Babies learn most of their vocabulary from their fathers, according to new research

Business Insider | 9/1/2018 | Business Insider Italia
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A new study by researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai may have just solved the "father tongue" vs "mother tongue" conundrum.

According to lead researcher, Menghan Zhang, there is a correlation between lexical patterns and the Y chromosome, which is passed on by the father.

Team - Ability - Process - Sounds - Mother

The team also hypothesised that the ability to process and pick up sounds is passed on by the mother through mitochondrial DNA.

It's been suggested in various studies in the past, such as this study conducted by researchers at Evanston Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to picking up new languages, but what about passing languages on? Does one sex play a larger role in teaching children how to speak?

Term - Mother - Tongue - Language - Language

Most would infer from the term "mother tongue", usually defined as the language we start speaking first, that language acquisition in children is mostly down to mothers, but that idea could soon be out the window.

A group of researchers led by Menghan Zhang at the Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology at the University of Fudan discovered in a study that actually both parents have an influence on language acquisition in children — just on different areas of language.

Researchers - Theory - Notion - Mother - Tongue

In 1997, researchers also put forward a theory that opposed the notion of a "Mother Tongue", which proposed that children acquired language from their fathers as opposed to their mothers: in contrast with the "Mother Tongue Hypothesis", the "Father Tongue Hypothesis" states that humans tend to pick up their fathers' language as opposed to their mothers'. The study on which the "Father Tongue Hypothesis" was based was conducted by Estella Poloni and other researchers at Geneva University, who looked at the correlations between language variations and genetic lines from both the mother and the father.

Estella Poloni, who led the research, established that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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