Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Babies Cry in Their Native Language

Recent research seems to show that babies cry in the tone of their native language. The melody contour of new born babies crying is the same as which adults speak the language. For German babies that means a falling contours and French babies it means rising contours. (via)

"we analyzed the crying patterns of 30 French and 30 German newborns with respect to their melody and intensity contours. The French group preferentially produced cries with a rising melody contour, whereas the German group preferentially produced falling contours. The data show an influence of the surrounding speech prosody on newborns’ cry melody, possibly via vocal learning based on biological predispositions."

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