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Title:Infant-directed speech in African-American mothers
Author(s):Phillips, Ruby Sara Coachman
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Heller, Wendy
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Black Studies
Speech Communication
Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:The specific goals of this study were to: (1) document the presence of prosodic modifications in the infant-directed speech of African American mothers; (2) examine the differences in the acoustic properties of the infant- and adult-directed speech of European American and African American mothers; (3) examine the relationship between the acoustic properties of mothers' infant directed speech and the responsiveness of their infants. Results indicated that African American mothers modify their speech when speaking to their infants and that their infant-directed speech was more effective than European American mothers' at eliciting positive affect from their infants. Results also suggested that African American infants' positive affect was more strongly influenced by the mother-infant interaction than was European American infants'. The findings of this study are consistent with theories about the functions of African American English in adult-directed speech which assert that the form, content, and uses of African American English reflect the soci-emotional and interpersonal orientations of African American culture. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Phillips, Ruby Sara Coachman
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512514
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512514

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