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2013-08-20 Tue

#1576. 初期近代英語の3複現の -s (3) [verb][conjugation][emode][number][agreement][analogy][3pp]

 [2013-03-10-1], [2013-03-20-1]に引き続き,標記の話題.北部方言影響説か3単現からの類推説かで見解が分かれている.初期近代英語を扱った章で,Fennell (143) は後者の説を支持して,次のように述べている.

In the written language the third person plural had no separate ending because of the loss of the -en and -e endings in Middle English. The third person singular ending -s was therefore frequently used also as an ending in the third person plural: troubled minds that wakes; whose own dealings teaches them suspect the deeds of others. The spread of the -s ending in the plural is unlikely to be due to the influence of the northern dialect in the South, but was rather due to analogy with the singular, since a certain number of southern plurals had ended in -e)th like the singular in colloquial use. Plural forms ending in -(e)th occur as late as the eighteenth century.


 一方,Strang (146) は北部方言影響説を支持している.

The function of the ending, whatever form it took, also wavered in the early part of II [1770--1570]. By northern custom the inflection marked in the present all forms of the verb except first person, and under northern influence Standard used the inflection for about a century up to c. 1640 with occasional plural as well as singular value.


 構造主義の英語史家 Strang の議論が興味深いのは,2点の指摘においてである.1点目は,初期近代英語の同時期に,古い be に代わって新しい are が用いられるようになったのは北部方言の影響ゆえであるという事実と関連させながら,3単・複現の -s について議論していることだ.are が疑いなく北部方言からの借用というのであれば,3複現の -s も北部方言からの借用であると考えるのが自然ではないか,という議論だ.2点目は,主語の名詞句と動詞の数の一致に関する共時的かつ通時的な視点から,3複現の -s が生じた理由ではなく,それがきわめて稀である理由を示唆している点である.上の引用文に続く箇所で,次のように述べている.

The tendency did not establish itself, and we might guess that its collapse is related to the climax, at the same time, of the regularisation of noun plurality in -s. Though the two developments seem to belong to very different parts of the grammar, they are interrelated in syntax. Before the middle of II there was established the present fairly remarkable type of patterning, in which, for the vast majority of S-V concords, number is signalled once and once only, by -s (/s/, /z/, /ɪz/), final in the noun for plural, and in the verb for singular. This is the culmination of a long movement of generalisation, in which signs of number contrast have first been relatively regularised for components of the NP, then for the NP as a whole, and finally for S-V as a unit.


 名詞の複数の -s と動詞の3単現の -s の交差的な配列を,数を巡る歴史的発達の到達点ととらえる洞察は鋭い.3複現の出現が北部方言の影響か3単現からの類推かのいずれかに帰せられるにせよ,生起は稀である.なぜ稀であるかという別の問題にすり替わってはいるが,当初の純粋に形態的な問題が統語的な話題,通時的な次元へと広がってゆくのを感じる.

 ・ Fennell, Barbara A. A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001.
 ・ Strang, Barbara M. H. A History of English. London: Methuen, 1970.

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