Newborn Babies Cry in Native Tongue
From their very first days, the cries of newborns already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, scientists now find.
French newborns tend to cry with rising melody patterns, slowly increasing in pitch from the beginning to the end, whereas German newborns seem to prefer falling melody patterns, findings that are both consistent with differences between the languages.
This suggests infants begin picking up elements of language in the womb, long before their first babble or coo.
Prenatal exposure to language was known to influence newborns. For instance, past research showed they preferred their mother’s voice over those of others.
Still, researchers thought infants did not imitate sounds until much later on. Although three-month-old babies can match vowel sounds that adults make, this skill depends on vocal control just not physically possible much earlier.
Is that cool or what?
All this time we thought they were just floating around in there kicking Mom in the bladder waiting to get out.
Now it turns out they dream, they get a jump on learning their parents’ language.