#1764. -ing と -in' の社会的価値の逆転[sociolinguistics][variation][rp][pronunciation][suffix][rhotic][stigma]


 英語の (-ing) 語尾の2つの変異形について,「#1370. Norwich における -in(g) の文体的変異の調査」 ([2013-01-26-1]) および「#1508. 英語における軟口蓋鼻音の音素化」 ([2013-06-13-1]) で扱った.語頭の (h) の変異と合わせて,英語において伝統的に最もよく知られた社会的変異といえるだろう.現在では,[ɪŋ] の発音が標準的で,[ɪn] の発音が非標準的である.しかし,前の記事 ([2013-06-13-1]) でも触れたとおり,1世紀ほど前には両変異形の社会的な価値は逆であった.[ɪn] こそが威信のある発音であり,[ɪŋ] は非標準的だったのである.この評価について詳しい典拠を探しているのだが,Crystal (309--10) が言語学の概説書で言及しているのを見つけたので,とりあえずそれを引用する.

Everyone has developed a sense of values that make some accents seem 'posh' and others 'low', some features of vocabulary and grammar 'refined' and others 'uneducated'. The distinctive features have been a long-standing source of comment, as this conversation illustrates. It is between Clare and Dinny Cherrel, in John Galsworthy's Maid in Waiting (1931, Ch. 31), and it illustrates a famous linguistic signal of social class in Britain --- the two pronunciations of final ng in such words as running, [n] and [ŋ].
   'Where on earth did Aunt Em learn to drop her g's?'
   'Father told me once that she was at a school where an undropped "g" was worse than a dropped "h". They were bringin' in a country fashion then, huntin' people, you know.'
This example illustrates very well the arbitrary way in which linguistic class markers work. The [n] variant is typical of much working-class speech today, but a century ago this pronunciation was a desirable feature of speech in the upper middle class and above --- and may still occasionally be heard there. The change to [ŋ] came about under the influence of the written form: there was a g in the spelling, and it was felt (in the late 19th century) that it was more 'correct' to pronounce it. As a result, 'dropping the g' in due course became stigmatized.

 (-ing) を巡るこの歴史は,その変異形の発音そのものに優劣といった価値が付随しているわけではないことを明らかにしている.「#1535. non-prevocalic /r/ の社会的な価値」 ([2013-07-10-1]) でも論じたように,ある言語項目の複数の変異形の間に,価値の優劣があるように見えたとしても,その価値は社会的なステレオタイプにすぎず,共同体や時代に応じて変異する流動的な価値にすぎないということである.

 ・ Crystal, David. How Language Works. London: Penguin, 2005.

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