Saturday, January 15, 2011

Newborn babies have “accents.”

Newborn babies have “accents.”

It has become fairly common knowledge that unborn fetuses typically become accustomed with the language they hear while in their mother’s womb. However, a recent study has shown that they mimic speaking habits even before they have learned their native language!

For example, French people typically raise the pitch of their voices at the ends of words and phrases, while Germans do the opposite. Researchers in the study observed that the inflections of French and German babies followed this pattern!

Technically, these intonations cannot be considered a true accent because accents have to do with the way words are pronounced, but scientists believe this may be a key discovery in understanding the history of language and how it is learned.

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