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2024-05-21 Tue

#5503. 言語学史を学ぶ意義 [history_of_linguistics][historiography]

 Robins の言語学史の本を読み直している.序章では言語学史を学ぶ意義が説かれているが,著者の熱がこもっていて読み応えがある.まず Robins (2) は,いかにして言語学史(ひいては一般に科学史)という分野が創始されるものかを次のように説明する.

The sciences of man, which include linguistics, arise from the development of human self-awareness. But equally these sciences, or more strictly their practitioners, may become aware of themselves for what they are doing and for what they have done. When this scientific self-awareness includes an interest in the origin and past development of a science, we may recognize the birth of that specific discipline known as the history of science. In recent years the rapid and at times bewildering growth in linguistics as an academic subject, both in the numbers of scholars involved and in the range of their activities, has led to a corresponding growth in the interest of linguists in the past history of the subject. In part this may be due to the feeling that some earlier generations may be a source of stability during a period of unprecedentedly swift changes in theory, procedures, and applications.


 次に Robins (3) は,言語学史(ひいては一般に科学史)を学ぶ意義の1つは,ホイッグ史観から自身を解放する術を身につけられることにあると述べる.研究における「次世代贔屓」の戒めだ.

It is tempting, and flattering to one's contemporaries, to see the history of a science as the progressive discovery of the truth and the attainment of the right methods, something of a counterpart to what has been called 'Whig history' in political historiography. But this is a fallacy. The aims of a science vary in the course of its history, and the search for objective standards by which to judge the purposes of different periods is apt to be an elusive one. 'The facts' and 'the truth' are not laid down in advance, like the solution to a crossword puzzle, awaiting the completion of discovery. Scientists themselves do much to determine the range of facts, phenomena, and operations that fall within their purview, and they themselves set up and modify the conceptual framework within which they make what they regard as significant statements about them.


 続けて Robins (5) は,現代の状況に直接つながる項目だけに注目するのではなく,歴史の過程で死に絶えてしまった項目にも留意する態度が必要であるという.

One should strive to avoid the deliberate selection of only those parts of earlier work that can be brought into a special relationship with present-day interests.


 言語学とは何か,とりわけ私自身の場合には歴史的な言語研究とは何か,を考える上で押さえておくべき諸点である.

 ・ Robins, R. H. A Short History of Linguistics. 4th ed. Longman: London and New York, 1997.

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