#4745. markedness について再考[markedness]


 言語学では,有標 (marked) と無標 (unmarked) という用語がよく使われる.有標性 (markedness) という理論的な話題である.本ブログでも「#550. markedness」 ([2010-10-29-1]),「#551. 有標・無標と不規則・規則」 ([2010-10-30-1]),「#3723. 音韻の有標性」 ([2019-07-07-1]) などで取り上げてきた.
 今回は Bussmann の用語辞典より markedness の項を読んでみることにする.

The concept of markedness is concerned with the distinction between what is neutral, natural, or expected (= unmarked) and what departs from the neutral (= marked) along some specified parameter. It was introduced in linguistics by the Prague School (L. Trubetzkoy, R. Jakobson) for evaluating the members of an oppositional pair as 'marked' (having some kind of feature) or 'unmarked' (having no features). An example: according to Jakobson (1936), in the opposition nominative vs accusative, the accusative is the marked case, because it indicates the presence of an affected entity (i.e. a direct object) while the nominative does not have this feature, i.e. it signals neither the presence nor the absence of such an entity. Unmarked elements also exhibit many of the following characteristics (see Greenberg 1966; Mayerthaler 1980): they are expressed by simpler means, they occur more frequently in the languages of the world, they are learned earlier in first language acquisition, and are less often the 'target' or 'goal' of processes such as language change. Generative transformation-language change. Generative transformational grammar has contributed much towards a better understanding of the concept of markedness. Chomsky and Halle (1968) evaluate phonological feature descriptions by means of markedness conventions. With the opposition [± rounded], for example, the unmarked feature is [- rounded] for front vowels and [+ rounded] for back vowels. According to this markedness rule, the vowel /y/, a rounded front vowel, is more marked than /u/, a rounded back vowel. On the basis of this convention, phonological systems, word representations, and processes can be compared to one another and evaluated according to their markedness. In syntax, the concept of markedness is applied within recent generative transformational grammar, within natural generative grammar, as well as for syntactic universals (cf. hierarchy universals). In semantics, most of the characteristics mentioned above for unmarked categories hold for prototypes. Markedness asymmetries have been shown to hold not only for binary systems but also for larger sets of elements yielding markedness hierarchies (e.g. nominative < accusative < dative < genitive, see Primus 1987; singular < plural < dual, see Greenberg 1966). An important principle of markedness theory is the iconicity between form units and their corresponding meanings. Mayerthaler (1981) proposes a principle of morphological iconism, according to which semantically unmarked elements are coded morphologically more simply than marked elements. The idea that the markedness of linguistic units corresponds more or less exactly to cognitive-psychological complexity or simplicity can already be found in the first proposals of markedness theory, and is still focal in research on naturalness and markedness.


 ・ Bussmann, Hadumod. Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics. Trans. and ed. Gregory Trauth and Kerstin Kazzizi. London: Routledge, 1996.

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