Theories of the Origin of Language

Whimsical names

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Theories of the Origin of Language

#1  Postby lpetrich » Aug 20, 2014 3:51 pm

Various biologists and linguists have developed various theories, and some of them have given these theories whimsical names. Here's what I've found:
  • ma-ma -- attaching the easiest syllables to significant objects (?)
  • ta-ta -- imitation of body movements like gestures (Sir Richard Paget 1930)
  • bow-wow -- imitation of sounds (?, Max Müller 1861)
  • pooh-pooh -- interjections, instinctive emotive cries (?, Max Müller 1861)
  • ding-dong -- sounds and meanings corresponding, like sound symbolism (?, Max Müller 1861)
  • yo-he-ho -- rhythmic chants, like when coordinating efforts in heavy work (?, Max Müller 1861)
  • la-la, sing-song -- pleasant audio doodling (Otto Jespersen 1921)
  • hey-you -- assertion of identity and calling to others (Géza Révész 1956)
  • uh-oh -- warnings (?)
  • hocus-pocus -- magical / religious acts (C. George Boeree)
  • eureka -- consciously invented (?)
  • watch-the-birdie -- lying (Edgar A. Sturtevant 1922)
  • pop -- language popped into existence as an evolutionary byproduct (Stephen Jay Gould)

Sources:
Origin of language - Wikipedia
The Origins of Language - C. George Boeree
Historical Linguistics (PowerPoint)
Linguistic Hypotheses on the Origins of Language | Free Language
The Origin of Language (MSWord)
The Origin of Language : Sturtevant, E. H. : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
The Evolution of Language
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