About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Baby Talk is Universal

by Jayashree on August 22, 2007 at 5:49 PM
Font : A-A+

Baby Talk is Universal

A new study has shown that the sounds used while talking to babies is universal across different cultures.

The study, by University of California researchers, has found that the relationships between sounds and intentions are universal, and thus, understood by anyone regardless of the language they speak.

Advertisement

To test their hypothesis, the researchers focussed on baby talk or "infant-directed speech," wherein most adults convey their emotions and intentions to infants, regardless of the language they speak.

For example, people raise their voices to elicit the infant's attention and talk at a much slower rate to communicate effectively.

To assess their theory, Greg Bryant and Clark Barrett recorded native English-speaking mothers as if they were talking to their own child and then as if they were speaking to an adult. The speech varied across four categories: prohibitive, approval, comfort, and attention.
Advertisement

Then, they played the recordings to habitants of a Shuar (South American hunter-horticulturalists) village in Ecuador to see if the participants could discriminate between infant-directed (ID) and adult-directed (AD) speech, and whether they could tell the difference between the categories in both types of speech.

The results showed that the Shuar participants were able to distinguish ID speech from AD speech with 73 percent accuracy. They were also able to tell which category (e.g. prohibitive, approval, etc.) the English-speaking mothers used, but they were better at this when the mothers used baby talk.

This is the first study to show that adult listeners in an indigenous, nonindustrialized, and nonliterate culture can easily tell the difference between baby talk and normal adult directed speech.

"These results also provide support for the notion that vocal emotional communication manifests itself in similar ways across disparate cultures," writes Bryant.

He adds that future research might focus on how infants respond behaviourally when listening to infant-directed speech in a different language.

The study is published in the August issue of Psychological Science, published by the Association for Psychological Science.



Source: ANI
JAY/J
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Memory Loss - Can it be Recovered?
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pregnancy and Antenatal Care Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Sleep Talking
Sleep Talking, Sleep Terrors and Nightmares are sleep disorders, that commonly occur in children...
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a condition where newborn babies experience withdrawal symptoms due ...
Pregnancy and Antenatal Care
What is Antenatal care and its importance during pregnancy for mother and baby, with details on the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use