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."
Professor of English
Director of Research and Graduate Student Services
Milledgeville, GA 31061
wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]mail.gac.peachnet.edu