number of studies conducted with small children and their caregivers
have shown that the language traits that characterize child-directed
speech tend to facilitate the acquisition of language.
exhibit a unique type of speaking that linguists have referred to
as child-directed speech, motherese, caregiver speech, or, more
casually, baby talk. This speech has many unique characteristics
that distinguish it from adult-directed speech:
Higher pitch, greater range of frequencies, slower rate of speech,
clearer enunciation, emphasis on one or two words in a sentence,
and special pronunciations of individual words.
LEXICAL FEATURES: Substitutions, diminutives, semantically
inappropriate words, and use of child’s nonce forms.
SYNTACTIC FEATURES: Use of nouns in lieu of pronouns, use
of plural pronouns in place of singular, intentional ungrammatical
usage, more grammatically correct usage, more grammatically simple
phrases, and shorter phrases.
CONVERSATIONAL FEATURES: More restricted topics, more repetitions
of own utterances, more questions, fewer declaratives, more deictic
declaratives, provision of both questions and answers by adult,
and repetitions, expansions, recasts of child’s utterances
their lives without language and are faced with the challenge of
emerging into a world in which they cannot effectively communicate.
From the time a child is born, however, she will begin to associate
what happens around her with meaning. As time passes, she will begin
to associate “unknown verbal forms to known meanings”
and Wheeler 196).
However, at the start of her language development process, she will
be unable to understand abstract concepts and will have to rely
on current and familiar concepts. “[M]otherese is a ‘here
and now’ language, one that traffics in present dogs and ducks
rather than Christmases past and absent cats” (Gleitman,
et al 55).
to part two)