#5039. 多重否定の不使用は15--16世紀の法律文書から始まった[double_negative][construction][prescriptive_grammar][register][stigma]


 従来,2重否定 (double_negative) を含む多重否定は,18世紀の規範主義の時代に stigma を付され,その強力な影響が現代まで続いていると言われてきた.しかし,近年の研究の進展により,実際にはもっと早い段階から非標準的になっており,18世紀の規範文法はすでに行き渡っていた言語慣習にお墨付きを与えたにすぎないと解釈されるようになってきた.これについては「#2999. 標準英語から二重否定が消えた理由」 ([2017-07-13-1]) で触れた.
 多重否定構文が,意味として否定になるのか肯定になるのかが曖昧となり得るのであれば,コミュニケーション上支障を来たすだろう.一方,実際の対話においては文脈や韻律の助けもあり,それほど誤解が生じるわけでもない.しかし,なるべく曖昧さを排除したい「談話の場」で,かつ「書き言葉」だったら,どうだろうか.その典型が法律文書である.Rissanen (125) を引用する.

In the development of negative expressions legal texts may have offered an early model that resulted in the avoidance of multiple or universal negation in Late Middle and Early Modern English.
   In Late Middle English, multiple negation was still accepted and universal negation was only gradually becoming obsolete, possibly with the loss of ne. In the fifteenth century, the not . . . no construction . . . was still the rule . . . , but in the Helsinki Corpus samples of legal texts this combination does not occur even once, while the combination not . . . any . . . , can be found no less than eight times. In other contexts . . . multiple negation occurs even in the statutes, but the user of any is more common than in the other genres.
. . . .
   The same trend can be seen in sixteenth-century texts: the not . . . no type is avoided in the statutes while it is still an accepted minority variant in other text types. This is not surprising, since the tendency towards disambiguation and clarity of expression probably resulted in the avoidance of double negation in legal texts well before the normative grammarians started arguing about two negatives making one affirmative.

 Rissanen の同じ論文より「#1276. hereby, hereof, thereto, therewith, etc.」 ([2012-10-24-1]) も参照.

 ・ Rissanen, Matti. "Standardisation and the Language of Early Statutes." The Development of Standard English, 1300--1800. Ed. Laura Wright. Cambridge: CUP, 2000. 117--30.

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