I’m writing a dissertation on the difference between the prosodic features of mothers and fathers when they read a story to their child.
I’m struggling to come up with a definite title though! I’m veering more towards how mothers and fathers use different intonation patterns. I also need to pick a book (or books) suitable to show intonation when I record the parents reading to their child!
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- Thread Starter
Try a question along the lines of 'How far does gender influence the use of prosodic features when reading to children'. Then after analysis your conclusion should be able to answer this. You have chosen quite a narrow field of study. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but are you sure that you will have enough to write about? You could maybe extend it to consider reading to children of different ages too, to see whether this is a technique that tends to be used with very young children or not.
As for books, you are more likely to get a natural response if the parents read a book that they are already familiar with. I would imagine that most parents will be self-conscious knowing that they are being recorded, and having a text they have not seen before will only increase that. Young children have favourite books that are read dozens of times, giving parents plenty of time to improve their performance skills. Of course, that then gives the dilemma of how do you compare prosody if one text has lots of opportunities for use and the other text doesn't?
The best bet is to try two or three practice recordings as part of your project. Use these to inform your final choice of how to make the actual recordings you will use. You can receive credit in the methodology section if you show that you realised there may be problems, but you worked through a solution.