic system, then we can speak of a linguistic change. The diffusion of the phenomenon within a particular speech-community is, it is held here, a further process which can be counted as part of the particular change involved; it may, of course, itself have further effects.

 次に,言語変化の3機構だが,これは言語変化が引き起こされる3条件と理解してもよいだろう.(1) variation, (2) systemic regulation, (3) contact の3つである.(1) variation は,音,形態,統語,意味などあらゆる言語項目には複数の variants が用意されており,実現されるのはその中のいずれかであるという考え方に基づいている.variants 全体の守備範囲は variational space と呼ばれ,毎回の実現はその範囲のなかで異なりうる.しかし,無制限に異なりうるわけではない.そこには (2) systemic regulation 体系の規制が働いており,制限が設けられているのである.だが,(1) と (2) ですべてが調整されるほど,言語は単純なものではない.言語(共同体)は真空には存在せず,周囲の言語(共同体)との関わりのなかで存在している.常に必然的に (3) contact の状況があるのであり,静的な体系にとどまってはいられない.
 以上の3条件の相互関係は複雑だが,Smith 先生のことばでまとめると次のようになる (49) .

The three mechanisms of linguistic change distinguished above --- variation, systemic regulation, contact --- are not to be taken as totally separate causes of the phenomenon; rather, they interact in complex and, except in the most general terms, practically unpredictable ways to produce dynamic change in the history of a given language. To sum up the argument so far: new variants are produced, and are imitated through contact; but they are constrained by the changing intra- and extralinguistic systems of which the are a part.

 最近は言語変化論も様々な立場から様々な枠組みが提示されているが,Smith 先生の論は,単純化されているものの(単純化されているから?),よくまとまっていると思う.

 ・ Smith, Jeremy J. An Historical Study of English: Function, Form and Change. London: Routledge, 1996.

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