Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#35127 - 07/10/01 03:42 AM  
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Max Quordlepleen  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409



#35128 - 07/10/01 09:34 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,757
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel
maverick  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,757
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 10:50 PM Eh?  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel
AnnaStrophic  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
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 10:03 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 393
NicholasW Offline
enthusiast
NicholasW  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 393
London
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 10:59 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel
AnnaStrophic  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
lower upstate New York
NW,

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 11:03 AM Re: Aye, Ae? Hai!  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,757
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel
maverick  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,757
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 06:16 PM  
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Max Quordlepleen  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,409




Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,877
Posts223,597
Members9,003
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
bpatterson0032, Aladitya_khan, JdawgGaming, Hiteshi, JaneJane
9003 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 43 guests, and 2 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 8,884
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.012s Queries: 13 (0.003s) Memory: 2.6897 MB (Peak: 2.7987 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-05-30 11:11:13 UTC