The Washington Post:
The more parents exaggerate vowels and raise the pitch of their voices when talking to babies, the more the babies babble, new research shows. Common advice to new parents is that the more words babies hear, the faster their vocabulary grows. The new findings show that what spurs early language development isn’t so much the quantity of words as the style of speech and social context in which speech occurs.
Researchers examined thousands of 30-second snippets of verbal exchanges between parents and babies. They measured parents’ use of a regular speaking voice versus an exaggerated, animated baby talk style, and whether speech occurred one-on-one between parent and child or in group settings.
“The prevalence of baby talk in one-on-one conversations with children is linked to better language development,” says co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington.
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