#5403. 感情的叫びから理性的単調へ --- ルソーの言語起源・発達論[roussseau][anthropology][homo_sapiens][origin_of_language][evolution][language_myth][history_of_linguistics]


 フランスの思想家ルソー (Jean Jacques Rousseau [1712--78]) は,人類言語の起源は感情的叫びにあると考えた.その後,言語は人類の精神,社会,環境の変化とともに,より理性的なものへと発展してきたという.これは言語の起源と発達に関する古典的かつ代表的な仮説の1つといってよいだろう.
 ルソーは言語起源・発達について,上記の基本的な考え方に基づき,より具体的な一風変わった諸点にも言及している.Mufwene (19--20) によるルソー解説を引用したい.

. . . Rousseau interpreted evolution as progress towards a more explicit architecture meant to express reason more than emotion. According to him,

Anyone who studies the history and progress of tongues will see that the more words become monotonous, the more consonants multiply; that, as accents fall into disuse and quantities are neutralized, they are replaced by grammatical combinations and new articulations. [...] To the degree that needs multiply [...] language changes its character. It becomes more regular and less passionate. It substitutes ideas for feelings. It no longer speaks to the heart but to reason. (Moran and Gode 1966: 16)

Thus, Rousseau interpreted the evolution of language as gradual, reflecting changes in the Homo genus's mental, social, and environmental structures. He also suggests that consonants emerged after vowels (at least some of them), out of necessity to keep 'words' less 'monotonous.' Consonants would putatively have made it easier to identify transitions from one syllable to another. He speaks of 'break[ing] down the speaking voice into a given number of elementary parts, either vocal or articulate [i.e. consonantal?], with which one can form all the words and syllables imaginable' . . . .

 言語が,人間の理性の発達とともに "monotonous" となってきて,"consonants" が増えてきたという発想が興味深い.この発想の背景には,声調を利用する「感情的な」諸言語が非西洋地域で話されていることをルソーが知っていたという事実がある.ルソーも時代の偏見から自由ではなかったことがわかる.

 ・ Mufwene, Salikoko S. "The Origins and the Evolution of Language." Chapter 1 of The Oxford Handbook of the History of Linguistics. Ed. Keith Allan. Oxford: OUP, 2013. 13--52.

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