Infants pay more attention to native language cues

Infants pay more attention to native language cues

London, Oct 6 (IANS) Nearly from the moment of birth, human beings possess the capacity to distinguish between speakers of their native language and other language.

Thus, they pay more attention to native language cues in deciding where to place their focus as well as adopt to the native speakers’ cultural behaviour, a study has found.

“The study reveals the great importance of cultural and linguistic similarity in how infants choose to direct their attention,” said Hanna Marno from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

The findings show how infants and young children are tuned to quickly acquire the knowledge of their society and adapt to their cultural environment, Marno added.

In the study, the researchers determined to know whether young babies would selectively pay attention to different speakers in their environment, even when they do not understand the meaning of the words.

They conducted an experiment that included forty 12-month-old infants, who first listened to two adult female speakers — one in their native language of Italian, the other in Slovenian — for two minutes.

The infants then observed movies of both women — the native and non-native speaker separately — gazing at two colorful objects.

The results showed that the infants focused on the object that had first been presented by the native speaker for a longer period of time.

Even though language was not directly related to the objects, infants appeared to be making linguistic distinctions in their object preferences.

The experiment proved that listening to native speakers affects infants’ behaviour, the study observed.

Humans have a hard-wired preference for own language patterns, so much so that the cries of very young infants reflect the melodies of their native language, the researchers said, in the paper recently published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here