The Lexicon in Dickens.
Tadao Yamamoto (1904-91) studied under the tutelage of Dr. Sanki Ichikawa in Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo). He began his teaching career at the Hiroshima Normal College, and after five years, was appointed Assistant Professor at Hiroshima University of Literature and Science (both of which were incorporated into Hiroshima University). In those days his chief concern turned to stylistics as well as syntax. During the dark days of World War II he devoted himself to the studies of Dickens's language, and wrote a doctoral dissertation on the language of Dickens with a special reference to idiomatic expressions, and obtained the degree of Doctor of Literature from the University of Tokyo in 1946, the following after the termination of the War. The dissertation, entitled Growth and system of the language of Dickens: An introduction to a Dickens lexicon, was issued in 1950, and for its excellence the Japan Academy Prize was awarded to him in 1953, the first time it had been won by a scholar of English language and literature. Its outline will be given below.
In studying the language of Dickens Dr. Yamamoto's fundamental view is that "the language is primarily an organic unity consisting of innumerable individual languages" (a kind of langue--parole theory), that "an individual system is the smallest living unit of the great system of the national language" (p. 1), and that at the foundation lies the sense of value closely connected with the lire and thought of nation. This view leads to the significance of the study of Dickens's language. That is to say, Yamamoto, directing his special attention to colloquialism as one of the inherent qualities of English, considers the underlying structure of Dickens's English idiomatic. Moreover, his studies, based on close and sensitive reading, are made against the whole history from Chaucer to the present-day through Shakespeare, Defoe, Swifl, Fielding, and Smollett, from an idiomatic point of view in particular. Yamamoto in "Historical Background" (Part I, Chapter I) points out the prominent periods in making English idiom, each of them being represented by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Swift and Dickens. Those periods were preceded respectively by those which brought about hot only phonetic and grammatical change but the whole importation of foreign words and the coinage that had added a great deal to the vocabulary. This fact is intimately related with the changes in the social and cultural life of the people. What must be noticed here is that Dickens inherits English expressions from the earlier ages, particularly 18th century writers, such as mentioned above. Accordingly, Dickens's language is regarded as a collection of colloquial English since the 18th century, while his language contains various aspects of Victorian English. This comes to that his lifetime indicates a section of the history of English at his day. For example, a comparison of Sketches by Boz (1836) with David Copperfield (1850) reveals some differences in linguistic quality--a development of English as well as of his language as an individual one. Yamamoto mentions this fact as "growth".
In defining the term "idioms" Yamamoto adopts Charles Bally's idea of "delimitation" with due modification. Because Bally applies this term to "a word, a word-element, or a phrase, which corresponds precisely to a unit of thought or a psychological element" (in other words, Bally banishes a historical point of view and "aesthetic intention") (p. 392). Yamamoto asserts the case in which, unlike sounds or words, idioms are the last delimitable units of a language, and adds historical facts and rhetorical expressions and attempts to determine linguistic units that correspond to units of the life and thought of the English people. Then, the units can be delimited by "a peculiar sense of familiarity" (p. 394) which comes from "habitual use connected with intimate associations, dear recollections and national inclinations"--"idiomatic sense" (p. 393). And after such a logical argument he defines "idioms" as "those expressions which are delimitable units of a language, which may happen to be single sounds, single words, phrases, sentences" (p. 393-94). Needless to say, this "idiomatic sense" is a native speaker's, but he asserts that, as Jespersen says, even foreign students, by carefully collecting, comparing, and arranging materials at our command, will take hold of points which native students are liable to miss by over-familiarity. Moreover, he distinguishes "idiom" and "idioms". The former, which consists of the latter as its component parts, is an English Idiom as a whole--this may be a kind of langue--parole theory, too.
A Dickens lexicon, for which Yamamoto worked out a detailed plan, treats such idioms. He remarks "by accumulating such Lexicons [of individual authors] we shall be able to compile the Lexicon of English Idiom" (p. 394). And Yamamoto explains the limit of units according to the dictionary, grammar and lexicon by way of illustration of the phrase "the (three) wise men", as follows (p. 398):
Dictionary "the / (three) / wise / men" Grammar "the" & "(three)" & "wise" & "men" Lexicon "the (three) wise men"
The phrase "the (three) wise men", which is the "final delimitable unit" (p. 399), denotes "the Magi" (p. 399).
In addition, surveying the idiomatic nature of Dickens's language, Yamamoto finds that most of those idioms consist of simple words of native origin, such as "hold", "keep", words with onomatopoeic forms and impressive images, words denoting the parts of the human body and indicative of their simple actions and familiar words relating to daily life. Naturally, those idioms appeal to our sensibility and are full of expressivite. And he refers to the cases where figurative transferrence of meaning of words may lead to the idiomatic system which seems at first sight irregular and anomalous.
After remarking "The Historical Background" in Chapter I, he classifies his statement in Part 1 as follows:
II Early Childhood III Late Childhood IV Lessons at Home and at School V School-Days VI A Start in Life: The Attorney's Office and the Gallery in the House of Commons VII The Stage Phrases VIII Sports and Games IX Ships and Voyages X The Counting-House XI The First Published Work XII Journeys XIII Literature School XIV The Bible XV Rhetorical Expressions XVI Word-Making XVII Proverbs and Proverbial XVIII Utterances XIX Sentences XX Conclusion
Yamamoto notices as a piece of the history of English Dickens's uses in his works of almost all words and phrases which reached his eye and his car at the various stages of his growth from infancy to manhood. One of the features of the language of Dickens which he states is that Dickens almost always affords a peculiar shade of meaning attached to the words and phrases used in his writings. Let us take the case of Dickens's employment of proper names, say, the ones he knew through the nursery-rhymes in his childhood, or the historical and geographical ones he learned from the books or in the classes in his boyhood. Yamamoto quotes several such examples: "King Alfred's idea of measuring time by the burning of candles" (DS 14) / (referring to a dandy king) "(There is) no King George the Fourth (now ... to set the dandy fashion)." (BH 12) / "like a female Robinson Crusoe" (DC 34) / "(married to a growling old Scotch) Croesus" (DC 64) / "(London) Pantechnicon" (i.e. furniture warehouse) (UT 7) / "within hearing of Bow Bells" (i.e. in City of London) (DS 4) / "... (he was carrying me and little E'mly to) the Spanish Main (to be drowned)" (DC 16). These are not only denotative but also tinged with a peculiar association or contextual meaning respectively. Some examples of figurative or transferred use with a humorous effect: "I am in the Downs." (i.e. in low spirits) (BH 32) / "Sahara Desert of the Law" (UT 14). Examples of the same nature are seen elsewhere. Yamamoto indicates that Dickens derives some of them from the sources of the writings of the ealier ages, and that Dickens often transforms original expressions, e.g., "(the parlour of) a Lilliuptian public-house" (AN 5) (from Gulliver's Travels) / "the Sleeping Ugly" (XS Lodgings 1) (from "The Sleeping Beauty") / "Giant Blunderbore" (P 22) (from "Jack the Giant-Killer"). The latter may be called a kind of deviation (namely, from a normal use or form). Similar instances are frequently round in the contexts where other kinds of words and phrases (not proper names) occur.
According to Yamamoto, what characterizes Dickens's English is, among others, the use of milieu-words, i.e. words and phrases which "serve to recall or evoke the social standing, the education or culture, or the religion the speaker professes" (p. 159). The term "milieu-word" is derived from Charles Bally's idea, and may correspond to "idiolect" today. For example, Captain Cuttle in Dombey and Son is characterized by frequent uses of sea-terms and abundant quotations and occasional mis-quotations of words and phrases in catechism, e.g., "towed along (in the wake of the day)" (DS 22) / "... yes, verily, and by God's help, so I won't ..." (DS 48) (from "Yes, verily; and by God's help so I will"). Besides, John Baptist's protean use of the word "altro" (LD Il), and uses of Yarmouth dialect of Mr. Peggotty, Ham, and Mrs. Gummage in David Copperfield attract Yamamoto's attention. Such an instance might be multiplied.
Furthermore, Yamamoto does not overlook varieties of expressions as derived from the difference in sex. He shows the instances of women's favourite expressions such as "dear", childish repetition ("prose, prose, prose, din, din, din" (N 55)), alliterative or rhyming phrases ("lone loin") (DC 3), emphatic "so", and of linguistic difference between a childish wife Dora and Agnes (DC).
Throughout his remarks Yammoto always reveals historical considerations. We meet with his descriptions such as "Captain Cuttle ... is nothing but a copy of Commodore Trunnion" (p. 135), (who appears in Smollett's Peregrine Pickle), "Most of the above names ('Pembroke table' (B Parish 7), 'weekly Dorset' (B Scenes 2), 'Berlin gloves' (B Scenes 7) appear early in the nigheteenth century, when it seems that a member of new circles of daily use began to be manufactured or introduced" (p. 166), "These words ('pa' and 'ma'), according to the NED, date from the beginning of the nigheteenth century" (p. 27). Thus, he sets forth his intention to see words and phrases in the current of English. As for the uses of proper names, as already mentioned, those instances may imply a peculiar shade of meaning suggestive of a mode of life in those days, to say nothing of historical significance.
In Chapter XIII and the papers which follow, Yamamoto turns to "more classic sources" of Dickens's language, so to speak, the language of the stage in which grown-up Dickens lives the higer intellectual lire, and has greatly added to his vocabulary. Here is seen the deeper colour of the creativeness of the language of Dickens, who culls literary expressions in English literature from Shakespeare to Tennyson, the Bible, the Prayer Book, proverbs as expressions of the practical wisdom. Some of those words and phrases which Yamamoto quotes are adopted from the then wide-spread proverbial sayings, and others, purely Shakespearean or Biblical, have been familiarized so that their origin is hot always recognized by the characters who use them. What must be noted here is that some Shakespearean phrases in Dickens's writings appear unchanged (e.g., "milk of human kindness" in Macbeth I v 18 [right arrow] (N 38), (MC 3)), while others surfer a change (e.g., "in my mind's eye" in Hamlet I ii 185 [right arrow] "in his judicial mind's eye" (DC 36)). Yamamoto puts forth, "in this fact of variation lies the very principle of the life and growth of language, and, at the moment when the technical correctness is lost sight of, colloquialisms in the true meaning of the word come into existence" (pp. 215-16). This assertion is followed by the remark: "Another test to see whether the phrases have become colloquial is whether or not they have acquired the power of producing analogical formations" (p. 216). Accordingly, Dickens is "a genius in making English colloquialisms out of quotations" (p. 216). Biblical phrases are also liable to receive a modification both in form and meaning; e.g., "to go the way of all the earth" (Josh. xxiii 14) [right arrow] "go the silent way of the rest" (GE 33). As instances of analogical formation Yamamoto gives the following: Lat. sanctum sanctorum [right arrow] 'the Holiest of the Holiests' (TC II 7) / "the ray of rays, the sun of suns, the moon of moons, the star of stars" (BH 25) / "of the earth earthy" (I Cor. xxv 47) "of the world, worldly" (HT II 7) / "of the streets streety" (LD I 6). As a transformation of proverbs the next instances may be typical: "no two birds in the hand worth one in the bush" (from "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." (N 37) / "he never forgot, and never forgave" (from "forgive and forget") (BR 44) / "Ail work and no play ... will not make dullness in your case" (from "Ail work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.") (MF IV 11).
Rhetorical expressions as one aspect of Dickens's creative language draw Yamamoto's attention. He touches upon the style of Nancy (in OT), the lowest drab, who speaks "in a gentle, refined, and cultured style" (p. 276), and remarks as follows: "the English of the nineteenth century ... had gone through the popularizing influences in the course of the eighteenth century which had made several modes of English the common possession of the people, which they were at liberty to choose whenever occasion required" (p. 276). He classifies rhetorical expressions according to their origin or association into Poetical (e.g., "thorn of anxiety" (ED 11)), Scientific (e.g., "the indignant orbs" (P 15)), Philosophical (e.g., "London peripathetic" (UT 35)), Classical (e.g., "Temple of Fame" (MF I 4)), Religious (e.g., "a lord of the creation" (P 10)), and Miscellaneous (e.g., "the forest of difficulty" (DC 36)). The use of the word of Latin origin is noteworthy in rhetorical expressions, and serves to produce such characters as Micawber, Tonny Weller, or Toots. Mr. Micawber, one of the rhetoricians who "despise to call a spade a spade" (p. 279), often uses words of Latin origin, such as "Modern Babylon" (DC 11), or "the final pulverisation" (DC 55). Those rhetorical expressions "not only record the life and history of the nation that use it but tell us in what age the author lived and what interested him most" (p. 296). Dickens's stylistic devices as seen from grammatical or syntactical points of view are word-formation, sentence-structure, represented speech, and so forth. Yamamoto says that Shakespearean power of word-making which seems to have disappeared in English is seen in Dickens's mode of word-making. In XVI, we find "accumulated attributes" like "being-found-fault-with, never-giving-satisfactions, nor-having-no-time-to-clean-oneself, potter's wessel" (BR 71); "conversion" like verbs derived from nouns (e.g., "to straight veskit" (= to strait-waistcoat) (P 39) / "dressing-gowned and newspapered" (LD II 16); and, furthermore. "derivation" such as "Joe Millerism" (B Tales I 1) / "coach-horser" (P 43). Yamamoto summarizes Dickens's word-formations as follows: (1) Among converted words, verbs from nouns are very high in frequency, and a great number of them appear in the earliest writings; (2) Converted verbs from nouns denoting household furniture, appliances, family-relations, social positions and occupations are most noteworthy and seem to be convenient and useful; (3) Noun and adjectival derivatives from other parts of speech are largest in number of all derivative words; (4) Most of derivatives are in nonce-us and is expressive of the author's wit and humour. Another point to be noted here is Dickens's collocability. Yamamoto, though not using this terre, anticipated this linguistic idea. That is to say, the instances from Uncommercial traveller of collocation with "uncommercial" are shown: "curiosity", "measurement", "interest", "road", the so-called unusual collocation. Several of instances in the chapter where rhetorical expressions are treated suggests the fact that his high collocability of words as se, en in Dickens's writings attracts Yamamoto's notice, e.g., "moral compass" (MC 4) / "moral garden" (MC 12) / "moral crackers" (MC 31) / "moral mermaid" (LD I 13) / "moral sewage" (MF I 3).
Chapter XIX--"Sentences", consists of the sections "sentence-structure", "word-order", "pregnant verbs", and "represented speech". Yamamoto states that Dickens's sentences, generally speaking, are "solidly constructed" as attributive to the influence of 18th--century novels and sometimes lack that genial flow of style which is common to Victorian English. And he turns his attention to Dickens's uses of words, especially pregnant verbs (namely, of Anglo-Saxon origin), "that contain a condensed meaning which may be analyzed into two or three notions to be denoted by two or more words" (p. 365). The use of this kind of verb, "to pop", "to plod", does "quicken the progress of narration or description and tighten the structure of sentences" (p. 364). Represented Speech (RS) is treated theoretically and stylistically as Free Indirect Speech (FIS) and Free Indirect Thought (FIT) in Leech and Short's (1981) Style in fiction. Preceding their idea, Yamamoto collects a host of instances of RS from Dickens's writings, and makes surprisingly acute and keen analyses based on his careful reading of the text. He groups those instances of RS into eight cases. For example, in the fourth ("Cases in which RS is accompanied with the reporting verb"(p. 376)) he illustrates the case which "represent[s] the intermediate stage between indirect and RS" (p. 375): "... I was wondering could she be Dr. Strong's son's wife, or could she be Mrs. Dr. Strong ..." (DC 16). On the other hand, today, when computer-assisted analyses to literary texts are undertaken, some students may have the impression that the above remarks are hot quite satisfactory. But the historical current seems not to be different from what Yamamoto puts forth, based on his careful reading and keen insight.
What is more, Yamamoto makes a historical remark on RS, that is, Defoe's and Fielding's "combining or alternating direct and indirect speech" (p. 383), Smollett's abundant use of indirect speech, or a faint germ of RS in Richardson. After all RS begins in the latter half of the 18th century. In Dickens this form of speech RS makes its remarkable appearance first in Nicholas Nickleby, and was "fully developed in Chuzzlewit and underwent a number of variations in Bleak house. If is frequently employed in Dorrit, after which it appears to occur but rarely" (p. 383).
Chapter XVIII diseusses "Utterances" as colloquial forms such as interjections, swearings, oaths, and imprecations, which, as Yamamoto remarks, "are a set expressions depending on the definite situation and pressupposing the intimate relation between speaker and hearer" (p. 354), and denote the speaker's sentiments such as contempt, disgust, approbation, surprise, etc. Among many instances taken such an exclamation peculiar to women as "Well, I never" (i.e. heard of such a thing) is quoted from B Scenes 12 and others.
The above-mentioned is a biographical linguistic record of Dickens, and Yamamoto tries to reveal the various stages at which Dickens, exercising his creative and imaginative power, made colloquial English into artistic language. This is contrastive with the method of Edgar Johnson, who, investigating Dickens's biographieal faets, follows the growth of Dickens's inner life.
Next, Yamamoto, classifying Part II into I. "Idioms in the Form of the Sentence", II. "Verb-Idioms", III. "Noun-Idioms", and IV. "Conclusion", attempts to throw light on the system of the idioms in Dickens's writings. First, Sentence-Idioms are those which "happen to have the form of the sentence" (p. 404) as the final delimitable unit, e.g., "what's in the wind today?" (N 47) / "Here's a pretty go!" (N 8), and many others of similar kind. Second, Verb-Idioms are those which contain phrases consisting of verbs whose physical meaning is transferred to a psychological one (e.g., "to pitch into" (Le. to attack forcibly) (BH 20), phrases whose component is simple verbs like do, or go, e.g., "to do the building" (i.e. to prepare) (XB Haunted 1) / "'done' the friend's hair" (N 9). This chapter has not only instances of Verb-Idioms but ones of Adverb-Idioms, some of which, as in "(laud if) to the skies" (GE 19) /"(it almost goes) against the grain" (Chimes 1), have a preposition, while others without, e.g., "(guilty) whether or no" (AN 13). Among those Adverb-Idioms without prepositions Yamamoto notes a pair of noun denoting the body-parts which emphasize the completeness of some action or state, as in "body and soul" (BR 17) / "(you bind yourself) hand and foot (on her account)" (DS 24). Third, Noun-Idioms as having "more solid and definite units within them" are given (p. 446). Yamamoto quotes variable types of idioms according to the speaker and hearer and the situation in which they appear, and fixed types of idioms, e.g., "(A smoke-dried ...) old dog (of a major)" (DS 10) / "a sad dog" (B Char 7), "(You're) a rum dog" (BR 65) / "flesh and blood" (MC 7) / "skin and bond' (GE 11) / "tagrag and bobtail" (BR 35), etc. Among other instances of Adjective-Idioms which are mentioned in this chapter, Yamamoto pays attention to those which are "more idiomatic than the corresponding single adjectives" (p. 479): such as "wide awake" (for "shrewd"), e.g., "Wide awake is old Joe" (DS 10) / "jog-trot" (for "monotonous"), e.g., "jog-trot sort of way" (Cricket 3).
In this part Yamamoto mentions the two ways of separating and arranging idioms. One is "to group a circle of variant forms arround the central idioms" (p. 500). The "line"-idioms widely spread in Dickens's writings may be typical. That is to say, "line of business" represents the first grade of development, from which "line" has been detached and is established idiomatically in the phrase "in the (potato) line", and, further, this form of idiom has developed a transferred and figurative sense, as in "appleplexy line" (P 45) / "(Eh? soomwhat in) the Guy Faux line?" (N 64) / "the sleeping line" (LD I 25), etc. Sometimes "way" appears in stead of "line": "(I am) in the oil and colour way" (N 4) / "(a manufacturer) in the knife and fork way" (DC 2) / "in the British Embassy way (in the sundry parts of the earth)" (LD 1 26), and so forth. In short, "'[t]he form '(to be) in the potato line' is most idiomatic, round which are centred several variations which are more or less associated with this form" (p. 448). Another way is "to put them [variant forms] in order so that they may with ease be compared formally or syntactically" (p. 496). Yamamoto, mentioning that some Sentence-Idioms have the tendency of some part dislocating itself as an independent idiomatic phrase from the whole structure, gives the instance which may suggest the process of Verb-Idioms being formed out of Sentence-Idioms. The instance of Verb-Idiom in the following is considered as derived from one of Sentence-Idioms "I should not mind (something)" (= I should rather like it): "she 'didn't mind' Joe ..." (BR 80) / "... he would 'not mind' Mr. Cripple's boys ..." (LD I 9). Moreover, some instances of shortened form of sentence-idioms are shown: e.g., "It's no go", indicative of despair or resignation, which occurs in P 13, Lampl., and others, is to "no go" (P 2), (MF I 7) / "(Barkis is) willin'" (= willing to marry) (DC 5). The Verb-Idioms whose verb varies according to the context may lead to the dislocation of adverbial parts, e.g., "keep (come) one up to the mark" may be separated to "up to the mark" (an instance of Adverb-Idioms), and, further, to "up to" (an instance of Preposition-Idiom as the smallest one): "Keep Joseph up to the mark" (GE 19) / "(he seems quite) up to the mark now" (Let II 31) / "(We were all of us) up to that" (MF I 3). On the contrary, "the prepositional phrase 'in for' has not yet been fully dislocated as an idiom" (p. 411). Here, too, Yamamoto shows a historical consideration--an aspect of the change and development of English from an idiomatic point of view.
In the conclusion of this Part, Yamamoto reveals some noticeable viewpoints of language, that is to say, that the idiomatic sense comes from the sense of value which is inseparably connected with the lire and thought of the people, and that each form of idioms may be classified according to such values, and, moreover, that "[t]o study such values and their linguistic expressions should be the fundamental principle of the system of idioms", and furthermore, that "Dickens's language is a valuable record of interesting facts in human life, its joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, and above all human relations..." (p. 498). He concludes this part with his plan for the Lexicon: "In my Lexicon most typical forms of idioms ... will be classified according to their idiomatic values and explained in regard to their origin and development and present use" (p. 499).
In Final Remarks, Yamamoto discusses Dickens's language in comparison to Shakespeare's. The following is a summary:
1. The equilibrium of Dickens's language "seems to be maintained in and around 'familiar' ('less dignified' in Dixon) idioms" (p. 501).
2. Yamamoto, referring to Abott's (1870 ) Shakespearean grammar, suggests that Shakespeare had "constructions that are now called anomalous" (p. 503) and "preferred clearness and vigour of expression to logical symmetry" (p. 503). On the other hand, influenced by the 18th century writers, Dickens has a logical correctness in his narrative style.
3. Dickens's power of inventing new words and phrases may be considered as a mere continuance of the development of the language in Shaskespeare's age. Dickens borrows a host of Shakespearean words and phrases as idiomatic turns of speech.
4. In Shakespeare's colloquial uses of originally technical expressions (legal, judicial, hunting, etc.) belonging exclusively to the life of the noblemen, the shifted and transferred use suggests at once the existence of the social strata in the common stock of vocabulary and the popularization of special expressions in colloquial language. This may be a mode of bringing colloquial idioms into existence. Likewise, since the 18th century "we can find another influx of colloquial idioms coming from slang, technical phraseology and proverbs which have enriched the language still more copiously" (p. 506).
5. Dickens's "genius consists in converting even big words and highly rhetorical expressions into household words to be cherished by everybody who loves the English language" (p. 507). He concludes this desertation with the following:
We linguists should first of all endeavour to grasp language and linguistic facts as they really are and analyze them, if we would, within the limits in which they do not lose their existence and value as language as a human creation and linguistic facts as its real and concrete expressions (p. 508).
Though Yamamoto's Growth and system was issued in the middle of the 20th century, we cannot find more excellent exhaustive study of Dickens's idioms than this. Yamamoto's academic achievements will long be imprinted in the mind of linguists and philologists. However, the subsequent development of linguistics and philology may re-examine and reinforce Yamamoto's study. Yamamoto's scholarly interests, encompassing Medieval and Elizabethan English as a natural result of his historical point of view, are shown in his frequent reference to the language of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and others. The language and expression of Shakespeare (written in Japanese, 1959), which combines his penetrating insight, keen sense and careful reading, attempts to explain the place of Shakespeare's language in the history of English in terms of vocabulary, rhetoric and style. He discusses how splendidly Shakespeare makes the fullest possible use of the intrinsic nature of English so as to suit the theme, the situation, and the character. As with Dickens, he gives attention to the growth of Shakespeare's language alongside his poetic genius--as seen in the early, the middle, and the later period of his works. One of the features that Yammoto's major studies hold in common is the observation of the language as a faithful expression of the life and thought of the English nation.
In 1965 Yamamoto went to England and stayed there about two months. According to his Diary during the stay in England (written in Japanese) he met Professor Randolph Quirk at University College of London, and discussed about the problems of the English language, and his Dickens lexicon. Their argument for a few hours is written in a concise descriptive style on half a page. This passage, if translated into English in a dialogue form word for word, will be as follows:
Yamamoto: (explaining how important a historical study in English language and literature is): A Dickens lexicon for which I am working out a detailed plan is "OED in small (little)" on the author alone.
Quirk: I am recording the response to grammatical patterns of present-day English. I greatly owe to American structural linguistics.
Yamamoto: It is a wonder that such an English scholar as you should be influenced by such a new tendency. It is contrary to my expectations.
Quirk: "The English reality" which you assert is "shadow", I think.
Yamamoto: You are Platonic. In an English academic world where there is less philosophical tendency, can't you learn "reality" by that "shadow"?
In this dialogue Quirk seems to have not understood Yamamoto's study based on accumulated experience of reading of English literature from the older period to the present-day. This may be partly derived from the fact that with Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik, Quirk was setting down A grammar of contemporas3, English, which, consulting linguistic theories and methods in America, analyzes and describes present-day English, and would be issued in 1972. At any rate, Yamamoto's discussion with Quirk remained an unsettled matter. But it must hot be said that the latter did not understand Yamamoto's idea. In 1970, when Quirk had a series of lectures on the subject "The language of Dickens" in commemoration of the centenary of this great novelist's death, he included Yamamoto's Growth and system in a bibliography for the lecture.
Moreover, Yamamoto's Diary refers to the interview with Mr. Storey and Mrs. House (both of them being well-known Dickensians) and Mr. Eric Partridge (a great lexicologist). Yamamoto says to them about his Dickens lexicon: "Even if it should not be completed in my lifetime, I believe some one will complete it some day." Eric Partridge, saying "I envy you", encouraged Yamamoto. Till his death (1991) Yamamoto continued to make unremitting efforts to arrange the words in order on cards, atone time with the help of some friends of his. In the end, he did not live to complete his Dickens lexicon, and the enormous collection of cards which had remained unpublished in his study-room, was found by some of his pupils. Now, a compiling group, consisting of several graduates from Hiroshima University and Kumamoto University, is putting all the cards into computer readable format. The Lexicon will be issued on CD-ROM in 2005 if things go well.
According to Professor Masahiro Hori (of Kumamoto Gakuen University, Japan), a member of the Committee of Publication for this book, who studied at the University of Edingburgh in 2002, when he was asked about Dr. Yamamoto's philological studies by one of the teaching staff and was much surprised at the keen interest at Yamamoto's scholarly achievements even after about fifty years had passed since the publication of Growth and system.
The first edition of this book was published in 1950, and in English Studies 35 and other academic journals eminent scholars praised his study highly. But owing to the inferior printing techniques of the day, the numerous typos, the inappropriate layout, the inconsistency of printing-style, it seems many students had difficulty reading the book. Following the precedent of Gneuss' issue in 1966 and 2001 of Zupitza's AElfrics Grammatik und Glossar (1880 ), and in memory of the semicentennial of Yamamoto's winning the Japan Academy Prize, a voice for publishing a reprinted edition of Growth and system of the language Of Dickens was raised among English philologists in 2002, and won the approval of many people. It is our hope that with the publication of this edition students will become more involved in philological studies of the English language.
Abbreviations of Dickens's works quoted here AN American notes B Sketches by Boz BH Bleak house DC David Copperfield DS Dombey and Son ED Edwin Drood HT Hard times LD Little Dorrit MF Mutual friends N Nicholas Nickleby OT Oliver Twist P Pickwick paper PI Pictures from Italy TCA A tale of two cities UT Uncommercial traveller XSY Christmas stories YG Young gentlemen
2003 Growth and system of the language of Dickens: An introduction to Dickens lexicon. (3rd trillion, revised. Edited by Hideo Hirooka et al.). Hiroshima: Keisuisha Publishing Company.
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Kumamoto University, Japan
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|Publication:||Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: international review of English Studies|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
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