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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2014-09-27

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2014-09-27 Sat

#1979. 言語変化の目的論について再考 [language_change][causation][teleology][unidirectionality][invisible_hand][drift][functionalism]

 昨日の記事で引用した Luraghi が,同じ論文で言語変化の目的論 (teleology) について論じている.teleology については本ブログでもたびたび話題にしてきたが,論じるに当たって関連する諸概念について整理しておく必要がある.
 まず,言語変化は therapy (治療)か prophylaxis (予防)かという議論がある.「#835. 機能主義的な言語変化観への批判」 ([2011-08-10-1]) や「言語変化における therapy or pathogeny」 ([2011-08-12-1]) で取り上げた問題だが,いずれにしても前提として機能主義的な言語変化観 (functionalism) がある.Kiparsky は "language practices therapy rather than prophylaxis" (Luraghi 364) との謂いを残しているが,Lass などはどちらでもないとしている.
 では,functionalism と teleology は同じものなのか,異なるものなのか.これについても,諸家の間で意見は一致していない.Lass は同一視しているようだが,Croft などの論客は前者は "functional proper",後者は "systemic functional" として区別している."systemic functional" は言語の teleology を示すが,"functional proper" は話者の意図にかかわるメカニズムを指す.あくまで話者の意図にかかわるメカニズムとしての "functional" という表現が,変異や変化を示す言語項についても応用される限りにおいて,(話者のではなく)言語の "functionalism" を語ってもよいかもしれないが,それが言語の属性を指すのか話者の属性を指すのかを区別しておくことが重要だろう.

Teleological explanations of language change are sometimes considered the same as functional explanations . . . . Croft . . . distinguishes between 'systemic functional,' that is teleological, explanations, and 'functional proper,' which refer to intentional mechanisms. Keller . . . argues that 'functional' must not be confused with 'teleological,' and should be used in reference to speakers, rather than to language: '[t]he claim that speakers have goals is correct, while the claim that language has a goal is wrong' . . . . Thus, to the extent that individual variants may be said to be functional to the achievement of certain goals, they are more likely to generate language change through invisible hand processes: in this sense, explanations of language change may also be said to be functional. (Luraghi 365--66)


 上の引用にもあるように,重要なことは「言語が変化する」と「話者が言語を刷新する」とを概念上区別しておくことである.「#1549. Why does language change? or Why do speakers change their language?」 ([2013-07-24-1]) で述べたように,この区別自体にもある種の問題が含まれているが,あくまで話者(集団)あっての言語であり,言語変化である.話者主体の言語変化論においては teleology の占める位置はないといえるだろう.Luraghi (365) 曰く,

Croft . . . warns against the 'reification or hypostatization of languages . . . Languages don't change; people change language through their actions.' Indeed, it seems better to avoid assuming any immanent principles inherent in language, which seem to imply that language has an existence outside the speech community. This does not necessarily mean that language change does not proceed in a certain direction. Croft rejects the idea that 'drift,' as defined by Sapir . . ., may exist at all. Similarly, Lass . . . wonders how one can positively demonstrate that the unconscious selection assumed by Sapir on the side of speakers actually exists. From an opposite angle, Andersen . . . writes: 'One of the most remarkable facts about linguistic change is its determinate direction. Changes that we can observe in real time---for instance, as they are attested in the textual record---typically progress consistently in a single direction, sometimes over long periods of time.' Keller . . . suggests that, while no drift in the Sapirian sense can be assumed as 'the reason why a certain event happens,' i.e., it cannot be considered innate in language, invisible hand processes may result in a drift. In other words, the perspective is reversed in Keller's understanding of drift: a drift is not the pre-existing reason which leads the directionality of change, but rather the a posteriori observation of a change brought about by the unconsciously converging activity of speakers who conform to certain principles, such as the principle of economy and so on . . . .


 関連して drift, functionalism, invisible_hand, unidirectionality の各記事も参考にされたい.

 ・ Luraghi, Silvia. "Causes of Language Change." Chapter 20 of Continuum Companion to Historical Linguistics. Ed. Silvia Luraghi and Vit Bubenik. London: Continuum, 2010. 358--70.

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