He writes:

Ok, I can buy that, but having only a very rudimentary background in

linguistics, all you have

explained to me is the HOW of my question. I'm being picky, but I'm

interested too in the WHY!

What is the cause of the P stop having been chosen for this evolution versus a

D or a B? I'm

looking for the story behind how this change happened. I know it's there

somewhere, and that's what

I'm interested in finding out. ;-) Whence did this change occur? What

ethnic pool did this happen

in? Was there a specific person that prompted this change indirectly? I

guess I'm looking for the

SOCIO-linguistic response to my query! G

I can't speak to the sociolinguistics, but the phonetics seems straightforward

enough: the marked bilabial nasal [m] shifts to the unmarked bilabial oral

stop [p] (rather than shifting position as well as manner to yield [d] or [b]).

Richard -- Dick would fit the same pattern, but Robert -- Bob doesn't (why

THAT hypocoristic rather than, say, Dob?)


After all, I'm Larry, but my kids always found it easier to say 'Daddy'


My little girl (age 19 months) does something akin to the change of

"Robert" to "Bob." "Doggy" for her is "goggy," although she does say the

/d/ in "dada" ("daddy"), I'm proud to report. Her multisyllabic words have

the same consonant and vowel repeated. "Crackers" becomes "gagas."

Wayne Glowka

Professor of English

Director of Research and Graduate Student Services

Georgia College

Milledgeville, GA 31061


wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]mail.gac.peachnet.edu