#1551. 語彙拡散のS字曲線への批判[lexical_diffusion]


 昨日の記事「#1550. 波状理論語彙拡散含意尺度 (3)」 ([2013-07-25-1]) を始め,lexical_diffusion に関するいくつかの記事で,語彙拡散の進行パターンがS字曲線を描くことについて言及してきた.語彙拡散とS字曲線は私の近年の大きな研究テーマとなっているのだが,様々な言語変化の進行パターンを具体的に調査してみると,理想的なS字曲線を描く事例に当たることは少ない.理論と現実は食い違うことも多いのである.
 個別の言語変化の事例研究が蓄積するにつれ,語彙拡散やS字曲線に対する批判が聞かれるようになってきた.Wardhaugh からの孫引きとなるが,何人かからの批判の声を聞こう.まずは,Denison, D. ("Log(ist)ic and Simplistic S-curves." Motives for Language Change. Ed. R. Hickey. Cambridge: CUP.) より.

. . . after reviewing S-curve type diffusion as an attempt to account for different changes that have occurred in English, Denison (2003) cautions that: 'The S-curve is neither as simple nor as uniform a phenomenon as it is sometimes assumed. Given too the simplistic picture of variation it sometimes reflects (and requires), the S-curve should not be seized on too readily as the general shape of language change' (p. 68). (222)

 Nevalainen, T. and H. Raumolin-Brunberg (Historical Sociolinguistics. Harlow: Longman, 2003.) は,c.1410--1681 の書簡テキストを所収した The Corpus of Early Correspondence による種々の形態統語変化の研究の結論として,次のように述べている.

They conclude: 'Although the S-shaped curves serve as an ideal pattern of the diffusion of language change, several of the fourteen morphosyntactic changes . . . do not replicate the model in an unequivocal way' (p. 79). They also found that the actual rate of change varied a great deal from item to item. (223)

 Labov, W. (Principles of Linguistic Change, I: Internal Factors. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.) もまた,語彙拡散の理論に疑念を抱いている.

Labov's view of lexical diffusion is that it has only a very limited role to play in change. He says (1994, p. 501), 'There is no evidence . . . that lexical diffusion is the fundamental mechanism of sound change.' It happens but is only a complement --- and a small one at that --- to regular sound change. (225)


 ・ Wardhaugh, Ronald. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 6th ed. Malden: Blackwell, 2010.

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