ERIC Number: EJ849112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
Listening to Language at Birth: Evidence for a Bias for Speech in Neonates
Vouloumanos, Athena; Werker, Janet F.
Developmental Science, v10 n2 p159-164 Mar 2007
The nature and origin of the human capacity for acquiring language is not yet fully understood. Here we uncover early roots of this capacity by demonstrating that humans are born with a preference for listening to speech. Human neonates adjusted their high amplitude sucking to preferentially listen to speech, compared with complex non-speech analogues that controlled for critical spectral and temporal parameters of speech. These results support the hypothesis that human infants begin language acquisition with a bias for listening to speech. The implications of these results for language and communication development are discussed.
Descriptors: Neonates, Language Acquisition, Oral Language, Speech, Listening Skills, Speech Communication, Auditory Stimuli, Child Language, Infants, Recognition (Psychology), Child Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A