In the first days of their lives, French infants already cry in a different way to German babies. This was the result of a study by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, the Centre for Pre-language Development and Developmental Disorders (ZVES) at the University Clinic Würzburg, and the Laboratory of Cognitive Sciences and Linguistics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In this study, the scientists compared recordings of 30 French and 30 German infants aged between two and five days old.

Source: https://www.mpg.de/research/babies-crying-accent

Has in the last 8 years anyone researched this for other languages?

  • .........Why 8?
    – fdb
    Sep 11, 2017 at 17:17
  • The study was published 2009. Was it researched before somewhere else? Sep 12, 2017 at 13:38
  • So I have tried to find if anyone has gone with a microphone into a maternity ward and recorded 20 hours of Russian/Chinese/Spanish/English babies crying. Then analyzed these recordings and determined similarities. I have found nothing. I did however read through some interesting first/second language acquisition studies. Sep 23, 2017 at 10:36
  • The PNAS study "Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language" (2014) pnas.org/content/111/48/17314.abstract found that a child adopted into another family and language environment at the age of 1 year will respond to tones of the ghost first language without having any understanding of it. It involved 49 female children adopted from China and growing up in French-speaking families in Canada. Sep 23, 2017 at 10:37
  • - Other ghost first languages and loss / acquisition - Korean to French (2003) citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi= - Cantonese to English (2002) by Nicoladis & Grabois - Hebrew to English (1991) Kaufman & Aronoff Sep 23, 2017 at 10:40


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