#2356. フランス語が複数形の -s の拡大に無関係と考える根拠[french][contact][plural][inflection][me_dialectology]


 昨日の記事「#2355. フランス語の語彙以外への影響 --- 句,綴字,派生形態論,強勢」 ([2015-10-08-1]) で引いた Denison and Hogg (17) からの文章では,英語の名詞複数形の -s が中英語期に拡大した要因として,フランス語の影響が考えられるかもしれないとのことだった.この説は,諸文献でもしばしば唱えられてきており,最近では安井・久保田 (p.43 fn) でも「複数の -s 伝播にはフランス語の複数の形の影響も,ある程度,あずかっていたかもしれない」と触れられている.
 しかし,この問題について調べた Hotta (268) のなかで,私はこの説に対して強く否定的な立場を取っている.Jespersen に拠りながら,次のように議論した.

For the reasons why Old French could not be relevant, refer to Jespersen (Chapters 33). To summarise the main grounds against the hypothesis of Old French influence on the English s-plural:

   1. Considering that the genitive singular -s spread earlier and faster than the nominative plural -s, French should first have influenced genitive singular forms, which is however impossible because Old French had no s-ending for the genitive singular.
   2. The extension of the s-plural started before the Norman Conquest, making it unnecessary to propose French influence.
   3. The fact that -s prevailed earlier in the northern dialects than in the southern is against the expectation if French influence was assumed. Such French influence would have been felt first and foremost in the South.
   4. The s-ending was just one of the various plural endings available in Old French, and it was usually an accusative plural ending instead of a nominative plural.
   5. In English, adjectives rarely took the s-plural after the Old French model. If French influence had been at work, not only nouns but also adjectives might have been affected.
   6. The English s-ending was usually preceded by a vowel typically spelled e, while in Old French such a vowel spelling never occurred. We might note that the forms -es and -s were kept distinct well into Late Middle English.

 なお,重要な先行研究である Roedler も,中英語期における -s 複数の拡大に関連して,(フランス語を念頭に置きながら)言語外的な影響の可能性を "überflüssig" と切って捨てている.フランス語影響説にはほとんど妥当性がない.
 関連して,「#946. 名詞複数形の歴史の概要」 ([2011-11-29-1]),「#1250. 中英語はクレオール語か? (3)」 ([2012-09-28-1]) も参照.

 ・ Denison, David and Richard Hogg. "Overview." Chapter 1 of A History of the English Language. Ed. Richard Hogg and David Denison. Cambridge: CUP, 2006. 1--42.
 ・ 安井 稔・久保田 正人 『知っておきたい英語の歴史』 開拓社,2014年.
 ・ Hotta, Ryuichi. The Development of the Nominal Plural Forms in Early Middle English. Hituzi Linguistics in English 10. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo, 2009.
 ・ Jespersen, Otto. Chapters on English. London: George Allen, 1918. Rpt. of Progress in Language.
 ・ Roedler, Eduard. "Die Ausbreitung des 's'-Plurals im Englischen." Vol. 1. PhD thesis, Christian-Albrechts University, 1911; Vol. 2. Anglia 40 (1916): 420--502.

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