#2468. 「英語は語彙的にはもはや英語ではない」の評価[lexicology][loan_word][borrowing][japanese][style][register]


 英語の語彙の大部分が諸言語からの借用語から成っていること,つまり世界的 (cosmopolitan) であることは,つとに指摘されてきた.そこから,英語は語彙的にはもはや英語とはいえない,と論じることも十分に可能であるように思われる.英語は,もはや借用語彙なしでは十分に機能しえないのではないか,と.
 しかし,Algeo and Pyles (293--94) は,英語における語彙借用の著しさを適切に例証したうえで,なお "English remains English" たることを独自に主張している.少々長いが,意味深い文章なのでそのまま引用する.

   Enough has been written to indicate the cosmopolitanism of the present English vocabulary. Yet English remains English in every essential respect: the words that all of us use over and over again, the grammatical structures in which we couch our observations upon practically everything under the sun remain as distinctively English as they were in the days of Alfred the Great. What has been acquired from other languages has not always been particularly worth gaining: no one could prove by any set of objective standards that army is a "better" word than dright or here., which it displaced, or that advice is any better than the similarly displaced rede, or that to contend is any better than to flite. Those who think that manual is a better, or more beautiful, or more intellectual word than English handbook are, of course, entitled to their opinion. But such esthetic preferences are purely matters of style and have nothing to do with the subtle patternings that make one language different from another. The words we choose are nonetheless of tremendous interest in themselves, and they throw a good deal of light upon our cultural history.
   But with all its manifold new words from other tongues, English could never have become anything but English. And as such it has sent out to the world, among many other things, some of the best books the world has ever known. It is not unlikely, in the light of writings by English speakers in earlier times, that this could have been so even if we had never taken any words from outside the word hoard that has come down to us from those times. It is true that what we have borrowed has brought greater wealth to our word stock, but the true Englishness of our mother tongue has in no way been lessened by such loans, as those who speak and write it lovingly will always keep in mind.
   It is highly unlikely that many readers will have noted that the preceding paragraph contains not a single word of foreign origin. It was perhaps not worth the slight effort involved to write it so; it does show, however, that English would not be quite so impoverished as some commentators suppose it would be without its many accretions from other languages.


 ・ 「#153. Cosmopolitan Vocabulary は Asset か?」 ([2009-09-27-1])
 ・ 「#334. 英語語彙の三層構造」 ([2010-03-27-1])
 ・ 「#335. 日本語語彙の三層構造」 ([2010-03-28-1])
 ・ 「#1296. 三層構造の例を追加」 ([2012-11-13-1])
 ・ 「#1960. 英語語彙のピラミッド構造」 ([2014-09-08-1])
 ・ 「#2072. 英語語彙の三層構造の是非」 ([2014-12-29-1])
 ・ 「#756. 世界からの借用語」 ([2011-05-23-1])
 ・ 「#390. Cosmopolitan Vocabulary は Asset か? (2)」 ([2010-05-22-1])
 ・ 「#2359. 英語が非民主的な言語と呼ばれる理由 (3)」 ([2015-10-12-1])

 ・ Algeo, John, and Thomas Pyles. The Origins and Development of the English Language. 5th ed. Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

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