Do You Speak Motherese?

Motherese is the high-pitched, sing-song speech adults use to talk to children.

But here Motherese is also a collection of cultural commentary and musings on modern motherhood, freshly squeezed each week.  It is my shorthand for talk about parents and talk by parents – about kids, about each other, and about the wider world outside the crib.

Do you speak Motherese?  Well, welcome aboard!  Please become a subscriber by clicking on the link on the right.

5 responses to “Do You Speak Motherese?

  1. Love it!!!! You have an awesome blog. Glad I got introduced to you through Jane.

  2. Pingback: Haiku Friday « Fluffy Bunnies

  3. Laura Dekkers

    So glad I found this!

  4. Hi, I found your blog while searching for ‘motherese’, and while I realize your site isn’t about the linguistic meaning of ‘motherese’, perhaps you have an opinion. Specifically, when should parents quit speaking to children with the sing-song voice and drawn-out vowels characteristic of child-directed speech? I know someone who speaks to a 9-year-old that way; I think it is infantilizing the child. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Kevin – Speaking “motherese” to a nine-year-old would also strike me as odd. (I wonder how the child reacts.) I have no professional qualifications in child development or linguistics, just experience as a parent. I will say that I don’t use motherese with my three-year-old at all and use much less of it with my 18-month-old than I did when he was younger. I guess I would look at it as an equation: as my children mastered language, I used less motherese and more standard English. Of course, none of that was planned; it was just the way it worked out.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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