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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2013-09-18

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2013-09-18 Wed

#1605. 現代を見越した Wallis の先見の明を2点 [wallis]

 一昨日の記事「#1603. 「動物とその肉を表す英単語」を最初に指摘した人」 ([2013-09-16-1]) で,Wallis の卓識と先見の明について確認した.Wallis の言論はきわめて現代的であり,私たちにも違和感なく受け入れられる所見が多い.例えば,昨日も触れたように,Wallis は英文法をラテン語文法の鋳型にはめることの非を説いたが,その考え方は次の序文によく表されている(以下,ラテン語原文は南雲堂版より,現代英語訳文は Crystal より).

. . . omnes enim ad Latinae linguae normam hanc nostram Anglicanam nimium exigentes (quo etiam error laborant fere omnes in aliis modernis linguis tradendis) multa inutilia [xxxvi] praecepta de Nominum Casibus, Generibus, et declinationibus, de Nominum item et Verborum Regimine, aliisque similibus tradiderunt, quae a lingua nostra sunt prorsus aliena, adeoque confusionem potius et obscuritatem pariunt, quam explicationi inserviunt. (168)

They all forced English too rigidly into the mould of Latin (a mistake which nearly everyone makes in descriptions of other modern languages too), giving many useless rules about the cases, genders and declensions of nouns, the tenses, moods and conjugations of verbs, the government of nouns and verbs, and other things of that kind, which have no bearing on our language, and which confuse and obscure matters instead of elucidating them. (78)


 もう1つ驚くのは,英文法を学ぶ意義についての所見である.同じく序文にあるが,21世紀の今となっても通用しそうな「英語学習の勧め」が,優に300年以上も前に主張されていた.

Hujusce autem linguae Grammaticam institutionem ideo aggressus sum, quod ipsius cognitionem videam ab exteris non paucis maxime desideratam . . . . omnigenae literaturae scripta, passim exstant Anglicano idiomate edita: adeo ut sine fastu discere liceat, vix quicquam solidioris eruditionis esse, quod non sit nunc dierum etiam in ipsa lingua Anglicana saltem mediocriter traditum; et multa quidem quotidie scripta prodeunt desideratissima. (166--67)

I have undertaken to write a grammar of this language [English] because there is clearly a great demand for it from foreigners, who want to be able to understand the various important works which are written in our tongue. . . . [A]ll kinds of literature are widely available in English editions, and, without boasting, it can be said that there is scarcely any worthwhile body of knowledge which has not been recorded today, adequately at least, in the English language. (106)


 いずれも,Wallis の言語教育者としての炯眼と才能の一面をのぞかせる文章である.

 ・ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2003.
 ・ The English Grammar / Ben Jonson; with explanatory remarks by Kotaro Ishibashi, Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue / Alexander Hume; with explanatory remarks by Tokuji Kusakabe, and Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae / John Wallis; with explanatory remarks by Shoichi Watanabe. A Reprint Series of Books Relating to the English Language. Vol. 3. Tokyo: Nan'un Do, 1968.

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