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J Pediatr. 1975 Jan;86(1):141-4.

Mother-to-child speech at 2 years--effects of early postnatal contact.


Ten primiparous mothers were randomly selected from two groups of women who had spent different amounts of time with their newborn infants. The speech behavior of the mothers in the two groups was compared while they were addressing their 2-year-old children in an informal play situation. Speech patterns of the mothers revealed that those who had been given extra contact with their infants during the neonatal period used significantly more questions, adjectives, words per proposition, and fewer comands and content words than did the control mothers. These observations suggest that the linguistic behavior of the young child may be shaped by hospital-care practices for mother and her infant.

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