1957 年 33 巻 2 号 p. 289-302
The statements of the diphthongs in Ben Jonson, The English Grammar (1640), show his essential view that any combination of two vowels in one syllable should be principally diphthongal as in Ai (Ay), Ei, Au (Aw), Ou (Ow), etc. The only exceptions seem to be Ea and Oo, in which he undoubtedly recognized long vowels [ε:] and [u:] respectively as in slime and puile, and here we have to suppose that he applied the 'diphthong' to the 'digraph.' Jonson must have thought that both ai (ay) and ei were pronounced closely alike as [εi], although early grammarians like Smith (1568) and Mulcaster (1582) made a class distinction between them as [ai] and [ei], while the more advanced sound [ee] suggested by Hart (1569), that is, probably [ε:] was becoming colloquially current even among educated speakers. Jonson evidently gives a sharp-accented e (ME e) the value of [i:] as in quene, sene, etc. The similarly accented e for ea (ME e) as in mete and stem, however, very likely stands for [e:] or [e:], which Jonson would have used in meate, seate, as well as earle, pearle. Other contemporary orthoepists like Gill (1621) and Wallis (1653) still give the traditional sound [ee] in the ea-words instead of the advanced colloquial variant [i:] from an early raising of e (<ME e). It is quite reasonable that the sharp-accented i (ME i) as in alive, drive, etc., except give, may have been fixed in Jonson's phonological system as a distinct sound from either ai (ay) or e (ee). The most plausible sound for this i would be [ai] or [Ai], the diphthongal nature being evidenced by his occasional spellings, e.g., feight orfyght for 'fight' and I (interjection) for 'aye? We can safely assume that Jonson was too much spelling-bound to recognize a fully rounded vowel [〓:] in fal, calme, and audience, aunt, law, saw. Gill's d in the phonetic transcription of a in ball and aw in bawle seems to be an attempt to indicate an [〓:]-like sound, but Jonson may have clung to the old-fashioned variant [au], the same sound as that suggested by Smith and Bullokar (1580). Certainly Jonson had a clear idea of the vocalic distinction between ou (ME ou) in ought, mow, and ou (ME u) in sound, how; to him ou would have sounded [o:u] or [o:^u] and ou [ou:] or [°u:] according to his explanation. Although there is certain rhyme evidence to prove the levelling of M E o with ou into a monophthong [o:], the traditional diphthong [ou] for ME ou may have been still used by Jonson and others, as most of early authorities approve its existence. But Jonson's phonological interpretation of the diphthong ou was probably based upon an earlier stage of its progress, that is, [ou:] virtually identical with [ouu] suggested by Hart and Gill, because he could scarcely recognize a more or less centralized vowel [〓] or [A] in the first element of [au] or [Au], the sound being the most plausible for the ou as early as the beginning of the 17th century.