下支えする underpinning

先日、ノンフィクション "Rise Of The Vulcans" の中の文に出てきた unqualified を取り上げたが、同じ文でもうひとつ、underpinning という単語も目にとまった。ピンが下から支えているイメージを描けばいいのだろうか、「支え」とか「土台」、「基盤」のことである。

その文をもう一度引用すると、

During the cold war, Strauss's thought provided some of the intellectual underpinnings for strong, unqualified anticommunism.

英英辞典の定義を見ると、物理的に the material and construction (as a foundation) used for support of a structure や a system of supports beneath a wall or the like のことを指し、さらに foundation for something: something that supports or acts as a foundation for something を意味する。後者の意味では often used in the plural という注があった。

ついでに、やはり複数形で「(人の)脚」や「女性用下着」をも意味するとのこと。

このノンフィクションを読んでいると、他のところでも何回かこの underpinnings にお目にかかった。人によって、好んで使う使う単語や言い回しがあると思うが、この本の著者にとって、underpinning はそんな単語なのかもしれない。

そうした他の文も転記すると、

- In both cases, Wolfowitz was striking at the underpinnings of Henry Kissinger's foreign policy: détente, the opening to Beijing and the pursuit of a stable balance of power.

- For the first time he was focusing on the underpinnings of American foreign policy, on the hidden assumptions and leaps of logic that lay beneath the dry, purportedly unbiased studies of the intelligence community.

動詞は underpin で、 to give support, strength or a basic structure to something や to support with evidence or authority or make more certain or confirm と定義されている。

この動詞と、underpinning に似た意味を持つ他の名詞を組み合わせた例を含めて、見つけたいくつかの実例をあげてみよう。2つ目の例にある linchpin は、以前取り上げたことがある。

- He presented the figures to underpin his argument.

- The world trading system is the linchpin of today's global order -- underpinning its security as well as its prosperity. A successful WTO is an example of how multilateralism can work.

- Over the past 20 years, telecommunications have grown from a tool that facilitated person-to-person communications to the foundation that underpins a huge number of human activities, from international trade and commerce to health and, increasingly, education.

- And, as a former finance chief immediately before the Labor victory in 1997, he claims responsibility for the groundwork underpinning Britain's subsequent prosperity under Mr. Brown's economic stewardship.

- The cornerstone underpinning UNFPA's efforts to improve reproductive health is its Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) strategy that aims to let women and men everywhere obtain and use the reproductive health supplies of their choice whenever they need them.


参考エントリ:
適格であっても unqualified
linchpin, fringe time など