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How early do babies mimic their native language?

Submitted by nikki on Mon, 11/09/2009 - 10:37

How early do babies produce language?

According to a recent study about babies and language explored by NPR, babies may start to imitate their native language much earlier than previously thought: from their first cries.

Scientists recorded 30 French babies crying in their first days of life and compared them to the sounds of 30 German babies. They found that French babies tended to cry with a rising melody while German babies had a falling melody true to the sound of their native language pitch difference.

Previously, linguists believed that babbling was the first sign of babies producing language they were exposed to from birth. Crying, however, shows that babies are aware of the sounds of their native language from in the womb.


I have always loved that saying "follow your nose" by the Tucan bird for fruit loops. No with my wife's pregnancy I am having to not cook the same things, maybe less garlic, no pepper, lots more greasy cheese. I am learning as I go and she is following her nose.