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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2018-09-02

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2018-09-02 Sun

#3415. 「主語+助動詞」が「助動詞+主語」となる場合 (3) [syntax][auxiliary_verb][inversion][word_order][optative][subjunctive][imperative][may]

 一昨日と昨日の記事 ([2018-08-31-1], [2018-09-01-1]) に補足する.Biber et al (§11.2.3.4, p. 918) によると「主語+助動詞」が「助動詞+主語」となる環境には,先の記事で挙げたものに加えて,もう2種類(以下の A と C)ある.祈願の may の構文 (B) について調べている途中に出くわしたものなので,それと合わせて3点を引用する.A と B は古い用法の残存ということなので,ぜひ歴史的な観点から迫っていきたい構文の問題だ.

11.2.3.4 Special cases of inversion in independent clauses
   Some uses of inversion are highly restricted and usually confined to more or less fixed collocations. Types A and B described below are remnants of earlier uses and carry archaic literary overtones.

A Formulaic clauses with subjunctive verb forms
   The combination of the inflectionless subjunctive and inversion gives the highlighted expressions below an archaic and solemn ring:
      Be it proclaimed in all the schools Plato was right! (FICT)
      If you want to throw your life away, so be it, it is your life, not mine. (FICT)
      "I, Charles Seymour, do swear that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law, so help me God." (FICT)
      Long Live King Edmund! (FICT)
      Suffice it to say that the DTI was the supervising authority for such fringe banks. (NEWS)
 
B Clauses opening with the auxiliary may
   The auxiliary may is used in a similar manner to express a strong wish. This represents a more productive pattern:
      May it be pointed out that the teacher should always try to extend the girls helping them to achieve more and more. (FICT†)
      May God forgive you your blasphemy, Pilot. Yes. May he forgive you and open your eyes. (FICT†)
      The XJS may be an ageing leviathan but it is still a unique car. Long may it be so! (NEWS)
      Long May She Reign! (NEWS)

C Imperative clauses
   Imperative clauses may contain an expressed subject following don't . . . .


 A と B の意味的・統語的類似性に注目すべきである.ともに命令,勧告,祈願などの「強い希望」が感じられる.歴史的には,may などの法助動詞は屈折による接続法の代用として発達してきた側面があり,両者が意味的に近い関係にあることは当然といえば当然である.だが,こうして現代英語にも古風な表現としてではあれ共存しており,かつ統語的にも倒置が生じるという点で振る舞いが似ているのは,非常に興味深い.

 ・ Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad, and Edward Finegan. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Pearson Education, 1999.

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