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Babies Language

Do sounds have inherent meanings or connotations that influence the development of language? The results of a new study covered on Science Daily suggest that they might – that is, that there are certain sounds that we instinctively associate with specific physical characteristics, like “larger” or “smaller.”

In the article, Marcela Peña of the  International School for Advanced Studies explained that the study sought to answer some big questions:

“What is the nature of language? Is everything symbolic or arbitrary? Or are there particular physical aspects of learning that we exploit” to begin to make sense of a large, complex, and — for a tiny infant — brand-new world.”

To find out, the researchers tested 28 four-month-old infants to see if they associated certain sounds with concepts like “larger” or “smaller.” The babies, all from Spanish-speaking homes, were exposed to a variety of meaningless combinations of consonants and vowel sounds, along with a variety of shapes of differing sizes.  Read more