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仮定法はなぜ過去形か?

 仮定法はそう難しくないはずなのに,つまずく人の多い文法項目である。基本は「時制を1つずらす」ことにつきるのだが,これがきちんと理解できない人がいるようだ。
 なぜ時制を1つずらすのか。なぜ現在のことを言うのに過去形を用いるのか。以下の図解を見れば理解できるだろう。

過去形は言い換えれば「非現在」形である。赤丸で囲んだ現実・現在を基準にして,「現実・過去」にずれるのも,「非現実・現在」にずれるのも,「1つずれる」(これを丸数字の1で表現している)ことに違いない,という点で,どちらにも同じ過去形を用いる根拠があるのだ。過去完了形を「非現実・過去」を表すのに用いるのも,同じように理解すればよい。丸数字の2で表している2つの矢印に注目してほしい。
 もう1つ初心者がつまずくのが,主節とif節のどちらに助動詞を入れるか,という点だ。しかし,これも仮定法構文の機能を十分に考えることで納得がいくはずだ。

if節の機能は,仮定条件を与えることだ。この条件は推量ではなく,所与となるから,推量を表す助動詞は必要ない。意志のwillや能力のcan(それぞれ過去形にして用いる)は「推量」ではないから,if節でも用いられることがある。たとえば,If I could speak French, I would go to France to study art history.という例などが挙げられる。
 これに対して,主節が表しているのは,条件が真となった場合にどのような結果が「予想」されるかである。これは「推量」の域を出ないから,これを明示するためには推量を表す助動詞が必ず必要となる。
 このように,構文が持つ「機能」や「意味」に注目すれば,その「形式」にも納得のいく場合が多い。

posted at 08:21:06 on 11/16/05 by yhatanaka - Category: 英語

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わたなべじゅんや wrote:

ごぶさたいたしております。とくに関心のあるテーマですので、コメントしてみます。
ヨーロッパの多くの言語で、仮定を設定するがわの節で過去時制に相当する形式、その仮定のもとでの帰結を述べる節で過去からみた未来をあらわす時制に相当する形式をもちいることはご存じのとおりです。
前者に関心をおくとすると、日本語でも、

[1] もしもっとお金があっ<b>たら</b>、ヴァレリー全集を買うんだけどなあ。
[2] 世のなかにたへて桜のなかり<b>せば</b>春のこころはのどけからまし (在原業平)

のように、仮定節で過去の助動詞 (現代語なら「た」、古語なら「き」) の未然形をもちいており、共通性がみとめられます。
しかし、わたしの親しんでいるフランスの言語学では、

[3] Si Pierre <b>&eacute;tait</b> riche, il ach&egrave;terait une voiture.

のような半過去を、すくなくとも直接に「過去時制」の価値にむすびつける考察はなされてきませんでした。むしろ、モダールな用法の典型とされてきました。
しかしここ数年、過去という時間性の観点からの見直しがなされています。そのきっかけになったのがLaurent GOSSELIN (1999) : &laquo; Les valeurs de l’imparfait et du conditionnel dans les syst&egrave;mes hypoth&eacute;tiques &raquo;, <i>Cahiers Chronos, </i>vol. 4, pp.29-51.です。
Gosselin によると、仮定構文は前望的可能性 (possibilit&eacute; prospective ; ある時点において有効な、それ以降に事行が妥当である可能性) を要求します。そして半過去は、その前望的可能性を過去に位置づけるとします。

[4] Si Pierre a vu Marie, il a d&ucirc; lui racontrer son aventure.
[5] Si c’est vrai que Pierre a vu Marie, il a d&ucirc; lui racontrer son aventure.
[6] Si Pierre &eacute;tait riche, il ach&egrave;terait une voiture.
[7] Si c’&eacute;tait vrai que Pierre est riche, il ach&egrave;terait une voiture.
[8] ?? Si c’est vrai que Pierre &eacute;tait riche, il ach&egrave;terait une voiture.

[4] は [5] のように、[6] は [7] のようにいいかえられ、[8] のようにはいいかえられません。これらの例は、半過去が仮定節の内容に対して直接ではなく、その(前望的)可能性に対してはたらいていることを示す、とGosselin は主張しています。

[9] Si j’&eacute;tais fonctionnaire, je voudrais &ecirc;tre enseignant.

仮定のわくぐみは、si節の内容によって直接きまるのではなく、その前望的可能性によってきまる。[9] の話者は、すでに公務員になっていることを仮定して教員になりたいといっているのではなく、これから公務員になりうる可能性 (前望的可能性) を仮定して教員になりたいといっているのだ、というのが Gosselin の説です。
わたし自身の立場は別の場でのべたいとおもいますが、あえてどちらかというとGosselin には説得力があると思っております。

わたなべじゅんや
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