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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2020-07-20

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2020-07-20 Mon

#4102. 反意と極性 [semantics][antonymy][markedness]

 反意 (antonym) は,語の意味論 (semantics) における1つの重要なトピックである.一口に反意語といっても様々なタイプがあり,「#1800. 様々な反対語」 ([2014-04-01-1]) でみたとおりである.また,英語の最も典型的な反意語ペアの1例である oldyoung をとってみても,How old are you? は普通(=無標)だが, How young are you? はやや変(=有標)という点で,バランスの取れた単純な反意ではなさそうであることが窺われる.反意というのは思ったよりも奥が深い.
 典型的な反意に備わっている特徴の1つに polarity (極性)がある.論理学的,意味論的には,主に3種の polarity が区別される.論理,量,評価の polarity だ.Allan (130--31) より説明を引こう.

polarity This is displayed when one term of a binary opposition is described as 'positive' and the other as 'negative'. The most obvious cases are where one term carries a negative affix which the other lacks: possible: impossible, happy: unhappy, obey: disobey, dress: undress, and so on. But other types of opposition are said to have positive and negative terms. The main ones are as follows:

   1. Logical polarity is based on the principle that 'two negatives make a positive'. For instance, It's true that it's true is equivalent to It's true, but It's false that it's false changes polarity and is equivalent to It's true. From this we can conclude that false is the negative term and true is positive.
   2. Quantity polarity applies particularly to antonym pairs, where the positive term indicates 'more of' some property and the negative term 'less of', as with long (positive) and short (negative).
   3. Evaluation polarity is where the positive term expresses approval and the negative term disapproval, as with good: bad, polite: rude.


 真・大・善の polarity というところか.反意(語)に向き合う際には,この3点を意識すると混乱せずに済む.

 ・ Cruse, Alan. A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006.

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