Tid och plats:

onsdagen 2 mars kl. 15-16 i sal C389, Södra huset, Frescati.

Tanken är att vi inför seminariet läser de två artiklarna:

Birgit Mampe, Angela D. Friederici, Anne Christophe, and Kathleen Wermke "Newborns’ Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language"
Current Biology 19, 1994–1997, December 15, 2009


Human fetuses are able to memorize auditory stimuli from the external world by the last trimester of pregnancy, with a particular sensitivity to melody contour in both music and language [1–3]. Newborns prefer their mother’s voice over other voices [4–8] and perceive the emotional content of messages conveyed via intonation contours in maternal speech (‘‘motherese’’) [9]. Their perceptual preference for the surrounding language [10–12] and their ability to distinguish between prosodically different languages [13–15] and pitch changes [16] are based on prosodic information, primarily melody. Adult-like processing of pitch intervals allows newborns to appreciate musical melodies and emotional and linguistic prosody [17]. Although prenatal exposure to native-language prosody influences newborns’ perception, the surrounding language affects sound production apparently much later [18]. Here, we analyzed the crying patterns of 30 French and 30 German newborns with respect to their melody and intensity contours. The French group preferentially produced cries with a rising melody contour, whereas the German group preferentially produced falling contours. The data show an influence of the surrounding speech prosody on newborns’ cry melody, possibly via vocal learning based on biological predispositions.

Kathleen Wermke, Daniel Leising and Angelika Stellzig-Eisenhauer
"Relation of melody complexity in infants’ cries to language outcome in the second year of life: A longitudinal study" Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 21(11–12): 961–973, November–December, 2007


This study is part of the German Language Development Study’s prospective longitudinal research programme on infants from birth until the age of 3 years. Thirty-four infants were retrospectively classified into two groups (normal/delayed) by their language skills at 2.5 years of age. Frequency spectrograms and melodies of about 11,000 cries from the first 16 weeks of life were analysed using a CSL 4400. A Melody Complexity Index was calculated
at monthly intervals. Infants with less than 45% complex melodies in their cries during the second month were found to be almost five times more likely to develop a language delay as infants with a higher proportion. For infants above the cutoff of .45, development of a language delay condition could be ruled out with a probability of 89%. Although the results need to be interpreted cautiously, the data indicate a possible relation between early melody development and later language outcome.

Hjärtligt välkomna!