#2970. 分かち書きの発生と続け書きの復活[punctuation][writing][scribe][manuscript][inscription]


 書記における分かち書き (distinctiones) については,「#1112. 分かち書き (1)」 ([2012-05-13-1]),「#1113. 分かち書き (2)」 ([2012-05-14-1]),「#2695. 中世英語における分かち書きの空白の量」 ([2016-09-12-1]),「#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」 ([2016-09-13-1]) などで話題としてきた.今回も,分かち書きが歴史の過程で生み出されてきた発明品であり,初めから自然で自明の慣習であったわけではないことを,再度確認しておきたい.
 西洋の書記の歴史では,分かち書き以前に,長い続け書き (scriptura continua) の時代があった.Crystal (3) の説明を引こう.

Word-spaces are the norm today; but it wasn't always so. It's not difficult to see why. We don't actually need them to understand language. We don't use them when we speak, and fluent readers don't put pauses between words as they read aloud. Read this paragraph out loud, and you'll probably pause at the commas and full stops, but you won't pause between the words. They run together. So, if we think of writing purely as a way of putting speech down on paper, there's no reason to think of separating the words by spaces. And that seems to be how early writers thought, for unspaced text (often called, in Latin, scriptura continua) came to be a major feature of early Western writing, in both Greek and Latin. From the first century AD we find most texts throughout the Roman Empire without words being separated at all. It was thus only natural for missionaries to introduce unspaced writing when they arrived in England.

 しかし,英語の書記の歴史に関する限り,古英語期までには語と語を分割する何らかの視覚的な方法が模索されるようになっていた.Crystal (8--9) によれば,様々な方法が実験されたという(以下の引用中にある "Undley bracteate" については,「#572. 現存する最古の英文」 ([2010-11-20-1]) を参照).

People experimented with word division. Some inscriptions have the words separated by a circle (as with the Undley bracteate) or a raised dot. Some use small crosses. Gradually we see spaces coming in but often in a very irregular way, with some words spaced and others not --- what is sometimes called an 'aerated' script. Even in the eleventh century, less than half the inscriptions in England had all the words separated.

 考えてみれば,昨今のデジタル時代でも,分かち書きの手段は複数ある.URLやファイル名の文字列など,処理上の理由で空白が避けられる傾向がある場合には,例えば "this is an example of separation" と表記したいときに,次のようなヴァリエーションが考えられるだろう (Crystal 8--9 の議論も参照).

 ・ thisisanexampleofwordseparation
 ・ this.is.an.example.of.word.separation
 ・ this+is+an+example+of+word+separation
 ・ this_is_an_example_of_word_separation
 ・ this-is-an-example-of-word-separation
 ・ thiSiSaNexamplEoFworDseparatioN
 ・ ThisIsAnExampleOfWordSeparation

 現代は,ある意味で scriptura continua が蘇りつつある時代とも言えるのかもしれない.続け書きを当然視する日本語書記の出番か!?

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

Referrer (Inside): [2017-08-27-1] [2017-06-15-1]

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