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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Widdle Biddle Poo Poo

For the life of me, I cannot find a link with which to highlight this blogpost, but I did see it on tonight's GLOBO International news programme, so it must be out there by tomorrow.

The topic is very interesting for parents, and would-be parents, so pay close attention if applicable.

It seems that scientists have found that talking "Baby Talk" to one's children, has revealed a correlation between this homey pet speech, and good healthy babies.

This flies in the face of accepted Dr. Benjamin Spock wisdom, which always enjoined people from speaking to their kids in Baby Talk.

(My mother is oddly silent on the topic, despite her expertise. She says she needs to see the data, which is a good girlie wirlie of her)

I already have practise in this regard, with my many cousin's children, and though I am not a parent yet, I am the proud owner of a poochie, as you know.

And you bet I speak to him in that irritating dog-speak of half-grunts and high shrieks of encouragement.

He seems to like it, and he sure is healthy, so there.

However, I do know that my parents avoided Baby Talk with me, and I think that was a good thing, given my love of languages and vocabulary, so I am at a loss.

What is your opinion on the matter, and do you yourselves, practise this odd habit of dumbing readibly understandable mature language into multi-syllabic nonsense speech?

And speaking of language, there is one tongue which far outdoes itself in Baby Talk, and the answer ain't English.

It's French.

The famous sentence of theirs which illustrates this point, of course, is:

The tackle the Metro, to go to their boulo, and upon arriving home, they take a nice dodo.

French is ALL about the diminuitive, and that's not even including their odd urban slang speech called verlan.

And here you thought it was wine and garlic that kept them so healthy!

8 Comments:

  • I always used understandable words but I would often use that baby talk inflection! I felt that using unintelligible words would confuse children as they learned to speak!

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Tue Mar 07, 08:39:00 am GMT-5  

  • Whenever I see an infant, throughout my life, I revert to a totally out-of-character person because I love babies and however my speech brings a smile to their face, that is what I do.
    Reciting the Gettysburg Address in a scholarly tone does not do it but using my best high toned voice while smiling a lot certainly makes them smile. If that doesn't work, there's a good peek-a-boo I can perform.
    In life, few things are better.

    By Blogger Paul, at Tue Mar 07, 10:40:00 am GMT-5  

  • We have an 11-month old at home, our first, and we use a combination of regular speech, baby talk, and, as Jose mentions, understandable words with a Baby accent. As a result, overhearing talk in the house can be interesting: You might hear a "Number Two" diaper described as "Yoos got da doodles. Ooooh, big doodles!", and a few minutes later "Sodium and chlorine combine to make salt. This is the salt shaker. Always taste before adding salt."

    By Blogger Bob, at Tue Mar 07, 11:50:00 am GMT-5  

  • I have a son who at 2ish would ask me whether I was feeling 'magnanimous' so as to read him a second bedtime story. His sister has a hemangioma [which she could point to at 12 months] and when he hurts himself, it's often a hematoma [maybe an abrasion, but never never a 'boo-boo']

    SAT Prep begins early at the Adams house. But, oddly, the children know when I'm speaking to them because the tone and the inflection are in 'mom-ese'. When my son was 9 months old, my sister showed me that he was understanding a LOT more than I was giving him credit for. At that point, I was mindful to speak to him in something other than babytalk.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Tue Mar 07, 05:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I always used understandable words but I would often use that baby talk inflection! I felt that using unintelligible words would confuse children as they learned to speak!

    In fairness, I don't recall hearing too many baby-talk words in Spanish though!

    There's "el cucu", for the wee-wee, and...?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 08, 02:04:00 am GMT-5  

  • Reciting the Gettysburg Address in a scholarly tone does not do it but using my best high toned voice while smiling a lot certainly makes them smile. If that doesn't work, there's a good peek-a-boo I can perform.
    In life, few things are better.


    HEH! Gettysburg Address. Amazing, Paul. :)

    My mother used to stand on her head, the cause of yoga enthusiasms in the mid-70s.

    She didn't use baby-talk with me then, although oddly enough, she does with me now?!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 08, 02:06:00 am GMT-5  

  • Hey Bob, thanks for commenting, first of all. :)

    We have an 11-month old at home, our first, and we use a combination of regular speech, baby talk, and, as Jose mentions, understandable words with a Baby accent.

    That high-pitched tone which seems to drive non-parents or pet-owners up the wall. :)

    As a result, overhearing talk in the house can be interesting: You might hear a "Number Two" diaper described as "Yoos got da doodles. Ooooh, big doodles!",

    Doodles! I love it. I think I shall use it.

    and a few minutes later "Sodium and chlorine combine to make salt. This is the salt shaker. Always taste before adding salt."

    Extraordinary. Your kids and those of Ruth Anne's will surely ace their SATs. :)

    I think my favourite baby talk word is "Po", which is German baby-talk commonly used by adults, for "butt/bum".

    Unfortunately, there's a river in Italy, of course, called The Po, which always sends German schoolkids into heaving laughs. :)

    (Come to think of it, I think some Spanish-speakers refer to the bum as "El Pompis", which must be baby-talk despite sounding rather official)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 08, 02:10:00 am GMT-5  

  • I have a son who at 2ish would ask me whether I was feeling 'magnanimous' so as to read him a second bedtime story.

    What a clever thing! Takes after his father, doubtlessly.

    *duck!*

    His sister has a hemangioma [which she could point to at 12 months] and when he hurts himself, it's often a hematoma [maybe an abrasion, but never never a 'boo-boo']

    Now that is impressive. I know many a classmate which didn't know that their first day. ;)

    SAT Prep begins early at the Adams house. But, oddly, the children know when I'm speaking to them because the tone and the inflection are in 'mom-ese'.

    A special low timbre that sends shivers down one's spine?

    When my son was 9 months old, my sister showed me that he was understanding a LOT more than I was giving him credit for.

    Children understand even in the womb, according to my child shrink mum...that always scared me.

    At that point, I was mindful to speak to him in something other than babytalk.

    Well, as long as it's said with a light spirit.

    It is true that, e.g., only kids like me tend to be a bit solemn, and I had a big vocab for one so young.

    So that's why it's important to keep it light, and airy, lest they become prigs!

    Those always get bullied at school. :(

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Wed Mar 08, 02:14:00 am GMT-5  

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