#3115. God に長母音の発音があり得た[pronunciation][meosl][vowel][pun]


 歴史的に,God の発音は言うまでもまく短母音を示してきた.現代英語では,イギリス発音で [gɒd] に対して,アメリカ発音では [gɑːd] を示すが,後者は比較的最近の長母音化の結果であり,歴史的に短母音であったという事実をくつがえすものではない.しかし,実のところ God に長母音をもつ [goːd] のような発音も,歴史的には行なわれていたようだ.古英語や中英語では,「神=良きもの」という発想から,問題の名詞 God と,本来的に長母音をもつ形容詞 good とをなぞらえたり,場合によっては同一視する地口 (pun) がしばしば行なわれたが,ダジャレという言葉遊びの域を超えたかと疑われるほどに,両語が長母音をもつ発音で文字通りに融合してしまった例が見られる.
 OED には,God の長母音を示唆する綴字(β系列)として,以下を列挙している.

硫. OE (rare) ME-15 good, eME ȝode, ME goed, ME goid, ME gooddes (plural), ME guodes (genitive, perhaps transmission error), ME-16 gode, lME goodyse (genitive), lME goyd; U.S. regional 18- gord; Sc. pre-17 goid, pre-17 19- gode, 18- goad.

 OED では,さらに語源解説欄に次のように述べられている.要するに,God の長母音の発音は,斜格形においては中英語開音節長化 (Middle English Open Syllable Lengthening; meosl) の結果として規則的に得られたものであるという.

In Old English the word is often collocated with the formally identical but etymologically unrelated word gōd GOOD adj., GOOD n., and the two words are not always easy to distinguish (compare discussion at GOOD adj., n., adv., and int.). Rare occurrences of the form good in Old English (see 硫. forms) may result from confusion of this kind. The association of the two words continues in later English, sometimes leading to the deliberate euphemistic substitution of forms of GOOD n. for GOD n. (frequently in oaths); such substitution is found in several modern regional varieties, especially in Scots (compare GOOD n. 3).

It is nevertheless likely that the majority of Middle English (and later) 硫. forms show a genuine lengthening of the stem vowel, probably arising originally from open syllable lengthening in oblique (disyllabic) forms; pronunciations reflecting the lengthened form gode are attested in modern English regional and nonstandard use, e.g. J. Wright Eng. Dial. Gram. (1905) 464/1 records the pronunciation /ɡo:d/ from east Devon. (The suggestion made in N.E.D. (1900) that the motivation for lengthening may perhaps have been expressive, i.e. 'from a desire to utter the name of God more deliberately than the short vowel naturally allows', is unlikely.) A later (early modern English) lengthening is shown by GAWD n. The modern Scots forms goad, gode at 硫. forms probably represent the half-close realization of short typical of many varieties of Scots.

 MEDGod, god にも,"in ME , inflected forms with long vowel are attested in rime." とある.しかし,本来は長母音は God の斜格形に限定されたはずだが,それが無語尾の God にも波及したかと思われる例が,中英語で見受けられる.
 Dobson (Vol. 2, §53 n3) も,近代英語のイングランド北部やスコットランドの方言で,God に長母音の実現があったことについて触れている.

The long close [o:] and the diphthong [uə] which occur in Scottish and Northern dialects in blot, cot, God, cock, cog, frost, sop, &c. (and in Devon in God) may develop by ModE lengthening of ME , but in many cases are probably due to a ME variant in ǭ developed by lengthening in the open syllable of the oblique forms.

 God の長母音の発音は,マイナー・ヴァリアントとしてだが,歴史的に確実に存在したのである.

 ・ Dobson, E. J. English Pronunciation 1500--1700. 1st ed. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1957.

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