#2696. 分かち書き,黙読習慣,キリスト教のテキスト解釈へのこだわり[punctuation][medium][writing][scribe][distinctiones]


 昨日の記事「#2695. 中世英語における分かち書きの空白の量」 ([2016-09-12-1]) に引き続き,分かち書きに関連する話題.
 「#1903. 分かち書きの歴史」 ([2014-07-13-1]) でみたように,分かち書きの慣習の発生には,ラテン語を非母語とするアイルランドの修道僧の語学学習テクニックが関与していた.しかし,分かち書きが定着に貢献した要因は,そればかりではない.Crystal (10--13) によれば,7世紀までに発達していた黙読習慣や,St Augustine によるキリスト教教義の正しい伝授法という文化的・社会的な要因も関与していた.
 黙読習慣が発達するということは,書き言葉が話し言葉とは区別される媒体として機能するようになったということであり,読み手に優しい書き方が模索される契機が生じたということである.別の観点からいえば,続け書きが本来もつ「読みにくさ」への寛容さが失われてきた.このことは,語間空白のみならず句読法 (punctuation) 一般の発達にも関係するだろう.

By the seventh century in England, word-spacing had become standard practice, reflecting a radical change that had taken place in reading habits. Silent reading was now the norm. Written texts were being seen not as aids to reading aloud, but as self-contained entities, to be used as a separate source of information and reflection from whatever could be gained from listening and speaking. It is the beginning of a view of language, widely recognized today, in which writing and speech are seen as distinct mediums of expression, with different communicative aims and using different processes of composition. And this view is apparent in the efforts scribes made to make the task of reading easier, with the role of spacing and other methods of punctuation becoming increasingly appreciated. (Crystal 10)

 次に,キリスト教との関係でいえば,St Augustine などの初期キリスト教の教父が神学的解釈をめぐってテキストの微妙な差異にこだわりを示したことが,後の分かち書きを含む句読法を重視する傾向を生み出したという.

The origins of the change are not simply to do with the development of new habits of reading. They are bound up with the emergence of Christianity in the West, and the influential views of writers such as St Augustine. Book 3 of his (Latin) work On Christian Doctrine, published in the end of the fourth century AD, is entitled: 'On interpretation required by the ambiguity of signs', and in its second chapter we are given a 'rule for removing ambiguity by attending to punctuation'. Augustine gives a series of Latin examples where the placing of a punctuation mark in an unpunctuated text makes all the difference between two meanings. The examples are of the kind used today when people want to draw attention to the importance of punctuation, as in the now infamous example of the panda who eats, shoots and leaves vs eats shoots and leaves. But for Augustine, this is no joke, as the location of a mark can distinguish important points of theological interpretation, and in the worst case can make all the difference between orthodoxy and heresy. (Crystal 12--13)

 また,上記2点とも間接的に関わるが,語間空白なしではとても読むに堪えないジャンルのテキストが現われるようになったことも,分かち書きの慣習を促進することになったろう.例えば,いわゆる文章ではなく,単語集というべき glossary の類いである.この種の単語一覧はそもそも備忘録用,参照用であり,声を出して読み上げるというよりは,見て確認する用途で使われることが多く,語と語の境界を明示することが特に要求されるテキストといってよい (Crystal 10--11) .

 ・ Crystal, David. Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation. London: Profile Books, 2015.

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