Tid: Onsdag 17 juni 2015, kl. 15:00–17:00
Plats: C389, Södra huset, Frescati

Postseminarium följer direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.

Parent-child interactions provide an important foundation for early language development. A key component of these interactions is the special speech style, infant-directed speech (IDS), which is characterised by high affective salience, higher pitch, wider pitch range, slower tempo, and vowel hyperaticulation when compared to speech to an adult. The widespread use of IDS continues to generate research into how specific IDS acoustic features contribute to early language acquisition. However, such studies tend to focus on measures of pitch and vowel hyperarticulation.

It is well established that caregivers use IDS to engage and maintain infant attention (Fernald, 1984), that infant’s prefer “happy” talk (Singh, Morgan & Best, 2002) and are more affectively responsive to IDS than speech to an adult (Werker & McLeod, 1989). Mothers also convey a distinct range of spontaneous vocal emotions including “comforting”, “approving” and “encouraging/directing” which have been shown to vary according to the infant’s developmental stage (e.g., Fernald, 1993; Kitamura & Burnham, 2003). However, the production of IDS vocal emotions are not simply expressions of parent’s communicative intent. Rather the bi-directional feedback between parent and child play an important role in shaping the transformations that occur in the expression of IDS emotions as infant’s show converging preferential responses to the distinct vocal emotions that predominate IDS at 3, 6 and 9 months of age (Kitamura & Lam, 2009).

This presentation aims to highlight the complex interplay between interactive responsiveness in shaping the expression of IDS vocal emotion. I will then discuss our plans to explore the impact of infant-directed vocal emotions on early language development.

Christa Lam-Cassettari, The MARCS Institute, University of Western Sidney

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