Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Baby Babble Early Human Language?

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, May 1, 2000, 19:14
Dan Sulani wrote:

> Sorry, I can't help myself! _That_ old chestnut is still > making the rounds? It was laughed out of serious > linguistics consideration back almost 30 years ago > when I was learning linguistics!
Over 100 years ago, indeed. There are baby-talk names for all the (hopelessly unprovable) theories of speech origins: this one is the "tra-la" theory IIRC. The pooh-pooh theory is that speech came from emotional cries indicating fear, anger, etc; the bow-wow theory is that humans started talking by imitating animals; the yo-he-ho theory is that speech arose from automatic outcries made during exertion; the ding-dong theory is that "Adam called the tiger 'tiger' because it looked like a tiger" aka "natural qualities called forth the instinctive invention of appropriate names", etc. etc. All hopelessly lacking in evidence. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)