First Words (28th May, 2012)

First Words (28th May, 2012)

At college I remember doing a child-language acquisition module (how children learn language/how to speak) and remember the whole session on how our vocal equipment makes some sounds easier to make (plosives, fricatives etc.) so was both stunned and fascinated when a new thought filtered into my brain unbidden this weekend. “Mo … mma” is usually the first (structured) sound babies make and repeat (repetition is evidence of use of proper language of course) and we now take it to mean “mother”; indeed our words mother, mommy, ma and similar are based on this word. Now me I had always assumed that this was us teaching babies our words, but actually (it now occurs to me) we give the babies first carer this name because the baby can say it! Now, if the male members of the family had been – in early times, and traditionally, the baby’s first carer we “fathers” would now be universally called “mom”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s