Signature tunes in mothers’ speech to infants
Infant Behavior and Development
The purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether mothers use discernible tunes (i.e., specific interval sequences) in their speech to infants and whether such tunes are individually distinctive. Mothers were recorded speaking with their infants on two occasions separated by 1 week or more. Examination of the tunes of each mother revealed discernible tunes and frequent repetitions of tunes within and across sessions. Comparisons of utterances with the most common pitch contour (i.e., rising), both within and across mothers, revealed interval patterns that were individually distinctive, or unique. The findings confirm the prominence of tunes and the presence of signature tunes in maternal speech to infants.
Bergeson, T. R., & Trehub, S. E. (2007). Signature tunes in mothers' speech to infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 30, 648-654.