From Emotion to Notion: The Importance of Melody

Kathleen Wermke and Werner Mende

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 From Emotion to Notion: The Importance of Melody

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This chapter presents compelling evidence for the assumption that language acquisition in human infants starts with the production of simple melodies. Although simple melody arcs of nonhuman primate calls and human infant cries seem to be rather similar in their shape properties—a systematic investigation is still pending—there remains a crucial difference: Human infants exhibit a characteristic continuous, unidirectional development from simple melodies in early emotive utterances to complex melodies that provides constituents (building blocks) for producing syllables, words, and sentences later on.

Keywords: human infants; crying; language acquisition; melody; emotive sounds

Article.  17881 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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