Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 09:39:29 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: Peggy Leo Horishny wonders about my derivation (supported by other posters, I think) of >>Margaret--[trunc.]-->Meg-->Peg--[dimin.]-->Peggy >>As in >>Mary-->Molly-->Polly ----------------------------- 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! 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?) P.S.-- After all, I'm Larry, but my kids always found it easier to say 'Daddy' :)