Days after birth, French and German infants wail to the melodic structure of their languages
Only days after birth, babies have a bawl with language. Newborn babies cry in melodic patterns that they have heard in adults’ conversations — even while in the womb, say medical anthropologist Kathleen Wermke of the University of Würzburg in Germany, and her colleagues.
By 2 to 5 days of age, infants’ cries bear the tuneful signature of their parents’ native tongue, a sign that language learning has already commenced, the researchers report in a paper published online November 5 in Current Biology.
Fluent speakers use melodic patterns and pitch sh