Language universals at birth.

@article{Gomez2014LanguageUA,
  title={Language universals at birth.},
  author={David M. Gomez and Iris Berent and Silvia Benavides-Varela and Ricardo Augusto Hoffmann Bion and Luigi Cattarossi and Marina Nespor and Jacques Mehler},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2014},
  volume={111 16},
  pages={5837-41}
}
The evolution of human languages is driven both by primitive biases present in the human sensorimotor systems and by cultural transmission among speakers. However, whether the design of the language faculty is further shaped by linguistic biological biases remains controversial. To address this question, we used near-infrared spectroscopy to examine whether the brain activity of neonates is sensitive to a putatively universal phonological constraint. Across languages, syllables like blif are… CONTINUE READING
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