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“Meow” Is Just Another Name for “Cat”

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DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2019.95025    52 Downloads   143 Views


Meow. We know this is the sound a cat makes. Five thousand years ago, so did the Ancient Egyptians. They called the cat “miw.” Mandarin Chinese speakers call the cat, “māo.” Three different cultures—Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Sumerian—used similar mechanisms to depict the meaning “cat,” and at least one version from each culture has a head, eyes, and tail. Humans have fought wars over religion, women, and body modification—but we agree on the word for “cat”? Humans are 99.9% identical, so we share similar biases, many based upon fertility. Bias creates pattern, pattern which could be harnessed to facilitate language acquisition. Recognizing the role that female mammals have played in ancient written languages is key to understanding the code that underpins human communication.

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Ball, J. (2019) “Meow” Is Just Another Name for “Cat”. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 9, 275-316. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2019.95025.

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