What is the origin of phatic?
Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942), the Polish-born US anthropologist, coined phatic in 1923. Phatic applies to speech expressive of goodwill and sociability, as at a bar or a cookout. Phatic is composed of the Greek participle phatós “spoken, (that) may be spoken, famous” and the adjective suffix -ic. Phatós comes from the Greek verb phánai “to speak,” from the common Proto-Indo-European root bhā- “to speak.” The root bhā- is the source of Latin fārī “to speak” with its many derivatives, e.g., fāma “fame.” Fārī is also the source of infant, from Latin īnfant-, stem of īnfāns “unspeaking,” formed from the negative prefix in- (from the same Proto-Indo-European source as English un-) and fāns, the present participle of fārī. The same root is the source of English boon “benefit, blessing” via Old Norse bón “prayer, request.”