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2014-12-14 Sun

#2057. 中世フランス語と英語における語源的綴字の関係 (2) [etymological_respelling][spelling][french][latin][scribe][anglo-norman][renaissance]

 昨日の記事に引き続き,英仏両言語における語源的綴字 (etymological_respelling) の関係について.Scragg (52--53) は,次のように述べている.

Throughout the Middle Ages, French scribes were very much aware of the derivation of their language from Latin, and there were successive movements in France for the remodelling of spelling on etymological lines. A simple example is pauvre, which was written for earlier povre in imitation of Latin pauper. Such spellings were particularly favoured in legal language, because lawyers' clerks were paid for writing by the inch and superfluous letters provided a useful source of income. Since in France, as in England, conventional spelling grew out of the orthography of the chancery, at the heart of the legal system, many etymological spellings became permanently established. Latin was known and used in England throughout the Middle Ages, and there was a considerable amount of word-borrowing from it into English, particularly in certain registers such as that of theology, but since the greater part of English vocabulary was Germanic, and not Latin-derived, it is not surprising that English scribes were less affected by the etymologising movements than their French counterparts. Anglo-Norman, the dialect from which English derived much of its French vocabulary, was divorced from the mainstream of continental French orthographic developments, and any alteration in the spelling of Romance elements in the vocabulary which occurred in English in the fourteenth century was more likely to spring from attempts to associate Anglo-Norman borrowings with Parisian French words than from a concern with their Latin etymology. Etymologising by reference to Latin affected English only marginally until the Renaissance thrust the classical language much more positively into the centre of the linguistic arena.


 重要なポイントをまとめると,

 (1) 中世フランス語におけるラテン語源を参照しての文字の挿入は,写字生の小金稼ぎのためだった.
 (2) フランス語に比べれば英語にはロマンス系の語彙が少なく(相対的にいえば確かにその通り!),ラテン語源形へ近づけるべき矯正対象となる語もそれだけ少なかったため,語源的綴字の過程を経にくかった,あるいは経るのが遅れた (cf. 「#653. 中英語におけるフランス借用語とラテン借用語の区別」 ([2011-02-09-1])) .
 (3) 14世紀の英語の語源的綴字は,直接ラテン語を参照した結果ではなく,Anglo-Norman から離れて Parisian French を志向した結果である.
 (4) ラテン語の直接の影響は,本格的にはルネサンスを待たなければならなかった.

 では,なぜルネサンス期,より具体的には16世紀に,ラテン語源形を直接参照した語源的綴字が英語で増えたかという問いに対して,Scragg (53--54) はラテン語彙の借用がその時期に著しかったからである,と端的に答えている.

As a result both of the increase of Latinate vocabulary in English (and of Greek vocabulary transcribed in Latin orthography) and of the familiarity of all literate men with Latin, English spelling became as affected by the etymologising process as French had earlier been.


 確かにラテン語彙の大量の流入は,ラテン語源を意識させる契機となったろうし,語源的綴字への影響もあっただろうとは想像される.しかし,語源的綴字の潮流は前時代より歴然と存在していたのであり,単に16世紀のラテン語借用の規模の増大(とラテン語への親しみ)のみに言及して,説明を片付けてしまうのは安易ではないか.英語における語源的綴字の問題は,より大きな歴史的文脈に置いて理解することが肝心なように思われる.

 ・ Scragg, D. G. A History of English Spelling. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1974.

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