#3148. 言語における「遺伝的関係」の基本単位は個体か種か?[linguistics][sobokunagimon][family_tree][comparative_linguistics]


 連日の記事 ([2017-12-07-1], [2017-12-08-1]) で,言語における「遺伝的関係」に注目している.言語学は19世紀以来,概念においても用語においても生物学から多大な影響を受けてきた.言語学は他の文化的所産を研究する分野と比べても,とりわけその傾向が強かったといえる.実際に,言語を生物に喩える言説は広く行なわれてきた(「#1578. 言語は何に喩えられてきたか」 ([2013-08-22-1]),「#1579. 「言語は植物である」の比喩」 ([2013-08-23-1]),「#1118. Schleicher の系統樹説」 ([2012-05-19-1]),「#807. 言語系統図と生物系統図の類似点と相違点」 ([2011-07-13-1]) などを参照).
 しかし,言語は生物ではない.したがって,比喩がどこまで通用し,どこから破綻するのかを見極めなければならない.例えば,生物における個体や種という概念は,言語ではそれぞれ何に相当するのだろうか.言語学の言説では,言語を生物の個体になぞらえる見方と種になぞらえる見方の両方がある.Noonan (52) の議論を引用しよう.

Within a biologically inspired framework, there are at least two possible classes of interpretations of genetic relatedness. One could conceive of languages as unitary organisms and consider relatedness in a way analogous to that of individual animals or plants, which can be related via lineages created through sexual or asexual reproduction. Alternatively, one could conceive of a language as a population, either of speakers or of linguistic constructs, or even of a population of speakers each with his/her idiolect and hence his/her own set of linguistic constructs. Population models of this sort might adopt a species analogy for understanding genetic relatedness.

 ここでは言語を "unitary organism" (個体)とみる立場と "population" (「種」の概念に近い)とみる立場が紹介されている.後者の見方は最近の一部の論者が唱えているものだが,一般には前者の解釈が受け入れられている.前者について,Noonan (52) はさらに説明を加える.

In linguistics, the unitary organism model was the one adopted by historical linguists in the early nineteenth century; this model has survived as the received mode of understanding genetic relations to the present day. Within this model, two languages are said to be genetically related if they descend from a common ancestor. Since it is at least possible that all languages descend from a common ancestor, languages are usually claimed to be related only if their relatedness can be established through the comparative method or some alternative procedure.
   In principle, a unitary organism model could adopt either an asexual (parthenogenetic) or a sexual model for conceptualizing genetic relatedness. The established model, known as the family tree or Stammbaum model, adopted parthenogenetic (asexual) reproduction as the mode for understanding genetic relationships among languages. The expressions mother/ancestor language and daughter language are components of the model and reflect the original analogy, as do the notions of language birth and language death.

 "unitary organism" とみる立場のなかにも,"asexual (parthenogenetic) model" と "sexual model" の2種が区別されるというのがおもしろい.言語学の言説では「母言語」「娘言語」のような女系用語が目立つが,これは歴史言語学では "unitary organism model" のなかでも "an asexual (parthenogenetic) model" が一般的に受け入れられてきたことと関係するのだろう.この女系用語の問題については「#2055. 「母音」という呼称」 ([2014-12-12-1]) も参照されたい.

 ・ Noonan, Michael. "Genetic Classification and Language Contact." The Handbook of Language Contact. Ed. Raymond Hickey. 2010. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 48--65.

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