Page:Primitive Culture Vol 1.djvu/244

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cerning itself with the limited set of ideas in which little children are interested, and expressing these ideas by the limited set of articulations suited to the child's first attempts to talk. This peculiar language is marked quite characteristically among the low savage tribes of Australia; mamman 'father,' ngangan 'mother,' and by metaphor 'thumb,' 'great toe' (as is more fully explained in jinnamamman 'great toe,' i.e. foot's father), tammin 'grandfather or grandmother,' bab-ba 'bad, foolish, childish,' bee-bee, beep 'breast,' pappi 'father,' pappa 'young one, pup, whelp,' (whence is grammatically formed the verb papparniti 'to become a young one, to be born.' Or if we look for examples from India, it does not matter whether we take them from non-Hindu or Hindu languages, for in baby-language all races are on one footing. Thus Tamil appâ 'father,' ammâ 'mother,' Bodo aphâ 'father,' âyâ 'mother;' the Kocch group nânâ and nâni 'paternal grandfather and grandmother,' mâmâ 'uncle,' dâdâ 'cousin,' may be set beside Sanskrit tata 'father,' nanâ 'mother,' and the Hindustani words of the same class, of which some are familiar to the English ear by being naturalized in Anglo-Indian talk, bâbâ 'father,' bâbû 'child, prince, Mr.,' bîbî 'lady,' dadâ 'nurse' (âyâ 'nurse' seems borrowed from Portuguese). Such words are continually coming fresh into existence everywhere, and the law of natural selection determines their fate. The great mass of the nana's and dada's of the nursery die out almost as soon as made. Some few take more root and spread over large districts as accepted nursery words, and now and then a curious philologist makes a collection of them. Of such, many are obvious mutilations of longer words, as French faire dodo 'to sleep' (dormir), Brandenburg wiwi, a common cradle lullaby (wiegen). Others, whatever their origin, fall, in consequence of the small variety of articulations out of which they must be chosen, into a curiously indiscriminate and unmeaning mass, as Swiss bobo 'a scratch;' bambam 'all gone;' Italian bobò 'something to drink,' gogo