Linked Questions

2
votes
0answers
56 views

The informal word a child uses to call his/her mother is the same (or strongly similar) in many languages. Why? [duplicate]

I was rather surprised to learn that the Chinese word for "mommy" is māmā. It never surprised me to hear that this word is similar among Western languages, because of some common origin or borrowing ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there any words understood by speakers of any language in the world?

Are there any words probably understood by “everyone” in the world? I understand that this question needs multiple clarifications, including the following: By a 'word' I mean a word used in the ...
10
votes
2answers
869 views

No etymology for “dad”?

It seems that the word "mom" derives from "mamm-", Latin for breast. I have actually heard it told that the Latin root "mamm-" derives from the baby's first natural sounds, though I cannot attribute ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Universal Words

I posted this in the wrong place https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/234744/universal-words?noredirect=1#comment505372_234744, and it generated some good discussion. Years ago I found in the ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

What are some of the most divergent cognate word forms?

I'm looking for examples like this pair: Russian for 'grass snake' — уж, [uʂ] Classical Latin for 'snake' — anguis, likely [ˈaŋ.ɡᶣɪs] These word forms are both masculine nouns in the nominative, and ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Phonemic similarities between “mother” and “father” in different language families

The words for "mother" and "father" in at least a few language families have a phonetic similarity which I find interesting. Compare the Latin and Greek words (μήτηρ/πατήρ mater/pater) with the (...
1
vote
2answers
334 views

Linguistic relation Turkish dada English dad

Both are informal words meaning father. It is interesting that I couldn't find a similar word in other Germanic and Latin languages. It looks that this word has directly migrated from central asia to ...
1
vote
2answers
255 views

Could the proto-human language still play a role in the interlingual communication?

I've read several studies about sound symbolism and I'm still not sure whether I got an insight into the topic. I know that today's view of most of the linguists is skeptical towards sound symbolism ...
-2
votes
2answers
170 views

Are there languages that don't have “mom”?

English: Mother/mom, Russian: mama, Chinese: ma, Nepalese: (m)ama. Is there a language that doesn't have some sort of "ma" for mother? To make it clear. I am not asking if there is a language that ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Why do the most common words children say contain bilabial consonants?

I noticed that most words that children say contain /b/ or /m/ is that just a coincidence or there is a reason behind that?