It’s common knowledge that during the last three months of pregnancy human fetus hears and memorizes sounds coming in from outside, mainly voices and music. The parents’ native language begins to influence the unborn babies before they are out in the world. So it’s no wonder that when they appear they cry in the same language!
A study in a recent issue of the Current Biology reveals that when babies cry they reproduce the melodiс structure characteristic for the language they heard spoken by their parents.
Lead researcher Kathleen Wermke explains the phenomenon: “Newborns are highly motivated to imitate their mother’s behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding.”
Therefore, learning begins in the womb – babies get to know the peculiarities of the language, accents, intonations. French newborns will be crying with a rising lilt whereas German ones’ inflection will start on a high note and come down towards the end. It’s all governed by their native language intonations.
Infants’ crying melodies are to shape their abilities for language development, scientists add.
Source of the image: flickr.com/photos/tudor.