hellog〜英語史ブログ

#4745. markedness について再考[markedness]

2022-04-24

 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.
 有標性は言語学の基本的な用語となっているが,決して自明の概念ではない.先日も久しぶりに大学院の授業で有標性の話題が出たのだが,イマイチきれいに説明できない.もともと有標性は音韻論の分野から生まれた概念だが,後に形態論,統語論,意味論にも応用されていった.しかし,その応用の過程で様々に異なる基準が持ち込まれてしまい,有標性の概念がぼやけてしまったところがある.理論的考察も多くなされてきたものの,何をもって有標・無標とするかは理論的立場や研究者個人によって異なるという状況が生まれている.緩くは分かるのだが詳しくは分からない,という概念・用語になっているのだ.
 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.

markedness
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.


 引用文中に言及がある研究者・研究書の書誌情報はここでは割愛するが,用語辞典の本項の末尾には,その他の参考文献も含めて重要な指南があるので,この問題に取り組みたい向きには参考になるだろう.
 有標性は言語変化にも深く関係し,英語史の議論にもしばしば出てくる.今後も考え続けていく必要のあるキーワードだろう.

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

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