pop-pop ????

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pop-pop ????

Unread post by angie » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:29 pm

Does anybody know what it means when someone calls his grandpa "pop-pop"? I have no idea - I heard it on TV and my friends asked what it meant. I was not able to explain, even though I am an English teacher.
Please help!

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Unread post by eric_p_m » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:08 pm

Dear Angie,

Every family I have ever encountered using English as the medium of communication has had a different term for both maternal and paternal grandparents. There would not be an absolute answer to your question, as a multitude of variables abound in the field of sociolinguistics.

Dialects and regional differences vary according to the surrounding culture and their etymology. Grammatically, a morpheme, either a suffix or a prefix, would be utilized to indicate a diminutive.

Linguistic extrapolations could be made analyzing both cognitive and phonetic development in infants: at such a young age, they would be learning about the relationship to their grandparents and the concept of diminutives. Such a diminutive would distinguish between paternal and maternal relationships. Given that an infant is not ready to produce "maternal grandfather", bilabial allophones could phonetically surround a vowel, as in your example of "Pop-pop".

This reasoning suffices for all of the linguistic manifestations that I have ever encountered. As soon as the extended family agreed upon and accepted such a childish morpheme, the phenomenon would forever fossilize into the child's linguistic inventory.


Eric Paul Monroe

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