Course of maternal prosodic incitation (motherese) during early development in autism: An exploratory home movie study

Raquel S. Cassel, Catherine Saint-Georges, Ammar Mahdhaoui, Mohamed Chetouani, Marie Christine Laznik, Filippo Muratori, Jean Louis Adrien, David Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the course of caregiver (CG) motherese and the course of the infant's response based on home movies from two single cases: a boy with typical development (TD) and a boy with autistic development (AD). We first blindly assessed infant CG interaction using the Observer computer-based coding procedure, then analyzed speech CG production using a computerized algorithm. Finally we fused the two procedures and filtered for co-occurrence. In this exploratory study we found that the course of CG parentese differed based on gender (father vs. mother) and child status (TD vs. AD). The course of an infant's response to CG vocalization differed according to the type of speech (motherese vs. other speech) and child status (TD vs. AD). Mothers spent more time interacting with infants, and fathers appeared to interact with their child preferentially between 12 and 18 months in the TD boy, but not in the AD boy. The TD boy responded equally well to motherese compared to other speech after 1 year of age. For the AD boy, the responses to both types of speech were lower than in the boy with TD and decreased from the second to the third semester.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-495
Number of pages16
JournalInteraction Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Autism
  • Computational methods
  • Early interaction
  • Motherese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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