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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2009-06-20

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2009-06-20 Sat

#53. 後期中英語期の through の綴りは515通り [spelling][lme][scribe][me_dialect]

 現代英語の学習者が,初めて中英語で書かれたテキストを読もうとするときに驚くのは,スペリングの多様さである.例えば,後期中英語期には through という単語はなんと515通りもの異なるスペリングがあり得た.

doruȝ-, dorw, dorwe, dorwgh, dourȝh, drowgȝ, durghe, durwe, -thogh, thorch, thorew, thorewe, thorffe, thorg, Thorgh, thorgh, -thorgh, thorgh, thorghe, thorght, thorghw, thorghwe, thorgth, thorh, thoro, thorogh, thoroghe, thoroght, -thoroght, thorohe, thoroo, thorou, Thorough, thorough, thorough-, thoroughe, thorought, Thorouh, thorouȝ, thorouȝh, Thorow, thorow, thorow-, Thorowe, thorowe, thorowg, thorowgh, thorowghe, thorowght, thorowh, thorowth, thorowut, thorowȝ, thorowȝt, thorrou, thorrow, thorth, thorthe, thoru, thoru-, thorue, thorugh, -thorugh, thorughe, thorught, -thorught, Thoruh, thoruh, thoruh-, thorur, thoruth, Thoruȝ, thoruȝ, thoruȝh, thorv, Thorw, thorw, -thorw, thorw, Thorwe, thorwe, thorwgh, thorwh, thorwȝ, -thorwȝ, thorwȝ, thorwȝe, Thorȝ, thorȝ, Thorȝe, thorȝe, thorȝh, thorȝoh, thorȝt, thorȝw, thorȝwe, thour, thour, thoure, thourgh, -thourgh, thourghe, thourght-, thourh, thourhe, thourow, thourr, thourth, thourw, thourw, thourwg, thourȝ, thourȝ, thourȝe, thow, thowe, thowffe, thowr, thowrgh, thowrow, thowur, thrawth, threw, thro, thro-, -thro, throch, throcht, throgh, throghe, throghet, throght, throght, throghte, throighe, throu, throuche, throue, throug, through, through-, throughe, throught, throuh, throuȝ, throuȝe, throuȝht, throve, throw, throw-, throw, throwe, throwe, throwe, throwg, throwgh, throwght, throwh, throwr, throwth, throwȝ, throwȝe, throȝ, -throȝe, throȝe, throȝgh, throȝghe, throȝh, throȝhe, throȝt, thruch, thrue-, thrug-, Thrugh, thrugh, thrughe, thrught, thrughte, thruh, thruth, thruȝ, thruȝe, thruȝhe, thrvoo, thrw, thrwe, thrwgh, thrwght, thrygh, thuht, thur, thurch, thurew, thurg, thurge, thurge-, thurgeh, Thurgh, thurgh, thurgh-, -thurgh, thurgh, thurghe, thurght, thurghte, thurgth, thurgwe, Thurh, thurh, thurhe, thurhge, thurhgh, thuro, thurow, thurowe, thurth, thurthe, thuru, thurv, thurw, -thurw, thurwe, Thurȝ, thurȝ, thurȝe, Thurȝh, thurȝh, Thurȝhg, thurȝt, thurȝth, thwrgh, thwrw, torgh, torghe, torw, -torwe, trghug, trogh, troght, trough, trow, trowe, trowffe, trowgh, trowght, trugh, trughe, trught, twrw, yerowe, yhorh, yhoru, yhrow, yhurgh, yhurght, yora, yorch, yorgh, yorghe, yorh, yoro, yorou, yoroue, yorough, yorour, yorow, yorow-, yorowe, yorowe, yoru, yorugh, yoruh, yoruȝ, yorw, yorwe, yorȝ, your, yourch, yourgh, yourghe, yourh, yourw-, yourȝ, yowr, yowrw, yoȝou, yrogh, yrou-, yrow, yrugh, yruȝ, yurch, yurg-, yurgh, yurghe, yurght, yurh, yurhg, yurht, yurowe, yurth, yurthe, yuru, yurw, yurwh, yurȝ, yurȝe, ðoru, þarȝ, þerew, þerew, þerow, þerue-, þhorow, þhurȝ, þor, þorch, þore, þoreu, þorew, þorewe, þorewȝ, þoreȝ, þorg, -þorgh, þorgh, þorghe, þorght, þorghȝ, þorguh, þorgȝ, þorh, þoro, þorogh, þoroghe, þorou, þorou, þoroue, þorough, þorought, þorouh, þorour, -þorouȝ, þorouȝ, þorouȝe, þorouȝh, þorouȝt, þorow, -þorow, þorow, þorow, þorowe, þorowgh, þorowghe, þorowh, þorowth, þorowþ, þorouwȝ, þoroȝ, þorrow, þorrughe, þorth, þoru, -þoru, þorue, þorug, þorugh, þorught, þorugȝ, þoruh, þoruhg, þoruth, þoruþ, þoruȝ, -þoruȝ, þoruȝe, þoruȝh, þoruȝt, þorv, þorw, þorw-, -þorw, þorwe, þorwgh, þorwgȝ, þorwh, -þorwh, þorwhe, þorwth, þorwtȝ, þorwȝ, þorwȝe, þorþ, þorȝ, þorȝe, þorȝh, þorȝhȝ, þorȝt, þough, þour, þour, þour, þourg, þourgh, þourght, þourgȝ, þourh, þourh, þourow, þourt, þourth, þouruȝ, þourw, þourw-, -þourw, þourwe, þourþ, þourȝ, t-þourȝ, þourȝ, þourȝe, þourȝh, þourȝt, þourȝw, þouȝ, þouȝt, þowr, þowre, þro, þrogh, þroghe, þrorow, þrorowe, þroth, þrou, þrough, þrought, þroughte-, þrouh, þrouhe, þrouht, þrouȝ, þrouȝe, þrouȝh, þrouȝt, þrouȝte, þrouȝth, þrow, þrow, þrowe, þrowgh, þrowghe, þrowh, -þrowþ, þrowȝ, þrowȝe, þroȝ, þroȝe, þroȝgh, þroȝh, þroȝt, þroȝth, þrugh, -þruh, þruȝ, þruȝe, þur, þurch, þureh, þureȝ, þurf, þurg, þurgh, -þurgh, þurghe, þurght, þurghȝ, þurgȝh, þurh, þurh, þurhg, þurht, þuro, þurow, þurru, þurth, þurthe, þuru, þuruch, þurugh, þurughe, þurut, þuruȝ, þurw, þurw-, þurwe, þurwȝ, þurwȝ, þurþ, þurȝ, þurȝe, þurȝg, þurȝh, þurȝhg, þurȝt, þurȝth, þwrgh, ȝorgh, ȝoru, ȝoruȝ, ȝoruȝt, ȝorw, ȝour, ȝowr, ȝurch


 壮観である.だが,なぜこんな状況になっていたのだろうか.
 一言でいえば,標準スペリングというものがなかったということである.当時は規範となる辞書もなければ,スペリング・マスターのような人物もいない.写字生 ( scribe ) と呼ばれる書き手の各々が,およそ自分の発音に即して綴り字をあてたのである.例えば,イングランド北部・南部の出身の写字生では,方言がまるで違うわけであり,発音も相当異なったろう.そこで,同じ単語でもかなり異なった綴り字が用いられたはずである.さらには,同じ写字生でも,一つの単語が,数行後に異なるスペリングで書かれるということも珍しいことではない.スペリングがきちんと定まっている現代英語から見ると,信じがたい状況である.
 英語のスペリングがおよそ現在のような形に落ち着いたのは,近代英語以降である.それも比較的ゆっくりと固まっていった.英語の試験で一字でも間違えたらバツということを我々は当たり前のように受け入れているが,中世の写字生がこの厳しい英語教育の現状を見たらなんというだろうか?
 中英語のほうが余裕と遊びがあるようにも思えるが,さすがに515通りは行き過ぎか・・・.そもそも <trghug> なんてどう発音されたのだろうか?

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