Why do couples use baby talk with one another? – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma 2021-12-03 09:39:56 –

Imagine you are walking in the park. You hear middle-aged couples cooling each other and doting on their “wittle sugar poom” and “baby doll”.


Baby talk is cute when adults love babies. But when adults talk to each other? Not so many.

But in my job as a researcher in communication science and disability, I came across a study showing that Two-thirds of couples use romantic baby talk..

It sounds strange and can be wrinkled, but it’s not chaotic.

So why do couples do that?

First of all, it is important to understand exactly what “baby talk” means. It’s not the way babies talk to each other. Parents use exaggerated pitch, tempo, and intonation when talking to their children- What linguists call “Parentheses” or “parentheses”.

According to speech and hearing experts Patricia KoolThis special way of speaking promotes social interaction with the baby and helps the baby learn how to communicate. And it’s not just an English phenomenon. Speakers of all cultures and languages ​​change pitches and exaggerate intonation when communicating with babies.

Studies show This way of speaking actually causes the release of neurotransmitters that motivate the baby to learn.

But for romance, this style of speech isn’t about learning, it’s about love.

according to Affection exchange theoryThe specific voice behavior, proposed by communication researcher Collie Floyd, shows affection. These include the use of treble, exaggerated intonation, and soft voice. These features overlap just like the way most people talk to their babies.

However, there is another side to this phenomenon. It is the formation of a special linguistic landscape isolated from the rest of the world, a space for couples to express themselves, freed from the complexity and habits of everyday adult conversation.

Use of “unique” or personalized communication An important aspect of intimate friendship and romantic relationships.. Bystanders listening can be confused. But for couples, it’s a sign of their bond and a boundary that makes them stand out from anyone else. Pet names such as “sweet pie” and “nugget” are part of this, Shows greater relationship satisfaction between couples..

So it may sound strange that adults literally gobble each other, but that’s a characteristic of humankind.

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Author: Ramesh Kaipa-Associate Professor of Communication Science and Disability, Oklahoma State University

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