Monday, 5 January 2015

BLOG ALERT Talk Radio and the Pooh Pooh theory

or the speculation of cunning linguist Max Müller.  So just how did language between humans develop?  Nobody is really quite sure and there are few scientific ways to measure development along the passage of time.

Step forward historical linguist Max Müller who in 1861 published a list of theories concerning the origin of spoken language:

Bow-wow. The bow-wow or cuckoo theory, which Müller attributed to the German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder, saw early words as imitations of the cries of beasts and birds.

Pooh-pooh. The Pooh-Pooh theory saw the first words as emotional interjections and exclamations triggered by pain, pleasure, surprise, etc.

Ding-dong. Müller suggested what he called the Ding-Dong theory, which states that all things have a vibrating natural resonance, echoed somehow by man in his earliest words.

Yo-he-ho. The yo-he-ho theory claims language emerged from collective rhythmic labor, the attempt to synchronize muscular effort resulting in sounds such as heave alternating with sounds such as ho.

Ta-ta. This did not feature in Max Müller's list, having been proposed in 1930 by Sir Richard Paget - According to the ta-ta theory, humans made the earliest words by tongue movements that mimicked manual gestures, rendering them audible.

One thing we can be certain of, is without the development of spoken language Talk Radio would be a rather quiet place.

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