Re: [tied] The "Mother" Problem

From: Rob
Message: 36082
Date: 2005-01-31

--- In, "Patrick Ryan" <proto-language@...>

> I am not trying to be contentious, Piotr, by insisting on this
> point. But I think the explanation offered by Rob is likely to be
> the better hypothesis, namely, that because of the existence of the
> non-baby talk *mẴr.-, when the baby produces /ma(ma)/, 'mother'
> responds encouragingly, reinforcing the baby's use of /mama/ to
> summon mother and her breasts. If 'mother' were a
> fictitious /dzali/, she would theoretically respond to /da(da)/,
> eventually perhaps /dza(dza)/; and this would become the baby-talk
> equivalent in this 'language'.


I agree with this; however, I think that each "side of the equation"
reinforces the other. So, when it comes right down to it, trying to
figure out the "true origin" of such words is a chicken-and-egg
proposition, in my opinion.

- Rob