Child directed speech

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Child directed speech (CDS)
Child directed speech is any speech pattern used by parents or care givers
when communicating with young children, particularly infants, using
simplified vocabulary, high pitch, repetitive questioning and a
slow/deliberate temp.
Features of child directed speech
Prosodic features, e.g. high pitch.
Present tense.
Yes/no questioning.
Exaggerated pauses.
Repetition of sentence frames.
Using names rather than pronouns.
Fewer verbs and modifiers.
Short elliptical sentences.
Concrete nouns rather than abstract nouns.
RECASTS-this is when an adult comments on, extends and rephrases a child's utterance.
EXPANSIONS-this is the development of a child's utterance into a longer and more meaningful form.
Criticisms of child directed speech
Some people argue that using child directed speech teaches children the basic function and structure of language.
However, not all cultures use child directed speech, either through not speaking to their children, (e.g. in Papa New
Guinea) or not simplifying an adult's language for children.
Chomsky argued that language structures cannot simply be acquired from repeating language (i.e. through child
directed speech) because of the random nature and use of incomplete grammatical structures. Yet, studies of child
directed speech have shown that register is more regular and structured.
It has been found that men use more direct questioning styles, seek more vocabulary and use a wider vocabulary
than women.
Clarke-Stewart found children had a larger vocabulary if their mothers talked to them. On the other hand, Roger
Brown found that children were rarely corrected for grammatical structures though they were for their lexical errors
and content.


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