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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 21, 2022

When most adults, even older children, see an infant, they shamelessly slip into baby talk: Whooose a prettee baabee? Such a cuutiee. Their speech gets smoother, slower, higher pitched and sing-songy.

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...Researchers call this altered form of speech "parentese," but almost everybody does it -- an uncle, a neighbor or the nice lady at the grocery store.

Based on research going back decades, scientists have found that talking baby talk to an infant happens in industrialized societies. But is it a universal human trait?

In a wide-ranging study, researchers at Harvard University's Music Lab collected 1,615 speech and song recordings directed at infants and at adults by 410 people in 21 diverse societies: urban, rural and remote indigenous cultures. Their findings were published in July in Nature Human Behavior.

"Most of the research looking at this have studied urban societies in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Sweden, Russia," says Courtney Hilton, postdoctoral fellow and principal author of the study who is now at Yale University's Haskins Laboratories. "But to make a rigorous claim that there is any kind of instinct to do this, we have to study more diverse cultures."

And so they studied people from rich, poor, urban, rural and isolated cultures on six continents, speaking 18 different languages from San Diego, California, to East Africa, from New Zealand to China.

What they found was that everyone altered the speed, rhythm, volume and other vocal traits when they talked to infants compared to the way they spoke to adults.

When face to face with a baby, people speak slowly, elongate vowels and use a sing-song rhythm. The research team made recordings of people around the world speaking and singing, to infants and then to adults. "We used computer algorithms to sort out how rough is the voice, how high the pitch, and so on and then analyzed that," says Moser....


Audio recordings of various civilizations are in the article, and prompted a smile when I listened.

Still more from the article...

...When the recordings were complete, she was delighted to share them with her research subjects, the Shuar people in the Ecuadorean Amazon, where recording devices are uncommon. Theirs is a hunter/horticulture society, and when they heard themselves, they laughed with joy....


Fun article.



#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-08-15 08:24 PM | Reply

I always address infants in my best Joe Friday voice.

#2 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-08-15 10:35 PM | Reply | Funny: 2 | Newsworthy 1

Which reminds me, what ever happened to that weirdo, Hans?

#3 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2022-08-15 11:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Jack Webb died from a heart attack... like a man!

Remember kids... gichee goo... marijuana and LSD are drugs... teehee... cigarettes and bourbon are not... surprise!

#4 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2022-08-22 09:31 AM | Reply

This is how I talk to people who love Donald T****.

#5 | Posted by chuffy at 2022-08-22 08:06 PM | Reply

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