Affective prosody: Whence motherese

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):518-519 (2004)
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Abstract

Motherese is a form of affective prosody injected automatically into speech during caregiving solicitude. Affective prosody is the aspect of language that conveys emotion by changes in tone, rhythm, and emphasis during speech. It is a neocortical function that allows graded, highly varied vocal emotional expression. Other mammals have only rigid, species-specific, limbic vocalizations. Thus, encephalization with corticalization is necessary for the evolution of progressively complex vocal emotional displays.

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