昨日の記事「#2058. 語源的綴字，表語文字，黙読習慣 (1)」 ([2014-12-15-1]) に引き続いての話題．
昨日引用した Perret がフランス語史において指摘したのと同趣旨で，Scragg (56) は，英語史における黙字習慣の発展と表語文字への転換とが密接に関わっていることを指摘している．
. . . an important change overtook the written language towards the end of the fourteenth century: suddenly literacy became more widespread with the advent of cheaper writing materials. In earlier centuries, while parchment was expensive and wax tablets were cumbersome, the church easily retained control of education and writing, but with the introduction of paper, mass literacy became both feasible and desirable. In the fifteenth century, private reading began to replace public recitation, and the resultant demand for books led, during that century, to the development of the printing press. As medieval man ceased pointing to the words with his bookmark as he pronounced them aloud, and turned to silent reading for personal edification and satisfaction, so his attention was concentrated more on the written word as a unit than on the speech sounds represented by its constituent letters. The connotations of the written as opposed to the spoken word grew, and given the emphasis on the classics early in the Renaissance, it was inevitable that writers should try to extend the associations of English words by giving them visual connection with related Latin ones. They may have been influences too by the fact that Classical Latin spelling was fixed, whereas that of English was still relatively unstable, and the Latinate spellings gave the vernacular an impression of durability. Though the etymologising movement lasted from the fifteenth century to the seventeenth, it was at its height in the first half of the sixteenth.
さらに重要と思われるのは，引用の後半で Scragg も指摘しているように，ラテン語綴字の採用が表語主義への流れに貢献し，さらに綴字の標準化の流れにも貢献したことだ．ルネサンス期のラテン語熱，綴字標準化の潮流，語源的綴字，表語文字化，黙読習慣といった諸要因は，すべて有機的に関わり合っているのである．
・ Scragg, D. G. A History of English Spelling. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1974.
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