#5333. 古英語地名要素の混乱 --- -ham, -hamm, -holm; -bearu, -beorg, -burg, -byrig, -borough[old_norse][name_project][etymology][onomastics][toponymy][inflection][oe][polysemy][homonymy][synonym]


 古英語の地名は2要素からなるもの (dithematic) が多い.特に第2要素には「村」「町」などの一般名 (generic) が現われることが多い.そもそも固有名は音形が崩れやすく,とりわけ第2要素は語尾に対応するので弱化しやすい.すると,-ham 「村」なのか -hem 「縁」なのか -holm 「河川敷」なのかが形態的に区別しにくくなってくる.-bearu 「木立ち」,-beorg 「塚」,-burg/-byrig/-borough 「市」についても同じことがいえる(スラッシュで区切られた3つの異形態については「#5308. 地名では前置詞付き与格形が残ることがある」 ([2023-11-08-1]) を参照).
 古英語地名学をめぐる,この厄介な音形・綴字のマージという問題は,Clark でも紹介されている.上記の2つの例についての解説を引用する.

(2) OE -hām 'village', OE -hamm 'site hemmed in by water or wilderness' and also the latter's Scandinavian synonym -holm all fall together as [m̩]. Not even pre-Conquest spellings always allow of distinguishing -hām from -hamm: if dat. forms in -hamme/-homme survive, they tell in favour of the latter, but often etymology has to depend upon topography . . . . Distinction between -hamm and -holm is complicated by their synonymity, and their likely interchange in the medieval forms of many Danelaw names. . . . PDE spellings are again often unhistorical, as in Kingsholm < OE cyninges hamm 'the king's water-meadow' . . . . Confusion is further confounded by occasional unhistorical spellings of [m̩] < OE or Scand. dat. pl. -um, as in Airyholme and Howsham . . . . (Clark 486--87)

(4) Reflexes of OE -bearu 'grove' and -beorg 'mound' are partly merged not only with each other but also with those of -burg/-byrig, so that PDE forms in -barrow can represent -bearu or -beorg, ones in -bury can represent -bearu or byrig and ones in -borough can represent -beorg or burg . . . . (Clark 487)

 ・ 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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