Research has already shown that the pitch of a person’s voice stays basically the same during adulthood and that how we sound as adults may be determined before puberty. A recent study indicated that the pitch of a boy’s voice at age 7 can mostly predict what he will sound like as an adult.

So when do our voices start emerging? One group of researchers hypothesized that differences in pitch would emerge very early — even in babies who haven’t yet learned how to speak.

Now, their new research — published last week in the journal Biology Letters — indicates that the pitch of babies’ cries at 4 months old may predict the pitch of their speech at age 5. In fact, the researchers said, the differences identifiable in babies’ whines can explain 41 percent of the differences in voice pitch that appear by age 5.