from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The form of speech used by adults in talking to very young children.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the developing speech of a young child
  • n. an adult's imitation of the speech of a young child


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  • Baby talk is a long-established and universally understood traditional term. Baby talk, motherese, parentese or child-directed speech (CDS) is a nonstandard form of speech used by adults in talking to toddlers and infants. It is usually delivered with a "cooing" pattern of intonation different from that of normal adult speech: high in pitch, with many glissando variations that are more pronounced than those of normal speech. Baby talk is also characterized by the shortening and simplifying of words. Baby talk is also used by people when talking to their pets, and between adults as a form of affection, intimacy, bullying or patronizing.


    February 5, 2008