#3594. Oppenheimer によれば英語の起源は紀元前に遡る!?[history][germanic][anglo-saxon][historiography]


 昨日の記事「#3593. アングロサクソンは本当にケルトを征服したのか?」 ([2019-02-27-1]) でみたように,Oppenheimer によると,紀元前のイングランド(とりわけ東部)に北西ヨーロッパ人の遺伝子を引き継ぐ人々が居住していた証拠があるという.一方,イングランド西部には南西ヨーロッパ人の遺伝子を引き継ぐ「ケルト系」住民がいたらしい.前者がゲルマン系の言語を話す人々だったかどうかの確証はないが,その可能性は否定できないというのが著者の立場だ.
 もしその言語が英語(あるいは少なくとも英語に連なる言語)だったら,英語史はもとよりゲルマン語や印欧語の歴史記述も大きく書き換えられることになるだろう.また,ゲルマン語派の内部での英語の位置づけも,否応なしに変更を迫られるだろう.英語の起源と位置づけに関する Oppenheimer の仮説を聞いてみることにしよう (481--82) .

What about the possibility that English was spoken as some form closer to Norse or even a separate Germanic branch in one or both of these two Englands before the Anglo-Saxons arrived? I am sure this will be the most contentious aspect of my argument, but that does not deter me from suggesting it. The various academics I have quoted or cited on this issue are united on one aspect of the oldest recorded English, whether written in runes or Roman script. This is the strong, unexplained Norse influence, both culturally and linguistically, before the Vikings came on the scene. But the evidence against a Dark Ages root of English goes deeper than that. In terms of vocabulary, English is nowhere near any of the West Germanic languages it has traditionally been associated with. It actually roots closer to Scandinavian than to Beowulf, the earliest 'Old English' poem and probably written in the elite court of the Swedish Wuffing dynasty of East Anglia. One study suggests that, on this lexical evidence, English forms a fourth Germanic branch dating 'to before AD 350 and probably after 3600 BC'.

 ・ Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Origins of the British. 2006. London: Robinson, 2007.

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