#3989. 古英語でも反事実的条件には仮定法過去が用いられた[oe][subjunctive][conditional][tense]


 現代英語では,現在の事実と反対の仮定を表わすのに(あるいは丁寧表現として),条件節のなかで動詞の仮定法過去形を用いるのが規則です.帰結節では would, should, could, might などの過去形の法助動詞を用いるのが典型です.以下の例文を参照.

 (1) If he tried harder, he would succeed.
 (2) If we caught the 10 o'clock train, we could get there by lunchtime.
 (3) If I were you, I'd wait a bit.

 また,過去の事実と反対の仮定を表すには,条件節のなかでは動詞の仮定法過去完了形を用い,帰結節では would/should/could/might have + PP の形を取るのが一般的です.

 (4) If she had been awake, she would have heard the noise.
 (5) If I had had enough money, I could have bought a car.
 (6) If I had known you were ill, I could have visited you.

 歴史的にみると,このような反事実的条件文は古英語からありました.しかし現代英語と異なるのは,古英語では反事実が表わす時制にかかわらず,つまり上記の (1)--(3) のみならず (4)--(6) のケースにも,一貫して仮定法過去(古英語の用語でいえば接続法過去)が用いられていたことです.つまり,現代英語でいうところの仮定法過去も仮定法過去完了も,いずれも古英語に訳そうと思えば接続法過去を用いるほかないということです.しかも,帰結節においても条件節と同様に仮定法過去(would などの法助動詞ではなく)を用いたということに注意が必要です.
 古英語の統語論を解説した Traugott (257) より,2つの反事実的条件文と,それについての解説を引用しておきます.

   The past subjunctive is . . . used to express imaginary and unreal (including counterfactual) conditionality. In this case both clauses are subjunctive. Since no infexional distinction is made in OE between unreality in past, present or future, adverbs may be used to distinguish specific time-relations, but usually the time-relations are determined from the context. Example (219) illustrates a counterfactual in the past, (220) a counterfactual in the present:

(219) ... & ðær frecenlice gewundod wearð, & eac ofslagen wære (PAST SUBJ), gif his sunu his ne gehulpe (PAST SUBJ)
   ... and there dangerously wounded was, and even slain would-have-been, if his son him not had-helped
                                                                                                                 (Or 4 8.186.22)
   ... and was dangerously wounded there, and would even have been killed, had his son not helped him

(220) Hwæt, ge witon þæt ge giet todæge wæron (PAST SUBJ) Somnitum þeowe, gif ge him ne alugen (PAST SUBJ) iowra wedd
   What, you know that you still today were to-Samnites slaves, if you them not had-belied your vows
                                                                                                                 (Or 3 8.122.11)
   Listen, you know that you would still today be the Samnites' slaves, if you had not betrayed your vows to them


 ・ Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. Syntax. In The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 1. Ed. Richard M. Hogg. Cambridge: CUP, 1992. 168--289.

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