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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2013-12-09

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2013-12-09 Mon

#1687. 初期近代英語の3複現の -s (4) [verb][conjugation][emode][number][agreement][analogy][3pp]

 「#1413. 初期近代英語の3複現の -s」 ([2013-03-10-1]),「#1423. 初期近代英語の3複現の -s (2)」 ([2013-03-20-1]),「#1576. 初期近代英語の3複現の -s (3)」 ([2013-08-20-1]) に引き続いての話題.Wyld (340) は,初期近代英語期における3複現の -s を北部方言からの影響としてではなく,3単現の -s からの類推と主張している.

Present Plurals in -s.

   This form of the Pres. Indic. Pl., which survives to the present time as a vulgarism, is by no means very rare in the second half of the sixteenth century among writers of all classes, and was evidently in good colloquial usage well into the eighteenth century. I do not think that many students of English would be inclined to put down the present-day vulgarism to North country or Scotch influence, since it occurs very commonly among uneducated speakers in London and the South, whose speech, whatever may be its merits or defects, is at least untouched by Northern dialect. The explanation of this peculiarity is surely analogy with the Singular. The tendency is to reduce Sing. and Pl. to a common form, so that certain sections of the people inflect all Persons of both Sing. and Pl. with -s after the pattern of the 3rd Pres. Sing., while others drop the suffix even in the 3rd Sing., after the model of the uninflected 1st Pers. Sing. and the Pl. of all Persons.
   But if this simple explanation of the present-day Pl. in -s be accepted, why should we reject it to explain the same form at an earlier date?
   It would seem that the present-day vulgarism is the lineal traditional descendant of what was formerly an accepted form. The -s Plurals do not appear until the -s forms of the 3rd Sing. are already in use. They become more frequent in proportion as these become more and more firmly established in colloquial usage, though, in the written records which we possess they are never anything like so widespread as the Singular -s forms. Those who persist in regarding the sixteenth-century Plurals in -s as evidence of Northern influence on the English of the South must explain how and by what means that influence was exerted. The view would have had more to recommend it, had the forms first appeared after James VI of Scotland became King of England. In that case they might have been set down as a fashionable Court trick. But these Plurals are far older than the advent of James to the throne of this country.


 類推説を支持する主たる論拠は,(1) 3複現の -s は,3単現の -s が用いられるようになるまでは現れていないこと,(2) 北部方言がどのように南部方言に影響を与え得るのかが説明できないこと,の2点である.消極的な論拠であり,決定的な論拠とはなりえないものの,議論は妥当のように思われる.
 ただし,1つ気になることがある.Wyld が見つけた初例は,1515年の文献で,"the noble folk of the land shotes at hym." として文証されるという.このテキストには3単現の -s は現われず,3複現には -ith がよく現れるというというから,Wyld 自身の挙げている (1) の論拠とは符合しないように思われるが,どうなのだろうか.いずれにせよ,先立つ中英語期の3単現と3複現の屈折語尾を比較検討することが必要だろう.

 ・ Wyld, Henry Cecil. A History of Modern Colloquial English. 2nd ed. London: Fisher Unwin, 1921.

Referrer (Inside): [2014-05-26-1] [2014-05-21-1]

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