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Author Topic: Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?  (Read 11718 times)

Offline neilep

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« on: 02/01/2009 13:25:29 »
Dearest Peeps who have experience of conversing with babies,

As a sheepy I am responsible for many a thrill in pitch being achieved by a girly !

But why do we automatically raise our pitch in tone when we speak to babies !! ?


look here's a baby !...now talk to it !!




gootchy gootchy gootchy goo !!....awww !!

As a sheepy I am of course an expert on babies as I used to be one but this rise in tone issue is beyond me !


Do ewe know why we speak in a higher pitch when entering into a dialogue with babies ?


Sing me a lullaby and blow me some bubbles ,I'll be ever so grateful.




Hugs & Shmishes


mwah mwah mwah mwah



Neil
Once A Baby
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2009 13:47:40 »
Because we're bloody daft
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #2 on: 02/01/2009 13:57:20 »
This is a question I wondered about also.... with my children and after contemplation and pondering I know for myself from my own usage ...that when I used a normal voice the babies made no reaction as if they did not know they were being talked to and when I raised the pitch and tone..it got the babies attention...as if they now new this was being directed at them and they were more inclined to give vocal as well as physical reactions such as cooing... smiling..flailing of limbs in acknowledgment of their ability to recognize this talk to them and differentiate the normal tones as being directed to others.....

Does that make sense to you???
« Last Edit: 02/01/2009 22:37:02 by Karen W. »
 

Offline RD

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #3 on: 02/01/2009 19:23:53 »
Two possibilities explanations occurred to me.

1. Physical: because of their small size the baby's tiny eardrums resonate at a high frequency, so high frequency sounds are louder to the baby than low frequencies, i.e. they are comparatively deaf to low frequencies so are more likely to respond to high pitched sound.

2. Evolutionary: babies who pay attention to those with high voices, females, are more likely be fed and survive than babies who prefer the low voices of males, (who do not lactate !).  
« Last Edit: 02/01/2009 19:40:32 by RD »
 

Offline neilep

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #4 on: 02/01/2009 19:53:45 »
Because we're bloody daft

Agreed !..This must make babies very intelligent to make us appear so daft for their amusement !
 

Offline neilep

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #5 on: 02/01/2009 19:55:29 »
This is a question I wondered about also.... with my childen and after contemplation and pondering I know for mysef from my own usage ...that when I used a normal voie the babies made no reation as if they did not know they wetre being talked to and when I raised the pitch and tone..it got the babies attention...as if they now new this was being diected at thm and they were more inclined to give vocal as well as physical reactions such as cooing... smiling..flailing of limbs in acknoledgement of theirability to refognize this talk to them and differentiate the normal tones as being directed to others.....

Does that make sense to you???

Thank Ewe Kareny.

It would make more sense to me if ewe could post your comments to me in a higher pitch from now on !.. ;D
 

Offline neilep

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #6 on: 02/01/2009 19:58:53 »
Two possibilities explanations occurred to me.

1. Physical: because of their small size the baby's tiny eardrums resonate at a high frequency, so high frequency sounds are louder to the baby than low frequencies, i.e. they are comparatively deaf to low frequencies so are more likely to respond to high pitched sound.

2. Evolutionary: babies who pay attention to those with high voices, females, are more likely be fed and survive than babies who prefer the low voices of males, (who do not lactate !).  

Thank Ewe RD

Those are very good possibilities which seem perfectly rational to me !

There must be some truth in them.


The bitch has the higher pitch and therefore food comes !..yes..yes...
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #7 on: 02/01/2009 22:42:33 »
This is a question I wondered about also.... with my children and after contemplation and pondering I know for myself from my own usage ...that when I used a normal voice the babies made no reaction as if they did not know they were being talked to and when I raised the pitch and tone..it got the babies attention...as if they now new this was being directed at them and they were more inclined to give vocal as well as physical reactions such as cooing... smiling..flailing of limbs in acknowledgment of their ability to recognize this talk to them and differentiate the normal tones as being directed to others.....

Does that make sense to you???

Thank Ewe Kareny.

It would make more sense to me if ewe could post your comments to me in a higher pitch from now on !.. ;D

LOL..will do!  ;) ;D
 

Offline JnA

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #8 on: 03/01/2009 00:00:33 »
We know babies like it. Researchers have found that infants prefer to hear parentese to adult conversation.
 
To test this, scientists sat babies in infant seats and let them choose to hear tapes of adult-to-adult speech or adult-to-infant speech. When babies turned their heads one way, an eight second tape of adult conversation played. When they turned their heads the other way, the babies heard parentese. The researchers found that the babies consistently chose to turn their heads to hear the speech directed toward infants. Amazingly, further testing showed this to be true even when the parentese was in a foreign language.

Babies, quite simply, enjoy hearing the higher-pitched sounds and exaggerated speech patterns of parentese – even when they don't know what the words mean. Babies not only enjoy the sounds we make when we do it – they also enjoy watching our faces as we talk to them.

In fact, researchers have found that babies as young as five months old are capable of some simple lip-reading. In this test, babies were first shown a silent video of a face forming the sounds ‘ahhh’ or ‘eeee’, and then they heard audiotapes of one of the sounds. The babies knew which face matched which sound. Babies hearing the ‘ahhh’ sound looked at the video with the wide-open mouth, while those that heard ‘eeee’ looked at the video with the grinning mouth.
Our universal mother tongue

While researchers are just beginning to look at the possible benefits of parentese, it’s well established that most of us use it, regardless of our culture or native tongue. Various studies have documented parentese in speakers of English, German, Russian and Swedish. And one study found it among speakers of Mandarin Chinese, a tonal language in which, unlike English or German, a change in the pitch of a word alters the meaning of that word.

But no matter the language, parentese seems to share several characteristics and, scientists theorise, has several purposes.

Parentese is higher-pitched, sometimes as much as an octave higher. Why do we all seem to become sopranos when we talk to babies? It may serve to get their attention. After all, if we're getting high and squeaky, we're probably not addressing anybody with more authority, or even more height, than we have.

Parentese uses short and simple sentences, often repeated over and over again. We've all said it, probably multiple times, ‘Who's a sweet baby? Are you a sweet baby? Yes, you're a sweet, sweet baby’. Repeating ourselves may help babies figure out words, and simple, repeated sentences may help them with grammar.

Parentese features well-formed, elongated consonants and vowels. We tend to pronounce words precisely when we talk to babies – pulling out the vowel sounds and clearly voicing consonants – in marked contrast to the hurried way we speak to other adults. A slurred ‘sweebabe’ becomes a bright ‘sweeet baaabeee’ when addressed to someone who truly fits the description. Hearing the exaggerated sounds of parentese may make it easier for infants to learn the sounds of their own language. Research in this area provides the clearest indication so far that babies use parentese to help solve the mystery of language.


http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/speaking_parentese.html




I never spoke to my kids in 'parentese' we'll see if that is just another way I can mess them up.
 

Offline RD

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #9 on: 03/01/2009 01:28:32 »
Two possibilities explanations occurred to me.

1. Physical: because of their small size the baby's tiny eardrums resonate at a high frequency, so high frequency sounds are louder to the baby than low frequencies, i.e. they are comparatively deaf to low frequencies so are more likely to respond to high pitched sound.

If this is correct then babies may be able to hear "ultrasonic" frequencies which adults cannot...

Quote
Ultra Hearing Fetus

The sounds the fetus hears in the uterus during ultrasound procedures.

Dr. Mustapha Fatemi, a medical engineer at the Mayo Foundation's Ultrasound Research Laboratory in Rochester, Minnesota, and his team of researchers recently discovered that fetuses can actually hear ultrasound scans, which were previously thought to be inaudible. Fatemi originally became interested in the issue after hearing that fetuses often act up during ultrasound exams.
http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/ultra_hearing_fetus.html
« Last Edit: 03/01/2009 01:30:49 by RD »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #10 on: 03/01/2009 02:36:47 »
It might be because the babies don't understand what adults are saying so everyone just talks really loudly (because they know that theres no chance that they'll be understood [8D])
 

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Why Do We Speak To Babies With A Raised Pitch ?
« Reply #10 on: 03/01/2009 02:36:47 »

 

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