#4441. 人名の綴字にみられる埋め草[spelling][personal_name][onomastics][silent_letter][three-letter_rule][orthography]


 標題の意味するところは,AnnAnne か,SmithSmythe か,KidKidd か等の例を挙げれば一目瞭然だろう.通常の英単語の綴字規則に照らせば余分とみなされる文字が,人名の綴字にしばしば現われるという現象だ.人名 (personal_name) は,その人物のアイデンティティや存在感を示すための言語要素であり,とりわけ視覚に訴える綴字において,しばしば「盛る」ということがあっても不思議はない.Carney (454) は,これについて次のように考察している.

Personal names gain advantage by having a certain written bulk since a totem impresses partly by its size. Consequently, names which are phonetically quite short are often padded out with empty letters. The name /leg/ never seems to appear as *Leg --- the usual spelling is Legge. Here we see the two most common types of padding: <C>-doubling and a superfluous <-e> in a context where neither is warranted by modern spelling conventions. Such spellings were common in both names and non-names before conventions settled down in the eighteenth century, but archaism is not the only reason for their continued use in names. Since such spellings are most frequently found in monosyllables and since the unpadded spellings are much less common, their written bulk is obviously seen as an advantage. They also reinforce the initial capital letter as a marker of names and help them to stand out from the non-names in written text. In some cases the padding may help to distance the name from an unfortunate homophone, as in Thynne.

 綴字上の埋め草には,(1) 人名を印象づける,(2) 特に1音節語の人名を際立たせる,(3) 非人名の同音語と区別する,といった機能があるということだ.埋め草の主な方法としては,子音字の2重化と -e の付加が指摘されている.以下に <t> の2重化と <-e> の付加について,埋め草の有無の揺れを示す例をいくつか挙げてみよう (Carney (454--57)) .

Abbot(t), Arnot(t), Barnet(t), Barrat(t), Basset(t), Becket(t), Bennet(t), Calcot(t), Elliot(t), Garnet(t), Garret(t), Nesbit(t), Plunket(t), Prescot(t), Wilmot(t), Wyat(t)

Ann(e), Ask(e), Beck(e), Bewick(e), Brook(e), Cook(e), Crook(e), Cross(e), Dunn(e), Esmond(e), Fagg(e), Fisk(e), Foot(e), Glynn(e), Goff(e), Good(e), Gwynn(e), Harding(e), Hardwick(e), Holbrook(e), Hook(e), Keating(e), Lock(e), Plumb(e), Webb(e), Wolf(e), Wynn(e)

 Carney (457) は,この現象を人名における事実上の「4文字規則」 ("a minimum four-letter rule") と述べており興味深い.もちろんこれは一般語の正書法における「#2235. 3文字規則」 ([2015-06-10-1]) をもじったものである.

 ・ Carney, Edward. A Survey of English Spelling. Abingdon: Routledge, 1994.

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