Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Trickle-up phonetics: A vocal role for the infant

John L. Locke a1
a1 Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, The Bronx, NY 10468


Falk claims that human language took a step forward when infants lost their ability to cling and were placed on the ground, increasing their fears, which mothers assuaged prosodically. This claim, which is unsupported by anthropological and psychological evidence, would have done little for the syllabic and segmental structure of language, and ignores infants' own contribution to the process.