ERIC Number: ED047312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of Verb Phrases Used by Five Year Old Nonstandard Negro English Speaking Children.
Henrie, Samuel N., Jr.
This study was conducted to discover how Nonstandard Negro English speaking kindergarten children form verb phrases and what they mean by the various forms. It was limited to the main verb in each sentence; passive forms and imbedded sentences were excluded. Only verb phrases from four types of sentences were analyzed: declarative, negative, yes/no questions and why questions. Subjects were three kindergarten children, selected on the basis of degree of nonstandard usage and talkativeness. Some important general findings were: (1) The NNE speaking subjects controlled all of the Standard English verb phrases given as input, including complex auxiliary strings, in all transformations; there were no Standard forms which they could not use. Approximately one third of their output was in nonstandard forms. (2) The following nonstandard forms were shown to differ in semantic distribution from their Standard equivalents in the speech of the NNE subjects: (1) unconjugated BE--present/habitual/active; (2) deleted BE--present/short/active; (3) uninflected 3rd person present tense verbs--short/active; and (4) uninflected past tense verbs--active. (Author/AMM)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Child Language, Cognitive Processes, Kindergarten Children, Semantics, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage, Verbs
Dissertation Abstracts, University Microfilm, Inc., 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 (Order # 70-13,068 Microfilm $4.00 Xerox $6.60)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
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