child-directed speech


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Related to child-directed speech: motherese

child-di·rect·ed speech

 (chīld′dĭ-rĕk′tĭd, -dī-)
n.
Any of various speech patterns used by parents or caregivers when communicating with young children, particularly infants, usually involving simplified vocabulary, melodic pitch, repetitive questioning, and a slow or deliberate tempo.
Usage Note: Although motherese popularly describes the language patterns of mothers speaking to their infants, these patterns are not limited to them; therefore, child-language researchers often employ the term child-directed speech to include a wider range of speakers and addressees. Others use caregiver speech, which reflects a still wider range, or, less commonly, parentese.
References in periodicals archive ?
The results indicate that exposure to child-directed speech - as opposed to overheard speech - sharpens infants' language processing skills, with cascading benefits for vocabulary learning.
By quantifying general properties of child-directed speech - for example, quantity of speech, sentence complexity, and partial repetitions - Snow compared language input available to both age groups.
The corollary prediction is that there will be an advantage for irregular verbs because they are more frequent in terms of both types and tokens in child-directed speech.