#4253. 「対照言語学」と「比較言語学」は似て非なる分野[contrastive_linguistics][comparative_linguistics][linguistics]


 標記の2つの分野はよく間違えられるが,まったく異なる分野であることを指摘しておきたい.英語では対照言語学contrastive linguistics と呼ばれ,比較言語学は comparative linguistics と呼ばれる.いずれも2つ以上の言語を比較・対照する言語学の下位分野であるには違いなく,ややこしい名称であることは確かである.
 上記の説明ではあまりに大雑把なので,McArthur の用語辞典からしっかりした解説を引用しておこう.まずは対照言語学から.

CONTRASTIVE LINGUISTICS, ALSO contrastive analysis [Mid-20c]. A branch of linguistics that describes similarities and difference among two or more languages at such levels as phonology, grammar, and semantics, especially in order to improve language teaching and translation. The study began in Central Europe before the Second World War and developed afterwards in North America. In the US in the later 1950s, Robert Lado proposed contrastive analysis as a means of identifying areas of difficulty for language learners that could then be managed with suitable exercises. Critics have pointed out that such areas of difficulty are already widely known and discussed by experienced professionals, and that, while headway has been made in analysing English, few other languages have been sufficiently studied to allow balanced comparison. Teachers, however, generally agree that mother tongue and target language merit comparison, many courses incorporate the results of contrastive study, and linguists involved in the area consider that the study is still in its infancy and continued research is likely to bear fruit.

 次に比較言語学について.見出しでは "comparative philology" となっており,こちらの用語ほうが誤解を招かないようにも思うが,昨今は上記の通り "comparative linguistics" のほうが普通である.

COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGY. The branch of philology that deals with the relations between languages descended from a common original, now generally known as comparative linguistics.


 ・ McArthur, Tom, ed. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

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