We know that when we expose unborn babies to music while they are in the womb, they recognize the music when we play it after they are born. The same goes for language. Studies show that babies babble and produce different cry melodies depending upon which language they have heard while in the womb. Researches at Kathleen Wermke’s lab at the University of Wurzburg in Germany tested the cries of 60 healthy newborns – half born into French-speaking families and half born into German-speaking families. The results were that French babies tended to cry with a rising melody contour while the German babies tended to do so with a falling melody contour. The patterns are consistent with the different characteristics of the two languages.
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