MOTHERS CHANGE VOICE QUALITY WHEN TALKING TO BABIES
While speaking to their babies, mothers tend to shift the timbre of their voice in a rather specific way, which could play an important role in baby’s language learning as well as engaging their emotion, researchers say. The special communicative mode, which mothers use when talking to their young infants, are known as “motherese” or “baby talk” — somewhat musical form of speech which includes exaggerated pitch contours and short repetitive phrases. “We found for the first time that mothers shift their vocal timbre when speaking to infants, and they do so in a highly consistent way across many diverse languages,” said Elise Piazza, a postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton University in New Jersey, US.
According to the researchers, the unique timbre tone could help babies learn to differentiate and direct their attention to their mother’s voice from the time they are born. It also plays an important role in language learning, engaging infants’ emotions and highlighting the structure in language, to help babies decode the puzzle of syllables and sentences.