If you sing a lullaby to a child who does not speak your language, the child will not understand a single word but will calm down anyway. The lyrical, gentle, and slightly psychedelic rhetoric we adopt in addressing children is the same in any society, from the hunter-gatherer societies of Tanzania to the busier and more modern metropolitan families.
The language that adults use to speak and sing to children It’s really globalas confirmed by a new study – an uncommon fact for this type of analysis – has validated this on every continent, bypassing language and cultural barriers.
cross-sectional study. A criticism that often carries over into scientific studies, psychology, and beyond is the lack of representation: the subjects of study are often, for practical reasons, the same students at that college, that is, wealthy boys and white Westerners, resident in the city and at an advanced level of education.
In a new work published on The nature of human behaviorIn this study, a group of psychologists from Harvard and Yale universities overcame these limits by collecting 1,615 recordings of speeches and songs directed to children or adults, produced by 410 people in 21 communities of different contexts (urban, rural, large or small) and language (18 different languages). ).
Made of stencil. In each of these cultures, the language used to address children was found to be different from that used to sing or speak to adults, and these differences are quite similar wherever one goes.
some examples? With young children, we tend to pronounce sounds in a more intense and variable tone. The entire repertoire of vowel sounds, alone or in combination, is explored. The sweetest melodies are used. And all these properties return in speech, as if in communicating with children we tend to turn sentences into hymns.
same spirit. Adults are aware of these differences, so they are marked so that they can identify this type without fail maternal, even if it is expressed in languages other than your own. To prove it, researchers created Online game Which made 50,000 people from 187 countries try it out, speaking 199 different languages.
Participants had to decide whether a song or segment of dialogue was aimed at a child or an adult. In 70% of the cases, they became acquainted with the language or lullabies directed at the children, even when they were completely foreign to the culture of the native speaker. The musical style was different, but his style essence It was easy to recognize him everywhere.
same needs. The evolutionary reasons for this cosmic tolerance are more than understood. Our voice is one of the tools that preserve children’s lives and accompany them in their development stages.
The angry tone of mothers helps babies better remember the first words and returns the sounds to the shape of the mouth needed to produce them; So it gives meaning to the chaos of sound that the little ones around them hear. In the case of lullabies, the sound that calms and attracts attention has a calming, semi-analgesic effect.
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