Brigit Mampe and Colleagues analyzed the crying patterns of 30 French and 30 German newborns.
They studies the ups and downs of their natural cries and it turns out that French babies produce more rising pitches, whereas German babies cry more with falling contours.
The same patterns were revealed in intensity: volume went from low to high in French babies while the reverse was found in German babies. This difference between a rising and falling sound mirrors the speech contours used by native adult speakers of French and German.
The study by Brigit Mampe suggests that babies can not only perceive and remember the musical patterns of the speech they hear in utero but that they also mimic these familiar patterns when making their first cries.
This is probably the earliest evidence of impact of our native language on our vocalisations – and it’s the musical features of communication that are the first to develop.
Source: You Are The Music by Victoria Williamson