Overview

motherese


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A popular alternative name for caretaker speech, misleading because it is used also by fathers when talking to young children, although fatherese tends to be more intense and demanding. Even parentese is too restrictive a term, because the major features of motherese have been observed in the speech of unrelated adults and of older children talking to younger siblings. Also called child-directed speech or (ambiguously) baby talk. [From mother + -ese indicating style]

Subjects: Psychology.


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