Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 22
2000 発行

表記体系をめぐる紛争 : 文字紛争論序説

Conflicts over the Writing System : Toward a Theory of Script Conflict
Matsuo, Masatsugu
The present paper is an attempt to explore the causes and circumstances of conflicts over the writing system, or script conflicts, on the basis of the examination of a variety of cases. First of all, the creation or change of the writing system is often closely linked with the interests and identity of a group. The writing system, whether it is newly created or changed or maintained, can influence the life chances of a group. Or it may satisfy or disappoint the identity need of the group. Secondly, the modern industrial society requires universal or semi-universal literacy. The writing system is a prerequisite for this. Thirdly, the relationship between a language and its writing system is not a necessary one, but a conventional or arbitrary one. This means that there is always room for the choice of a writing system among possible candidates. This nature of the writing system also provides a possibility of conflict over the choice.