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Natural Awakenings

Native Tongues: Newborn Cries Don’t All Sound Alike

From their very first days, the cries of newborns already bear the mark of the primary language their parents speak, according to research from the University of Würzburg, Germany, published in Current Biology. For example, French newborns tend to cry with rising melody patterns, slowly increasing in pitch, whereas German newborns seem to prefer falling melody patterns. The findings, which studied 60 newborns, are consistent with the differences between the two languages.

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