"Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury...physical or mental damage..or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person." Threatening behaviors may be conceptualized as a maladaptive outgrowth of normal competitive urge for interrelational dominance generally seen in animals.
Alternatively, intimidation may result from the type of society in which individuals are socialized, as human beings are generally reluctant to engage in confrontation or threaten violence.
But this doesn't explain why our ancestors started speaking in a funny voice to their children in the first place, according to Dr Kalashnikova.To decipher the origins of baby talk, researchers studied the movements that mothers make with their lips and tongue while talking to their babies.They found that when mothers speak to their babies, which is formally known as infant-directed speech, they unconsciously adjust their voice box to speak in a higher pitch.In her new research, she has suggested that our ancestors may have unconsciously raised their larynx to produce a squeaky voice that appears less aggressive to their offspring.Dr Kalashnikova said: 'Raising and lowering our larynx to change the appearance of our vocal tract size is not something that humans do, but it’s also done by other animals.'Small animals lower their larynx to sound larger and scarier, and thus scare off potential predators.'Larger animals raise their larynx to sound smaller and less threatening.