#1333. 中英語で受動態の動作主に用いられた前置詞[preposition][passive][timeline]


 中英語で動作主を示すのに用いられた前置詞には,by, from, mid, of, with があった.すべてが同じような頻度で用いられていたわけではなく,時代により盛衰が見られた.
 古英語では,主として from が,またしばしば of が動作主を表わすのに用いられていた.このうち from は14世紀まで使用されたが,後に廃れていった.一方,of は古英語の終わりから中英語にかけて著しく伸張し,1600年辺りまでは最も広く用いられた.次に現代英語に連なる by をみてみると,動作主を示す用法は,古英語でもそれらしき例があったと指摘されてはいるが,はっきりしない(下の Mustanoja からの3番目の引用を参照).動作主の by が中英語で例証されるようになるのは14世紀終わりからであり,15--16世紀にかけて拡大し,of と肩を並べるほどになる.そのほか,動作主の前置詞としてはそれほど目立たないが,13世紀より文証される with や初期中英語で散見される mid の例もある.

       1000      1100      1200      1300      1400      1500      1600      1700
from :************************************** - - -
of   :*************************************************************** - - -
bi   : - - -                                    *******************************
with :                        - - *** - -
mid  :                   - - *** - -

 Mustanoja より,各前置詞の関連する記述箇所を引用しておこう.

From its function to indicate a person as a source of an action, first as a giver or sender, from develops into a preposition of agency in OE. In this function it occurs down to the 14th century: --- he wæs gehalgod to biscop fram þone ærcebiscop Willelm of Cantwarabyri (OE Chron. an. 1129); --- I . . . am sett king from hym upon Sion (Wyclif Ps. ii 6; am maad of hym a kyng, Purvey). (385--86)

To express agency of is used less frequently than from in OE, but it begins to gain ground towards the end of this period and becomes the most popular preposition expressing agency in connection with a passive verb down to c 1600. It is possible that this use of of has been promoted by the influence of OF de. Examples: --- ich wolde þet heo weren of alle alse heo beoþ of ou iholden (Ancr. 21); --- is alle biset of helle muchares (Ancr. 67); --- if he wolde be slayn of Symkyn (Ch. CT A Rv. 3959); --- enformed whan the kyng was of that knyght (Ch. CT F Sq. 335). (397)  

Wülfing II, p. 338, quotes a doubtful OE instance of be denoting agency with a passive verb, and R. Gottweiss (Anglia XXVIII, 1905, 353--4) calls attention to what he calls 'signs of the use of be with the passive' in Ælfric's homilies. BTS, be 20, quotes an example from the OE Gospel of St Luke (þa þing þe be him wærun gewordene 'quae febant ab eo,' ix 7). Cf. active cases like þat was agan þære bi þan kaisere (Lawman A 27982). Unambiguous ME instances where by indicates the agent of a passive verb occur from the end of the 14th century on (I praye Jhesu shorte hir lyves That wol nat be governed by hir wyves, Ch. CT D WB 1262; --- ne hadde he ben holpen by the steede of brass, Ch. CT F Sq. 666). This use becomes increasingly common in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the Cloud (MSS of the early 15th---early 16th century) of is a little more frequently used to denote agency than by. It may be assumed that the use of by to indicate the agent of a passive expression is promoted by the influence of French par. (374--75)

With begins to occur as a preposition of agency in the 13th century: --- heder was þat mayde brouȝt With marchaundes þat hur had bouȝt (Flor. & Bl. 408); --- he was with þe prestes shrive (Havelok 2489); --- and with twenty knyghtes take, O persone allone, withouten mo (Ch. CT A Kn. 2724). (420)

. . . instrumental mid is occasionally used to express agency in early ME: --- a lefdi was þet was mid hire voan biset at abuten (Ancr. 177). (394)

 ・ Mustanoja, T. F. A Middle English Syntax. Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 1960.

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