n. A manner of talking to dogs characterized by a high pitch, slow cadence, frequent repetition, and whimsical tone.
Infant-directed speech (IDS) is a special speech register thought to aid language acquisition and improve affiliation in human infants. Although IDS shares some of its properties with dog-directed speech (DDS), it is unclear whether the production of DDS is functional, or simply an overgeneralisation of IDS within Western cultures.
People tend to talk differently to babies and to pet dogs than they do to adults and the acoustic and linguistic features of such infant directed speech (IDS) and dog directed speech (DDS) proved to be very similar.
People tend to talk to dogs as though they are human babies. A new study shows that people speak more slowly and with a higher tone to dogs of all ages — both adults and puppies — and that puppies respond most readily to this dog-directed speech.
Burnham's study is fascinating, and one that could usefully be extended to explore further similarities and differences between IDS and PDS. But we must be content with one further observation they recorded: there are no differences between what we might term 'DDS' and 'CDS' — dog-directed speech and cat-directed speech.
Dog-directed speech is an example of the more general categories of pet-directed speech, or PDS (1997) and animal-directed speech, or ADS (2004). All of these are derived from infant-directed speech, or IDS, which dates to 1985.