from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Child-directed speech. See Usage Note at child-directed speech.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. baby talk
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an adult's imitation of the speech of a young child
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It is not accidental that we find ourselves cooing to an infant in silly, giddy tones called motherese—and might greet a wagging dog with similar baby talk.
This kind of talk, dubbed motherese, is an instict that crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries.
In linguistics, systematic studies of "motherese," or the speech caregiver's use when talking to young children, have usually been taken as one of the best pieces of evidence for the poverty of stimulus though see the references in footnote 2 for counterarguments.
Even when words are used, moms typically express themselves in a language style called "motherese" or "mom speak" that babies seem to love.
Kuhl and scientists at Tokyo Denki University and the University of Minnesota helped develop a computer language program that pictures people speaking in "motherese," the slow exaggeration of sounds that parents use with babies.
Pepperberg tended to speak to Alex in the singsong “motherese” that doting parents use with young children, and he replied in a voice that seemed to convey a toddlerish pride.
Primatologists at Kyoto University and their colleagues note that such overemphasis is much like what human mothers do when teaching infants, dubbed “motionese” by behavior scientists after “motherese,” or baby talk.
Infants can hear other speech sounds, but they are more interested in motherese.
No wonder motherese (or baby talk) is also directed to pets.
An interacting parent using motherese talk, gesturing, touching, interactive reading etc. is essential for language acquisition.