LINGUIST List 9.1198

Sun Aug 30 1998

Sum: Terms of Endearment

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. Elizabeth Grace Winkler, Terms of Endearment

Message 1: Terms of Endearment

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:05:18 -0500 (EST)
From: Elizabeth Grace Winkler <>
Subject: Terms of Endearment

 I have compiled below the pertinent information I have received thus
far concerning 'terms of endearment'.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth Grace Winkler

I'd like to than the following people for providing information:
Karen D Dykstra		Randall Eggert		Richard Hudson
Antoine Lonnet		Judy Reilly		Svenja Sachweh
Amy L. Sheldon		David Wilmsen

Chastaing, Maxime. (1995) Fonctions des hypocoristiques. REVUE
PHILOSOPHIQUE de la France et de l'itranger, n. 3 :

Coates, Jennifer. Men, Women & Language. Longman.

Hudson, R. (1996). Sociolinguistics' Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press. p. 126

Marynissen, C. (1986). Hypokoristische Suffixen in Oudnederlandse
Persoonsnamen inz de Z en L suffixen - Gent.

Newman, Paul and Mustapha Ahmad. (1992). "Hypocoristic Names in Hausa
"Anthropological Linguistics vol. 34, n. 1/4. p. 159 -172 :

Parkinson, Dilworth. Constructing the context of communication:terms
of address in Cairene Arabic.

Plinat, Marc. "Quatre notes sur la morphologie des hypocoristiques `
redoublement" in: Cahiers de grammaire, no 5, dicembre 1982,
p. 79-134.

Sachweh, S. (1998). Granny darling's nappies - Secondary Babytalk in
German nursing homes for the aged. Journal of Applied Communication
Research 26, 52-65.

Wolfson, Nessa. "Don't dear me"

You may also find papers on the web: "Hypocoristics in
Igbo or Chu Be or Not Chu Be Chi" by Pat Hall

Biber and Finnegan
Alan Kaye
Elinor Ochs
Judith Reilly
David Wilmsen
Anna Wierzbicka

Additional Comments Provided by Contributors:
(1) Did you know, for example, that throughout (?) the Arabic speaking
world parents call their children `mummy' and `daddy'? Just find any
Arabic speaker and ask ... (I can't remember whether the choice
between `mummy' and `daddy' is fixed by the sex of the child or of the
speaker.) And it's not just Arabic that does this. I'd say this would
be a wonderful little research project - linguistic details plus
geographical distribution.

(2) One place to look is in the bibliographies in Thorne, Kramarae, &
Henley's _Language, Gender & Society_ (Title?). or Thorne & Henley's
_Language and Sex_. The first was published about 1982, the second
1975. There must be more since then, so check in the Berkeley Women &
Language Conference proceedings, of which there are about 4-5
(available from UC-B Dept. of Linguistics).

(3) In Greek (modern), the expression "matia mou" means "my dear" or
"my love," but it is literally "my eyes." I have never asked my Greek
friends about this expression, so I can't tell you if it is familial
or passionate or what. But, since I hear it in fairly sultry/sad love
songs, I think it is definitely romantic. A reference to eyes seems
rich symbolic turf -- windows to the soul, the evil eye, etc.

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