#2984. なぜ英語史を学ぶか (5)[hel_education][language_change][variation]


 標記の話題について,Crystal (296--97) は著書の終わりに近い部分で,説得力をもって次のように述べている.

It is no more than common sense for those who have invested a childhood, or adult time and money, in successfully acquiring the English language to maintain an active interest in the language's progress. The more we learn about where the language has been, how it is structured, how it is used, and how it is changing, the more we will be able to judge its present course and help to plan its future. For many people, this will indeed mean a conscious altering of attitude. Language variation and language change --- the two aspects of English which are at the centre of its identity, and which are most in the public eye --- are too often blindly condemned. If just a fraction of the nervous energy which is currently devoted to the criticism of split infinitives and the intrusive r were devoted to the constructive promotion of forward-looking language activities, what might not be achieved?

 Crystal は,英語の変化と変異 (change and variation) を学ぶことにより,その現在をよりよく判断し,未来をよりよく計画することができると力説している.これが,英語の歴史を始め,構造,変異,使用を学ぶ意義だろう.現在,そして未来に向けて,英語とうまく付き合っていくための知識であり知恵となる.さらに,英語史を学ぶことは,母語を含めた言語一般に対する視野を広げ,寛容な態度を育てることにも貢献する.今後も,この分野のもつ大きな可能性を指摘し,説いていきたいと思っている.
 関連して,「#24. なぜ英語史を学ぶか」 ([2009-05-22-1]),「#1199. なぜ英語史を学ぶか (2)」 ([2012-08-08-1]),「#1200. なぜ英語史を学ぶか (3)」 ([2012-08-09-1]),「#1367. なぜ英語史を学ぶか (4)」 ([2013-01-23-1]) も参照.

 ・ Crystal, David. The English Language. 2nd ed. London: Penguin, 2002.

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