Child Directed Speech

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Child Directed Speech

Phonology and Prosody

  • Intonation exaggerated and words are stressed more strongly than are in adult conversation e.g. stress on good in "What a good girl you are, Annie". Pitch usually higher.
  • Words/phrases repeated e.g. "get the ball, Annie, get the ball"
  • pace often much slower, with longer pauses than in adult speech 


  • vocabulary often simplified e.g. instead of saying  bananas parent may say nana instead
  • Caregivers use reduplication e.g. "choo-choo", "din-din" or "moo-moo"
  • they use diminutives e.g. "birdie", "doggie" or "fishy" 
  • high proportion…


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