#2925. autumn vs fall, zed vs zee[ame_bre][z]


 「#2916. 連載第4回「イギリス英語の autumn とアメリカ英語の fall --- 複線的思考のすすめ」」 ([2017-04-21-1]) で紹介した連載記事で,語彙の英米差の代表として autumn vs fall,そして追加的に zed vs zee のペアを取り上げた.その記事をまとめるにあたって,いくつかの文献を参照したので,ここに備忘録的に記しておきたい.
 まず,Burchfield (282) の fall の項目には,autumn との使い分け,及びその略史が端的に要約されていた.

fall. The third season for the year was called the autumn from the 14c. onwards, and also, in the British Isles, the fall of the leaf or simply the fall from the 16c. until about 1800. As time passed, autumn settled down as the regular term in Britain, whereas the fall of the leaf (less frequently the fall of the year) and then fall by itself gradually became standard in America from the late 17c. onwards. Autumn and fall are familiar names to everyone in each of the two countries, but in day-to-day speech autumn is the only standard from in BrE and fall is equally standard in AmE.

 小西 (486) では,アメリカ英語での autumn の用法について,次のように記述されている.

fall 季節の「秋」という意味での用法は,米国英語の用法で英国英語では autumn を用いる.なお米国でも autumn はまだ使われているが,文学的色彩を帯びている…….

 そして,記事を書く上でおおいにインスピレーションを得ることになったのは,Cassidy and Hall (190) の English redistributed と題する節である.

These four chief migrations [Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Appalachia] shared English as their common language, but it was never homogeneous. Even the members of leading classes differed in geographical origin and the "commons" spoke their various home dialects. The London type of English accepted and required in education was probably "more [often] honored in the breach than the observance." Especially in the rural areas of America, old terms continued in use after they had fallen out of use in Britain; later English visitors heard them first in America and took them to be "Americanisms." By our definition they are indeed synchronic Americanisms, though historically survivals rather than innovations.
   For example, in England autumn --- a French word based on Latin --- had been introduced by at least the fourteenth century for what was popularly the fall of the leaf (recorded from the sixteenth century but probably much older). That English popular form became established in America --- characteristically abbreviated to simple fall --- and is now the regular spoken form throughout the United States though autumn has some formal written use. Thus a split developed: since autumn grew to be the term favored in England, fall, though British in origin, can be taken as a synchronic Americanism.
   The same kind of development may be seen in the name for the last letter of the alphabet, z. Though zed is now the regular English form, z had also been pronounced zee from the seventeenth century in England. Both forms were taken to America, but evidently New Englanders favored zee. When, in his American Dictionary of the English Language (1828), Noah Webster wrote flatly, "It is pronounced zee," he was not merely flouting English preference for zed but accepting an American fait accompli. The split had already come about and continues today.

 連載記事で用いた「複線的思考」というフレーズは,この "English redistributed" という表現の別の言い方にすぎない.英語を構成する多種多様なリソースは大西洋の両側で共有されていたのであり,異なっていたのは,どれとどれが組み合わさり,特にどれが優勢だったのか,というような細かな「分布」にすぎないのである.

 ・ Burchfield, Robert, ed. Fowler's Modern English Usage. Rev. 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP, 1998.
 ・ 小西 友七 編 『現代英語語法辞典』 三省堂,2006年.
 ・ Cassidy, Frederic G. and Joan Houston Hall. "Americanisms." The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 6. Cambridge: CUP, 2001. 184--218.

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