[Lingtyp] addressing the daughter as Mummy

NAM Deokhyun devon_coast373 at toki.waseda.jp
Thu Aug 20 15:52:15 UTC 2020

Dear all,

Here I present information just as a native speaker. In Japanese, that
happens even from teachers to pupils; in Japanese schools, students address
teachers as sensei 'teacher' or NAME + sensei:

sensei-ga tasuke-te-ageru
teacher-NOM help-LNK-BEN
'I will help you.' (from a teacher to a pupil)

In addition to this case and 'mom', 'dad', 'grandmom', 'grandad', 'uncle'
and 'aunt' cases, the following are possible:

(o)ni:chan 'elder brother' or (o)ne:chan 'elder sister' to his or her
younger sibling (or cousin)
oni:chan (or oni:san) 'elder brother' or one:chan (or one:san) 'elder
sister' to a child who is not a relative with him or her (the child can
call him or her so too)
ojisan 'man' or obasan 'madam' to a child who is not a relative with him or

By and large the same happens in Korean too (the difference is that, in
Korean, elder brother and elder sister have two different forms
respectively, depending on the natural gender of the addressee).

seonsaeng-nim 'teacher' to his or her pupil
hyeong(-nim) 'elder brother of a boy' from a boy to a related or unrelated
younger boy
obba 'elder brother of a girl' from a boy to a related or an unrelated
younger girl
nwuna 'elder sister of a boy' from a girl to a related or an unrelated
younger boy
eonni 'elder sister of a girl' from a girl to a related or an unreltated
younger girl
ajeossi 'man' or ajwumma 'madam' form a man or madam to an unrelated child


2020年8月20日(木) 午後4:15 Zahra Etebari <zahra.etebari at ling.su.se>:

> Dear all,
> Persian also shows the same phenomena. In this language in addition to 'm
> āman' (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
> 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!
> Sergey
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> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
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