ERIC Number: ED318230
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Uses of Baby Talk. ERIC Digest.
Baron, Naomi S.
Baby talk, also known as motherese or child-directed speech, refers to a set of speech modifications commonly found in the language adults use to address young children. The same functional motivations underlying adult speech to other adults also shape adult speech to children. These include pedagogy, control, affection, social exchange, and information-giving. In each of these ares, baby talk is a coherent language style used with both children and adults, and it arises for identifiable, logical reasons. While use of an isolated baby talk feature may temporarily slow emergence of a specific linguistic construction, overall, as a speech register, it has never been shown to hamper linguistic growth. Research has addressed only the pedagogical function of baby talk. Every parent must evaluate the efficacy of baby talk, especially when it functions for control or as an expression of affection. Baby talk for social interaction does both foster language development and benefit the parent. (MSE)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.