Fundamental frequency and temporal modifications in the speech of British fathers to their children

Brenda Shute, Kevin Wheldall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A total of 16 British fathers were audiotaped reading aloud to and conversing with their children aged 1 to 3 years (A‐C speech or ‘fatherese'), and with an adult (A‐A speech). Data concerning vocal pitch (indicated by fundamental frequency Fo) and rate of speech were extracted from the audiotapes of the fathers’ speech. It was found that fathers’ A‐C speech relative to their A‐A speech was characterised by significantly higher Fo mode in both discourse forms, and also by significantly higher Fo mean in conversational speech (only). The variability of Fo was not altered in fatherese speech, but the time taken to read aloud a written extract was significantly greater. Wide individual variation was evident in the extent of both the Fo and temporal modifications of fatherese speech. British fatherese speech was found to be characterised by a different combination of prosodic modifications when compared with British motherese speech.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Psychology
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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