An international study of 21 societies across 6 continents discovered that Wellingtonians lean into using a baby voice more than any other society in the world.
The study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, discovered that when speaking to infants, people use a higher pitch than when speaking to adults, but the pitch difference is greater in some countries than in others.
Courtney Hilton, and Cody Moser, along with 40 other colleagues collected 1,615 voice recordings from 21 different societies across six continents and explored the sound features that distinguish adult vs infant-directed voices.
They played the recordings to 51,065 people from 187 nations who speak a range of languages and discovered that listeners could accurately predict when voices were aimed at babies.
The most noticeable changes in pitch were detected in recordings collected in Aotearoa’s windy Wellington.
Recordings for New Zealand were only collected in Wellington, so thank you for giving us Kiwis that title... not!
I wonder which city would take the baby talking title if we did a New Zealand-only study?