He teaches linguistics at Columbia University, hosts the podcast Lexicon Valley , and is the author, most recently, of Words on the Move. We want to hear what you think about this article. But the notion is too good to be true. Eskimo has anana and ataata ; Koasati, spoken in Louisiana and Texas, turns out to have mamma and taata ; down further in El Salvador, Pipil has naan and tatah. Mandarin, so intimidatingly different from English to the learner, soothes unexpectedly in offering up mama and baba. One runs up against that wall with pretty much any word.
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