#2337. 16世紀,hem, 'em 不在の謎 (1)[personal_pronoun][emode][apostrophe]


 「#2331. 後期中英語における3人称複数代名詞の段階的な th- 化」 ([2015-09-14-1]) の最後で触れたように,古い3人称複数代名詞の与格に由来する hem あるいはその弱形 'em は,標準英語では1500年頃までに them によりほぼ置換された.しかし,16世紀末以降,口語的な響きをもって再び文献に現われ出す.'em は,現在の口語の I got 'em. にみられるように,いまだその痕跡を残しているといわれるが,古英語や中英語から現代英語にいたる歴史的継続性を主張するためには,16世紀中の証拠の不在が問題となりそうだ.Wyld (327--28) がこの問題に触れている.

The history of hem is rather curious. It survives in constant use among nearly all writers during the fifteenth century, often alongside the th- form. I have not noted any sixteenth-century example of it in the comparatively numerous documents I have examined, until quite at the end of the century. It reappears, however, in Marston and Chapman early in the seventeenth century, and in the form 'em occurs, though sparingly, in the Verney Mem. towards the end of the seventeenth century, where the apostrophe shows that already it was thought to be a weakened form of them. During the eighteenth century 'em becomes fairly frequent in printed books, and it is in common use to-day as [əm]. It is rather difficult to explain the absence of such forms as hem or em in the sixteenth century, since the frequency at a later period seems to show that, at any rate, the weak form without the aspirate must have survived throughout. The explanation must be that em, though commonly used, was felt, as now, to be merely a form of them.

 Wyld は,16世紀中も hem, 'em は口語として続いていたはずだが,すでに them の(崩れた)略形として理解されており,文章の上に反映される機会がなかったのだろうという意見だ.
 この仮説を裏付ける証拠はある.Wyld は16世紀からの用例が世紀末を除けば皆無としているが,OED の 'em, pron. の歴史的な例文を眺めると,語幹母音の揺れを無視すれば,hem'em の類いは,確かに少ないものの,いくつかは文証される.

 ・ a1525 (a1500) Sc. Troy Bk. (Douce) 143 in C. Horstmann Barbour's Legendensammlung (1882) II. 233 A ferlyfule sowne sodeynly Among heme maide was hydwisly.
 ・ a1525 Eng. Conquest Ireland (Trin. Dublin) (1896) 28 He bad ham well þorwe that thay sholden yn al manere senden after more of har kyn.
 ・ c1540 (?a1400) Gest Historiale Destr. Troy (2002) f. 66, Sotly hyt semys not surfetus harde No vnpossibill thys pupull perfourme in dede That fyuetymes fewer before home has done.
 ・ 1579 Spenser Shepheardes Cal. May 27 Tho to the greene Wood they speeden hem all.
 ・ 1589 'M. Marprelate' Hay any Worke for Cooper 48 Ile befie em that will say so of me.

 なお,18世紀初めに,Swift が 'em をだらしない語法として非難していることを付け加えておこう.Wyld (329) 曰く,

Note that this form ['em] became so widespread in the early eighteenth-century speech that Swift complains that 'young readers in our churches in the prayer for the Royal Family, say endue'um, enrich'um, prosper'um, and bring'um. Tatler, No. 230 (1710).

 ・ Wyld, Henry Cecil. A History of Modern Colloquial English. 3rd ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1936.

Referrer (Inside): [2015-09-21-1]

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