#4912. 意味調整における前景化と背景化[semantics][modulation][collocation][metonymy]


 昨日の記事「#4911. 意味調整における昇格と降格」 ([2022-10-07-1]) に引き続き,文脈が語に与える意味調整 (semantic modulation) について.
 意味調整には,昇格 (promotion) や降格 (demotion) と似てはいるが別種のタイプがある."highlighting" と "backgrounding" と言われるものだ.当面,それぞれを「前景化」「背景化」と和訳しておく.Cruse (53) の説明と例が分かりやすい.

Another effect of contextual modulation on the sense of a lexical unit involves the relative highlighting or backgrounding of semantic traits. Different sorts of trait can be affected in this way. Two examples will suffice. First, some part of an object (or process, etc.) may be thrown into relief relative to other parts. For instance, The car needs servicing and The car needs washing highlight different parts of the car. (This is not to say that car refers to something different in each of these sentences --- in both cases is is the whole car which is referred to.) Second, it is commonly the case that what is highlighted or backgrounded is an attribute, or range of attributes, of the entity referred to. For instance, We can't afford that car highlights the price of the car, Our car crushed Arthur's foot its weight. It is in respect of 'contextually modulated sense' that a lexical unit may be justifiably said to have a different meaning in every distinct context in which it occurs.

 文脈に応じて同じ car という語に意味調整が働き,注目点が精妙に操作されているわけだ.前景化(および背景化)は,指示対象の特定の「部分」や「属性」に注目する点で,メトニミー (metonymy) と関係が深い.

 ・ Cruse, D. A. Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: CUP, 1986.

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