David Pagmar, Kirsten Abbot-Smith, Danielle Matthews
Predictors of children's conversational contingency
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Special Issue on Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) in lesser-studied languages
Topic: Infant-directed speech, the special way people speak to infants, has many features that are shared across languages, including a slower speaking rate, higher and greater changes in pitch over an utterance, and acoustically exaggerated vowel and consonant contrasts. Some of these features have been associated with better developmental outcomes. However, none of these features are universal across languages, cultures, or all caregivers within a community. Studying infant-directed speech in lesser-studied languages presents the opportunity to observe how different linguistic structures are modified across diverse languages. It also provides an opportunity to examine the effect of collective child-rearing practices common among many communities around the world where grandparents are often the primary carers. Even in the widely reported English-speaking countries, increasing participation by mothers in the workforce has seen fathers taking on co-parenting roles, or becoming the primary caregivers. Yet, little is known about the input infants receive from these important people in their lives. Across these populations of speakers, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the factors that contribute to variability in infant-directed speech, such as caregiver education and the role of common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The goal of this special issue is to address these questions by pulling together the latest research from diverse populations to understand variation in infant-directed speech.
Suggestions for possible areas
Papers on a range of areas in infant-directed speech will be considered including papers that include:
Keywords: infant-directed speech, minorities, non-WEIRD communities, parenting
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