Child-Directed Speech (Features of)

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  • Child-directed speech (CDS) is the special form of speaking (or speech register) used when talking to infants or young children. It is different from the manner one typically uses when speaking to adults (adult-directed speech [ADS]). It is also referred to as baby talk, infant-directed speech (speech to infants and toddlers), motherese, parentese, and caregiver speech. CDS is closely related to maternal speech; however, caregivers other than mothers also use CDS, and mothers may speak in adult-directed forms in the presence of their child, so the two concepts are dissociable. CDS has a variety of characteristics associated with it, including changes in prosody (intonation or melody, rhythm, and speaking rate), simplified and altered vocabulary, phonological alterations, shortened sentences, and altered speech patterns. Although it is ...

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