#5317. 「英語の名前」 (English names) とは何か?[name_project][onomastics][personal_name][toponymy]


 名前(固有名詞)に意味があるのか,という問いは名前学 (onomastics) の論争の代表格である.関連する話題は hellog でも「#2212. 固有名詞はシニフィエなきシニフィアンである」 ([2015-05-18-1]),「#5289. 名前に意味はあるのか?」 ([2023-10-20-1]),「#5290. 名前に意味はあるのか論争の4つの論点」 ([2023-10-21-1]) などで取り上げてきた.
 これと関連の深いもう1つの問題は,名前は特定の言語に属するか,という問いである.London は英語語彙の一部なのか,「東京」は日本語彙の一部なのか.John や「太郎」はどうか.特定の名前はどの言語にも属していないとも,すべての言語に属しているとも言えるかもしれない(cf. 「#2979. Chibanian はラテン語?」 ([2017-06-23-1]) の議論も参照).
 とすれば,English names (英語の名前)という表現も,素直には受け取れないように思われる.この English names について論じている Coates (331--32) の解説(弁解?)は以下の通り.

   Talking of English names, as I have just done, raises a whole further problem to which there is no easy answer. What is an English name? A name like that of Athens, Georgia, is an English name in the sense that it was bestowed by English-speakers, and preserved as institutionalised in an English-speaking community. In that sense it is hard to call it a Greek name, whilst (ignoring changes during the transmission of the name via Latin and French to modern English) there is a more obvious sense in which that of Athens, Greece, is Greek. (This is reflected by differential translatability; Athens, Greece, is translatable into French (etc.) whilst Athens, Georgia, is not.) For the purposes of this chapter, I shall define an English name as one coined using English-language material; allowing for the fact that namers make use of borrowed onomastic elements (e.g. in place-names -ville, -burg, in given-names -ine, -ette - see below). But I shall want to mention English-transmitted names such as the Athens just mentioned, at least in passing, because their usage tells us something about the English language during the period in question: namely what the naming strategies of English-speakers were.
   I doubt whether the notion 'English name' can ever be made fully coherent, and still embrace all the names bestowed by English-speakers and used in an English-language context; but the above will serve as a guide to my intentions in the pages which follow.

 English names の論考は,もちろん意味のあるものである.English names の研究は,当面は英語社会における名付け行為と,その結果としての名前語彙の研究ととらえておいてよいだろう.

 ・ Clark, Cecily. "Onomastics." The Cambridge History of the English Language. Vol. 4. Ed. Suzanne Romaine. Cambridge: CUP, 1998. 330--72.

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