The Most Frequent Lexical Units in Mother–Infant Communication in Slovak Language
The basis for the research was transcripts of 24 hours of monthly video recordings of three mothers speaking to their infants (for a period of eight months in each mother–infant dyad). In the frequency lexicon compiled from the mothers’ speech, the 20 most frequently used words were “be,” “right,” “well,” “self,” “yes,” “go,” “you,” ‘this,” “and,” “what,” “give,” “still,” “here,” “well,” “have,” “already,” “on,” “there,” “want,” and “where,” which underline the situational nature of mothers’ topics (“this,” “here,” “still,” “already,” “what,” and “where”) and their positive attitude towards the child (“right,” “yes,” “you,” and “well”). Moreover, the most often used nouns were the proper names of the infants in the diminutive form and an appellative “mom”; the most frequent adjectives were “little,” “good,” “big,” “pretty,” “beautiful,” and “clever,” while the most frequent adverbs were “nicely,” “beautifully,” and “well done.” Many of these words show a supportive and encouraging manner of infant-directed speech from mothers in infants’ preverbal stage of development.
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