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2012-08-14 Tue

#1205. 英語の復権期にフランス借用語が爆発したのはなぜか [french][loan_word][history][bilingualism][reestablishment_of_english][language_shift]

 [2009-08-22-1]の記事「#117. フランス借用語の年代別分布」で,Jespersen と Koszal による,フランス借用語の流入率の通時的変化を見た.フランス借用語は13世紀と14世紀に爆発期を迎えるが,この時期はちょうど英語がフランス語から解放されて復権を遂げてゆく時期である([2009-09-05-1]の記事「#131. 英語の復権」を参照).一見すると,この符合は矛盾するように思われる.これについて,先の記事では「フランス語を母語としていた貴族が英語に乗り換える際に,元母語から大量の語彙をたずさえつつ乗り換えたと考えれば合点がいく」と述べた.
 もう少し詳しく述べるために,Schmitt and Marsden (84) から引用しよう.

Our records for the 11th and early 12th centuries are sparse, but it appears that the words entered quite slowly at first, came at a greater rate later in the 12th century, and then flooded in during the 13th and 14th centuries. One reason for this is that it was not until the 13th century that English was finally becoming established again as the language of administration and creative literature (replacing French), and many specialist terms and words to express new social structures and new ideas, unavailable in the native language, were now needed.


 続けて,Baugh and Cable (135) より.

Instead of being a mother tongue inherited from Norman ancestors, French became, as the century wore on, a cultivated tongue supported by social custom and by business and administrative convention. Meanwhile English made steady advances. A number of considerations make it clear that by the middle of the century, when the separation of the English nobles from their interests in France had been about completed, English was becoming a matter of general use among the upper classes. It is at this time . . . that the adoption of French words into the English language assumes large proportions. The transference of words occurs when those who know French and have been accustomed to use it try to express themselves in English. It is at this time also that the literature intended for polite circles begins to be made over from French into English . . . .


 常用言語をフランス語から英語に乗り換える (language shift) に当たって,人々は,慣れ親しんできた多数のフランス単語を携えて乗り換えたということである.

 ・ Schmitt, Norbert, and Richard Marsden. Why Is English Like That? Ann Arbor, Mich.: U of Michigan P, 2006.
 ・ Baugh, Albert C. and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. 5th ed. London: Routledge, 2002.

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