hellog〜英語史ブログ

#621. 文法変化の進行の円滑さと速度[language_change][grammatical_change][speed_of_change]

2011-01-08

 昨日の記事[2011-01-07-1]で "grammar blindness" の理由をいろいろ考察したが,特に (3) で触れた変化の速度について,音声と文法(形態と統語)の変化を比較してみよう.音声変化には相当に時間のかかるものがあることが知られている.例えば,有名なところでは大母音推移は1400〜1700年にかけて徐々に進行した ( see [2009-11-18-1] ) .しかし,多くの場合,音声変化は特定の条件下で進行するので,結果として整然と円滑に推移するのが通例である.
 一方で,形態・統語変化は音声変化ほど整然としていず,生起条件もより複雑であり,不規則性が高い.また,複数の文法カテゴリーが互いに関わり合うために,円滑には進みにくい.さらに,形態・統語は音声と異なり意味を担っているために,意味の連想や類推という複雑な要因も交じり,不規則な変化を示さざるを得ない.形態と統語でいえば,統語のほうが上述の性質をより濃く示す.
 上記をまとめれば,文法変化は音声変化と比べて時間がかかり,直線的に進行せず,結果が不規則になる傾向が強い.これが文法変化が明示的に意識されにくい理由の1つである.以上の議論,特に形態変化と音声変化の進行の仕方の差異については,拙著でも取り上げているので,参考までに下に引用する.

Morphological change is likely to diffuse more slowly than phonological change. This is because there are more morphemes than phonemes and there are more morphological environments to work through than phonological ones (Aitchison, "Missing Link" 25).
     Another difference is that morphological change usually shows a higher degree of irregularity than phonological change because slower changes are more likely to get involved in unexpected interferences as they proceed. The irregularity of morphological change is due also to the complexities of morphological categories. To take Early Middle English nouns for example, there are intertwined categories such as case, number, gender, and declension type. The complex interdependence of these categories make it difficult for any morphological change to proceed regularly.
     Furthermore, morphemes are associated with meanings while phonemes are normally not (phonaesthesia aside, of course). It is no wonder, therefore, that morphology is more subject to semantic association and analogy than phonology.
     One final point is that since morphology is more closely related to syntax than phonology, it is more likely to be conditioned by syntactic contexts as well. (Hotta 125)

 ・ Hotta, Ryuichi. The Development of the Nominal Plural Forms in Early Middle English. Hituzi Linguistics in English 10. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo, 2009.
 ・ Aitchison, Jean. "The Missing Link: The Role of the Lexicon." Historical Linguistics and Philology. Ed. J. Fisiak. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1990. 11--28.

[ | 固定リンク | 印刷用ページ ]

Powered by WinChalow1.0rc4 based on chalow