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"eh"

I noticed the other day that there's a similar format to expressions in several languages that mean "so-so", "eh", or "passable":
Englishso-so
Spanishasí-así
Japanesemaamaa
Coincidence? Similar lingustic roots? (Not so hard to imagine between English and Spanish.) Innate human pattern of expression? Is this phenomenon more widespread than just the three languages with which I'm familiar?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pwinkler
Nov. 19th, 2004 10:04 pm (UTC)
I think this says something interesting about thoughts in people's heads, unrelated to linguistics. It points to some sort of "I could go either way"-type of idea that seems to be somewhat independent of language. Also, that people like to verbalize that idea with a weird sort of onomatopoeia. Pretty interesting.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )