#5037. 軟口蓋鼻音の音素としての特異な性質2点[consonant][phoneme][allophone][phonology][phonemicisation][syllable][h]


 現代英語において有声軟口蓋鼻音 [ŋ] は /ŋ/ として1つの音素と認められている.一方,[ŋ] は別の音素 /n/ の異音としての顔ももつ.英語の音韻体系において [ŋ] も /ŋ/ も中途半端な位置づけを与えられている.この音(素)の位置づけにくさは,それが英語の歴史の比較的新しい段階で確立したことと関係する.過去の関連する記事として以下を挙げておきたい.

 ・ 「#1508. 英語における軟口蓋鼻音の音素化」 ([2013-06-13-1])
 ・ 「#3482. 語頭・語末の子音連鎖が単純化してきた歴史」 ([2018-11-08-1])
 ・ 「#3855. なぜ「新小岩」(しんこいわ)のローマ字表記は *Shingkoiwa とならず Shinkoiwa となるのですか?」 ([2019-11-16-1])
 ・ 「#4344. -in' は -ing の省略形ではない」 ([2021-03-19-1])

 Minkova (138) によると,音素 /ŋ/ には2つの特異性がある.1つは,この音素が音節の coda にしか現われないこと.2つには,それに加えて domain-final にしか現われないことである.前者は音節ベースの制約で,後者は形態・語彙ベースの制約と考えてよい.後者は有り体にいえば,単語ごとに実現が /ŋ/ か /ŋg/ かが異なるので注意,と述べているのと同義である.

   The distribution of contrastive /ŋ/ prompts some interesting phonological questions. Like PDF /h-/, which can appear only in onsets, /ŋ/ is a 'defectively distributed' phoneme: it can be distinctive only in coda position. The restriction reflects its historical origin since it is only through the loss of the voiced velar stop in the coda that /ŋ/ became contrastive: kin--king, ban--bang, run--rung. Before /k/, as in plank, sink, hunk, [-ŋ] remains a positional allophone followed by the voiceless stop. Thus, we get a three-way opposition in pin [pɪn]--ping [pɪŋ]--pink [pɪŋk], sin, sing, sink, and so on.
   Another peculiarity of contrastive /ŋ/ is that it has to be domain-final, that is, the [-g-] is preserved stem-internally, rendering [-ŋ-] allophonic, as in Bangor, bingo, tango, single, hungry, Hungary, all with [-ŋg-]. Note that the preservation of [-g-] does not depend only on syllabification, because in forms derived with -ing or the agentive suffix -er, the [-g-] of the stem is not realised, and the derived form copies the shape of the base form: singing, singer with just [-ŋ-]. In addition to the most frequent -ing and -er, the majority of the native suffixes such as -y, -dom, -hood, -ness, -ish, -less, -ling, also -let (OFr), preserve the shape of the base: slangy, kingdom, thinghood, youngness, strongish, fangless, kingling, ringlet have [-ŋ-]. The addition of a comparative suffix, -er or -est, as in longer, strongest, youngly, however, results in heterosyllabic [ŋ].[g]. The addition of Latinate suffixes generally preserves the [g], as in fungation, diphthongal, but not always, as in ringette, nothingism. Then there is vacillation with some derivatives: prolong and prolonging are always just [-ŋ], prolongation varies between [-ŋ-] and [-ŋg-], and prolongate is always [-ŋg-]. There are some idiosyncrasies: dinghy, hangar allow both pronunciations, and so do English and England. The behaviour of [-ŋ] in clitic groups and phrases is also variable; the variability of [-ŋ] is of continuous theoretical interest. In our diachronic context, the deletion of the [g] and the possibility of phonemic [ŋ] in narrowly defined contexts in late ME and EModE is most notable as an addition to the inventory of contrastive sounds in English.

 近代英語期以降 [ŋ] は音素化 (phonemicisation) を経たが,歴史の浅さと分布の不徹底さゆえに,理論的な扱いは今に至るまで常に難しい.

 ・ Minkova, Donka. A Historical Phonology of English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2014.

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