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Frederick The Monk
298525.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:37 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
No no, quite right. I don't suggest that we assert that he was the first or the only or anything - just that, like the Intelligent Design people, we should teach the debate. That is, I just think it's a funny idea that the matter is even up for discussion.

But have it your own way, I'm sure we can find another etymology question to run instead. Sigh ...


Oh don't be like that fflash. The fact that most people read aloud in antiquity is pretty interesting and I'm sure there's something in it. Look! The fox - it twitched!

 
Flash
298551.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:52 am Reply with quote

Yoicks! Tally-ho!

 
MatC
298597.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:18 am Reply with quote

Quote:
If the fact that Ambrose was reading without moving his lips was being held up as a sign of Ambrose's greatness, which I don't think is the case


No, 96, I agree, and I think we're getting hung up on this lips business, which in my view is just a chairman's note. The point is - people apparently thought it was pretty impressive that 'Brose read quietly. That - in itself, and unadorned - is an alien idea which the panel are likely to have fun with. Let's just bung it in, and get back to the stone crabs ...

 
96aelw
298617.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:40 am Reply with quote

Fairy nuff.

 
Flash
298623.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:48 am Reply with quote

Seriously, though, did we ever use the etymology of "idiot" as far as anyone can remember?

 
eggshaped
298625.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:53 am Reply with quote

Don't recall it Flash. You first mentioned it on this site in the C-series GI thread. No-one seemed to say "we've done that", and I'm pretty sure we haven't used it since.

There's also nothing on the transcript site.

 
Frederick The Monk
298851.  Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Don't think we have done it. I think we just think we have.

 
Jenny
299545.  Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:15 pm Reply with quote

Could first include first words? I read a nice piece of research about humpback whales. It seems that baby humpback whales have the equivalent of baby talk.

Quote:
Researchers say that the sounds that humpback whale calves make are not as complex as the continuous, repetitive and highly structured phrases and themes of older males.

 
Frederick The Monk
299781.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:06 am Reply with quote

Link to Fabulinus - the God who teaches Roman children their first word.

 
MatC
299792.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:21 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Could first include first words? I read a nice piece of research about humpback whales. It seems that baby humpback whales have the equivalent of baby talk.


Thats very interesting. Without ever thinking about it, I would have assumed that all animals have a version of baby talk. Does this mean that other animals are born with their language fully formed? Does a kitten or an elephant have the same range of calls as its mother?

 
Flash
299797.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:27 am Reply with quote

Here's a speculation I've never researched: is it the case that most babies, of whatever culture, make the sound "ma" as their first utterance, and that mothers interpret this as the child calling them, with the consequence that the word for "mother" starts with an M in most languages?

 
Flash
299800.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:32 am Reply with quote

... or at least feature an M sound prominently:
Quote:
mama in Polish and Slovak, māma in Mandarin Chinese, mma in Czech, maman in French, mamma in Italian, or me in Portuguese. ... In Hebrew the word is eema (אמא), and in many south Asian cultures and the Middle East the mother is known as amma or oma or ammi or "ummi", or variations thereof.

wiki

 
Flash
299803.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:34 am Reply with quote

Quote:
mamma
1579, reduplication of *ma-, nearly universal among the I.E. languages (cf. Gk. mamme "mother, grandmother," L. mamma, Pers. mama, Rus., Lith. mama "mother," Ger. Muhme "mother's sister," Fr. mamen, Welsh mam "mother"). Probably a natural sound in baby-talk, perhaps imitative of sound made while sucking. In educated usage, the stress is always on the last syllable. In terms of recorded usage in Eng., mum is from 1823, mummy 1839, momma 1884, mom 1894, and mommy 1902.

etymonline

 
MatC
299804.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:37 am Reply with quote

Except for Esperanto babies. The Esperanto for mother is patrino.

 
suze
299807.  Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:45 am Reply with quote

Silly language!

I'm rather short of time just now, but the one word anwer to Flash's question is more or less "yes".

Shall return to this this evening.

 

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