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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2023-10-23

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2023-10-23 Mon

#5292. Cecily Clark による名前談義 [name_project][onomastics][personal_name][toponymy]

 名前学 (name-study, or onomastics) の専門家は,いかにして名前の問題を切り出すのか.「名前プロジェクト」 (name_project) を立ち上げてから,とても気になるテーマである.
 「名前」に造詣の深い英語史研究者の Cecily Clark が古英語の名前学を導入する文章で何を述べているか.しびれるイントロダクションを書いている.この部分を基本テキストとして院生と議論したいほど,うまく書かれている.「名前学」→「一般原理」→「名前の特別な地位」という位置づけの3段落からなる文章を,そのまま引用する (Clark 452--53) .

7.1 General principles
7.1.1 The special status of names
Naming, although semantically a specialised function, in other respects forms part of the everyday language. Phonemic material has to be the same, and to follow dialectal and chronological paths that are related, albeit not invariably identical. The morpho-syntactic features of names must fit with general ones. Lexical material and modes of word-formation too must reflect those of the language at large. Indeed, place-names normally start as plain descriptions of the sites concerned: e.g. Kingston < cyninges tūn 'the king's estate', Pyrford < (æt pyrigan forda '(the settlement at) the ford by the pear-tree' . . . . Personal names, although less transparently motivated, likewise ultimately derive from elements of common language.
   Before becoming truly a 'name', a descriptive formation must, however, be divorced from its etymological meaning in such a way that the sound-sequence, no matter how complex its structure or plain its surface-meaning, becomes a simple pointer; 'one might claim that unintelligible names fulfil their role more directly' . . . . Bath, as a place-name, coincides in form with the common noun, and awareness survives of the Roman baths that it commemorates; but, for all that, the name's everyday 'meaning' is independent of etymology. Such independence is clearer still with names which, like London, have, since records began, apparently been opaque to their users . . . . So, likewise with personal names: Philip means 'horse-lover', and as a Christian name it recalls an Apostle; but few present-day choosers and bearers of it seem much concerned either with etymology or --- at all events in present-day England --- with biblical associations.
   Once semantically emptied, names draw partly aloof from the language at large. Although the phonological tendencies that affect them cannot be alien to those bearing on common vocabulary, the loss of denotation allows development to be freer, with compounds obscured and elements blurred and merged earlier and more thoroughly than in analogous 'meaningful' forms. Sound-developments seen in names may therefore antedate or exceed in scope those operating elsewhere in the language; and this makes any use of name-material for study of general or dialectal phonology an exercise requiring caution . . . . Morphosyntactically too, names stand apart. Being by nature 'definite', they take in normal English usage neither an indefinite article nor a definite one; an English name-form qualified by either sort of article is part-way towards reverting to common noun . . . . Only exceptionally can any name be pluralised. Place-names further differ from other classes of substantive by often showing an oblique-case form ousting the original nominative . . . .


 名前はその言語体系の一部でありながら,そこから独立してもいる.しかし,やはり言語体系に吸引される側面もある.この名前の御しがたい性格が興味深い.言語学にもつかず離れずにいる不良的な存在という点が魅力的である.

 ・ Clark, Cecily. "Onomastics." The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 1. Ed. Richard M. Hogg. Cambridge: CUP, 1992. 452--89.

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