Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Language and music are readily distinguished by adults, but there is growing evidence that infants first experience speech as a special type of music. By listening to the phonemic inventory and prosodic patterns of their caregivers’ speech, infants learn how their native language is composed, later bootstrapping referential meaning onto this musical framework. Our current understanding of infants’ sensitivities to the musical features of speech, the co-development of musical and linguistic abilities, and shared developmental disorders, supports the view that music and language are deeply entangled in the infant brain and modularity emerges over the course of development. This early entanglement of music and language is crucial to the cultural transmission of language and children’s ability to learn any of the world’s tongues.

Keywords: infant, language, music, emergent modularity, development

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.