caretaker speech

Quick Reference

A speech style often used by adults and older children when talking to infants or young children, characterized by shortened sentences, simplified grammar, restricted vocabulary, slow speech with many repetitions, diminutive and reduplicative words, such as doggy and choo-choo, raised pitch and exaggerated pitch variation, and many utterances ending in questions with a rising tone (some more?, go walkies?). Also called child-directed speech, motherese (misleadingly, because it is not restricted to mothers) and baby talk (ambiguously, because it is used by adults).

Subjects: Psychology.

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