bow-wow theory
Definition - (Aka cuckoo theory)

A theory of language origins that claims that proto-language arose from humans imitating natural sounds.

For example, we started referring to dogs by saying "bow-wow" and to birds by imitating their song (i.e. by using onomatopoeia).

Etymology -
The dysphemistic name was coined by Max Müller, a sarcastic philologist, in his lecture “The theoretical stage, and the origin of language” (1861). Click here to read it (see page 112).



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