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#4596. 「英語に関する不平不満の伝統」の歴史的変化[complaint_tradition][sociolinguistics][linguistic_ideology]

2021-11-26

 英語の歴史を通じて観察されてきた "the complaint tradition" 「英語に関する不平不満の伝統」については「#3239. 英語に関する不平不満の伝統」 ([2018-03-10-1]) を始めとして complaint_tradition の各記事で取り上げてきた.中世から現代に至るまで,そしておそらくは未来にかけても,この伝統は続いていくだろう.
 しかし,これを伝統とひとくくりにしてしまうと,かえって見えなくなることもある.というのは,英語に関する不平不満の内実や種類は時代とともに変化してきたからである.ある時代には不平不満の矛先は国家主義や方言変異に向けられていたが,別の時代には規範主義や政治的公正さ (pc) に向けられるなど,不平不満のあり方そのものが通時的に変化してきたのである.
 上記の趣旨での Crowley (981) による "the complaint tradition" の概説を読み,たいへん刺激を受けた.そのイントロの文章を引用したい.

It is worth noting at the start of this account that the phrase "the complaint tradition" is slightly misleading. What it suggests is a continuing practice which, although it differs over time, is recognisably the same by dint of a common set of features. That is to say, a legacy which is more or less passed down over a prolonged period in which certain characteristics and themes recur. In one limited sense this is an accurate description of a practice which does indeed reach far back into the history of the English language; yet in another sense the conception of a "complaint tradition" is far too abstract and non-specific for analytical purposes. For while it is undoubtedly a matter of interest that people have consistently sought to complain about English since it became a language which was considered to be worthy of comment at all, what the general phrase "the complaint tradition" obscures is that fact that what precisely people were complaining about --- and why --- has varied historically. If the same complaints had been made about the English language throughout its history, it would perhaps be an interesting phenomenon but one which might be easily explained. As will be seen, however, complaints about English have been radically different at distinct points in the history of the language, and it is this which makes the "complaint tradition" both fascinating and complicated. The complaints themselves have ranged all the way from accusations that the English language was not "copious" enough for the purposes of various forms of written usage, to the charge that it is a vehicle of neo-imperialism in its acquired role as a global language; from the allegation that it was a debased and inconsistent language as a result of political corruption to the claim that it somehow caused moral decadence on the part of its users. What such variability tells us is that there has indeed been a long-standing practice of complaining about English, but that the criticism of the language has been historically specific and has often been intertwined with other arguments beyond the linguistic sphere. In other words, as has been noted elsewhere, language debates are very rarely simply debates about language; they are, more often than not, intertwined with questions of value.


 各時代の人々の間に,言語に対する何らかの理想があるからこそ,そこに達していない現実への不平不満が募るのだろう.とすると,これは言語イデオロギー (linguistic_ideology) の問題といえる.英語(否,一般に言語)に関する不平不満の伝統そのものの歴史を明らかにしたいという気にさせる,素晴らしいイントロではないだろうか.

 ・ Crowley, Tony. "Standardization: The Complaint Tradition." Chapter 61 of English Historical Linguistics: An International Handbook. 2 vols. Ed. Alexander Bergs and Laurel J. Brinton. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2012. 980--94.

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