#5321. 初期中英語の名前スペリングとアングロ・ノルマン写字生の神話[name_project][spelling][orthography][language_myth][scribe][anglo-norman][eme]


 初期中英語のスペリング事情をめぐって「#1238. アングロ・ノルマン写字生の神話」 ([2012-09-16-1]) という学説上の問題がある.昨今はあまり取り上げられなくなったが,文献で言及されることはある.初期中英語のスペリングが後期古英語の規範から著しく逸脱している事実を指して,写字生は英語を話せないアングロ・ノルマン人に違いないと解釈する学説である.
 しかし,過去にも現在にも,英語母語話者であっても英語を書く際にスペリングミスを犯すことは日常茶飯だし,その書き手が「外国人」であるとは,そう簡単に結論づけられるものではないだろう.初期中英語期の名前事情について論じている Clark (548--49) も,強い批判を展開している.

Orthography is, as always in historical linguistics, a basic problem, and one that must be faced not only squarely but in terms of the particular type of document concerned and its likely sociocultural background. Thus, to claim, in the context of fourteenth-century tax-rolls, that 'OE þ, ð are sometimes written t, d owing to the inability of the French scribes to pronounce these sounds' . . . involves at least two unproven assumptions: (a) that throughout the Middle English period scriptoria were staffed chiefly by non-native speakers; and (b) that the substitutions which such non-native speakers were likely to make for awkward English sounds can confidently be reconstructed (present-day substitutes for /θ/ and /ð/, for what they are worth, vary partly according to the speakers' backgrounds, often involving, not /t/ and /d/, but other sorts of spirant, e.g., /s/ and /z/, or /f/ and /v/) Of course, if --- as all the evidence suggests --- (a) can confidently be dismissed, then (b) becomes irrelevant. The orthographical question that nevertheless remains is best approached in documentary terms; and almost all medieval administrative documents, tax-rolls included, were, in intention, Latin documents . . . . A Latin-based orthography did not provide for distinction between /θ/ and /t/ or between /ð/ and /d/, and so spellings of the sorts mentioned may reasonably be taken as being, like the associated use of Latin inflections, matters of graphic decorum rather than in any sense connected with pronunciation.

 Clark の論点は明確である.名前のスペリングに関する限り,そもそも英語ではなくラテン語で(あるいは作法としてラテン語風に)綴られるのが前提だったのだから,英語話者とアングロ・ノルマン語話者のの発音のギャップなどという議論は飛んでしまうのである.

 ・ Clark, Cecily. "Onomastics." The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 2. Ed. Olga Fischer. Cambridge: CUP, 1992. 542--606.

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