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最終更新時間: 2024-05-20 20:18

2024-04-06 Sat

#5458. 理論により異なる主語の捉え方 [subject][terminology][semantics][syntax][logic][case][generative_grammar]

 昨日の記事「#5457. 主語をめぐる論点」 ([2024-04-05-1]) に続き,別の言語学用語辞典からも主語 (subject) の項目を覗いてみよう.Crystal の用語辞典より引用する.

subject (n.) (S, sub, SUB, Subj, SUBJ) A term used in the analysis of GRAMMATICAL FUNCTIONS to refer to a major CONSTITUENT of SENTENCE or CLAUSE structure, traditionally associated with the 'doer' of an action, as in The cat bit the dog. The oldest approaches make a twofold distinction in sentence analysis between subject and PREDICATE, and this is still common, though not always in this terminology; other approaches distinguish subject from a series of other elements of STRUCTURE (OBJECT, COMPLEMENT, VERB, ADVERBIAL, in particular. Linguistic analyses have emphasized the complexity involved in this notion, distinguishing, for example, the grammatical subject from the UNDERLYING or logical subject of a sentence, as in The cat was chased by the dog, where The cat is the grammatical and the dog the logical subject. Not all subjects, moreover, can be analyzed as doers of an action, as in such sentences as Dirt attracts flies and The books sold well. The definition of subjects in terms of SURFACE grammatical features (using WORD-ORDER or INFLECTIONAL criteria) is usually relatively straightforward, but the specification of their function is more complex, and has attracted much discussion (e.g. in RELATIONAL GRAMMAR). In GENERATIVE grammar, subject is sometimes defined at the NP immediately DOMINATED by S. While NP is the typical formal realization of subject, other categories can have this function, e.g. clause (S-bar), as in That oil floats on water is a fact, and PP as in Between 6 and 9 will suit me. The term is also encountered in such contexts as RAISING and the SPECIFIED-SUBJECTION CONDITION.

 昨日引用・参照した McArthur の記述と重なっている部分もあるが,今回の Crystal の記述からは,拠って立つ言語理論に応じて主語の捉え方が異なることがよく分かる.関係文法では主語の果たす機能に着目しており,生成文法ではそもそも主語という用語を常用しない.あらためて主語とは伝統文法に基づく緩い用語であり,そしてその緩さ加減が適切だからこそ広く用いられているのだということが分かる.

 ・ Crystal, David, ed. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008. 295--96.

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2024-04-05 Fri

#5457. 主語をめぐる論点 [subject][terminology][semantics][syntax][logic][existential_sentence][construction][agreement][number][expletive]

 昨日の記事「#5456. 主語とは何か?」 ([2024-04-04-1]) に引き続き,主語 (subject) についての本質的な疑問に迫りたい.この問題を論じるに際し,まず用語辞典などに当たってみるのが良さそうだ.McArthur の項目を引用しよう.主要な論点が見えてくる.

SUBJECT [13c: from Latin subjectum grammatical subject, from subiectus placed close, ranged under]. A traditional term for a major constituent of the sentence. In a binary analysis derived from logic, the sentence is divided into subject and predicate, as in Alan (subject) has married Nita (predicate). In declarative sentences, the subject typically precedes the verb: Alan (subject) has married (verb) Nita (direct object). In interrogative sentences, it typically follows the first or only part of the verb: Did (verb) Alan (subject) marry (verb) Nita (direct object)? The subject can generally be elicited in response to a question that puts who or what before the verb: Who has married Nita?---Alan. Where concord is relevant, the subject determines the number and person of the verb: The student is complaining/The students are complaining; I am tired/He is tired. Many languages have special case forms for words in the subject, the subject requires a particular form (the subjective) in certain pronouns: I (subject) like her, and she (subject) likes me.

Kinds of subject. A distinction is sometimes made between the grammatical subject (as characterized above), the psychological subject, and the logical subject: (1) The psychological subject is the theme or topic of the sentence, what the sentence is about, and the predicate is what is said about the topic. The grammatical and psychological subjects typically coincide, though the identification of the sentence topic is not always clear: Labour and Conservative MPs clashed angrily yesterday over the poll tax. Is the topic of the sentence the MPs or the poll tax? (2) The logical subject refers to the agent of the action; our children is the logical subject in both these sentences, although it is the grammatical subject in only the first: Our children planted the oak sapling; The oak sapling was planted by our children. Many sentences, however, have no agent: Stanley has back trouble; Sheila is a conscientious student; Jenny likes jazz; There's no alternative; It's raining

Pseudo-subjects. The last sentence also illustrates the absence of a psychological subject, since it is obviously not the topic of the sentence. This so-called 'prop it' is a dummy subject, serving merely to fill a structural need in English for a subject in a sentence. In this respect, English contrasts with languages such as Latin, which can omit the subject, as in Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered: with no need for the Latin pronoun ego, I). Like prop it, 'existential there' in There's no alternative is the grammatical subject of the sentence, but introduces neither the topic nor (since there is no action) the agent.

Non-typical subjects. Subjects are typically noun phrases, but they may also be finite and non-finite clauses: 'That nobody understands me is obvious'; 'To accuse them of negligence was a serious mistake'; 'Looking after the garden takes me several hours a week in the summer.' In such instances, finite and infinitive clauses are commonly post and anticipatory it takes their place in subject position: 'It is obvious that nobody understands me'; 'It was a serious mistake to accuse them of negligence.' Occasionally, prepositional phrases and adverbs function as subjects: 'After lunch is best for me'; 'Gently does it.'

Subjectless sentences. Subjects are usually omitted in imperatives, as in Come here rather than You come here. They are often absent from non-finite clauses ('Identifying the rioters may take us some time') and from verbless clauses ('New filters will be sent to you when available'), and may be omitted in certain contexts, especially in informal notes (Hope to see you soon) and in coordination (The telescope is 43 ft long, weighs almost 11 tonnes, and is more than six years late).

 続けて,擬似的な主語,いわゆる形式主語やダミーの主語と呼ばれるものが紹介される.そこでは there is の存在文 (existential_sentence) も言及される.この構文では there はテーマではありえないし,動作の行為者でもないので,あくまで文法形式のために要求されている主語とみなすほかない.

 ・ McArthur, Tom, ed. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: OUP, 1992.

Referrer (Inside): [2024-04-06-1]

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2024-04-04 Thu

#5456. 主語とは何か? [subject][terminology][semantics][syntax][logic][existential_sentence][inohota][youtube][voicy][heldio][construction][agreement][number][link]

 3月31日に配信した YouTube 「いのほた言語学チャンネル」の第219回は,「古い文法・新しい文法 There is 構文まるわかり」と題してお話ししています.本チャンネルとしては,この4日間で視聴回数3100回越えとなり,比較的多く視聴されているようです.ありがとうございます.
 There is a book on the desk. のような存在文 (existential_sentence) における there は,意味的には空疎ですが,文法的には主語であるかのような振る舞いを示します.一方,a book は何の役割をはたしているかと問われれば,これこそが主語であると論じることもできます.さらに be 動詞と数の一致を示す点でも,a book のほうが主語らしいのではないかと議論できそうです.
 これまで当たり前のように受け入れてきた主語 (subject) とは,いったい何なのでしょうか.考え始めると頭がぐるぐるしてきます.存在文の主語の問題,および「主語」という用語に関しては,heldio でも取り上げてきました.

 ・ 「#1003. There is an apple on the table. --- 主語はどれ?」
 ・ 「#1032. なぜ subject が「主語」? --- 「ゆる言語学ラジオ」からのインスピレーション」

 もちろんこの hellog でも,存在文に関連する話題は以下の記事で取り上げてきました.

 ・ 「#1565. existential there の起源 (1)」 ([2013-08-09-1])
 ・ 「#1566. existential there の起源 (2)」 ([2013-08-10-1])
 ・ 「#4473. 存在文における形式上の主語と意味上の主語」 ([2021-07-26-1])

 主語とは何か? 簡単に解決する問題ではありませんが,ぜひ皆さんにも考えていただければ.

Referrer (Inside): [2024-04-05-1]

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