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Universal syllables: Some innate preferences shape the sound of words from birth

Languages are learned, it?s true, but are there also innate bases in the structure of language that precede experience? Linguists have noticed that, despite the huge variability of human languages, there are some preferences in the sound of words that can be found across languages.  So they wonder whether this reflects the existence of a universal, innate biological basis of language. A new study provides evidence to support to this hypothesis, demonstrating that certain preferences in the sound of words are already active in newborn infants.
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