- Separate phrases more distinctly, leaving longer pauses between them.
- Speak more s-l-o-w-l-y.
- Use exaggerated ‘singsong’ intonation, which helps to emphasise key words. Also to exaggerate the difference between questions, statements and commands.
- Use a higher and wider pitch range.
Lexis and semantics
- Use of concrete nouns (cat, train) and dynamic verbs (give, put).
- Adopt child’s own words for things (doggie, wickle babbit).
- Frequent use of child’s name and an absence of pronouns.
- Simpler constructions
- Frequent use of imperatives
- High degree of repetition
- Use of personal names instead of pronouns (e.G. ‘Mummy’ not ‘I’)
- Fewer verbs, modifiers and adjectives
Large number of one-word utterances
- Deixis used to point child’s attention to objects or people
- Repeated sentence frames eg. “that’s a ……”
- Use more simple sentences and fewer complex and passives.
- Omission of past tenses, inflections (plurals and possessives).
- Use more commands, questions and tag questions.
- Use of EXPANSIONS – where the adult fills out the child’s utterance.
- Use of RE-CASTINGS – where the child’s vocabulary is put into a new utterance.
- Lots of gesture and warm body language.
- Fewer utterances per turn – stopping frequently for child to respond.
- Supportive language (expansions and re-castings)
CDS aims to:
- Attract and hold the baby’s attention.
- Help the process of braking down language into understandable chunks.
- Make the conversation more predictable by referring to the here-and-now.