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Re: Is "ma" Proto-World? (Re: Re: Comparison ofphilosophicallanguages)

From:James Landau <neurotico@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 10:01
In a message dated 1/26/2003 5:36:37 AM Pacific Standard Time,

> That does sound much more likely. What's interesting, if this is the > case, is that an impression of the kind of errors made by children has > endured in the culture past a sound change which renders such errors > improbable. > > > From _Mangajin's Basic Japanese Through Comics_: > | In the world of Manga, the _shi_ sound is hard for children to make, > | and with very young children it typically comes out as _chi_. Our > | more linguistically-enlightened colleagues tell us that in the > | languages of the world, the "s" sound is more common by far than the > | "ch" sound, and that phonetically, such a substitution is unlikely. > | No matter what the case, in the world of manga, TV comedy, etc., > | this substitution is perhaps the most common way of giving speech > | that infantile touch. > > NOTE: although most of the examples given (of baby-talk in Japanese > comics) involve [Si] (orthographically, and perhaps phonemically, > /si/) there are some based on other s- syllables. There's also an > example given of [tsM]->[chM] substitution ([tsM] is orthographic > <tu>), showing the same mispronunciation you suggested.
Would this be like the substitution of /w/ for /l/ in English? Cartoons, stand-up acts, and ethnologically transcribed speech of five-year-old fictional characters always seem to be using "w" instead of "L" -- "wook", "wuv", "Want a wowwipop?" -- when the character is under the age of about 7 or 8, even though I have seldom actually heard little kids talking like this. (Or, when adults do baby-talk to babies, they sarcastically do this too.)