Baby-talk – the new word to many, although it refers to the well-known phenomenon: the language in which adults talk to children. “Look what Lala”, “and who is with us this holosenky”, “let’s go for a walk with gafoy” – it’s all baby talk. The fact that he refers to as to treat him, whether it is harmful, and whether he is to blame for the fact that all began to say “vkusnuypirogek” and “mimimi” says Maxim Anisimovich Krongauz , Professor, Doctor of Philology and a brilliant scholar of modern speech, able to explain clearly and interestingly.

The ratio of children in the mirror language

Maxim Anisimovich that this baby talk?

This speech focused on children, the language and techniques aimed at children. Baby-current in almost all languages, but he says not so much about the culture of speech features as the attitude of the society towards children. In some cultures, it is not generally spoken, and children just like adults. Typically, this exotic culture, for example, a small nation language feasts (Piraha), who lives in the Amazon. At feasts there are no special facilities for communication with their children, they talk as adults with them. But they are treated the same, they do not have the separation of adults and children. Up to a certain age of the mother to feed the children, but from the moment the mother ends feed the child, he is left to himself and the company of other children, his peers and those who are older. It gradually enters into the adult world, watching it, engaging in business and jobs. And the tongue is supplied it is not in a simplified form, and once in the main. Here is an example from the book of Daniel Everett, a researcher feasts language: adults sit, talk, baby sitting on the floor and playing with a sharp knife, but none of the adults is not responding. He brings it to the hands, the feet, the eyes – adults do not pay attention to it. He drops the knife – his mother picks him up and gives play on. That is, in this culture, made with the child as an equal, not patronage. Baby-talk with this approach and is not necessary, because it corresponds to some very clear goals and strategies, some adult relationship to the child.

Three baby-current strategy

What behavioral strategies sells baby-talk?

First, as indicated by the presence of the baby in the current society – a patronizing strategy adopted by it in relation to children. “Going” to the children’s language, the adult is saying to the child: I am stronger than you, I’m going to protect, and baby-current, there are elements that issued it – for example, when a child turning into “us”, “we ate” “we sit” or the famous, over than bullied all – “we poop.” It is clear that the adult does not participate in this, but it is attached to the child as to the weak. This, incidentally, is not only used in the baby-stream – for example, a doctor may well refer to the patient: “How do we feel ourselves today?” Here a strong patron joins the weak in his sufferings, problems.

Characteristic whether baby talk to our culture?

Our culture is actively using baby talk, because for us children – are small creatures, which we must protect. But, as in any culture, in it there is a separation, relatively speaking, a high and a low. High culture – the culture of educated people, and the low – the culture of the common people. And the common people culture is always warmer than the culture of educated people. And, if we talk about the current baby, baby talk is more typical for people of simple and intellectuals him away a bit off-putting as the colder subculture. Intelligent, educated people prefer distance, including their children. This, of course, not all the way – there are quite educated people who also use baby talk, and also is the patron, but generally opposed lisping still is educated.

Feels whether the child through baby talk “guarantee” protection union?

Of course. Not only on the level of words, but also the intonation. If an adult has such a strategy, he expresses it differently, using not only the words but also the appropriate intonation. And, of course, the child feels it. Moreover, the child feels and false use of these words, when an adult tries to adjust to the other adults who so talk with your child is not feeling what they feel.
What other strategy expresses baby-talk, in addition to protection?

The second strategy is the baby-current – this training. In this sense, the baby-talk, of course, is useful, because using a child in a conversation with a simplified, more understandable form it, we go from simple to complex. Just like a child, we say, for example, a foreigner: slowly, clearly, teaching it that way, because it is definitely easier to understand and learn, maybe not very correct, but clear speech. Baby-current – this is a simplification, which allows the child to learn simple things. For example, an adult can help the child, to exclude from the speech personal pronoun, because to call themselves “I”, and others – “you” and “you” – this is a difficult stage for the child, and at the first stage, the simpler, the children instead “I” say, for example: “Peter wants to mush.” Adults, too, are rebuilt and say: “Peter wants to mush?”, “What would Peter do?” Baby-talk is a form of language that is easier to learn.

How is the baby through the current child learns language?

For training in the current baby has special simplified words. Very often it is two-syllable word-repetition, some of them entered into the general vocabulary: of course, “Mom” and “Dad” and “Lala” – the name of the doll and a small child, “Kaka”, “pipi” and so on, their great amount. Sometimes vowels may change, as in “Xixia” words “grandfather.” And the doubling of syllables is typical not only for the Russian language, it is present in a large number of other languages, “the woman” in Turkish, “Dead” in Georgian, “tata” in Serbian, and so forth. Note that the consonant sounds that make up the words, as a rule, labial or dental: this is the most simple sounds that the child starts early to say, and they cover the most important objects. So in a lot of languages, “Mom” and “Dad” have the same meaning. And where it is not, it is often a consequence of historical sound changes, because these words are entered into the general lexicon. And there are two-syllable words very much, and most of this vocabulary – baby talk. They are divided into groups: there is a part of the words, which were included in the common vocabulary ( “Mom”, “Dad”, “aunt,” “uncle”, “daddy”), there are words associated with, so to speak, with closed actions – the what adults do not say, but the children have to (have called “Kaka”, “pipi”, “Xixia”), there are words for actions, states ( “bobo”, “tu-tu”). And here, for example, the “bow-wow” – it’s a bit different, this is onomatopoeia. “Tu-tu” is also an imitation, but the “tu-tu” – that children’s word, “bow-wow” – the word is not a baby. “Bow-wow”, “meow meow”, “moo-moo” – it has its own system, there is also often duplicated syllables, but they are more important than the ease of pronunciation, and the similarity with the sound depicted.

What is the third task which decides the baby talk?

The third baby the current strategy – a strategy of equality, which can be described by the slogan of “Mowgli” – “We’re the same blood,” when an adult close to the child, playing with him, and they both have an equal, it is a kind of imitation of equality. Therefore imitation of children’s speech – is a way to say the same as the child says.

Even silent for a mother to notice that after birth they begin to continuously speak aloud with your child, even when he is still “zucchini”. Go with him to the shops and say, “Now we buy apples for Masha, and even the Pope, we take oranges …”. This is also a feature?

Yes, that is what I really called – function connection to the child and the child’s attachment to him, when he still can not talk, convergence function. We wish that we – mothers, fathers, grandmothers – were constantly involved in the child and that he was constantly involved in our affairs. We show him in a language that we – the indissoluble unity.

Harmful or helpful?

How bad baby-talk, whether to use it, do not spoil if it is the child’s speech?

No recommendations, should do it or not. Children learn anyway native language, regardless of lisp with them or not. Maybe – but there is no statistical data – that in the current development of the baby-mother tongue is faster, because the method of the simple to the complex still more natural.

There is a famous tale about how the great chess player, world champion Jose Raul Capablanca learned to play chess. Its no one taught, he just stared for a long time, as played by his father. And now a year has passed, and then he suggested to the Pope the right move. All were amazed because no one taught, he just watched. Perhaps if he had been taught how to walk rook, pawn, and so on, then he would do it faster, but it is not known, though it was higher quality or not. Perhaps those who are learning the language once the adult form, are a way longer, but may be more intelligent, because you have to work yourself. And it is possible that one method is suitable for one type of children’s brain, and the other – for the other, we can only guess.

Is there a baby-stream something uniquely useful?

This culture of interaction with the child as a chick as weak, understanding that it should be taught, still closer ties with the parent the child. But there is a religion, a culture where it is contrary to the general rules. Salinger, talking about Buddhism, writes that the child – is a guest in the house. in contrast to the relationship as a chick who needs to take care of, it is evident that the attitude to the child as a guest, implies a certain distance, including language.

Which strategy is closer to you personally?

I psychologically closer relationship to the child as a weak, which we must defend, close to me function that performs the baby talk – education, association with a child care demonstration. In this interesting part. It is impossible to say with certainty that this is beneficial, but it certainly is a good thing, if only because the speaker is combined with the child participates in its activities through a common language. When I wrote about the joint reading, I said that one of its main tasks in the language of Winnie the Pooh, a joint “bumkane”. Even a joint poetry reading without explaining obscure words – it’s fun, which strongly brings children and parents. It’s the same common language.
Sometimes when parents hire a babysitter, they worry that the child will take over its vocabulary, it will spoil his speech …

We must understand that if the parents are removed from the education and shift everything to the nurse, the child, of course, a child will speak, as a nanny, not the parents. When talking with the child, parents still refuse gradually from the current baby, it’s a certain stage, and with a babysitter some of these phrases can stay. If the nurse talking to a little kid, it will not happen, but if the parents see it for half an hour a day at bedtime, and most of the time an example of verbal behavior for him – a nanny, of course, it is copied to it. It’s not scary – when he begins to communicate with adults, things gradually changed, but we must understand that if the parents do not communicate with the child at all, then they will never be a model, including speech.

Girls and hooligans

I have a feeling that this whole “child” vocabulary massively went to the common speech. Solid adults began to speak in communication with each other “sweets”, “mimimi”, “pechenyushki”. Do this a reason?

These words are especially widely used in the Internet, “mimimi” – Interactive word, as well as “cookies”, “pechalka”. In their laws the Internet language. This vocabulary has replaced the language “of bastards” (Albany language). Somewhere in 2010, it began to fashion the extinction of bastards language and vocabulary girls came from different subcultures. One reason is that the internet mastering process took place gradually. If in the beginning there came mostly men, intellectuals, who have become accustomed to destroy the culture and to create, in particular through language outline of a new culture. It then went to the Internet to the masses, and the masses went to the internet, and came the girls. Something of their vocabulary became fashionable, for example, suddenly broke out “mimimi”, and they all use it. It’s just some paradigm shift, if you will, and quite naturally, that settled changed to something completely different. Therefore replaced hooligans girls, which was manifested in language. A baby-talk has nothing to do with it.

That is, it was not because the Internet came with his mother tongue?

Mom came to the Internet, have formed their own forums, there began to talk and immediately became an object of derision. Social networks are constantly emerging positions which read: “I hate the word is something,” and then run over people and they write: “I hate such and such,” “I – is something.” And these Two Minutes Hate the most popular object of bullying are moms or pregnant women, because of these words with excessive sentimentality really easy to mock.

And why is this vocabulary causes such a strong reaction?

A specific feature of this language is that it uses excessive “children’s” phrases, a huge number of diminutive suffixes and euphemisms, for example, to refer to semi-closed topic related to sex, the administration of natural needs feeding. This creates a steady hostility to the language. This hostility is understandable, but in this case it is also superfluous, as the sentimentality of the language itself, and all this is constantly reproduced: relatively speaking, on a quarterly someone discovers that there is a language, pounces on mothers, and this again connected dozens of people. It’s funny that it plays as a kind of news but there is, it turns out, such a such a speech!

This hatred like they turned to the words, but in reality it is, of course, emotions address social types who stand behind the words. When a man hates diminutive words, he hates a social type, which often uses these words when his annoying word “eat”, is in fact the object of his dislike – social type, which is behind this word. With mothers the same thing: “I do not hate the language, but I hate this chicken, for which the whole universe revolves around her child, who throws for him to work.” And in this persecution and joined the men, and educated women.

Is this a way of self-affirmation? “I is not so, my brain is not flowed into the milk!”

I think so, because when someone hates someone and publicly mocked him, it is almost always a way of self-affirmation.

“So cute but so disgusting”

Textbook “we ate” and “we are going to kindergarten”, “eat” and “holosenkiy” often causes a negative reaction in those who hear it.

When it goes beyond the communication of the adult with the child when it happens in public (eg in a shop) when it applies to communication with other adults, this may have an outside observer smile or unpleasant emotions. Yes, it’s not to everyone’s taste. But it’s just a question of appropriateness in a given situation. Here, everything is very simple: it’s a kind of, if you want an intimate adult voice communication intercourse with a child, or lovers of communication, if they use the same tools in their own language. Once this intimate speech act shall be in the audience, he immediately becomes someone unpleasant – we often unpleasant intimate details.

You said that language means implementing protection strategies, training, acquisition, are not only used to communicate with the child, and two examples of lead: a doctor who thus expresses his protection and unity with the patient, and the foreigner, with whom speak clearly and slowly that it is better understood. Are there other situations where the baby talk and his techniques are not used to dealing with kids?

One – a conversation with a pet, it is very often like baby talk, when a person is talking to her dog or cat, it is also beginning to lisp, for example, becomes a “mommy” or “daddy”, and the dog – the child. And it occurs to lovers of communication situations in which (usually) a man plays the role of the “daddy”, the patron saint of a woman, and as a result there is baby talk.

It happens that on the contrary a woman lisp with partners. Remember, in the “What Men Talk About” movie: “You are my sleepy cheburaaafka”. According to the hero, that’s so sweet, but so disgusting. Perhaps the man is hard to hear in the address, because the woman shows that she refers to him as a child?

Some like. I do not know, at all different. If the man is not at all fond of, this would not be a phenomenon. Again, this is a question the relevance and situation: perhaps it will be unpleasant to hear it from the woman he loved in a public place, and when they were alone in bed, it is very much like it.

Interviewed Xenia Knorre Dmitrieva