ERIC Number: ED163762
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Mother and Father Speech: Distribution of Parental Speech Features in English and Spanish. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, No. 12.
Blount, Ben G.; Padgug, Elise J.
Features of parental speech to young children was studied in four English-speaking and four Spanish-speaking families. Children ranged in age from 9 to 12 months for the English speakers and from 8 to 22 months for the Spanish speakers. Examination of the utterances led to the identification of 34 prosodic, paralinguistic, and interactional features that characterize the speech as parental. Parental utterances were coded for each of the 34 features, and the total number of utterances per parent were considered. Generally, fathers talked less with the children and Spanish-speaking fathers overall participated less than the English-speaking fathers. Overall, there is a high degree of similarity between mother and father speech, but there are clear differences in the rates of some features. The mothers' speech contained comparatively more features that are commonly noted as characteristic of baby talk, while the fathers' speech had comparatively more features that are characteristic of serious speech or of "interaction-repair devices." The features that occurred most frequently in the speech of the parents were "exaggerated intonation,""repetition,""high pitch,""low volume,""lengthened vowel" and "instructional." There are also culturally differentiated sex-specific preferences for feature usage. (SW)
Descriptors: Child Language, Cultural Differences, English, Fathers, Interaction Process Analysis, Intonation, Language Acquisition, Language Research, Language Usage, Mothers, Parent Child Relationship, Psycholinguistics, Sex Differences, Spanish, Spanish Speaking, Speech Communication, Suprasegmentals
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.