[Lingtyp] addressing the daughter as Mummy

Zahra Etebari zahra.etebari at ling.su.se
Thu Aug 20 07:14:55 UTC 2020

Dear all,

Persian also shows the same phenomena. In this language in addition to 'māman' (mother) and 'bābā' (father), other relative terms like 'xāle' (mother's sister), 'amme' (father's sister), 'dāyi' (mother's brother), and 'amu' (father's brother) are also used to address children by those relatives.

Best wishes,


Zahra Etebari

Guest PhD Candidate
Department of Linguistics
Stockholm University, Sweden

PhD Candidate
Department of Linguistics
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Sergey Loesov <sergeloesov at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:34:37 PM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: [Lingtyp] addressing the daughter as Mummy

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!
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