#2206. 再帰代名詞を用いた動詞表現の衰退 (2)[reflexive_pronoun][verb][personal_pronoun][voice]


 「#2185. 再帰代名詞を用いた動詞表現の衰退」 ([2015-04-21-1]) を受けて,少し調べてみたことを報告する.Jespersen に当たってみたが,前回の記事を書いたときにおぼろげに考えていたことが,Jespersen の発言に裏付けられたような気がした.-self 形の再帰代名詞の音韻形態的な重さという問題に加え,mehim などの単純形再帰代名詞の意味的な軽さ,あるいは "dative of interest" の用法 (cf. 「#980. ethical dative」 ([2012-01-02-1])) としての異分析が関与しているのではないかという説だ.少々長いが,分かりやすい説明なので引用しよう (Jespersen 325) .

     Omission of Reflexive Pronouns
16.21. In a great many cases the verb as used intransitively represents an older reflexive verb. The change of construction may have been brought about in two ways. In the older stages of the language the ordinary personal pronoun was used in a reflexive sense, but me in I rest me, originally in the accusative (he hine reste), might easily be felt as representing a 'dative of interest' (cf I buy me a hat, etc.) and thus be discarded as really superfluous. In the second place, after the self-pronouns had come to be generally used, the reflexive object in I dress myself might be taken to be the empathic pronoun in apposition to the nominative (the difference in stress not being always strictly maintained) and thus might easily appear superfluous. The tendency is towards getting rid of the cumbersome self-pronoun whenever no ambiguity is to be feared; thus a modern Englishman or American will say I wash, dress, and shave, where his ancestor would add (me, or) myself in each case. One of the reasons for this evolution is evidently the heaviness of the forms myself, ourselves, etc., while there is not the same inducement in other languages to get rid of the short me, se, mich, sich, migh, sig, sja, etc. Hence also the development of the activo-passive use . . . in many cases where other languages have either the reflexive or the passive forms that have arisen out of the reflexive (Scand. -s, Russian -sja, -s.)

 この引用の後で,Jespersen は目的語としての再帰代名詞が省略された動詞表現の用例を近代英語期から数多く挙げていくが,例を眺めていると,いかに多くの動詞が現代英語にかけて「自動詞化」してきたかを確認できる.逆にいえば,現代の感覚からは,この表現もあの表現もかつては再帰代名詞を伴っていたのかと驚くばかりだ.ランダムに再帰代名詞を用いた例を抜き出してみる.

 ・ we bowed our selves towards him (Bacon A 4.34)
 ・ may I complain my selfe (Sh R 2 I 2.42)
 ・ they drew themselves more westerly towards the Red sea (Raleigh)
 ・ I dress my selfe handsome, till thy returne (Sh H 4 B II.4.302)
 ・ I though it would make me feel myself a boy again, but . . . I never felt so old as I do to-day (Barrie T 65)
 ・ Both I do repent me and repent it (Sh)
 ・ [he] retyr'd himselfe To Italy (Sh R 2 IV 1.96)
 ・ He . . . hath solne him home to bed (Sh Ro II 1.4)
 ・ Jesus turned him about (AV Matth. 9.22)
 ・ yeeld thee, coward (Sh Mcb V 8.23)

 再帰代名詞の省略と関連して,相互代名詞 (each other, one another) の省略もパラレルな傾向としてみることができる (Jespersen 332) .現在 we meet, we kiss, we marry のように相互的な意味において自動詞として使われ得るが,元来は目的語として each other を伴っていた.embrace, greet, hug などもこの部類に入る.

 ・ Jespersen, Otto. A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles. Part III. Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, 1954.

Referrer (Inside): [2015-09-01-1] [2015-05-13-1]

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