#1350. 受動態の動作主に用いられる of[preposition][passive]


 「#1333. 中英語で受動態の動作主に用いられた前置詞」 ([2012-12-20-1]) で紹介した前置詞のうち,of に注目したい.of は,古英語の終わりから1600年頃まで,動作主の前置詞として広く使われた.その後 ofby に置換されていったが,近現代英語のいくつかの表現にかつての用法の痕跡をとどめている.細江 (277) に挙げられている例を引こう.

 ・ Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. --- Matthew, iv. 1.
 ・ The poor sinner is forsaken of all. --- Eliot.
 ・ . . . while bream, beloved of our ancestors, cannot be recommended highly. --- Clifford Cordley. (in Chambers's Journal, Feb., 1916)
 ・ The observed of all observers --- Shakespeare Hamlet, III. i. 162
 ・ Thus she drew quite near to Clare, still unobserved of him --- Hardy Tess, XIX

 OED の of, prep. の該当箇所を引用しよう.

14. Introducing the agent after a passive verb.

The usual word for this is now by (BY prep. 33), which was prevalent by the 15th cent.; of was used alongside by until c1600. Of is subsequently found as a stylistic archaism in biblical, poetic, and literary use, and in certain constructions, e.g. 'on the part of'. In Old English of was less used than from (both of which, however, retain connotations of separation or origin): cf. German von from, of.

The use of of is most frequent after past participles expressing a continued non-physical action (as in admired, loved, hated, ordained of), or a condition resulting from a definite action (as in abandoned, deserted, forgotten, forsaken of, which approach branch II.). It is also occasional with participial adjectives in un-, as unseen of, unowned of. Of often shows an approach to the subjective genitive: cf. 'he was chosen of God to this work' with 'he was the chosen of the electors'. In other senses the agent has passed into the cause, as in afeard, afraid, frightened, terrified of; or the source or origin, as in born of. English of and by correspond somewhat to French de and par.

 be afraid of は,現代でこそ熟語として捉えられているが,中英語期にフランス語から入った「おびえさせる」を意味する動詞 affray を用いた典型的な受け身表現の名残にすぎない.また,引用の終わりのほうに触れられている born(e) of については,「#966. borne of」 ([2011-12-19-1]) を参照.

 ・ 細江 逸記 『英文法汎論』3版 泰文堂,1926年.

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