#1232. 言語変化は雨漏りである[language_change][causation][borrowing][sociolinguistics]


 「#443. 言語内的な要因と言語外的な要因はどちらが重要か?」 ([2010-07-14-1]) で取り上げた言語変化の原因論について,最近,「#1222. フランス語が英語の音素に与えた小さな影響」 ([2012-08-31-1]) で再考する機会をもった.
 Aitchison の雨漏りの比喩は,実に言い得て妙である.

Overall, then, borrowing does not suddenly disrupt the basic structure of a language. Foreign elements make use of existing tendencies, and commonly accelerate changes which are already under way. We may perhaps liken the situation to a house with ill-fitting windows. If rain beats against the windows, it does not normally break the window or pass through solid panes of glass. It simply infiltrates the cracks which are already there. If the rain caused extensive dry rot, we could perhaps say that in a superficial sense the rain 'caused' the building to change structurally. But a deeper and more revealing analysis would ask how and why the rain was able to get in the window in the first place. (145)


 ・ Aitchison, Jean. Language Change: Progress or Decay. 3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.

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