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January 05, 2018

名詞化形と所有格の解釈

 名詞化形につく所有格の解釈の基本をまずは確認しておこう。


  1. the enemy's destruction of the city←[S]The enemy [V]destroyed [O]the city.

  2. the city's destruction by the enemy←[S]The city [V]was destroyed by the enemy.


1.は能動文を名詞化したもので,2.は受動文を名詞化したものである。いずれの場合でも,もとの文の主語が所有格で表現されている。ところが,次の引用例の下線部の所有格theirはどうであろうか。

Although I have assumed that the specific mechanism that killed Horace Giddens was ventricular fibrillation, it may have been acute pulmonary edema, or the terminal condition called cardiogenic shock, in which the left ventricle is just too weak to maintain a blood pressure high enough to sustain life. Among those of us who will succumb to ischemic heart disease, these three events will account for the vast majority of deaths. They can occur in sleep and they can happen so rapidly that only minutes pass before the moment of death. If medical help is at hand, the worst of their accompaniment can be lessened by morphine or other narcotics. (Sherwin Nuland, How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter, Amazon Kindle版位置Np]o.789-97)

この下線部は言い換えれば[S]what [V]accompany [O]themで,つまり所有格theirは能動文の目的語に相当している。能動文の目的語は受動文では主語になるわけだから,もとの形と思われるものをあえて受動態を用いて言い表すならばwhat they are accompanied byとなるであろう。このように考えると,their accompanimentは「この3つのできごとに付随するもの[症状]」と解釈できるわけである。

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