#1527. ネガティブな接頭辞 for-[prefix]


 「#526. Chaucer の用いた英語本来語 --- 接頭辞 for- をもつ動詞」 ([2010-10-05-1]) でも取り上げた接頭辞の話題.現代英語では生産的ではないが,かつてはおおいに栄えた接頭辞として for- がある.この接頭辞が担当する意味を列挙すると,禁止,拒絶,非難,排除,否定,無視,不正,偽り,離反,差し控え,省略,失敗,悪影響,そしてそれらの強調である.一言で,ネガティヴな接頭辞といってよいだろう.
 現代英語から語例を挙げてみると,forbear (control oneself), forbearance (patience), forbid (prohibit), forbruise (bruise sorely), fordo (do away with), forget (be unable to remember), forgive (pardon), forgo (do without), forlorn (lonely), forpined (pined away), forsake (leave), forsay (prohibit), forspent (worn out), forswear (give up), forweary (weary extremely), forworn (worn out) などが挙がる.Web3 によると,接頭辞 for- は次のように説明されている.

for- prefix [ME, fr. OE; akin to OHG fir-, far-, fur- for-, OS for-, Goth fra-, fair-, for-, faur- for-, fore-, OE for] 1 : so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure, or refusal --- almost exclusively in words coined before 1600 <forsay> <forheed> 2 : destructively or detrimentally --- almost exclusively in words coined before 1600 <forhang> <forstorm> 3 : completely : excessively : to exhaustion : to pieces --- almost exclusively in words coined before 1600 <forbruise> <forweary> <forspent>

 ドイツ語 ver- を含めゲルマン諸語に広く見られる古い接頭辞であり,古英語でも例は少なくない.Bosworth-Toller Dictionary によると,こちらのページ にこの接頭辞のエントリーがある.その語例を書き出すと,forbeodan (to forbid), fordeman (to condemn), forcuþ (perverse, corrupt), fordon (to destroy, to do for), for-eaðe (very easily), for-oft (very often), forseon (to overlook, despise) などが挙がる.
 だが,この接頭辞が活躍したのはとりわけ中英語においてである.MEDfor- (pref.(1)) には,多くの語例が挙げられている.アルファベット順に再現すると,forbannen (banish), forberen (bear, endure, refrain, avoid), forbien (redeem, bribe), forbinden (tie up), forbleden (bleed hard or to death), forbod (prohibition), forbreiden (corrupt, pervert), forbreken (break up, shatter), forcold (very cold), forcouth (infamous, wicked, vile, miserable), fordemen (condemn, convict), forderked (dimmed, obscured), fordon (ruin, destroy, condemn, frustrate, prevent, abrogate, violate), fordreden (fear greatly), fordrenchen (intoxicate, drown), fordrien (dry up, wither), fordronken (given to drunkenness), fordulle(d) (very dull), forfaren (go astray, perish, ruin), forfered (terrified), forhelen (conceal), forhiden (conceal), forhongred (ravenous, starving), forhouen (despise, scorn), forleden (mislead), forleten (forsake, give up, neglect, lose), forlien (fornicate, ravish, commit adultery), forlived (decrepit), forwandred (exhausted from wandering), forwepen (weep hard or long), forwered (worn out), forweri(ed) (very weary), forwerpen (cast out, banish, reject, renounce), forwird (perdition, destruction), forwondred (amazed), forworthen (degenerate, spoil, perish), forwounden (wound, injure), foryeten (forget, neglect, omit), foryeven (forgive, give up, bestow, grant) となる.
 これらの多くが現代英語に残っていたら,卑罵語の for- などとして知られていたかもしれない.

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