NEW! Evolutionary Tidbit of the Moment
In seemingly unrelated languages from every corner of the globe, the word corresponding to "mother" contains a sound like /ma/, as in "amma," "mama," or "ima." Father words tend to have the /pa/ or /ba/ sound, like "appa," "abba," "baba," or "papa." A discarded hypothesis held that the words for "mother" and "father" had remained largely unchanged from a proto-language from which all modern languages evolved.
The currently favored explanation is that these are the first sounds infants are able to make, with /m/ being slightly easier (and thus developing sooner) than /p/ or /b/, explaining why the primary caretaker (usually the mother) tends to be referred to by words which sound like "mama" in languages all the world over.
Category Archives: Exaptation
As I read John Hartung’s 1988 chapter on “self-deceiving down,” I am further convinced of the nonsense of arguing about theoretical distinctions & that we are considering the issue at too high a conceptual level to understand the influence of … Continue reading
A New Statesman post by Uta Frith found its way to me this morning via a Tweet by @SteveSilberman with the catchphrase, “Men are more likely to think their IQ is 5 pts higher than it is, and women think theirs … Continue reading
Smartphones are like cigarettes are like junk food are like chewing your nails or doodling. Right. What do they have in common? Easy. Things we do when we’re bored. Bored in my class? Doodle. There were some amazing Jurassic landscapes … Continue reading
Anyone who has been to the Northeast is likely familiar with the miniature Dunkin Donuts confection the donut hole, aka the Munchkin. After an unsuccessful online search, I called headquarters to learn more about the history of this sweet, only … Continue reading