Parents and caregivers all over the world make use of language play. They rhyme and sing songs for their children and engage them in finger plays. To date it has been unclear whether babies already perceive linguistic information provided in language play.
Laura Hahn provides evidence for the perception of rhyme, rhythm and phrases in oral language play in infant and adult listeners. There were also associations between perceiving these sound patterns in language play and later language development. Linguistic patterns transmitted in the acoustic shape of oral language play are thus not merely a sea of sound for infant listeners and recognizing these patterns might have consequences for children’ s language development.
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