We know that the Visitors “talk inside our heads,” but unfortunately, WE don’t. Many of us can identify a specific foreign language when we hear it, even if we can’t speak or understand what’s going on, because we recognize the accent. German researchers say that babies pick up the rhythms and patterns of their mothers’ speech while still in the womb, so that when they’re born, they will “cry” in that accent.
The researchers studied the cries of 60 babies born to families speaking either French or German and found that the French newborns cried with a rising “accent” while the German babies’ cries had a falling inflection, which matches up with the languages their mothers speak.
Welcome to the future! BBC News quotes researcher Kathleen Wermke as saying, “The dramatic finding of this study is that not only are human neonates capable of producing different cry melodies, but they prefer to produce those melody patterns that are typical for the ambient language they have heard during their fetal life. Newborns are highly motivated to imitate their mother’s behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding.”
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