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hellog〜英語史ブログ / 2023-11-27

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2023-11-27 Mon

#5327. York でみる地名と民間語源 [name_project][etymology][folk_etymology][onomastics][toponymy][oe][roman_britain][celtic][diphthong][old_norse][sound_change]

 「#5203. 地名と民間語源」 ([2023-07-26-1]) でみたように,地名には民間語源 (folk_etymology) が関わりやすい.おそらくこれは,地名を含む固有名には,指示対象こそあれ「意味はない」からだろう(ただし,この論点についてはこちらの記事群を参照).地名の語源的研究にとっては頭の痛い問題となり得る.
 Clark (28--29) に,York という地名に関する民間語源説が紹介されている.

. . . 'folk-etymology' --- that is, replacement of alien elements by similar-sounding and more or less apt familiar ones --- can be a trap. The RB [= Romano-British] name for the city now called York was Ebŏrācum/Ebŭrācum, probably, but not certainly, meaning 'yew-grove' . . . . To an early English ear, the spoken Celtic equivalent apparently suggested two terms: OE eofor 'boar' --- apt enough either as symbolic patron for a settlement or as nickname for its founder or overlord --- and the loan-element -wīc [= "harbour"] . . ., hence OE Eoforwīc . . . . (The later shift from Eoforwīc > York involved further cross-cultural influence . . . .) Had no record survived of the RB form, OE Eoforwīc could have been taken as the settlers' own coinage; doubt therefore sometimes hangs over OE place-names for which no corresponding RB forms are known. The widespread, seemingly transparent form Churchill, for instance, applies to some sites never settled and thus unlikely ever to have boasted a church; because some show a tumulus, others an unusual 'tumulus-like' outline, Church- might here, it is suggested, have replaced British *crǖg 'mound' . . . .


 もし York の地名についてローマン・ブリテン時代の文献上の証拠がなかったとしたら,それが民間語源である可能性を見抜くこともできなかっただろう.とすると,地名語源研究は文献資料の有無という偶然に揺さぶられるほかない,ということになる.
 ちなみに古英語 Eoforwīc から後の York への語形変化については,Clark (483) に追加的な解説があるので,それも引用しておこう.

OE Eoforwīc was reshaped, with a Scand. rising diphthong replacing the OE falling one, assibilation of the final consonant inhibited, and medial [v] elided before the rounded vowel: thus, Iorvik > York . . . .


 ・ 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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