Utterances in infant-directed speech are shorter, not slower.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

It has become a truism in the literature on infant-directed speech (IDS) that IDS is pronounced more slowly than adult-directed speech (ADS). Using recordings of 22 Japanese mothers speaking to their infant and to an adult, we show that although IDS has an overall lower mean speech rate than ADS, this is not the result of an across-the-board slowing in which every vowel is expanded equally. Instead, the speech rate difference is entirely due to the effects of phrase-final lengthening, which disproportionally affects IDS because of its shorter utterances. These results demonstrate that taking utterance-internal prosodic characteristics into account is crucial to studies of speech rate.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Martin, A; Igarashi, Y; Jincho, N; Mazuka, R

Published Date

  • November 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 156 /

Start / End Page

  • 52 - 59

PubMed ID

  • 27513869

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7838

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-0277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cognition.2016.07.015


  • eng