Medical Definition of Motherese

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 10/30/2018

Motherese: The language spoken, all over the world, by mothers to their babies, before and after birth. Motherese is the earliest language a baby hears. A baby may be deprived of motherese through deafness or through separation from the parents.

"Reading about the seemingly miraculous, if controversial, technology of cochlear implantation, I came across the word motherese." (Fair D. BMJ 1998;316:753)

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018