Home Health Do babies really have accents before they can speak? We asked language experts after a video of a girl ‘babbling’ with a Scouse accent went viral… and it’s not the only example

Do babies really have accents before they can speak? We asked language experts after a video of a girl ‘babbling’ with a Scouse accent went viral… and it’s not the only example

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The baby seemed to enjoy the deep 'conversation' in the fun video...

A baby’s Scouse babbling recently took the internet by storm with millions of views on TikTok, in what experts say is a “striking” example of how our language develops.

In the clip, viewed more than 17 million times, the 19-month-old “chats” in a distinctly Liverpool accent to her aunt after being told it was time for bed.

Posted by the account @iamcustardpot and captioned ‘I love our conversations,’ the clip apparently shows the baby Respond with a shake of your head and what sounds like “No” in a guttural Scouse intonation before continuing to babble adorably.

Experts told MailOnline the clip was unusual and showed how much babies absorb aspects of the language spoken by those around them.

Professor Caroline Floccia, an expert in developmental psychology at the University of Plymouth, told this website that what we hear in the clip is the baby imitating the prosody or melody of the Scouse accent.

“It is striking because the baby, 19 months old, is quite small but already has quite advanced language for his age,” he said.

‘He makes quite long statements and phrases, which gives you plenty of opportunities to hear that melody.

‘You’re not actually putting words together, you’re imitating and learning the prosody of the language.

“Everyone notices it a little more because it’s not the standard British pronunciation.”

He added that while the Scouse baby’s long sentences were unusual for his age, in principle he was demonstrating how all children learn to talk.

‘It’s exactly what every child does. Language learning begins in the womb, in the last three months before birth.

Professor Floccia said previous studies have shown that even very young babies “cry” in different languages ​​and that the crying of babies from French-speaking homes is slightly different from that of their German-speaking counterparts.

He said babies first learn what a language sounds like, the melody, before learning specific words and meanings.

During this time, rather than words, they first begin to detect the melody of language in their environment, which then develops as they grow.

Professor Floccia added that, while there was no current data to support this, some accents with a stronger melody, such as Liverpool, might be more noticeable to the ear than those with a more subtle pattern.

And he said environment seems to play a bigger role than any specific parental accent.

...and also seemed to answer questions directly - with a Liverpool accent

The baby, who cannot yet speak, appeared to respond directly to the questions, albeit with a Liverpool accent.

He said that while data was still emerging, anecdotal observations indicated that babies who grow up in a home with a parent with a foreign accent will not pick this up.

“Therefore, they never learn English with a French or German accent, for example,” he said.

Professor Floccia said that “every practitioner in the world” rightly encourages parents to talk to their babies as much as possible, as this helps them develop their own language skills.

“The more exposed they are to the language, in terms of quantity but also quality, the richer their language will be,” he said.

He also said doctors typically look for babies to start forming basic two-word phrases by the age of two.

Dr. Dan Wuori, an expert in parenting and child development, said the video was an example of how perceptive babies are to the way people around them speak.

Writing in which will become your mother tongue just a few hours later. birth.

«We are just beginning to understand the deep learning that begins in the womb.

“It is simply further evidence that the period from prenatal to age three is the most critical window in all human development.”

But the Scouse baby is not alone. Social media is flooded with other examples of babies and toddlers “speaking” with certain accents.

Last year, TikTok user @459cja posted a video of a Scottish baby who appeared to say something along the lines of, “Oh, what are you doing calling Eilidh?”

And Jessica Di Santo, a mother of two from Melbourne, Australia, posted another example showing that it’s not just the sound of language that babies pick up.

In the adorable clip, his son Leonardo is seen imitating his Italian grandfather’s hand gestures while talking on the phone.

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