writes "Infants learn language with remarkable speed, but how they do it remains a mystery. New data shows that infants use computational strategies to detect patterns in language, according to UW's Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl
in the Nature article "Early Language Acquisition: Cracking the Speech Code
" [PMID: 15496861
] Interesting excerpt from the article: "There is evidence that infants analyse the statistical distributions of sounds that they hear in ambient language, and use this information to form phonemic categories. They also learn phonotactic rules — language-specific rules that govern the sequences of phonemes that can be used to compose words."