文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-11-09 03:14 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

From their very first days, newborns' cries already bear the mark of the language their parents speak, reveals a new study published online on November 5th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The findings suggest that infants begin picking up elements of what will be their first language in the womb(子宫), and certainly long before their first babble1(呀呀学语) or coo.

"The dramatic finding of this study is that not only are human neonates(新生儿) capable of producing different cry melodies, but they prefer to produce those melody patterns that are typical for the ambient(周围的) language they have heard during their fetal(胎儿的) life, within the last trimester(三个月,学期) of gestation(怀孕)," said Kathleen Wermke of the University of Würzburg in Germany. "Contrary to orthodox(正统的) interpretations2, these data support the importance of human infants' crying for seeding language development."

Human fetuses3(胎儿) are able to memorize sounds from the external world by the last trimester of pregnancy4, with a particular sensitivity to melody contour(旋律轮廓) in both music and language, earlier studies showed. Newborns prefer their mother's voice over other voices and perceive(察觉,认知) the emotional content of messages conveyed via intonation5 contours(语调轮廓) in maternal6 speech (a.k.a. "motherese"). Their perceptual(感性的,知觉的) preference for the surrounding language and their ability to distinguish between different languages and pitch changes are based primarily on melody.

Although prenatal(产前的) exposure to native language was known to influence newborns' perception, scientists had thought that the surrounding language affected7 sound production much later, the researchers said. It now appears that isn't so.

Wermke's team recorded and analyzed8 the cries of 60 healthy newborns, 30 born into French-speaking families and 30 born into German-speaking families, when they were three to five days old. That analysis revealed clear differences in the shape of the newborns' cry melodies, based on their mother tongue.

Specifically, French newborns tend to cry with a rising melody contour, whereas German newborns seem to prefer a falling melody contour in their crying. Those patterns are consistent with characteristic differences between the two languages, Wermke said.

The new data show an extremely early impact of native language, the researchers say. Earlier studies of vocal9 imitation had shown that infants can match vowel10 sounds presented to them by adult speakers, but only from 12 weeks on. That skill depends on vocal control that just isn't physically11 possible much earlier, the researchers explain.

"Imitation of melody contour, in contrast, is merely predicated upon well-coordinated respiratory-laryngeal(喉的) mechanisms12 and is not constrained13(被强迫的,拘泥的) by articulatory(分节的,关节的) immaturity," they write. "Newborns are probably highly motivated to imitate their mother's behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding. Because melody contour may be the only aspect of their mother's speech that newborns are able to imitate, this might explain why we found melody contour imitation at that early age."


1 babble 9osyJ     
  • No one could understand the little baby's babble. 没人能听懂这个小婴孩的话。
  • The babble of voices in the next compartment annoyed all of us.隔壁的车厢隔间里不间歇的嘈杂谈话声让我们都很气恼。
2 interpretations a61815f6fe8955c9d235d4082e30896b     
n.解释( interpretation的名词复数 );表演;演绎;理解
  • This passage is open to a variety of interpretations. 这篇文章可以有各种不同的解释。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The involved and abstruse passage makes several interpretations possible. 这段艰涩的文字可以作出好几种解释。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
3 fetuses eae25b106f4ed68558631a5bf44c9293     
n.胎,胎儿( fetus的名词复数 )
  • DNA was extracted from fetuses at mid-gestation, about 10 days past conception. DNA从受孕大约10天后的中期妊娠胚胎中提取。 来自互联网
  • Brucellosis is a disease that causes fetuses to abort in cattle. 普鲁士菌病是一种可以导致牲畜胎儿夭折的疾病。 来自互联网
4 pregnancy lPwxP     
  • Early pregnancy is often accompanied by nausea.怀孕早期常有恶心的现象。
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.怀孕期吸烟会增加流产的危险。
5 intonation ubazZ     
  • The teacher checks for pronunciation and intonation.老师在检查发音和语调。
  • Questions are spoken with a rising intonation.疑问句是以升调说出来的。
6 maternal 57Azi     
  • He is my maternal uncle.他是我舅舅。
  • The sight of the hopeless little boy aroused her maternal instincts.那个绝望的小男孩的模样唤起了她的母性。
7 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
8 analyzed 483f1acae53789fbee273a644fdcda80     
v.分析( analyze的过去式和过去分词 );分解;解释;对…进行心理分析
  • The doctors analyzed the blood sample for anemia. 医生们分析了贫血的血样。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The young man did not analyze the process of his captivation and enrapturement, for love to him was a mystery and could not be analyzed. 这年轻人没有分析自己蛊惑著迷的过程,因为对他来说,爱是个不可分析的迷。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 vocal vhOwA     
  • The tongue is a vocal organ.舌头是一个发音器官。
  • Public opinion at last became vocal.终于舆论哗然。
10 vowel eHTyS     
  • A long vowel is a long sound as in the word"shoe ".长元音即如“shoe” 一词中的长音。
  • The vowel in words like 'my' and 'thigh' is not very difficult.单词my和thigh中的元音并不难发。
11 physically iNix5     
  • He was out of sorts physically,as well as disordered mentally.他浑身不舒服,心绪也很乱。
  • Every time I think about it I feel physically sick.一想起那件事我就感到极恶心。
12 mechanisms d0db71d70348ef1c49f05f59097917b8     
n.机械( mechanism的名词复数 );机械装置;[生物学] 机制;机械作用
  • The research will provide direct insight into molecular mechanisms. 这项研究将使人能够直接地了解分子的机理。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He explained how the two mechanisms worked. 他解释这两台机械装置是如何工作的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 constrained YvbzqU     
  • The evidence was so compelling that he felt constrained to accept it. 证据是那样的令人折服,他觉得不得不接受。
  • I feel constrained to write and ask for your forgiveness. 我不得不写信请你原谅。
TAG标签: language baby infant womb