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Where's the rocket? What does a rocket do?
Yeah, it goes up, up, up, up and away!
[babbling happily]
[Rich] There's the button.
[Amelia] Get ready to press it. Fingers out.
[Rich] Get ready.
Doh! Yeah. Excitement.
[woman] Something quite magical happens
at the end of a baby's first year.
-[Pascoe gasps] -[Rich chuckles] Oh!
-Wow, look at this. -Look at this, buddy.
Every one of them embarks on their own journey
toward language.
Can you say "space"?
-Dah! -That's correct.
[Amelia chuckles]
Babies start learning about language before they can walk,
often before they're even crawling.
Is it up in the sky?
It is.
-There it is. Correct. -[Amelia] It's up there.
Allowing them to enter into a world
that would be unattainable without language.
I think that would suit you.
[Amelia] Look at this. Wow!
[man] Human language is sophisticated and complex,
allowing us to have poetry, fiction...
There's lots and lots of people that make it.
So, see all those little bits?
Including the ability to transmit this huge repertoire
from one generation to another, to another, to another, to another,
and what makes human civilization possible.
[Rich hums]
[Rich] Whoa!
Into the space shuttle!
-Watch your head. -This is where we cook space spaghetti.
And then you ask the question,
how do they learn language?
That's the escape hatch.
[imitates an explosion]
So that they, too, can be part of the stream
of human civilization.
[theme music playing]
[toy boings loudly]
[Amelia] Which one?
[toy boings]
This one?
[boinging continues]
[Rich] Boing!
Okay, so his stuff is packed.
[Amelia] I definitely see him watching us make noises
and him trying to grasp what we're asking him to do.
[Rich] Do you want to put your ball in here? In there.
Good boy.
-Ready? -[laughs]
[strains] One, two, three!
[in Scottish accent] Let's go for a drive.
-Should I put the address in? -Nah, it's good. I know where we're going.
[babbling happily]
[Amelia] It must be phenomenal what is going on in their brain.
[babbling happily]
[Amelia and Rich imitate Pascoe's babbling]
[Amelia] It blows my mind that you can learn a language
when you don't even know what a language is.
[Rich] You've got lots of things to say.
Okay, arm.
[Amelia] It's pretty crazy that a child's brain can do that.
[Rich] You gonna come out? [strains]
[car horns honking]
[woman] When I was in college, I was headed toward being a musician.
And I guess I was lured by...
things like psychology and the study of language.
[kids squealing and laughing]
[indistinct chatter]
[Kathy] So one day, I'm just sitting at the pool
and seeing these kids at play,
and this little girl comes out of the pool
and she is so upset.
She's about three, I guess her brother's maybe six,
and he has a whole team of folks in there
playing with this big red rubber ball.
[Kathy] And she begins to tell her mom
how upset she is that she wasn't included in the ballgame.
But she did so with the sophisticated grammar
and language skills of an adult,
and I thought, "My gosh."
[water splashing]
[Kathy] I think that we have "ah-ha" moments.
And the ah-ha moment in the pool was to say,
Look at what these kids are doing
so early on with language."
I wanted to understand that.
[car engine revving]
Play with this little fella.
Should we go in there?
What's in there?
How are you doing?
[Amelia] How are you?
Hey, buddy. How's it going?
[Rich] You good? Yeah.
[woman] That's gorgeous.
[Kathy] It's actually taken for granted
that we're going to know how language must work
because we do it every day,
because we're surrounded by it every minute.
[indistinct chatter]
[garbled dialogue]
[Kathy] For the babies,
it's just a flow.
[garbled dialogue]
[garbled dialogue]
[garbled dialogue]
[Kathy] And they don't know any of the words yet.
[garbled dialogue]
[Kathy] Think of what that baby needs to do to crack the system.
They're hearing the melodies of speech
as if it just is ongoing all the time in the environment.
[garbled dialogue]
[Kathy] The real question is how they can dig into this flowing sound source,
these ribbons of melodies.
How do they get in there, carve 'em up,
so that they can eventually solve the big problem
of mapping sound to language?
-Ooh! -[Amelia] Ooh!
[Pascoe babbles]
[Amelia] He's getting better at sort of communicating with us.
and we're getting better at understanding what the noises actually mean.
[Amelia] Hello.
[Amelia] The tone, or the way that he says it, sort of says a lot more
than the actual noise that he's making.
-Dada. -[Rich] Yes.
Who's that?
-Dada. -[Rich] Yes!
[crowd applauding]
[Rich] Is Mummy coming?
[crowd cheering]
[Kathy] If you listen carefully, symphonies have embedded melodies
and the same melody keeps cropping up,
and the same thing is true in language.
[ride-goers screaming]
Language has its own kind of sounds.
When we want to ask a question...
[in light tone] ...we go up.
And when we want to make a statement...
[in lower tone] ...you can see that I have a harsher kind of pattern in tone
and then it goes down.
[Kathy] So I wondered whether noticing those melodies
could be one way in which babies
could break into the sound stream
and find the units of language,
the words, the phrases, and the sentences.
[animal chirping]
[Kathy] You know, 40 years ago we were very much out on a limb.
There was nobody, literally no one in the world,
who I could find who was doing music and language together.
No one was touching it.
What should we play with?
-Yeah? -[baby laughs]
[Kathy] So we pulled a team together...
and did an experiment to ask,
"Could these melodies of language, the patterns,
actually be helping us
to break the ribbons of language into smaller units?"
How fun is that?
[Kathy] Finding the nouns and finding the verbs
and finding the prepositional phrases
and finding out where sentences begin and end.
-Hey Hallie, how's it going? -It's going well.
[woman on recording] Cinderella lived in a great, big house,
but it was sort of dark.
[Hallie] Right. So I think we can cut right here,
before the "but."
[Kathy] We had these two samples of speech,
and we put pauses either in natural or non-natural places.
Cinderella lived in a great, big house,
but it was sort of dark,
because she had this mean, mean, mean stepmother.
-Perfect. Great. -Yeah. Yeah.
[Hallie] Let's zoom out a little bit and see if that sounds right.
Cinderella lived in a great, big house,
but it was...
sort of dark,
because she had...
this mean, mean, mean stepmother.
-Oh, wow! -[laughs]
You are a genius.
You have to make sure that you have the same number of pauses
in the non-natural and the natural case.
You have to make sure the pauses are exactly the same length.
[Hallie] You can take a seat and pop Liliana on your lap.
So we are gonna get started.
And then we're going to play those two samples of speech for these babies,
and each one comes out of a different speaker.
[Kathy] The left side was going to have the unnatural.
[device clicking]
And the right side would have the natural.
[woman on recording] Cinderella lived in a great, big house,
but it was sort of dark...
because she had this mean, mean, mean stepmother.
Cinderella lived in a great, big house, but it was...
sort of dark, because she had...
this mean, mean, mean stepmother.
[Kathy] Then the next step is both lights blink,
and then the baby gets to choose, right,
which side he or she wants to look at.
And if the melodies of speech were really giving a clue,
then baby should recognize
the recurrent melodies and motifs,
and look longer at the speaker that had the natural speech.
Cinderella lived in a great, big house,
but it was sort of dark,
because she had this mean, mean, mean stepmother.
The results were really compelling, I think,
even more stunning than we thought they were going to be.
[Kathy] Babies overwhelmingly looked more quickly
to the side that played the natural speech,
and overwhelmingly stayed on the natural speech longer
than they stayed on the non-natural speech.
[Kathy] They're hearing the rhythm, noting where the patterns are,
and they're hearing some of the pitch changes.
[Kathy] Babies, little teeny babies,
are actually using the music of language
to carve out the units of language.
What we found is that, in terms of language learning,
babies were way more sophisticated than we had expected.
[Kathy] The study was very, very well-received
and it did help push our thinking
in the study of language development.
So it was kind of making the bridge
between how you understand sounds of language
and how you would eventually learn the grammar of language.
-[Rich] Oh. -[Amelia] Ow.
Look at that.
-Oh, yes. -[Amelia laughs]
[Rich] I could feel this rump sticking out.
That's for sure.
It'll start to stretch soon and then we'll get the foot kicking out there.
-Yeah. -It just starts to stretch its legs out.
It's definitely a striker. You'll do one goal kicker.
You're liking this.
-You're liking this a lot. -Yeah.
[Kathy] It's very likely that when they're in the womb
they are picking up something about the music of language.
[Rich] Oh, there we go.
[Kathy] Against the backdrop of "bu-bum, bu-bum," for the heart,
and the swishing sound of the amniotic fluid,
they're nonetheless hearing patterns of language.
[Amelia] I'll just sit him up like that.
[Amelia laughs]
[clicking tongue playfully]
[mewling softly]
Good boy. Good boy.
[Amelia] Is that a funny wormy?
Is that a funny wormy?
[Kathy] At just two days of age,
we already know that babies recognize classes of language.
They know, for example, that...
English and some of the other Germanic languages kinda sound alike.
Throw it.
Whoa! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
To Mum.
That's very good. You're a very good--
[Rich] Yeah!
Shake, shake, shake!
[Rich laughs]
Which one do you want?
You want one of those?
Up there?
[Rich] Bom-bom-bom-bom-bom!
[growls playfully]
[Kathy] If we just take the time to have conversations with our children,
just notice what they notice and comment on it
and let them lead the discussion.
And if we can do that,
our children are gonna have strong language skills.
[roars playfully]
[Kathy] At the end of the first year,
these babies have kinda cracked the code
of what the units of language are.
-Got it? -Yeah, he got it. Woo!
[Amelia] Uh-oh!
Bye-bye, balloon. [laughs]
Bye-bye. Bye-bye.
[Kathy] And the next big job is actually finding the words.
[plane flying overhead]
[seagulls squawking]
Do you want to learn new words, Nelson?
New words for Nelson! New words for Nelson!
[Morning-Star] Koala.
[Morning-Star] Yes, you want me to chase you,
but you must come back here.
[roaring playfully]
The dinosaur is coming!
Dinosaur! [roars]
-Nelson, where is the dinosaur? -[Nelson yells]
He's not in there, I can tell you that.
Where's the lion?
[Morning-Star] Nelson's language at the moment is non-existent.
Nelson, look.
Going to say "lion."
-Lion. -[babbles]
[Morning-Star] He only makes a few sounds.
Lots of new words to learn.
A rabbit.
[Morning-Star] He understands a lot of words, I think.
Bring Mommy the bucket.
Well done, Nelson!
Well done.
[Morning-Star] I have high expectations of Nelson
because he's done everything so well in advance.
But when it comes to speaking, he's just taking a backseat.
[Nelson babbles softly]
[loud traffic noises]
[woman] I have a lot of vowels.
[man] That's 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
[woman] Coming back.
-Hmm. -[man] Hmm.
[woman] So I can trace my interest in language
way back to when I was around nine or ten,
and to a dinner table incident.
Uh-oh. Uh-oh. The triple word score, she's going in.
-I'll just... -What are you trying to...
[woman] My mother was a professor who studied
the effects of brain damage on adults.
[woman] I'm gonna open up the triple word for someone else,
because that's the kind of person I am.
[woman] And I remember one night at dinner,
she told my dad this story about a patient that had lost all of their nouns.
They'd lost all their nouns, except one.
This man only knew the word "shopping center,"
and he used that in place of all of the nouns in his sentences.
So he would say things like...
"The shopping center went to the shopping center
to buy the shopping center."
Nonsensical, right?
[Jenny] And I was really struck as a kid by how wild this was.
Human culture rests on our ability to share knowledge.
And so if my sense of a meaning of a word
is vastly different than your sense of a meaning of a word,
we're gonna talk beyond each other.
[seagulls squawking]
[car horns honking]
This is where...
I think it's where I took your mummy on our first proper date.
The sea!
[dog barking]
A doggie.
See the doggie?
-You see the doggie? -See! See!
[Adam] She's progressed massively from being a baby
into a person now.
[Adam] Look out for the bikes.
Which way now?
[Adam] She's taking things in that you're telling her.
You can almost have a conversation with her.
[babbling gently]
[blowing raspberries]
[Rachel] She's babbling constantly now.
[babbling loudly]
[Rachel] No, you have it!
[Rachel] If she's, like, sat on her own,
she'll sit and just babble and play with toys.
[Rachel] Hello?
-[babbling] -[Rachel chuckles]
Beep! And Daddy's nose.
[Rachel] We can hear where she's trying to actually say words now.
You can really hear that there's a difference in her just babbling,
it sounds like she's actually having a conversation with herself.
-[babbling] -[Rachel] Hello!
[babbling softly]
[Rachel] Yeah, Daddy!
You are brilliant!
Da... da.
[Rachel] Here it is.
[Adam laughs]
Get sprayed up.
[Willow babbles]
[Jenny] Word learning is really, really, really central
to language acquisition.
[Rachel] Rub it all into the backs.
[Jenny] It's a thing that parents seem to pay the most attention to.
They're waiting for that first word.
-Ready... -Swing her into the hat.
And... [makes popping sound]
But how do babies figure out where words begin and end?
[jazz music playing]
[steam hissing]
[Jenny] When I started graduate school in the early 1990s...
Small chai latte?
Mm-hmm. For here.
...there was a lot of emphasis on
what kinds of statistical information lives in the environment.
[barista] $1.52 is gonna be your change.
Perfect, thanks.
So much of we do all the time,
whether we're aware of it or not, is a form of data processing.
[barista 2] Jenny, your chai.
-Thank you so much. -You're welcome.
[Jenny] I thought it seemed really natural to ask
whether maybe babies figure out where words begin and end
by tracking the statistics of sound.
So, what kind of statistics might this be?
What kind of math are our brains doing?
It's pretty simple stuff, actually.
It seems to be something akin to detecting
which sounds tend to go together predictably.
[Jenny] Imagine you're a baby
and you hear a sequence of words like "pretty baby."
For all they know,
"pretty baby" is one big, long word,
or it's four different words, "Pre, tty, ba, by."
So how might they figure out that that's actually two different words?
Well, if infants are able to detect the fact that the syllable "pre"
goes frequently with the syllable "tty."
And the syllable "ba"
goes frequently with a syllable "by,"
that's a pretty good cue that those things belong together,
"pretty" and "baby."
On the other hand, "tty" and "ba," across those two words,
don't go together very reliably at all.
You don't hear "tty-ba" very frequently in English.
And so that's a cue, a statistical cue, that could tell a baby,
"Hmm, 'tty-ba,' that's not a word."
[Jenny] Hey, thank you guys so much for coming.
-[woman] Thanks for having us. -Hey, Louella.
[makes whooshing sound]
-[makes splatting sound] -Oh, my goodness.
[Jenny] What I wanted to do
was to come up with an experiment that would allow us to ask babies
whether they are sensitive to the statistical properties of language...
by keeping track of which sounds go together.
[computerized voice recites onscreen words]
[Louella mewling]
[computerized voice continues]
[Jenny] So what I did was I made up a language.
It's a very simple language, it just has a few made up words in it,
things like "pabeecoo," "golatoo."
And there's no meaning in this language, because we wanted to start simple.
We wanted to start by stripping away everything else
except the statistics of the speech that our participants would hear.
[computerized voice continues]
[Jenny] And I created a stream of those words
in random order using a synthesizer,
but the only way to find them
is by detecting which sounds tend to go together
by tracking the statistics.
[computerized voice continues]
[Jenny] For example, "pabee" and "coo" all co-occur in that word,
but when you get to the end of "coo"
and you get to the next word,
there's a break in the statistics that tells you that there's a word boundary.
[computerized voice continues]
[Jenny chuckles] She's very interested.
-[Louella babbling] -[laughs]
[Jenny] So babies sit and they listen to this for two minutes.
Over the course of that two minutes, they hear each word a lot, like 45 times.
[Jenny] Her mom's doing a great job of...
being very neutral and not influencing her behavior at all.
[assistant] Definitely.
[computerized voice continues]
[Jenny] After listening for two minutes, the room goes silent
and we start to test the babies to see whether infants could tell the difference
between words in that language
versus sequences that weren't words.
So, in Kathy Hirsh-Pasek's research,
babies are simply asked, "What sounds more natural to them?"
And in those cases, babies are going to show a preference for the familiar thing.
In our studies, we've gone a step further
to ask not just what do they find most natural, but how did they learn it?
And to do that, we intentionally kind of overdo the exposure
so that we can be sure that they've learned
what we want them to learn,
and in that case, we expect them to get bored
of what we've taught them and want to hear something different.
[Jenny] A side light will start to blink,
and when the baby turns to that side light,
a sound will start to play.
[computerized voice] Pabeecoo.
Either a word from the made-up language
or a sequence that is not a word from the made-up language.
[computerized voice] Oopadee.
What babies do is
they get to listen to something
as long as they keep their head towards the origin of that sound.
When they look away, the sound turns off,
and so babies can control which sounds they want to hear.
[computerized voice] Pabeecoo.
[Jenny] She's doing great.
She keeps checking out the other light,
but then coming back.
[Jenny] And indeed, what we found is the babies will actually
be bored of the words in the made-up language
and they'll turn their heads to listen longer
to the sounds that were not words in the language.
Oopadee. Oopadee.
[Jenny] So I showed that even after just one or two minutes of exposure
to a weird made-up language like this, infants learned the words
by detecting which sounds tend to go together.
[Louella mewling]
And I even... I got a smile!
Learning language is probably one of the biggest deals for babies,
but fortunately, I don't think they're aware of that.
[Jenny] Their brains seem to be very well equipped
for the task of sorting out the pieces of languages
and figuring out how they go together
within the first year or two of postnatal life.
[seagulls squawking]
[Rachel] Lily, Daddy's blowing it up. Come on, Daddy.
[Lily babbling]
[Adam] What are those? What's that?
[Jenny] Once you've found the chunks of sound
that correspond to words in speech,
the baby's next job
is figuring out what meanings those sounds correspond to.
Oh, Willow, look.
[Adam] Oh!
Imagine the baby
sees a scene that has a dog and a stick and a bone,
and the baby hears "doggie."
-[Rachel] Look. -[Adam] Willow, where's the dog?
-Where's the dog? -Willow, look.
[Rachel gasps]
[Adam and Rachel] Oh!
-[Adam] Hello! -[Rachel] Look, another dog.
Hello. How's a big boy?
Go and say hello.
He's a big doggie.
[Jenny] Now imagine it's a little bit later and you're at the park,
and there's a dog and a ball and a shoe...
and you hear "doggie."
[Adam] Look, Willow.
[Willow babbling]
[Rachel] It's a dog. It's a dog. Can you see the dog?
[Jenny] Now the only thing that's common
across those two experiences of hearing the word "doggie"
is the dog itself.
[Adam] Oh, look, Willow. What's that?
-[dog barking] -[Rachel] There's a dog.
-[Rachel] Another dog. -[Adam] Wow!
A fluffy pooch, that one. What do you see?
[Jenny] Babies may be able to essentially use a process of elimination
to figure out, "Well, there's no longer a stick and a bone there,
so 'doggie' must refer to the dog."
And that is statistical learning as well.
[Adam] Steady.
[Adam laughs]
Hi. Aww!
[Rachel] Nice and gentle.
She's lovely. Dog.
[Jenny] We know that, thanks to statistical learning
and other kinds of abilities young infants have,
by the end of the first year of life
they understand somewhere between 10 and 50 words on average,
um, and that's really quite extraordinary
because most of them are not saying any words yet,
but there's a lot going on under the hood.
[Adam] Did you say "bye-bye"?
[Adam] Bye-bye. There she goes.
[Jenny] So if you think about it,
even for a monolingual baby learning one language,
there's a huge amount of data they have to sort through,
but bilingual babies
basically have to learn the statistics not just of one language,
but of two languages.
[in French] Wait, do you want...
[girl in French] Milk.
[in Fench] Yes, but wait.
[woman] No, but I think baby is gonna have to go in the car, okay?
In 2, 3, careful your feet.
[Hugo mewling]
[in French] Well yes, you hurt me.
[in English] No biting.
He's hungry. [chuckles]
-And what are we going to give Lola then? -[babbling]
[Natasha] You want some too, mister.
Can you get the beans out of there, please?
You hold it.
[Natasha] You hold it 'cause I'm doing toast, okay?
-Would you like some bread? Very good. -[laughs]
[Adrien] High five. [makes whooshing sound]
There are two schools of thought about if you want to bring up bilingual children
and it's either you speak one language in the house
and one language out of the house...
[Adrien] There's some here.
[Natasha] I'll just use those ones, the red ones that I always lose.
...or you do what we do what we do, which is one parent, one language.
Hugo's got that one. That one's yours.
So as much as possible,
Ad speaks French to the children.
[in French] Yes. How do we say it?
-[girl] Yes, please. -[Adrien in French] No, we say yes.
[Natasha] And I speak English to the children.
Wait until your bib's on.
Wait until your bib is on.
[Adrien in French] Is it nice? What are you going to eat first? The bread?
[Natasha] I wouldn't say my French is fluent,
but I understand it enough that Ad can speak to the children in French
and I don't miss anything.
[Adrien] If she does miss something, Lola will translate.
-Yeah, which is good as well when-- -What does "translate" mean?
"Translate" means when Papa says something in French,
and I don't understand, and you tell me what it means.
[in French] Lola, drink your milk.
[Lola in French] Okay.
What did Papa say to you?
"Drink your milk."
Okay. You translated for me. Do you understand?
[Natasha] Oi, foot down, you monkey.
[Jenny] From all the soup of words that they're exposed to,
how do they, first of all, figure out there's actually two soups.
And then, as new stuff comes in, figure out,
"Oh, this goes in the English pile, this goes in the Spanish pile."
[Natasha] Lola, do you want any water or just milk?
[Jenny] We believe that it has something to do
with the fact that different languages
have different characteristic rhythmic patterns and pitch patterns,
and we know babies are sensitive to those differences
from pretty much as early as we can test them.
[Natasha] Ah! Cheeky boy.
[Jenny] And so researchers believe that babies in bilingual environments
can piece out what goes into which pile
based on the musical properties of those languages.
[Natasha] I want some more!
[Jenny] Babies who learn two languages are lucky
because it's actually much easier to learn multiple languages
when you're a baby
than it is when you're in secondary school or you're an adult,
the times that we typically learn second languages.
It's vastly easier for babies than for older children and adults.
[police siren wailing]
[man] So why do human babies learn how to speak
much later than they learn how to understand speech?
You can look to animals for an answer to these questions,
and that's what I do.
[Overture to Don Giovanni playing]
[audience applauding]
[Erich] Well, I have to tell you,
I was once a dancer...
and I still dance, actually.
[sharp echoing breaths]
I danced with a passion.
I was dancing six hours a day.
And this was my life.
[gentle piano suite playing]
[Erich] But I also liked science.
I was 18 years old in 1988.
Okay, now I have to make a decision,
and that decision rested upon,
"What can I do to make this place a better planet?"
And I decided I can do that more as a scientist
than I can do as a dancer.
And at the end of my senior concert, this decision was made
and I never turned back.
[loud traffic noises]
[Erich] One of the reasons why I decided to start studying at science
because I was fascinated as to why some animals
can learn how to imitate sounds and others cannot.
One of the most crucial aspects of language is vocal imitation.
When you hear a sound,
you are able to produce a copied version of that sound,
or even improvise on new sounds.
So some people think this is uniquely human, but it's not, actually.
So what you see here is the vertebrate family tree:
sharks, fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, birds, and mammals.
And amongst all these tens of thousands of vertebrate species,
only these ones here are the vocal learners.
Three birds and five mammals.
That's the hummingbirds, the parrots, songbirds, elephants,
bats, dolphins, seals, and human.
You might ask, "What is the criteria for us
to designate these species a vocal learner?"
You must demonstrate the ability to imitate a novel sound,
but it's not necessary that you imitate human speech.
Most of these species imitate sounds of their own species.
[Adam] One, two, three...
[Adam] There we go. Can you help Mummy push the door open?
[Erich] Why? Is it somewhere in the brain?
Is it somewhere in the muscles or in between?
And if it's in the brain, what is different in the brain?
Which way is it to the Mark Dion exhibition?
-If you'd like to get to the exhibition-- -Oh, it's just there?
Okay, thank you.
[Erich] What in the world is going on here?
What's in this room?
-What's in this one? -Lily.
[Rachel] Wow!
[birds chirping]
What's that? What's in there?
-[Adam] Can you hear that, Lil? -[Rachel] What's this?
[Adam] Yeah.
[Rachel] This is a different type of art. It's not like a picture, is it?
[Rachel] Let's go inside.
Do you want to do that door, Lily?
We decided to look at songbirds
because it was the best non-human species being studied
that had this vocal imitation ability.
[Adam] Wow!
[Rachel] Look, can you see the birds flying?
[Rachel gasps]
Do you think they're talking or singing, Adam?
I don't know, it looks like the same two are, like, together a lot
and they're going around in couples.
I'd guess they're talking if they're going around in twos.
I think they're speaking to each other.
Maybe they're complaining about each other to the other one.
I don't know.
[Erich] By studying these animals,
it's helping us understand how babies acquire language,
because we think the mechanism of how babies are learning language
is similar to the mechanism
of how these animals are learning new novel sounds.
-Yeah. -[babbles]
Did you see them? Can you hear them as well?
[birds chirping]
They're talking to each other.
[Erich] When I started this research in 1989,
there were plenty of people who were just thinking,
"Humans are unique. Don't even bother studying the songbirds.
And if they're doing something similar to a human,
they're doing it a different way, or it's not as advanced,
it's not as sophisticated, so don't even bother."
[Rachel gasps] You see one there? Look! Look, just there.
-[Lola] Ooh! -They're being friendly.
[Erich] I wanted to go by scientific evidence.
Say "sweet bird."
[Erich] I had to prove that if the brain pathways
that controlled vocal learning behavior was similar
or that it was not similar to humans.
[female voice] Going up.
[bell dings]
[Erich] To do this research,
we just let the birds sing.
And when we imaged the birds' brains,
we can see the brain areas that were activated.
So what you see here
is an image of a part of a brain of a songbird.
So the animal's beak is here
and this is the back of the head here.
And these are the areas that light up
when a bird sings its learned vocalizations.
These are similar to brain regions that we have for speech.
How in the world did all these species get a similar circuit?
We didn't have an answer.
[Erich] Eight years later, an accidental discovery.
I was helping a colleague try to identify brain areas involved in bird migration.
And one of the things we had to do was
to get the birds to just flap their wings and make movement behavior
as if they're going to fly and migrate,
because we wanted to see the brain areas
that were activated when they move.
And when we imaged the brains,
we saw a surprising result:
activation around the song learning brain regions.
The brain regions that were active in the hopping
and in the moving of the wings
were directly next to the vocal learning area.
That told us that there must be some relationship
between the movement areas
and the brain areas that control spoken language.
So that led us to the motor theory of vocal learning origin
where you argue that the brain pathways that control speech
evolve by duplication of the brain pathways
that control gesturing in the hands and other body parts.
[Erich] What it means is that the vocal learning circuit of these birds,
the speech circuit of humans, is a motor circuit,
a set of neurons in the brain that then control muscles,
and that's was controlling your speech.
Willow, do you want to put this one in here? Look.
Mama! Mama! Mama!
[Rachel imitates a car engine]
Willow, push it.
[Erich] So, think of spoken language as learning how to coordinate your body.
It's using a similar kind of circuit.
What it is? It's a bubble.
[Rachel] Bubbles.
[Rachel] Bubbles.
Ooh, look at all those bubbles.
[Rachel] Bub-ble.
[Erich] This is why understanding language occurs in children
before the ability to speak.
Ooh! Did that one go on your nose?
[Rachel] Did it go pop?
[Erich] Just like learning how to walk,
speech comes with a delay.
[Rachel] Pop.
[Erich] You've got to practice.
[Erich] Practice makes perfect.
[Rachel] Bubbles.
[Erich] And it's okay if it's hard to do
because it is a hard thing and it came later in our evolution.
Can you say "bubble"?
-Bubble. -[Rachel] Good girl.
[gasps] Bubble.
[Erich] Help your child practice speech.
You see the bubbles?
You just gotta do it over and over again. So it takes time.
[distant police siren wailing]
-[Morning-Star] What number is that? -Three.
Three, Nelson. Well done!
-What's this one? -Horsey.
-And what's that? -Monkey.
Monkey. And what noise does it make?
[Morning-Star chuckles] Everything's coming out.
When they start speaking, you're not expecting it.
-And what color is this one? -Yellow!
[Morning-Star] One day I was doing something and all of a sudden, he was,
"One, two, three."
[Morning-Star] Five.
And what's this one?
[Morning-Star] And then some random words.
-Chicken. -Goat!
That's a chicken.
First of all, he started with one-word sentences
and now he's moved on
to two-word sentences and three word sentences.
I'm just amazed.
Oh, stop!
[Morning-Star] Red means stop, that's right.
[Erich] We humans are along a spectrum
with other animals when it comes to spoken language abilities.
-Lion. -Lion.
-Roar. -Roar!
[Erich] But we are at the far end of the spectrum,
allowing us to have more complex language.
And so I've always asked the question to myself,
"What makes us so much further at the far end of this spectrum?"
What is different with our brains or with our genes?
[car horn honking]
[loud traffic sounds echoing]
[Erich] In 2012, an intriguing discovery was made
that humans have an extra copy of one gene that functions in the brain.
This gene is called SRGAP2.
This extra copy of this gene in human babies
maintains extra connections in the entire human brain
as they become adults.
Humans have more cells now communicating and talking with each other,
enabling greater sharing of information among cells, but also better learning.
[Willow laughs]
[Rachel] Catch it.
[Rachel gasps]
-Go! -[Amelia and Rich] Go!
[Amelia] Bubbles!
[Pascoe laughs]
[Rich and Amelia laugh]
[Erich] So when I heard about this discovery of this extra gene,
I put that together
with our understanding of the language pathways
and proposed that maybe this is what allows humans
to be more advanced on that spectrum for language abilities
compared to other animals.
This would allow us to continue to add
more sounds to our language repertoire over our lifetime.
-Whoa, there's lots here, Pascoe. -Look up.
And thereby allowing us to have greater ability
to produce things like poetry, fiction,
express our ideas, make movies,
make shows and plays,
and make us human.
Ready, set...
[Amelia laughs]
-Go! -Go!
[Pascoe laughing]
[Amelia] What are they?
Learning has really accelerated recently
and he's very forthright in telling us what he wants.
-[Pascoe] Da-da! -[laughs]
-Is that funny? -Door.
-Door. That's right. -Door.
I opened the door. No, you don't want to go outside yet.
-We'll go outside later. -Too cold, too cold.
[Amelia] His actual words has increased hugely,
so he's able to communicate a lot better with us.
He's also very good at saying "no."
Doesn't say much "yes."
But sometimes he says "no" with a bit of sass.
Can you do the "no, no, no"?
No, no.
No, no. [laughs]
[Rich] There's a confidence as well, so he can be part of the conversation.
That means he just talks loads more.
What's this? What's this?
-Shoes. -Shoes, that's right.
[Rich] It is the wonder of a baby.
-Shoes. -Shoes, that's right!
[Amelia] Okay, little one. Time for a story.
Time for sleep time. [gasps]
A Busy Day for Birds, by Lucy Cousins.
"Can you imagine just for one day you're a busy bird?
Here's a bird. Hooray!"
"The sun is going down and everyone is sleepy."
[Erich] With language, we can recombine many different sounds
into many new meanings.
[in French] "I think we should all sit on my branch." said Sarah.
And they did. All three together on the branch.
[Erich] Recombine syllables into words,
words into whole sentences,
sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters,
chapters into whole books.
Oh, look. Open the red coat.
Open. On this one.
[Kathy] I think stories are very magical.
They're moments where we really connect with our children.
Say, "Hello, darling."
Then swoop like a starling.
[Amelia] Yeah, turn the page.
[Jenny] We can delve into a story
and land in a world that we've never seen, that may not even exist.
Having words take me to this place,
that is a gift that human language gives us.
[Morning-Star] Switch off the light?
[Nelson mewling]
[theme music playing]


赤ちゃんと英語を学ぼう! (Babies | First Words | FULL EPISODE | Netflix)

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林宜悉 2020 年 4 月 23 日 に公開
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