a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 591.2 

Guest: Jean Andruski, linguist/researcher, Eloquent Technologies, Ithaca, NY 

Topic: Babyspeak study 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Parents and ‘babyspeak’...coming up... 

SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort, call 800-332-6362. 

NEMA: Aaamee is preteee! ...Arrr uuu hungreee? Oh, hi...just talking to the baby...a recent study has shown that Moms around the world use the same tools to communicate to their children...leading to speculation that using the pleasant tones, slower speech and better enunciation is something we all know how to do...that helps our kids learn. Jean Andruski was part of a research team that made acoustic graphs of Moms from the U.S., Sweden and Russia...  

ANDRUSKI: The mothers in all three countries made their vowels better separated from each other, and what we assume may be going on is that when these vowels are spoken more clearly, it’s easier for the baby to start figuring out exactly which vowel sounds the language has. But that we still have to show yet.  

NEMA: Andruski says the special speech helps draw the kids into their surroundings...  

ANDRUSKI: You’re getting their attention, you’re making that social contact with them, and providing them with that emotional and social support that is going to be very important to them.  

NEMA: Now to find out how the babies use the information...a much harder task. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.