How can you tell the difference between a French baby and a German baby? No, it’s not that one is wearing a saucy little beret while the other is tucked into tiny pair of lederhosen. Well, maybe that’s part of it. But a new study in the journal Current Biology shows that the babies actually sound different. Because the melody of an infant’s cry matches its mother tongue.
We all know that babies start eavesdropping while they’re still in the womb. So when they come out, they know their mother’s voice. When they’re older, they start to imitate the sounds they hear. Eventually they babble, and then start to speak, and then you never hear the end of it. But long before that first burble or coo, babies are learning the elements of language.
A team of scientists recorded the cries of 60 newborns: 30 born into French-speaking families and 30 that heard German. And they found that French infants wail on a rising note while the Germans favor a falling melody. Those patterns match the rhythms of their native languages. So next time you hear a baby cry, listen closely. He could be telling you where he’s from.
Copyright © 2002-2018 . 神马英语网—在线英语学习_免费英语学习 版权所有 京ICP备10015900号