“We are born crying, but those cries herald the first stirrings of language. German babies’ cries mirror the melody of German speech; French babies mirror French speech—apparently acquired in utero (Mampe et al. 2009).
Within the first year or so after birth, infants master the sound system of their language; then, after another few years have passed, they are engaging their caretakers in conversation.
This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language—the “faculty of language”—has long raised important biological questions, including the following: What is the nature of language? How does it function? How has it evolved?"
Why Only Us
Language and Evolution
Robert C. Berwick