#3871. スコットランド英語において wh- ではなく quh- の綴字を擁護した Alexander Hume[scots_english][standardisation][spelling][orthography]


 昨日の記事「#3870. 中英語の北部方言における wh- ならぬ q- の綴字」 ([2019-12-01-1]) の最後で触れたように,一般に Older Scots においては,中英語の北部方言と同様に,wh 語は q で始まる綴字で書かれていた.しかし,近代の16世紀になるとイングランドの標準的綴字の影響がスコットランドにも及び,quh- などの綴字は「訛った」綴字とされ,物笑いの種ともなった.
 1617年頃,スコットランドでの綴字教育を念頭に Orthographie and Congruitie of the Briþan Tongue を著わした Alexander Hume は,その本のなかで quh- の綴字を擁護した.一方,Hume はその綴字が物笑いの種となった逸話を披露してもいる.その逸話を Crystal (53) より引用しよう.

. . . to reform an errour bred in the south, and now usurped be our ignorant printers, I wil tel quhat befel my-self quhen I was in the south with a special gud frende of myne. Ther rease [rose], upon sum accident, quhither [whether] quho, quhen, quhat, etc., sould be symbolized with q or w, a hoat [hot] disputation betuene him and me. After manie conflictes (for we oft encountered), we met be chance, in the citie of baeth [Bath], with a doctour of divinitie of both our acquentance. He invited us to denner. At table my antagonist, to bring the question on foot amangs his awn condisciples, began that I was becum an heretik, and the doctour spering [asking] how, ansuered that I denyed quho to be spelled with a w, but with qu. Be quhat reason? quod the Doctour. Here, I beginning to lay my grundes of labial, dental, and guttural soundes and symboles, he snapped me on this hand and he on that, that the doctour had micle a doe to win me room for a syllogisme. Then (said I) a labial letter can not symboliz a guttural syllab [syllable]. But w is a labial letter, quho a guttural sound. And therfoer w can not symboliz quho, nor noe syllab of that nature. Here the doctour staying them again (for al barked at ones), the proposition, said he, I understand; the assumption is Scottish, and the conclusion false. Quherat al laughed, as if I had bene dryven from al replye, and I fretted to see a frivolouse jest goe for a solid ansuer.


 ・ Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 3rd ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2019.

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