We all know that children learn their language and accent from the way their parents speaks but it’s now been suggested that also impacts the way children cry.
Scientists are now saying that a child’s first cry carry’s similarities to their parents voice.
The research found that parents who speak tonal languages, such as Mandarin, will have children whose cries are more melodic.
One of the main traits of tonal language is that the same sound pronounces at a higher or lower pitch can have two completely different meanings.
This research suggests that babies are learning language while still in the womb.
“The crying of neonates whose mothers speak a tonal language is characterised by a significantly higher melodic variation as compared to – for example – German neonates,” says the head of the study Professor Kathleen Wermke.
“Their cried sounds more like chanting.”
While baby babble was always thought to be instrumental in language learning for young children it is now believed that it begins much earlier, a process known as maternal imprinting.
“The building blocks for the development of the future language are acquired from the moment of birth and not only when infants begin to babble or to produce their first words,” says Professor Wermke.