ERIC Number: ED080982
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972
Reference Count: N/A
NNE Grammatical Items in the Speech of Negro Elementary School Children as Correlates of Age, Grade, and Social Status.
O'Neill, George Joseph, Jr.
This study traces the syntactic interference of the dialect of 176 black children (grades 1-6) living in south-central Los Angeles when they attempt to speak standard English in the school and correlates the amount of interference with certain socioeconomic variables. Syntactical interference items investigated include verb agreement, tense, anxiliary "be" omission, nonstandard verb formation or verb omission, pronoun usage, prepositional usage, multiple negation, possessive formations, pleonastic pronominals, plural forms, "if" construction, and future forms. The nonlinguistic variables included family occupational prestige, a modified occupational prestige scale relevant to the Negro community, age, grade, sex, school, religion, number of siblings, and achievement and/or intelligence test results. Findings indicate (1) the lower the parental occupational prestige, the higher the incidence of linguistic variables, and (2) a marked decrease in the frequency of nonstandard grammatical variables corresponds to a rise in age and grade. The latter finding suggests that the school experience tends to reduce the amount of nonstandard dialect interference. (Author/HOD)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Dialect Studies, Elementary Education, Language Patterns, Nonstandard Dialects, Social Status, Socioeconomic Influences, Socioeconomic Status, Sociolinguistics
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Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California