Baby Talk

Oxford Brookes Babylab

Infants' Preference for Baby Talk

Baby Talk, or Infant-Directed Speech, is a special way that people talk to babies. This type of speech involves shorter sentences, slower speech, higher pitch and exaggerated speech sounds. When Baby Talk is used, words often stand out more from the speech stream which makes it easier for babies to identify words. Babies are thought to prefer Baby Talk to how adults talk to other adults.

In this study, we explored whether babies actually have a preference for Baby Talk compared to how adults talk to each other. This study is part of a multi-lab project testing 2,329 3-to-15-month-old infants in 67 labs in 16 countries!

Our results show that infants prefer Baby Talk to the way that adults talk to each other. This preference was even stronger for older infants and infants who were tested in their native language and dialect.

This study was conducted by Dr. Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez as part of the ManyBabies Consortium