Responsiveness and perceived intelligence as predictors of speech addressed to cats
Abbreviated Journal Title
anthropomorphism; cats; child-directed language; companion animals; human-animal interaction; motherese; BABY TALK; MOTHERS SPEECH; ADULTS; INFANTS; ANTHROPOMORPHISM; COMMUNICATION; COMPANIONS; JAPANESE; CHILDREN; LANGUAGE; Anthropology; Environmental Studies; Sociology; Veterinary Sciences
Speech addressed to a cat was examined to test whether the use of child-directed language (CDL) with a companion animal is related to perceived intelligence of a listener and/or listener responsiveness. Fifty-one undergraduates briefly entertained a cat using a toy, and the vast majority of these participants spoke to the animal. The language used was similar to CDL, and two aspects of this language (number of questions and attribution of thoughts to the animal) were positively related to ratings of the animal's intelligence. The cat's responsiveness, as measured by time spent in proximity of the participant during the interaction, was not strongly correlated with measures of speech use. The results suggest that speech used with companion animals follows a model in which the human first perceives a social interaction, and therefore uses speech. This speech is then modified, based on the perceived comprehension of the listener, regardless of who this listener may be. (C) 2002 International Society for Anthrozoology.
"Responsiveness and perceived intelligence as predictors of speech addressed to cats" (2002). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 3475.