|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » General Topics » Q&A about words » Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#35127 - 07/09/01 11:42 PM
#35128 - 07/10/01 05:34 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!
My ignorance of the speculations of the meta -language brigade is almost total, Max. But from a limited study of vocal tract mechanics and early language formation I would observe it starts as the simplest full-throat sound (similar to why a baby's early sounds will often include /a/ in such vowel&consonant clusters as dadadadad, mamamamama), modified by the natural diphthong effect of closing the lips and retracting the tongue at the end of the production.
#35129 - 07/10/01 06:50 PM Eh?
Loc: lower upstate New York
& [runnin'n'duckin' from the Canadians]
But seriously, folks: Good question, Max. I dunno....
I'll go with maverick's idea (the bit about mamama and dadada I first heard put forth by L. Bernstein on a TV program in the 60s about sounds and music).
#35130 - 07/11/01 06:03 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!
There might be some universal tendencies, but I think you'd be hard pressed to distinguish them from chance. An open-mouthed vocable of surprise (of the ah/oh kind), a slack one of assent (ha/hm/mm), and a broken one of negation (uh-uh/mm-mm) perhaps occur more widely than can be explained as common culture. For example, glottalized m-m means 'no' in Hausa.
But really, you've got quite as many counterexamples: iie in Japanese for 'no', Greek ne 'yes'. These mama effects are pretty weak.
English aye 'yes' is of unknown origin, with no obvious counterpart even in German or Norse. Japanese hai points to Old Japanese pai or some such, but H < P anyway. For the Maaori, you'd want to get any other Austronesian cognates first to see what it came from.
There's no way any of those groups can be connected. It's been suggested that Japanese and Austronesian are related, but if so it's at such a great depth that no single word can be held up as cognate; and there hasn't been any opportunity of borrowing in millennia either.
So it's all just coincidence, I think.
#35131 - 07/11/01 06:59 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!
Loc: lower upstate New York
I am happy to see the return of your good self and your well-thought-out philological posts. FoolsŪ rule! hi Faldage!
#35132 - 07/11/01 07:03 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!
I'll second that, Nicholas - your contributions are always fascinating. [shakes head, muttering where does he get that breadth of experience from?!]
#35133 - 07/11/01 02:16 PM
Forum Stats 8782 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members katexic, Onewarthill58, river11, Thinsized1992, cat2610275
8782 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 31 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
LukeJavan8 119 endymion6 113 wofahulicodoc 102 Tromboniator 18 river11 3 AlimaeHP 1 tsuwm 1 May 1 LeeannaRobinson 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11610 tsuwm 10526 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 LukeJavan8 6927 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 of troy 5400 wofahulicodoc 5313
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 2014 Wordsmith