昨日の記事「#2628. Hockett による英語の書き言葉と話し言葉の関係を表わす直線」 ([2016-07-07-1]) で示唆したように，英語の書き言葉と話言葉の間の距離は，おおまかに「小→中→大→中（？）」と表現できるパターンで推移してきた．あらためて要約すると，次の通りである．
書き言葉と話し言葉の距離は，古英語から中英語にかけては比較的小さいままにとどまっていたが，ルネサンスの近代英語期に入ると書き言葉の標準化 (standardisation) が進んだこともあって，両媒体の乖離は開いてきた．しかし，現代英語期になり，口語的な要素が書き言葉にも流れ込むようになり (= colloquialisation) ，両者の距離は再び部分的に狭まってきていると考えることができる．
両媒体の略歴については，Curzan (54--55) の記述が的確である．
The fluctuating distance between written and spoken registers provides one fascinating lens through which to tell the history of English. For the Old English and Middle English periods, scholars assume a much closer correspondence between the written and spoken, with the recognition that the record does not preserve very informal registers of the written. While there were some local written standards, these periods predate widespread language standardization, and spelling and morphosyntactic differences by region suggest that scribes saw the written language as in some way capturing their individual or local pronunciation and grammar. The prevalence of coordinated or paratactic clause structures in these periods is more reflective of the spoken language than the highly subordinated clause structures that come to characterize high written prose in the Renaissance. . . . The Renaissance witnesses a growing chasm between the spoken and written, with the rise of language standardization and the spread of English to more scientific, legal, and other genres that had been formerly written in Latin. To this day, written academic, legal, and medical registers are marked by stark differences from spoken language, from the prevalence of nominalization (e.g., when the verb enhance becomes the noun enhancement) to the relative paucity of first-person pronouns to highly subordinated sentence structures.
At the turn of the millennium something interestingly cyclical appears to be happening online, in journalistic prose, and in other registers, where the written language is creeping back toward patterns more characteristic of the spoken language --- a process referred to as colloquialization . . . . In other words, the distance between the structure and style of spoken and written language that has characterized much of the modern period is narrowing, a least in some registers. Current colloquialization of written prose includes the rise of features such as semi-modals (e.g., have to), contractions, and the progressive.
・ Curzan, Anne. Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History. Cambridge: CUP, 2014.
Powered by WinChalow1.0rc4 based on chalow