Infants show a preference for infant-directed speech (IDS) over adult-directed speech (ADS). This preference has been linked to infants’ language processing and word learning in experimental settings, and also correlates with later language outcomes. Recently, the cross-cultural consistency of infants’ IDS preference was confirmed by one of our other ManyBabies projects (ManyBabies1). However, data from this study were primarily from North American and European countries. ManyBabies1-Africa addresses this issue via a large-scale, multisite study of African infants of ages 3-15 months. We investigate whether this understudied population shows a preference for IDS over ADS, and if so, whether the magnitude of their preference differs from estimates from other populations. The project is currently in progress. Please contact the leaders for more information.


Angeline Tsui, Casey Lew-Williams, Michael Frank


Planning and training prior to data collection.

  • Materials, Protocols, and Documentation: MB1A-OSF.

Contact leads for more information.

Get involved & Contribute

We encourage everyone who is interested in developmental research to get involved! Please note that access to infants/infant lab is not a prerequisite.

To contribute, please sign up to MB and follow the instructions. Aternatively (not recommended), you can contact the project leads by e-mailing: astsui [at], caseylw [at], mcfrank [at]


Tsui, A. S. M., Carstensen, A., Kachergis, G., Abubakar, A., Asnake, M., Barry, O., Basnight-Brown, D., Bentu, D., Bergmann, C., Binan Dami, E., Boll-Avetisyan, N., de Jongh, M., Diop, Y., Herrmann, E., Jang, C., Kizito, S., Lamba, T., Maliwichi-Senganimalunje, L., Marangu, J., Mathur, M., Mbagaya, C. V., Mekonnen Mengistie, D., Milton, C., Mushimiyimana, F., Ndhambi, M., Ngina, I., Njoroge, E., Odhiambo Oburu, P., Okyere Omane, P., Singh, A., Ssemata, A. S., Unyuzumutima, J., Zeidler, H., Lew-Williams, C., Frank, M. C. (Stage 1 RR under review). Exploring variation in infants’ preference for infant-directed speech: Evidence from a multi-site study in Africa.