There is a word, and only one, spoken the same way in nearly every language known to humankind – “Mama”..

The definitive study on “mama and papa” as universal terms was conducted by Russian linguistRoman Jakobson. He explained that the easiest vocalizations for a human to make are open-mouth vowel sounds. Babies can make vowel sounds (cries) from day one. And they do. Constantly. As they begin to experiment with making other noises, babies will test some of the easier consonant sounds. Usually they start with the sounds made with closed lips, or “labial sounds” such as /m/ /p/ /b/. Babies summon their energy to push out that new consonant sound “MMMM” and then relax into an open mouth vowel, usually “ah” — which is the easiest. When you combine that with a baby’s natural repetition in speech, or “babbling,” you get ” ma-ma”, “ba-ba” “pa-pa,” and so on.

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