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ERIC Number: ED020788
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966-Apr-15
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
THE SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES OF 5-YEAR-OLD CULTURALLY DEPRIVED CHILDREN.
OSSER, HARRY
THIS STUDY WAS MADE IN AN ATTEMPT TO DISCOVER HOW MUCH ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULATION IS NECESSARY FOR NORMAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN. THROUGH ANALYSIS OF TRANSFORMATIONAL GRAMMER, THE SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES OF TWENTY 5-YEAR-OLD CULTURALLY DEPRIVED NEGRO CHILDREN IN BALTIMORE WERE COMPARED TO THOSE OF A GROUP OF MIDDLE CLASS WHITE NURSERY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN BOSTON WHO WERE SUBJECTS OF A STUDY BY PAULA MENYUK. DIALECT DIFFERENCES WERE MINIMIZED BY A CONCEPT OF FUNCTIONAL EQUIVALENCE WHICH EQUATED STATEMENTS HAVING DIFFERENT WORDS BUT THE SAME MEANING. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SENTENCES WHICH THE CHILDREN PRODUCED IN THE EXPERIMENTAL SESSION, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES USED, AND AN AVERAGE SENTENCE COMPLEXITY SCORE WERE TAKEN AS INDICES OF LINGUISTIC PERFORMANCE. A SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE IN STRUCTURE USE WAS FOUND BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS, WITH THE BOSTON GROUP USING MANY MORE SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES. THE NEGRO GROUP WAS NOT HOMOGENEOUS IN PERFORMANCE BUT HAD A WIDE RANGE OF DIFFERENCE IN COMPLEXITY AND NUMBER OF SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES USED. LARGE DIFFERENCES WITHIN THE NEGRO GROUP WOULD SUGGEST THAT ENVIRONMENT PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT. IF LANGUAGE IS IMPLICATED IN THINKING BEHAVIOR, THEN IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE DEGREE OF IMMATURITY IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD IS SIGNIFICANT IN THE CHILD'S GENERAL COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. EXPLORATION IN THIS AREA IS CONTINUING. THE NEGRO SPEECH SAMPLE IS BEING INCREASED, AND A TABLE OF STRUCTURAL EQUIVALENTS BETWEEN STANDARD ENGLISH AND THE NONSTANDARD ENGLISH OF NEGRO CHILDREN IS BEING DEVELOPED. (MS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. School of Medicine.
Identifiers: PROJECT HEAD START