#5250. 山の名前は近現代につけられたものが意外と多い[name_project][onomastics][oronymy]


 固有名詞を言語学する「名前プロジェクト」 (name_project) の一環として,The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming を読み進めている(cf. 「#5187. 固有名詞学のハンドブック」 ([2023-07-10-1])).丘と山の名前 (oronym) を扱う8章までたどり着いた.
 8章では,まず冒頭の段落から驚かされた.各地の秀峰とされる山には当然ながら古くより名前がつけられていたに違いないと思い込んでいたが,そうでもないようだ.かりに早くから名前がつけられていたとしても,広く記録されるほどの目立った存在ではなかったらしい.中世以前の人々は山々を人間にとって経済的に役に立たないもの,関与しないものととらえていた節がある.Drummond (115) より引用する.

Historically, high ground was economically marginal, although it may be (sic) have been used for pasture (especially of a transhumant nature), hunting, or mining. However, over the last century and a half, the human activity of climbing mountains simply for pleasure has led to a greater focus on their names, with in some cases new names being coined, either to replace an older extant name, or to fill a gap where no name existed.
   The historic marginality resulted in a relative lateness in the recording of oronyms (hill and mountain names). In the British Isles, for instance, whilst most major rivers and many settlements were on record by the eleventh century, only Snowdon (Snawdune 1095) and The Cheviot (Chiuiet 1181) appear to have been recorded by the twelfth century. Scotland and England's highest peaks, Ben Nevis and Scafell respectively, were first recorded in the sixteenth century (1590s and 1578); Mont Blanc was not apparently recorded as such until the seventeenth century, superseding the older name of Mont Maudit (still used for its subsidiary summit) . . . . Relatively lower peaks were recorded earlier . . . . This pattern is logical from the point of view of those who worked the land, or owned the productive areas, in that the lower hills or mountains closer to them, and more easily accessible for transhumance, would be significant enough to name and record. Conversely, the names of the highest and less accessible summits were of little interest until relatively modern times.


 ・ Drummond, Peter. "Hill and Mountain Names." Chapter 8 of The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming. Ed. Carole Hough. Oxford: OUP, 2016. 114--24.

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