HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)
(Return to Topic Page)
Guest: Jean Andruski, linguist/researcher, Eloquent Technologies, Ithaca, NY
Topic: Importance of Babyspeak"
Host/Producer: Steve Girard
NEMA: The importance of Babyspeak...coming up...
SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association...fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.
NEMA: Whats it like to be a baby, trying to tap into the voices in the world around you?
ANDRUSKI: Its simply a stream of sound. Its something like, if youre put into a room with a bunch of video tapes or something along that line...of people speaking a language you know absolutely nothing about. And somehow you have to start figuring out what this language means. Infants are actually learning things about the speech sounds in their native language, by the time theyre six months old.
NEMA: Jean Andruski is a linguist and researcher at Eloquent Technologies in Ithaca, New York...who says parents use a dialect of greater inflection, slower and more enunciated speech, which may help their child get on the language learning path. But she says its not the same as the silly babyspeak we sometimes use later...
ANDRUSKI: And the other is what a lot of people seem to do, especially when a child reaches about one or two years of age, is that instead of articulating more clearly, they actually articulate less clearly, and theyll say things like wiwul for little...and thats definitely not what were talking about.
NEMA: Next, a study of babyspeak or parentese around the world...Im Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.