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baby talk

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noun

the speech of children learning to talk, marked by syntactic differences from adult speech and by phonetic modifications like lisping, lalling, and the omission and substitution of sounds.
Also called par·ent·ese [pair-uhn-teez, -tees, par-] /ˌpɛər ənˈtiz, -ˈtis, ˌpær-/ . a style of speech used by adults in addressing children, pets, or sweethearts, and formed in imitation of the voice and pronunciation of children learning to talk: it is generally characterized in English by the addition of diminutive endings to words, the use of special words and pet names, and the systematic distortion of certain words, as dolly for doll,teensy-weensy for tiny,oo for you, and twain for train.

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Origin of baby talk

First recorded in 1830–40

usage note for baby talk

Baby Talk is used as a label in this dictionary for well-known terms traditionally thought to exemplify the type of baby talk used by adults.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for baby talk

baby talk

noun

the speech of very young children learning to talk
an adult's imitation of this
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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