By the time human babies begin to speak, they are masters of adapting the sounds they hear into the electric signals that create them. They do this by listening, practicing, and gauging our response. It’s pretty cool.
In a recent study, they noted that babies also looked at people of certain ethnicities when they heard a particular language — correctly identifying those most likely to speak that language.
Early exposures to language can help us acquire those languages later in life. So that categorization is actually helping build connections in the brain.
Today, listen to some different language or languages. Get a clip of Spanish telenovela on youtube, play yourself from K-pop, or the latest track from Gaye Su Akyol
The study mentioned is here with closed access. “Who can speak that language? Eleven‐month‐old infants have language‐dependent expectations regarding speaker ethnicity”. Lillian May Andrew S. Baron Janet F. Werker.
Developmental Psychobiology. doi:10.1002/dev.21851
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.