Author Topic: baby talk  (Read 1520 times)

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Slartibartfast

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baby talk
« on: September 15, 2011, 02:28:29 PM »
Here's one of those "This may be a stupid question" questions: do y'all have "baby talk" in other languages?  How does it sound different than your regular language?

In English, we tend to use "goo goo ga ga" as our standard "baby talk" phrase (just like cats go meow and roosters go cockadoodledoo).  People who talk in baby talk (usually to babies, but occasionally to their significant others  :-X) purse up their lips a bit so all their vowels sound closer to "oo" and use short, inane words and phrases.

Is that the same in other languages?

BabylonSister

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 09:05:12 PM »
I believe changing one's voice and speech pattern to speak to a baby is a universal phenomenon. We certainly do in French. One common way to do it is to repeat a syllable. A few "baby" words, with the adult word in parentheses if it came from it:

sleep = dodo (dormir)
milk = lolo (lait)
train = tchoutchou (pronounced like "choochoo")
dog = toutou
teddy bear = nounours (ours)

The syllable repetition is a frequent pattern in French, not just in baby talk (for instance, it's a common way of making nicknames : Christian(e) --> Cricri ; Louis(e) --> Loulou, Albert --> Bébert, etc) but it works particularly well with babies.

Sharnita

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 09:33:47 PM »
I rember seeing a documentary where they did indeed touch on the fact that all languages do some sort of baby talk and they showed a woman who was Asian talking and while I didn't know what she was saying the cadence and pitch were pretty similar to English(American) baby talk.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 05:58:39 AM by Sharnita »

magdalena

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 04:40:57 AM »
Yes, there's baby talk in other languages. Both simplified words and just the pitch/cadence thing. Actually, there are child language experts who claim baby talk to help babies develop language...



Cyradis

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2011, 11:14:48 PM »
I believe changing one's voice and speech pattern to speak to a baby is a universal phenomenon. We certainly do in French. One common way to do it is to repeat a syllable. A few "baby" words, with the adult word in parentheses if it came from it:

sleep = dodo (dormir)
milk = lolo (lait)
train = tchoutchou (pronounced like "choochoo")
dog = toutou
teddy bear = nounours (ours)

The syllable repetition is a frequent pattern in French, not just in baby talk (for instance, it's a common way of making nicknames : Christian(e) --> Cricri ; Louis(e) --> Loulou, Albert --> Bébert, etc) but it works particularly well with babies.

That's very interesting. I've heard "dodo" all my life but never knew its origins; we have strong French and Spanish influences in our culture.

I'mnotinsane

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 11:19:01 PM »
I believe changing one's voice and speech pattern to speak to a baby is a universal phenomenon. We certainly do in French. One common way to do it is to repeat a syllable. A few "baby" words, with the adult word in parentheses if it came from it:

sleep = dodo (dormir)
milk = lolo (lait)
train = tchoutchou (pronounced like "choochoo")dog = toutou
teddy bear = nounours (ours)

The syllable repetition is a frequent pattern in French, not just in baby talk (for instance, it's a common way of making nicknames : Christian(e) --> Cricri ; Louis(e) --> Loulou, Albert --> Bébert, etc) but it works particularly well with babies.

In American English choo choo = trains  because that is the sound of a locomotive horn.  :D

Rohanna

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Re: baby talk
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 11:32:27 PM »
Yup, it's called by some "parentese" or "motherese" and it's universal to one degree or another across cultures. Humans modulate the tone of their speech and the pattern of words they chose to engage a small child's attention. Higher pitches, drawn out sounds and repetition are what grab a baby's attention and get it to focus on the sound. The repetition aids in formulating the concept that the sounds "mean" something.

"baby talk" is a little different, because it can refer to "cutesy"/nonsense speech that some people like to direct at kids.

Parentese: "Hiiiiiii baaaaaaaybeeeee, where's your toes? where's your toes? oooooooh THERE's your toooooooes"

Baby talk: "Hiiii poooopsie-bonnet-boo where's oooo little piggies? Where's ooooo little piggy wiggies? I seee dem! Ooo lets pway wif pweciouses wittle toesy-woeseys"

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.