jm + voice   3

Pink Trombone
A model of how voice sounds are produced. Pretty cool
voice  phonetics  sound  mouth  science 
5 weeks ago by jm
Where do 'mama'/'papa' words come from?
The sounds came first — as experiments in vocalization — and parents adopted them as pet names for themselves.

If you open your mouth and make a sound, it will probably be an open vowel like /a/ unless you move your tongue or lips. The easiest consonants are perhaps the bilabials /m/, /p/, and /b/, requiring no movement of the tongue, followed by consonants made by raising the front of the tongue: /d/, /t/, and /n/. Add a dash of reduplication, and you get mama, papa, baba, dada, tata, nana.

That such words refer to people (typically parents or other guardians) is something we have imposed on the sounds and incorporated into our languages and cultures; the meanings don’t inhere in the sounds as uttered by babies, which are more likely calls for food or attention.
sounds  voice  speech  babies  kids  phonetics  linguist  language 
october 2015 by jm

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