ERIC Number: ED116236
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: 0
Development of Linguistic Comprehension and Production in Lower-Class Black Children.
Gay, Judy; Tweney, Ryan D.
This study attempted to assess the linguistic competence of black lower-class speakers within each of two language systems: standard English and Black English. The subjects were 72 black kindergarten, third-, and sixth-graders in a predominantly black community in Toledo, Ohio. All children attending the school were considered lower-class, since 90 percent of the children's families were on ADC and 100 per cent of the children were eligible for the federal school lunch program. A variation of the Fraser, Bellugi, and Brown test of imitation, production, and comprehension of grammatical contrasts was used. The following categories were used to generate four practice items: affirmative/negative, change in noun, and prepositions. Eight categories were used to generate 24 sentence pairs for the test itself. Sentence pairs were in both Black and standard English. A speech production task was also used. The results showed that production of Black English decreased significantly with age. This finding suggests that, at least in a school setting, older black children have the ability to respond orally to a language task in standard English if they perceive the situation to be one in which they should do so. (TS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (83rd, Chicago, Illinois, August 30-September 3, 1975)