#3689. 英語の間投詞[interjection]


 昨日の記事で間投詞(感動詞; interjection)を取り上げたが,考えてみれば妙な語類である.通常,文中の他の要素と統語的な関係をなさないので,そもそも外れ者である.また,完全に閉じた語類というわけではないが,慣習的に用いられるものは比較的少数の語句に限られており,やはり日陰者といってよい.さらに,その言語の体系的な音素体系から外れた音素を用いるものがあるという点でも,変態的である.主流派の言語学において,周辺的な品詞とみられてきたのも容易にうなずける.
 実際,英語の間投詞については,Quirk et al. の大部の文法書ですら扱いが薄い.Interjections と題された§11.55 (p. 853) をまるまる引用しても,以下の程度である.

Interjections are purely emotive words which do not enter into syntactic relations. Some of them have phonological features which lie outside the regular system of the language. Whew, for instance, contains a bilabial fricative [ɸɪu], [ɸː]; tut-tut consists of a series of alveolar clicks, []. What we produce below are the spelling conventions for a wide range of sounds. Secondary pronunciations are derived from the spelling conventions (cf Note [c] below). In addition, many interjections may be associated with nonsystematic features such as extra lengthening and wide pitch range.

Ah (satisfaction, recognition, etc); Aha (jubilant satisfaction, recognition); Ahem, [əʔəm] (mild call for attention); Boo (disapproval, usually for a speaker at gathering; also surprise noise); Eh? [eɪ] (impolite request for repetition . . .); Hey (call for attention); Mm (casual 'yes'); Oh (surprise); Oho (jubilant surprise); Ooh (pleasure or pain); Oops (mild apology, shock, or dismay), Ouch [aʊʧ], Ow [aʊ] (pain); Pooh (mild disapproval or impatience); Sh [ʃ] (request for silence or moderation of noise); Tut-tut [] (mild regret, disapproval); Ugh [ʌx] (disgust); Uh-huh, also Uh-uh (agreement or disagreement); Wow (great surprise)

Note [a] The above is not intended as a complete list. Some interjections are less frequent, eg: Yippee (excitement, delight), Psst [ps] (call for attention, with request for silence). The archaic interjection Alas (sorrow) may be encountered in literature.
       [b] Interjections are sometimes used to initiate utterances: Oh, what a nuisance; Ah, that's perfect.
       [c] There are also some spelling pronunciations: [ʌɡ] for ugh; [tʌt tʌt] for tut-tut, often with an ironic tone; [həʊ həʊ] and [hɑː hɑː], both representing laughter, are always ironic.


 ・ Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman, 1985.

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