Newborns' Cries Reflect Parents' Language
Differences in Newborn Cry Patterns of German, French Babies Evident Very Early, Study Shows
WebMD News Archive
Newborn Cry Study: Second Opinion
The study suggests that the influence of the surrounding language on babies
happens earlier than experts previously have thought, says Diane Paul, PhD, a
speech-language pathologist and director of clinical issues in speech-language
pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville,
Md, who reviewed the study for WebMD.
''The capacity to learn language is inborn, and it's shaped by what
[infants] hear in the environment," she says. The new study is saying that
''even before birth, the differences between languages are being heard, the
babies are hearing the different melodic patterns, and they are born with the
pattern that is more closely related to the melodic pattern they have heard in
the language around them."
Newborns and Language: Message for Parents-to-Be
Parents should continue doing what most already do intuitively, Wermke says.
"Parents should talk and sing to their babies right from the beginning," she
''The study substantiates what we have been telling parents about the
importance of talking to children [for language development]," Paul says.
Although it can't hurt to talk or sing to your unborn baby, Paul says
parents-to-be should realize that there is no guarantee doing so will
mean the baby will talk sooner or better than those not sung or talked to