Motherese Is a Truly Universal Language

Hang around any mom with a young child and eventually she’ll break out her baby voice. You know the one — the pitch of her voice goes up, her words are simple and exaggerated. It’s sometimes referred to as motherese, but researchers call it infant-directed speech. Whatever you want to call it, it’s pretty vital to little ones’ development. Says Elise Piazza, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, it “helps babies to segment this huge stream of words into the building blocks of language.”

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