書き言葉の自立性について，直接的には「#2339. 書き言葉の自立性に関する Vachek の議論 (1)」 ([2015-09-22-1]) とそこに張ったリンク先の記事や「#2340. 書き言葉の自立性に関する Vachek の議論 (2)」 ([2015-09-23-1]) で取り上げてきた．今回は，書き言葉が話し言葉という媒体 (medium) から十分に独立しているということについて，Bolinger (333) の視覚的形態素 (visual morpheme) に関する論文からの引用を通じて，主張したい．
The fact that most writing is the graphic representation of vocal-auditory processes tends to obscure the fact that writing can exist as a series of morphemes at its own level, independent of or interacting with the more fundamental (or at least more primitive) vocal-auditory morphemes. Recognition of visual morphemes is also hampered by the controversy, not yet subsided, over the primacy of the spoken versus the written; the victory of those who sensibly insist upon language as fundamentally a vocal-auditory process has been so hard won that any concession to writing savors of retreat. Yet, so long as a point-to-point correspondence is maintained, it is theoretically possible to transform any series of morphemes from any sensory field into any other sensory field, and keep them comprehensible; the only condition is that contact with the nervous system be maintained at some point. More than theoretically: it is actually done for the congenitally deaf-and-dumb reader of Braille, who 'reads' and 'comprehends' with his finger-tips. Just as here is a system of tactile morphemes existing with no connexion (other than historical) with the vocal-auditory field, so there is nothing unscientific in the assumption that a similarly independent visual series may be found.
とりわけ "the victory of those who sensibly insist upon language as fundamentally a vocal-auditory process has been so hard won that any concession to writing savors of retreat" と述べているところは，何ともうまい言い回しだ．世間一般では，書き言葉は，その威信や信頼ゆえに，話し言葉よりも上位に位置づけられることが多い．一方，近代言語学では，その一般の見方に対して，むしろ言語の基本は音声であるという主張が辛抱強くなされてきたのであり，その結果，言語学者にとっては悲願だった話し言葉の優位性の言説が，アカデミックな世界では確立されてきた．ところが，世間一般と言語学者の考え方がこのように鋭く対立しているところに，まさに言語学者サークルの限られた一部からではあるが，書き言葉の自立性という，ある意味では世間一般の通念に歩み寄るかのような見解が提示されているというのだから，話しは厄介だ．
Bolinger の論文の結論は以下の通りである (340) ．熟読玩味したい．
1. Visual morphemes exist at their own level, independently of vocal-auditory morphemes. Even a perfect phonemic transcription would, if used for communication, immediately become a system of visual morphemes. In modern English, education has made the visual system part of the public domain, so that it exhibits some evolutionary tendencies unsecured to vocal-auditory morphemes.
2. In the implicit reactions of literate people, eye movements combine with other implicit movements. There is as good reason to posit eye movements as the physiological correlate of 'thinking' and 'understanding' as there is to posit laryngeal movements as such a correlate.
3. In view of the close integration of the 'language organization', it is probably necessary to revise the dictum that 'language must always be studied without reference to writing'. This in no way detracts from the value of that dictum as applied to all languages at some stage of their development and to largely literate speech communities today; it is merely a recognition of a shift that has taken place in the communicative behavior of some highly literate societies.
4. If it is true that the residue of language after the vocal-auditory is subtracted has provided a redoubt from which attacks could be made on linguistic science, then an appreciation of visual morphemes by both parties to the controversy may prove a step in the direction of reconciliation.
・ Bolinger, Dwight L. "Visual Morphemes." Language 22 (1946): 333--40.
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