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Amye Warren-Leubecker John Neil Bohannon III Intonation Patterns in Child-Directed Speech: Mother-Father Differences Stephanie Faigen Abigail Kaeser Shannon.

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Presentation on theme: "Amye Warren-Leubecker John Neil Bohannon III Intonation Patterns in Child-Directed Speech: Mother-Father Differences Stephanie Faigen Abigail Kaeser Shannon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Amye Warren-Leubecker John Neil Bohannon III Intonation Patterns in Child-Directed Speech: Mother-Father Differences Stephanie Faigen Abigail Kaeser Shannon Martin Jessica Samsel Ashley Sigona

2 summary Study: Whether or not physiological factors or attentional processes alone predict the intonation patterns observed in mothers and fathers speech to children of different ages. Study: Whether or not physiological factors or attentional processes alone predict the intonation patterns observed in mothers and fathers speech to children of different ages. Subjects: 32 Caucasian, middle-class parents; 2 yr olds; 5 yr olds Subjects: 32 Caucasian, middle-class parents; 2 yr olds; 5 yr olds Method: 2 different testing sessions—scoring based on three features: Method: 2 different testing sessions—scoring based on three features: 1.Questions 2.“Name calling” 3.Attentionals

3 summary Results : Results : Both mothers and fathers increased their modal frequencies when addressing 2 year olds.Both mothers and fathers increased their modal frequencies when addressing 2 year olds. Fathers did so more than mothersFathers did so more than mothers Mothers increased their modal frequencies for 5 year olds, whereas fathers did not.Mothers increased their modal frequencies for 5 year olds, whereas fathers did not.

4 Motherese: child-directed speech Simpler, shorter, well-formed utterances of limited sentence typesSimpler, shorter, well-formed utterances of limited sentence types Greater proportion of concrete wordsGreater proportion of concrete words More repetitionMore repetition Slower rate of speechSlower rate of speech Rise in fundamental frequency (pitch) of the voiceRise in fundamental frequency (pitch) of the voice Correlates with the listening child’s age—the younger the child, the higher the pitchCorrelates with the listening child’s age—the younger the child, the higher the pitch

5 Motherese studies Remick (1971)Remick (1971) Findings : Findings : Mothers used both a higher median frequency and a greater range of frequencies when talking to young childrenMothers used both a higher median frequency and a greater range of frequencies when talking to young children Criticism : Criticism : Not matched across subjects or conditionsNot matched across subjects or conditions Results did not take into account some vowels that have inherently higher fundamental frequencies than othersResults did not take into account some vowels that have inherently higher fundamental frequencies than others Small speech samples; not equated for number of questionsSmall speech samples; not equated for number of questions

6 Motherese studies Garnica (1977)Garnica (1977) Findings : Findings : Found significant differences in fundamental frequency and range between maternal speech addressed to adults and to 5-year-olds; more so between adults and 2-year- olds.Found significant differences in fundamental frequency and range between maternal speech addressed to adults and to 5-year-olds; more so between adults and 2-year- olds. Criticism : Criticism : Speech sample was small (8 sentences per subject)Speech sample was small (8 sentences per subject) Due to memorized sentences, not representational of naturally occurring conversations.Due to memorized sentences, not representational of naturally occurring conversations.

7 What is the role of exaggerated intonation in CDS? Is it determined by physiology?Is it determined by physiology? If so, then sex-differentiated speech registers should be retained in speech to children, but an interaction between sex of speaker and age of listener should not occurIf so, then sex-differentiated speech registers should be retained in speech to children, but an interaction between sex of speaker and age of listener should not occur Is it to attract and hold the listener’s attention?Is it to attract and hold the listener’s attention? If so, then a main effect of listener age should be observed, but an interaction between sex of speaker and listener age should not be foundIf so, then a main effect of listener age should be observed, but an interaction between sex of speaker and listener age should not be found

8 Subjects 32 Caucasian32 Caucasian Middle-Class Parents from Suburban AtlantaMiddle-Class Parents from Suburban Atlanta 16 Mothers16 Mothers 16 Fathers16 Fathers Half: Parents of 2 Year OldsHalf: Parents of 2 Year Olds Half GirlsHalf Girls Half BoysHalf Boys Half: Parents of 5 Year OldsHalf: Parents of 5 Year Olds Half GirlsHalf Girls Half BoysHalf Boys

9 Design 2 x 2 x 22 x 2 x 2 GenderGender AgeAge Sentence typeSentence type All Parents Spoke to an AdultAll Parents Spoke to an Adult Obtain Baseline Values for Dependent MeasuresObtain Baseline Values for Dependent Measures Fundamental Voice FrequencyFundamental Voice Frequency Frequency RangeFrequency Range

10 Procedure 2 Testing Sessions2 Testing Sessions Carpeted Rooms in Subject’s HomeCarpeted Rooms in Subject’s Home Session 1Session 1 15-20 minutes15-20 minutes Spoke to ChildrenSpoke to Children Engaged in “Natural” ConversationEngaged in “Natural” Conversation Toys and Picture BooksToys and Picture Books Available to Provide Topics of ConversationAvailable to Provide Topics of Conversation Parent, Child, and Experimenter PresentParent, Child, and Experimenter Present

11 Procedure Session 2Session 2 8-15 minutes8-15 minutes Parents Spoke to an AdultParents Spoke to an Adult Asked QuestionsAsked Questions About Background to Determine Sources of Any Dialect VariationAbout Background to Determine Sources of Any Dialect Variation Or Conversed FreelyOr Conversed Freely About Any Topic Other than the Study ItselfAbout Any Topic Other than the Study Itself Only Parent and Experimenter PresentOnly Parent and Experimenter Present

12 results Changes/shifts in modal frequency (from adult to child directed speech)Changes/shifts in modal frequency (from adult to child directed speech) FathersFathers Increased when addressing 2 yr olds (even more than mothers)Increased when addressing 2 yr olds (even more than mothers) Didn’t differentiate between 5 yr olds and adults (in terms of pitch)Didn’t differentiate between 5 yr olds and adults (in terms of pitch) MothersMothers Increased when addressing 2 yr oldsIncreased when addressing 2 yr olds Increase when addressing 5 yr oldsIncrease when addressing 5 yr olds

13 results Repeated-measures analysisRepeated-measures analysis FathersFathers Didn’t differentiate between adults and 5 yr olds (in frequency ranges used in conversation)Didn’t differentiate between adults and 5 yr olds (in frequency ranges used in conversation) Increase their ranges (even more than mothers) when speaking to 2 yr oldsIncrease their ranges (even more than mothers) when speaking to 2 yr olds MothersMothers Use larger frequency ranges when speaking to adults and 5 yr oldsUse larger frequency ranges when speaking to adults and 5 yr olds Increase normal adult ranges when speaking to both 2 and 5 yr oldsIncrease normal adult ranges when speaking to both 2 and 5 yr olds Use wider ranges of declaratives to only 2 yr oldsUse wider ranges of declaratives to only 2 yr olds

14 Overall conclusions & implications The study showed that neither physiological factors nor attentional processes alone predict the intonation patterns observed in mothers’ and fathers’ speech to children of different ages. The study showed that neither physiological factors nor attentional processes alone predict the intonation patterns observed in mothers’ and fathers’ speech to children of different ages. More research needs to be done in order to determine the function of prosodic modifications in child-directed speech and its’ effects on the language development of the listener. More research needs to be done in order to determine the function of prosodic modifications in child-directed speech and its’ effects on the language development of the listener.

15 Overall conclusions & implications Fathers may overcompensate because they are not around as much as the mothers are Fathers may overcompensate because they are not around as much as the mothers are Cultural sex role expectations and attention span may impact fathers use of more CDS Cultural sex role expectations and attention span may impact fathers use of more CDS

16 Criticisms & Suggestions Does not take into account impact of SES: white, suburban, middle-class parents are not the norm for all parent-child interactionsDoes not take into account impact of SES: white, suburban, middle-class parents are not the norm for all parent-child interactions Compare/contrast different SES familiesCompare/contrast different SES families Does not take into account difference between two- income families vs. single-income families (avg. time spent with child)Does not take into account difference between two- income families vs. single-income families (avg. time spent with child) Compare/contrast stay-at-home-mom households, single- mother households, two-income householdsCompare/contrast stay-at-home-mom households, single- mother households, two-income households

17 Criticisms & Suggestions The parents knew they were being observedThe parents knew they were being observed Control demand characteristics—create an artificial situation that disguises the true nature of a studyControl demand characteristics—create an artificial situation that disguises the true nature of a study Only considered age of child and gender of parent when evaluating resultsOnly considered age of child and gender of parent when evaluating results Future study could be done looking at child genderFuture study could be done looking at child gender Two 15 minute sessions (avg.) on the same day does little to rule out extraneous variablesTwo 15 minute sessions (avg.) on the same day does little to rule out extraneous variables Future study could be done by collecting data on multiple days at varying times of dayFuture study could be done by collecting data on multiple days at varying times of day

18 Questions 1. There was a very small sample size for this study…is this a problem? 2. Do the findings of this study ring true with your experience? Give examples when possible. 3. Do dads “overdo it” for little babies? “Under-do it” for older children? I.e., is it necessary for parents to do as much as they do for little babies? Do older children who don’t get as much CDS from Dad “miss out?” 4. Do Moms “overdo it” for older kids? 5. What role does society/culture play in creating differences between Mom’s and Dad’s CDS?

19 Questions 6. This study did not include a wide variety of cultures…what differences might you expect among parents of different cultures? 7. This study didn’t include a wide variety of ages…do you think speech to an infant might be different than speech to a toddler? 8. Do you think parents of different ages might vary in how much (how little) they use CDS? 9. Do you think parents with different experiences in their own background (their own childhood) might vary in their use of CDS? 10. What role might the number of children that the parents have play in how much (or how little) they use CDS?

20 Discussion questions Do you think CDS could be influenced by whether the child is an only child? The oldest? The youngest?Do you think CDS could be influenced by whether the child is an only child? The oldest? The youngest? If they were tested in an unfamiliar environment, would the results be different?If they were tested in an unfamiliar environment, would the results be different? Does the amount of time a mother/father spends with a child impact the results?Does the amount of time a mother/father spends with a child impact the results? Do you think the results would be different if the study was done in a lower SES area?Do you think the results would be different if the study was done in a lower SES area? Regardless of these results, what role do you think CDS plays?Regardless of these results, what role do you think CDS plays?


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