Baby-Talk or Evidence for Linguistic Monogenesis?
The New Beginning quotes Anthony Esolenin his "Word of the Day: Dad" as saying that "the word does come from baby-talk, as does Mama" — P over F or D. Dr. Esolen continues:
- These words seem to be universal in human language. That’s not because they all spring from one identical ancient word. It’s rather that it is natural for babies to make certain sounds as they learn to speak. The easiest of all is the m, made by putting the lips together, like a baby at the breast, and exercising the vocal cords. That’s a sound that all languages seem to have, even Hawaiian, with its paucity of consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w). If we keep our lips there but block the air passage, suddenly letting go, we make a p sound, or a b if we use the vocal cords. Also easy for the baby to sound is d: da-da-da-da.