[Lingtyp] addressing the daughter as Mummy

Pier Marco Bertinetto piermarco.bertinetto at sns.it
Sun Aug 16 22:08:40 UTC 2020

Dear Sergey,
in Ayoreo (Zamucoan, spoken between Bolivia and Paraguay by about 5000
people) the interrogative
*cho rique* (to be read according to the Spanish orthography)
can have a number of interpretations. At least the following:
- what
- how
- how much
- when
Another interrogative element,
has not less than the following meanings:
- why
- which
On the other hand, for 'who' one finds the specialized word *gosi* (M.SG),
*gosode* (M.PL), *goto* (F.SG), *gotodie* (F.PL).
Best regards
Pier Marco

Il giorno sab 15 ago 2020 alle ore 21:24 Sergey Loesov <
sergeloesov at gmail.com> ha scritto:

> Dear colleagues,
> In various cultures (those I know of happen to be mostly Islamic) the form
> of address can be copied by the addressee. Thus, when a daughter addresses
> her mother as “Mummy”, the mother often reciprocates, saying to the
> daughter something like “yes, Mummy”, or “what, Mummy…” (Same of course
> with a son and his father.)
> In particular, I came across this kind of exchange in my fieldwork with
> Kurdish (Kurmanji) and some contemporary Aramaic varieties in Upper
> Mesopotamia and Syria, but this phenomenon is also current in the Soqotri
> language, an unwritten Semitic language spoken on the Socotra Island in the
> Indian Ocean, southeast of Yemen.
> Are we aware of explanations for this kind of usage? Are there
> cross-language studies of this kind of facts?
> Thank you very much!
> Sergey
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