#4013. 「古英語の標準語」の解釈[oe][oe_dialect][writing][standardisation]


 後期古英語のウェストサクソン方言に基づく書き言葉(主にスペリング)が比較的一様であることを根拠に,しばしば「古英語の標準語」 ("Standard Old English") という表現が聞かれる."(Late) West-Saxon Standard", "(Late) West-Saxon Schriftsprache" など様々な呼び方があるが,緩く「古英語の標準語」と言われることが多い.
 しかし,実際のところ「古英語の標準語」とは非常に誤解を招きやすい呼び名である.現代の社会言語学の観点からすれば,それはほとんど「標準語」と呼べる要件を満たしていないからだ(cf. 「#3260. 古英語における標準化」 ([2018-03-31-1])).標準語を巡る尺度は様々あり,"standard", "standardised", "fixed", "focused", "focusing", "diffuse" など術語が林立しているが,そのような一連の尺度のなかで「古英語の標準語」がどの辺りに位置づけられるのかといえば,現代人の私たちが典型的に思い浮かべる「標準語」の位置からは相当離れていたに違いない(様々な術語については「#3207. 標準英語と言語の標準化に関するいくつかの術語」 ([2018-02-06-1]) を参照).
 Mengden (28) は「古英語の標準語」が誘う誤解に関して,次のように注意喚起している.

If a standard is understood as an institutionalized variety that, among other things, serves as a means of communication bridging several local and social differences in the usage of a language, the hypothesis of a Late West Saxon standard involves two problems. First, it is not falsifiable, because we have no clues as to how widely a deliberately regulated variety may have made its way outside the scriptoria. And second, the idea is implausible because it is not clear how a variety attested in a number of specialized scholarly texts should have spread into other areas of society given that literacy was limited to a rather small elite. What is plausible, though, and for this we do have evidence, is that there is an influential intellectual elite which has an enormous impact on the literary productivity in late Anglo-Saxon England, and who seem to have used the language of their works in a deliberate and comparatively uniform way.

 この議論は的確である.さらに,別の箇所 (27) で次のようにも議論している.

. . . we are dealing with a set of texts covering a limited range of scholarly fields. It would be problematic to deduce the existence of a genuine standard language from the relative homogeneity of the Winchester texts alone. Indeed, the very fact that the documents representing "Standard Old English" all derive from a tight network of authors and instigators in a predominantly monastic context --- all in all a rather small, albeit influential, group of people --- speaks against rather than in favor of the wider use of their linguistic features outside these circles. It is therefore justified to speak of orthographic conventions characteristic of the Winchester school, perhaps of a West Saxon Schriftsprache, but it is difficult, if not impossible to make judgments about the scope and influence of the Winchester conventions.


 ・ Mengden, Ferdinand von. "Periods: Old English." Chapter 2 of English Historical Linguistics: An International Handbook. 2 vols. Ed. Alexander Bergs and Laurel J. Brinton. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2012. 19--32.

Referrer (Inside): [2020-04-23-1]

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