Baby talk may sound silly, but it speeds infants' language development, a new study found. Researchers recorded people talking to 47 infants whose language development was assessed at ages 9, 15 and 21 months. Tots who more often heard baby talk words like 'bunny' or 'choo-choo' developed bigger vocabularies between 9 and 21 months of age. Words that end in "y" like 'tummy' and 'doggy' and those that repeat sounds such as 'choo-choo' and 'night-night' had the biggest benefit. Such words may help babies identify words in speech, according to the University of Edinburgh researchers. "Our findings suggest that diminutives and reduplication, which are frequently found in baby talk words -- across many different languages -- can facilitate the early stage of vocabulary development," said the study author.
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