Infant Directed Speech in Natural Interaction—Norwegian Vowel Quantity and Quality

An interactive face-to-face setting is used to study natural infant directed speech (IDS) compared to adult directed speech (ADS). With distinctive vowel quantity and vowel quality, Norwegian IDS was used in a natural quasi-experimental design. Six Norwegian mothers were recorded over a period of 6 months alone with their infants and in an adult conversation. Vowel duration and spectral attributes of the vowels /a:/, /i:/ and /u:/, and their short counterparts /a/ /i/ and /u/ were analysed. Repeated measures analyses show that effects of vowel quantity did not differ between ADS and IDS, and for back vowel qualities, the vowel space was shifted upwards in IDS compared to ADS suggesting that fronted articulations in natural IDS may visually enhance speech to infants.