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I concur. Even without the idea of domestication; an egg is an egg, it may take a great degree of difficulty to specify it any further (within the languages I know, anyway), "a chicken egg", "a duck egg", it takes a great stretch of thought to have egg as being part of a subset of something else: "a variety of edible thing" is pretty much the only way I can imagine it falling within a particular class of things.

A chicken belongs to the set "birds" or "animals" or whatever. There are myriad different bird words in English which are not directly generated from "bird" (although I'm sure some of them are). I would probably argue that a similar process is true in child language acquisition (or, at least, in the early stages thereof). One learns a word applied to all "bird-like-things" and another for "egg-like-things". 

The little lad next-door can't differentiate birds yet, but he knows what he likes to eat!

(Although, yes, the egg came first in biological terms)

On 19 Jul 2011, at 14:10, Jim Henry wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM, Sam Weston <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Now, if you think about it linguistically, that's a different question: my
>> opinion is that the chicken came first, in this case, because the chicken
>> might have evolved into what it is today before our idea of language did, at
>> all.
> 
> But it seems likely that early hunter-gatherers stole eggs from
> various wild birds' nests long before their agricultural descendants
> domesticated the chicken.   So as for Gary's question -- the *word*
> for egg probably predated any *word* for chicken.
> 
> -- 
> Jim Henry
> http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/