Life Style

Infants can associate language with ethnicity, finds study

ANI | June 25, 2019 04:13 PM
Representative Image

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 25 (ANI): It is tough to believe that infants can between languages, however, recent research has shown that infants as young as 11-months old can learn to associate the language they hear with ethnicity.

The study conducted in Vancouver was published in the journal 'Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada'.

"Our findings suggest that by 11 months, infants are making connections between languages and ethnicities based on the individuals they encounter in their environments. In learning about language, infants are doing more than picking up sounds and sentences--they also learn about the speakers of the language," said Lillian May, the lead author of the study.

The researchers played English-learning infants of Caucasian ancestry sentences in both English and Cantonese and showed them pictures of people of Caucasian descent, and of Asian descent. When the infants heard Cantonese, they looked more at the Asian faces than when they were hearing English. When they heard English, they looked equally to Asian and Caucasian faces.

"This indicates that they have already learned that in Vancouver, both Caucasians and Asians are likely to speak English, but only Asians are likely to speak Cantonese," noted Janet Werker, the study's senior author.

The researchers showed the same pictures to the infants while playing Spanish, to see whether they were inclined to associate any unfamiliar language with any unfamiliar ethnicity. However, in that test, the infants looked equally to Asian and Caucasian faces. This suggested that young infants pick up on specific language-ethnicity pairings based on the faces and languages they encounter.

"Babies are learning so much about language--even about its social use--long before they produce the first word," said Werker.

"The link between speaker characteristics and language is something no one has to teach babies. They learn it all on their own," added Werker. (ANI)

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
Punjab Cabinet okays revision of river/canal water charges for non-agriculture purposes
Punjab Cabinet okays revision of river/canal water charges for non-agriculture purposes
Water supply and sanitation dept honoures 200 officials and employees for great services during Gurpurab celebrations
Water supply and sanitation dept honoures 200 officials and employees for great services during Gurpurab celebrations
Clean environment and sports are our priority: MP Chaudhary
Clean environment and sports are our priority: MP Chaudhary
 Playing D/N Test in India, a victory for world cricket: Rajeev Shukla
Playing D/N Test in India, a victory for world cricket: Rajeev Shukla
INX Media case: Court allows ED to quiz Chidambram on Nov 22-23
INX Media case: Court allows ED to quiz Chidambram on Nov 22-23
Time line to pay outstanding house tax or property tax extended by three months: Brham Mohindra
Time line to pay outstanding house tax or property tax extended by three months: Brham Mohindra
Centre's Financial Intelligence Unit extends support to Punjab Police to trace Foreign terror funding sources
Centre's Financial Intelligence Unit extends support to Punjab Police to trace Foreign terror funding sources
Bankers’ committee meet exposes Captain government’s claims over farm loan waiver: Kultar Singh Sandhwa
Bankers’ committee meet exposes Captain government’s claims over farm loan waiver: Kultar Singh Sandhwa
SC asks Army to take decision on granting permanent commission to 8 women officers
SC asks Army to take decision on granting permanent commission to 8 women officers
PM Modi condoles demise of UAE President's brother
PM Modi condoles demise of UAE President's brother
International Olympiad on Critical Life Skills on 14th & 15th December 2019
International Olympiad on Critical Life Skills on 14th & 15th December 2019
K'taka: Farmer finds unique, low-cost method to save crops from wild animals
K'taka: Farmer finds unique, low-cost method to save crops from wild animals